A few weeks ago, I was visiting my parents in the ‘country’. I say ‘country’ and not country because they aren’t really anywhere really rural, but rather they live in a small town on the beach – but it’s hours (and hours… and hours, if you ask my kids) of driving away. Because it’s so far away, we only get down there a few times a year (it is hard to deal with seven hours of ‘how many minutes til we are at Nan’s?’ ‘I’m bored/tired/my legs are sore’ or general ‘waaaaaahhhhh’. This means that when we are there, I try to catch up with lots of people – even though I moved out of home over 20 years ago (gulp!), I still have friends in my home town; my siblings also all live nearby. This last visit, I was lucky to meet a brand new baby; he was actually 2 or 3 weeks old, but had been born a few weeks early, so it was near enough to brand new in my estimation. Of course, the Bubaloo doesn’t like me even touching other babies, so I just got to admire from afar, but the new one was delicious anyway. My youngest sister, TK, got a group of our friends with little ones together for a play (toddlers and preschoolers) and chitty chat (mums and dads) over morning tea.
One of the things with brand new babies is that they don’t sleep much – or at least, they don’t sleep much when they are meant to (like in the night) but then sleep lots when you want them awake. So mummies and daddies end up pretty tired, and therefore a pick-me-up is in order. If you’re breastfeeding, like TK, the new mum and I, the challenge is finding something that’s going to do the trick and give you a little energy boost, without being terribly bad for you or the baby. While coke or coffee might help with the energy spurt for mum, the same energy boost isn’t great for baby. I’m not sure about other breastfeeding mums but I have found that, when I’m nursing, I have a ridiculous sweet tooth, even more than at other times. As sugar isn’t really that great for you, I try to find other ways to satisfy the sugar craving without having a ton of the white stuff. That’s where these cookies come in.
This recipe is a true adaptation of one in a Woman’s Weekly cookbook. Many things have been substituted – I’ve included the original ingredients in parentheses in case you prefer that – as I was trying to ensure that it was low sugar, nut free, and that they would use everyday ingredients that I could find in my mum’s pantry. Since we got home, I’ve made them about once a week; they never last very long. As soon as my partner sees them, his eyes light up and he chomps down about six of them without drawing breath. I hope you find them as good as he does!
Yum Scrum Muesli Cookies
You will need:
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup gluten-free plain flour (you can use any sort of flour you have)
1/3 cup caster sugar (the original recipe uses 1 cup)
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup sultanas or mixed dried fruit (or dried cranberries)
2/3 cup shredded coconut (I used this in place of most of the sugar)
1/3 cup finely chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup pepitas / pumpkin seeds (or slivered almonds)
2 tbsp pure maple syrup (or golden syrup)
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp boiling water
1. Preheat oven to 150C. Line oven trays with baking paper.
2. Combine oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon, dried fruit, coconut and pepitas in a large bowl.
3. Melt butter with maple syrup over low heat. In a small cup, combine bicarb soda and boiling water, then add to the butter mix. It will go a little bubbly. Next stir this into the dry ingredients (it should still be warm).
4. Roll tablespoons of mixture into balls (don’t be too fussy about making them perfect), place on trays about 5 cm apart and flatten slightly with your fingers.
5. Bake for about 20 minutes. Let cool on trays before you eat them – if you try to eat them while they are warm, they’ll just fall apart in your hands (trust me on this!)