I’m indecisive. It’s one of my real flaws as a person, actually. Give me a big restaurant menu and I’ll panic, thinking “But everything looks so good!”, struggling to pick and inevitably getting food envy when someone else orders something I was dithering over. It’s why I’m a big fan of tapas, or mezze, or anything sharing, actually- you get to pick at a little bit of everything and no one feels like they’re missing out.
These cookies were born of my indecisive nature. I wanted to make some sort of biscuit but I couldn’t work out precisely what. Cranberry and white chocolate? Oat and raisin? Chocolate and nut? So to save myself the hassle of deciding, I made them all. In one brilliant biscuit.
I think Compost Cookies are an American invention and they tend to include strange things like crushed up crisps or pretzels to add some saltiness to them. But I decided that might be a step too far for my work colleagues, who benefit from the fruits of my labour on a fairly regular basis, and decided to just call my “cookies containing everything I had in the cupboard” Compost Cookies for want of a snappier title. And I didn’t have crisps or pretzels in the cupboard, either (I’m a sweet girl at heart- if you told me I could never have crisps again, I swear to god I wouldn’t bat an eyelid)
You can be incredibly flexible with what you put in these. If you just want them to be fruit and nut, or chocolate and nut, or just chocolate, or anything- go for it. Just keep the quantities the same, and you’ll be fine. Seriously- whatever you have in the cupboard will work. I would strongly recommend keeping the oats though - they add a lovely texture to the cookies, and hey- anything that contains oats is instantly healthy, right?
I also measured in cups because the recipe I based these on did. And I think cookies are a bit more forgiving with the cup-measuring method than cakes are, which is why I’m quite happy to have a go with that every now and then.
8oz butter (this is basically a whole block of butter, minus one tablespoon, if you really don’t want to weigh)
1 cup soft brown sugar
1 cup caster sugar
A glug of vanilla extract
1 ½ cups of plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
2 ½ cups of oats
2 cups of "additions" –
(I did ½ cup white chocolate chunks, ½ cup dark chocolate chunks, ½ cup mixed raisins and cranberries, and ½ cup mixed nuts (which I then roughly chopped) )
Soften the butter, and cream with the sugars. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Add everything else to the bowl, and using a wooden spoon/ spatula/ implement of your choice, work in to the butter mixture. Now. I always start with a spoon, but to be honest, I find it far, far easier just to get my hands in their and mix it all up properly.
When everything is combined, you'll have a sticky dough. Scoop dessert spoonfuls of the dough out, roll into a rough ball in your hands, and place spaces well apart on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake at 170C until pale gold.