Saturday 10 March 2018

Chocolate chip cookies, Er, I mean, flapjacks

This weekend marks Mothering Sunday, a day to celebrate all mums with a name that helps avoid the whole apostrophe debate that plagues me on the second Sunday in May.

And it also hopefully underlines something else - the end of my exams. On Thursday, I sat what was what I greatly wish to be my last ACCA exam, a test that consisted of three and a quarter hours scribbling about advanced taxation. It was basically a test of how many financial loopholes you can discover for rich people that are completely legal, with only 5 points out of 100 dealing with the ethics of such scenarios. In the revision kit the marker states many students miss out on these ethics points entirely, simply skipping that section of the long question - doesn't exactly fill me with confidence about the profession.

With all that behind me, I now have hopefully a bit more time to devote to other pursuits, such as blogging and baking (Michael has kind of taken over the cooking lately). With us in charge of cakes after mass this week, I thought I'd put out a wee note to the mums to say that they'd get a free sweet treat if they came along on Sunday, and then I set to work.

Last night I made a lemon drizzle cake, which sank in the middle. Not quite so much so as to be reclassified as lemon pudding, but that was certainly its intent.

So then I made a carrot cake, only in the middle of measuring the flour, I had to go deal with a certain child who wouldn't wear their trainers (they were soaked from hockey practice), who didn't want to wear school shoes (it was still raining and girls' school shoes are terribly impractical in that respect for Scotland), who refused to wear wellies (she would look stupid, apparently), and who was having trouble squeezing her foot into a silver converse, as it was pinching her pinkie toe.

That problem dealt with, I added more flour and was pretty sure, but not entirely sure, that I put in a cup too much flour. So the carrot cake is substandard. Cream cheese icing will make it all better. Lots of it.

After those two mishaps I thought: I know - choc oat chip cookies! They always turn out perfectly, and it's so easy to just throw all the things into the food processor!

So I was weighing out the oats and was fairly sure that there was more in the bowl than the scales were telling me, but there was another child crying about the fact that he didn't get as much jam as his sister so I didn't double check the measurement. The work surface wasn't exactly immaculate, so I believe some particle had wedged itself under one of the feet of my digital scales, throwing all accuracy to the wind. And then I put all the ingredients in the food processor, to which the machine said: "No. Get this s*** out of me" in its special loud way.

Sure enough, the mixture was crumbly and not at all cookie dough-like. Not quite sure how to fix it to get it back to what it should be, but also not willing to waste these ingredients that still tasted fairly good together, I put it into a big tray and pressed it down, in the hopes of making some cookie bars of sorts. After 20 or so minutes in the oven, my experiment emerged looking like this:

The tray came out smelling good, and the kids came into the room shouting - "oooh!!! Flapjacks!!!"

Flapjacks, American readers, mean chewy oat bars here, usually bound with golden syrup. They do not mean pancakes.

So yeah, I guess I made flapjacks for tomorrow. When in doubt, drizzle over more chocolate.

I had planned to make hot cross buns, too, but I don't think I could handle those failing on me.

In summary, baking this weekend has been much like motherhood - I knew exactly what I had to do as a mum until I had kids. Plans change, and the result is nothing like what you thought it would be, but you learn to improvise and make the best of it. Now I just need that written on a soft focus photo of a mother looking adoringly at her children...

Happy Mothering Sunday.

Don't ask me for the recipes. 

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