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~Humble & Homemade Oaty Hobnob Biscuit Cookies~

IMG_4185One thing I know about the Brits, they love their biscuits.  Go into any shop that sells groceries and/or baked goods -- the one item you know with certainty you can find is a package of biscuits. Hobnobs is the brand name of one of the most popular British biscuits.  Essentially a crunchy-crumbly oatmeal-shortbread cookie (as opposed to a fluffy, buttery American biscuit), McVitie's launched Hobnobs in 1985 and a chocolate coated version in 1987, which is not too long ago in terms of British biscuit history.  While it's customary to enjoy 'em with tea, I love 'em with milk.

Long story short, my experience with hobnobs is limited.  Back in the latter 1990's, I ate the better part of a package on the train ride from London to Wales.  I recall buying them from a vendor-stall selling magazines.  Cued up in front of me was a woman who added a package to her reading material.  When I reached the cashier, I did the same.  "When in Rome."  They were delightful.

IMG_4193Hobnobs are definitively not your grandmother's oatmeal cookies.

IMG_4136Hobnobs get their texture from oats and their flavor from golden syrup, which is a British baking staple. Amber-colored Golden syrup, like corn syrup, prevents sugar crystals from forming, which is why either is great to use for making caramel and some candy.  Unlike corn syrup, Golden syrup, isn't blatently in-your-face sugar.  It has a rich, caramel-y buttery flavor, which makes it a great substitution for corn syrup when baking. Unlike corn syrup, Golden syrup can be hard to find outside of high-end specialty shops here in the States.  I buy it on-line, and yes, honey can be substituted, but know it won't yield the same flavor.

Hobnobs are buttery-rich, salty-sweet oatmeal-shortbread cookies.

IMG_41401  cup unbleached, all-purpose flour

1/2  cup white whole-wheat flour

1 1/2  cups old-fashioned oats

1 1/2  teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2  teaspoons sea salt

1  cup salted butter, at room temperature, very soft (2 sticks)

1  cup sugar

2  tablespoons whole milk

1  tablespoon Golden syrup

IMG_4142 IMG_4142 IMG_4142 IMG_4142~Step 1.  In a medium bowl, stir together the dry ingredients:  the all-purpose flour, white wheat flour, old-fashioned oats, baking soda and salt.  In a large mixing bowl, on medium-high speed of hand-held electric mixer cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, scraping down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula throughout the 2-3 minute process.  Lower mixer speed and beat in the milk and Golden syrup.  Remove the mixer -- you won't need it any more.

IMG_4150 IMG_4150 IMG_4150~ Step 2.  Using the rubber spatula, in 2-3 increments fold the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture, making sure to thoroughly combine after each addition.  A thick, somewhat crumbly cookie dough will have formed.

IMG_4159 IMG_4159 IMG_4159 IMG_4159~Step 3.  Using a 1 1/2" cookie scoop as a measure, place firmly-packed flat-bottomed balls of dough, well apart, onto each of  3, 17 1/2" x 12 1/2" baking pans that have been lined with parchment (place 12 dough balls on each pan of this size).  Using the bottom of a glass, a ramekin, or, your fingertips, lightly press down to flatten the tops of each ball of dough.

IMG_4172 IMG_4172 IMG_4172~ Step 4.  One-pan-at-a-time, bake cookies on center rack of 300º (not a typo) oven for 24-26 minutes.  Cookies will be lightly-golden in color on their bottoms, around the edges and on their tops -- well-made hobnobs are a uniform golden color throughout.  Remove from oven and cool on pan 1-2 minutes prior to using a spatula to transfer to a wire rack to cool completely -- cookies crisp up while they cool.

Buttery rich, salty & sweet, crunchy-crumbly perfection: 

IMG_4182Hobnobs are how the biscuit-cookie crumbles:

IMG_4188Humble and Homemade Hobnob Biscuit Cookies:  Recipe yields 3 dozen, 2 1/2"-3" round biscuit cookies.

Special Equipment List:  hand-held electric mixer; large rubber spatula; 1 1/2" ice-cream scoop; 3, 17 1/2" x 12 1/2" baking pans; parchment paper; wire cooling rack; thin metal spatula

6a0120a8551282970b0224df349c26200bCook's Note: Another cookie that falls into the "tea and biscuit" catagory is shortbread.  Melt-in-your-mouth, buttery-rich, slightly-salty and not-too-sweet, every bite of one of these humbly-crumbly understated cookies is akin to an extravagant indulgence -- the amuse bouche of the sweet treat kind.  ~ Buttery Candied-Pecan and Toffee Bit Shortbread ~

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2019)


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