I really like when people drop by unexpectedly, I have a two second panic nothing is exactly tidy but I’m mostly just happy that so many of our friends and family are close enough to pop in for a chat (and that for once it’s not someone with leaflets or selling a better internet deal or looking for Marty across the hall). My one problem is that when people come to visit I really like to have something home-made to feed them. There’s something so welcoming about a cup of tea and a freshly made biscuit that means you can overlook the little bit of dust on the bookshelf or the tea-rings on the table (I hope so anyway!) I don’t always manage it though. Sometimes life is busy, sometimes I feel too lazy, sometimes I’m just expecting another salesman. This is where these biscuits are just perfect though.
Make them when you’ve got a few spare minutes, roll the mixture into a cylinder and wrap in baking paper. Pop it in the freezer and when you want a freshly cooked biscuit all you have to do is cut a few slices and bake for 10 minutes. Now, when your doorbell rings unexpectedly, you are über-prepared and your house will smell like melting butter and sugar and oats, what more could you ask for? (Unless you really do want a better deal on your internet!)
The other great thing about these is you can add pretty much whatever you want (or have in the cupboard) to the base biscuit. Orange zest and flaked almonds are delicious, coconut and chocolate chips are very tasty, raisins, dates and apricots make them lovely and chewy. Pretty much anything goes – now there’s really no excuse!
Soft brown sugar – 200g
Unsalted butter – 200g
Plain flour – 200g
Oats – 150g
Extra ingredients of your choosing – around 50g (flaked almonds, chopped nuts, desiccated coconut, dried fruits, chocolate chips)
Mixing bowl, Wooden spoon, Scales, Baking paper, Knife, Baking tray, Wire cooling rack
Using a wooden spoon, beat the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy. Add the eggs and mix well.
Add the flour and oats and stir until fully combined, you should have a thick doughy mixture.
Fold in any extra ingredients you have chosen.
At this point you can pop walnut-sized spoons of the mixture onto a baking tray if you fancy a few biscuits now. Press them down with the back of a spoon or a clean thumb to help them spread out in the oven. Bake for 8-10 mins at 180°C
For any mixture you haven’t used, put it on a piece of baking paper, shape it roughly into a log about the thickness of your wrist. Roll the paper around the mixture, twist the ends close and put it in the freezer.
When you want a biscuit or two simply unwrap the log, slice off a few rounds (around 1-1.5cm thick) and place on a baking tray. Bake for 10-12 mins at 180°C. Re-wrap the rest for your next unexpected guest (or worse, unexpectedly running out of biscuits!)
The roll should make around 30 biscuits and will keep in the freezer happily for a few months.