Sunday, 5 March 2017

Hobnobbin´- a very British thing

Since the launch of Mcvities Hobnob nibbles I´ve noticed the bloggin world is hobnobbin like there´s no cookies left in the universe.What is it with the English and biscuits? The British have a national obsession with biscuits.
If you want to know more about one of the nation's greatest obsessions, then you could do a lot worse than to spend some time dunking a biscuit in a cuppa while surfing the entirely fabulous Nice Cup of Tea and a Sit Down.When it comes to tea breaks, it goes without saying that nobody does it better than the British, and no tea break is complete without a biscuit.
While tea was the mortar with which the Empire was built, the country´s no less than magnificent range of biscuits were the bricks.But in recent years this proud heritage has been besmirched by cookies and cake pops from the other side of the pond.Chips ahoy! and Hi Ho Oreo, the American cookie has challenged the British biscuit.Stand and be counted I say, the Hobnob and its siblings are the Ambrosia of the biscuit world,and for many the true essence of British biscuit eating.
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Chocolate bourbons . . . two buttery dark chocolate rectangles sandwiched together with a chocolate buttercream. Garibaldi's, affectionately known in Schoolboy jargon as Squashed Flies . . .  almost crackerlike and squashed full of sweet little currants . . .
Buttery Rich Tea, Shortbreads, Jammy Dodgers, Digestives, Custard Creams . . . the list goes ever on.  My favourite though has to be the plain old . . . unadulterated hobnob!  You just can't beat a good old fashioned crisp oatmeal cookie.Oaty, buttery, nobbly, crisp with just a subtle hint of golden syrup They come in a few varieties, including covered, chocolate chip, etc. Homemade hobnobs however are even better!  They were a little different to the packet version, a little chewier, and more likely to stick in your teeth but in a way I preferred them. I liked that I knew exactly what was inside them. These are the perfect fun Sunday afternoon baking project. Oaty and crumbly, buttery and chewy and  I was even tempted to smother some in chocolate. I’ll definitely be making these again.Watch out for the `Knaves of Hearts´ that may be lurking as you are making making them.Yes they are that good.I wonder if Catherine of Braganza ever set eyes on them when she was hobnobbin´over afternoon tea?


(Chocolate Coated) Hobnobs (Oat Cookies)
150g butter  
150g sugar (3/4 cup) 
1 TBS milk 
1 tsp golden syrup 
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
150g self raising flour (1 cup) 
120g of rolled oats (1 1/3 cup)
½ - 1 tsp sea salt, to taste
100g chocolate
10g butter


Preheat the oven to 150*C/300*F/ gas mark 2.  Line a large baking tray with baking paper.  Set aside.Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy.  Beat in the milk and golden syrup and bicarbonate of soda to mix well.   Stir in the flour and oats, mixing all together well.Divide and shape into 20 equal sized balls.  Place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown. 
Carefully lift off to cool on a wire rack.  
Store in an airtight container.

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