After one of the coldest Springs on record, the weather is finally starting to warm up. Like us, the garden is loving it! The Aquilegias (‘Granny’s Bonnet’) are out in full force…
and the peonies have started to bloom.
We had zero fruit on the apple and plum trees last year due to the poor weather conditions, but things are looking better this year. Even the tiny apple tree growing in our rockery is covered in blossom.
Hopefully we’ll have lots of homegrown apples come September 🙂
The weather is still very patchy at the moment though. One day we have glorious sunshine and it’s warm, while the next day it can be cold and dark, with non stop rain. I don’t know when (or if) the weather is going to settle down this year, so we’re just going to have to make the most of the sunshine when it appears.
This morning, before heading out on our bikes, Lil’ L and I decided to bake some Cinnamon Fruit Loaf and Almond Cookies. As soon as the cookies were baked, we headed out into the garden to enjoy them along with a cup of raw hot chocolate.
In fact, it was so sunny this morning that we needed to wear sun glasses!
The almond cookies were really yummy! Straight from the oven, they were crunchy on the outside with a softer centre. We used chapatti flour which is so fine that you wouldn’t even guess that these cookies were wholegrain! To boost the almond flavour, we added a little almond extract which gave them a hint of marzipan. Next time round, we’re going to toast the almonds first to see if we can boost the almond flavour even more.
Here’s how we made them:
Makes: about 18 cookies
140ml / 4¾ fl oz / 2/3 cup rapeseed (canola) oil
155g / 5½ oz /¾ cup unrefined caster sugar
60ml / 2 fl oz / ¼ cup soya milk (or use almond milk)
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
200g / 7 oz / 1½ cups fine wholemeal (wholewheat) flour (I use chapatti flour)
1 tablespoon semolina
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
½ teaspoon salt
100g / 3½ oz / 1 cup flaked almonds
- Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / Gas 4. Line 2 large baking trays with non stick baking paper.
- Place the sugar, oil and milk in a large bowl and use a fork to whisk the mixture until it is smooth and caramel-like (about 2 minutes). Mix in the almond and vanilla extracts. Sift the flour, semolina, bicarbonate of soda and salt into the bowl and stir until fully combined. (If your wheat flakes are too big to be sifted, simply whizz them in a grinder, food processor or mini chopper until they are fine). Mix in the flaked almonds.
- Scoop a rounded tablespoon of dough and place on the prepared baking tray. Press down to flatten the dough slightly. Repeat with the remaining dough, placing the cookies about 5cm / 2 inches apart on the tray (they will spread as they cook). Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, until lightly browned round the edges. Remove from the oven and leave for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. When completely cooled, store the cookies in an airtight container.
Fuelled up from our ‘elevenses’, we headed out on our second bike ride of the weekend, this time along the beautiful Kennet & Avon Canal…
passing through the lush green countryside and wildflower meadows round Monkton Coombe, followed by a ride through the Bath Two Tunnels (it was so cool in there!)
then onto Bath city centre for cappuccinos & smoothies. It was absolutely glorious!
I hope you had a lovely weekend too and I wish you all the best for the week ahead 🙂
What was the highlight of your weekend?