If magazines and Facebook adverts are to be believed, January is a time for post-Christmas self-denial and flagellation. Drink a green juice, exercise until you cry, give up sugar…the list of what we supposedly should be doing goes on and on, and I just can’t be bothered with any of it. The nights are still long and cold with summer almost unimaginably far away, and I still need a bit of comfort. Instead of self-improvement through denial, I’m focusing on using all all those bits and bobs that sit in the cupboard of the fridge for weeks and months and never get used up because the next thing comes along. I’m talking endless half-jars of jam and marmalade and chutneys which stare accusingly at me every time I want the butter or eggs.
Christmas leftovers can be particularly stubborn. When we moved house last I found a jar of mincemeat that had sat in a cupboard for 2 years. 2 years! This year I made a few batches of simple mincemeat to please my mince-pie loving other half, but ran out of time to do anything with the second batch. Adding the mincemeat to oaty, buttery cookies is the perfect way to reuse it in a delicious way. Substantial enough to feel like a decent breakfast, these Mincemeat Oat Cookies are also great for a mid-afternoon pick me up with a cup of tea. They also stand up well to dunking!
You don’t need homemade mincemeat to make these cookies – any type is fine. If you’re using shop bought stuff I’d recommend mixing in a few tablespoons of orange liquor and some preserved ginger the day before you start baking the cookies. It gives them a spicy warmth which really complements the oats.
I’d love to know your leftover recipes – let me know your favourites! In the meantime, I implore you to scrape out your jars of mincemeat, whip up these cookies and start 2017 right.
Recipe: Mincemeat Oat Cookies
100g softened, unsalted butter
50g light brown sugar
50g plain flour
100g rolled oats
1/2 ts fine salt
75g mince meat – use the recipe below or add a few tbps orange liquor and chopped preserved ginger to your own jar
Mincemeat ingredients (adapted from The Detox Kitchen)
zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp orange liquor
2 tbps chopped preserved ginger from a jar, plus 2 tbsp of the syrup
1/2 tsp ground allspice
- To make the mincemeat, put all the ingredients in a bowl, mix well and cover. Leave at least over night to let the flavours infuse. It will keeps for weeks in the fridge.
- Preheat the oven to 170C and line a few trays with baking paper.
- Using a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the mincemeat and beat until just combined.
- Meanwhile, combine the flour, salt and oats in another bowl and use a whisk to combine.
- Add in one go to the butter and mix until just combined
- Roll walnut sizes bit of the mix into balls and flatten with your palm onto the prepared tray to make fat little disks.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the edges are turning golden brown.