I try to come up with snacks for my son’s school lunch box that meet both his and my criteria. Ideally, the snacks are:
- Wholesome/healthy/nutritious (mine)
- Delicious (both)
- Able to be carried outside in one hand and don’t require spoons, containers etc (his)
- Able to be made in batches and frozen (mine)
After experimenting with muffins with no success (putting too many healthy ingredients into them makes them dense and unappetising) I came up with this biscuit and it’s a real winner.
It’s packed with healthy ingredients – oats, wholewheat flour, dried fruits and seeds – yet it is based on a traditional biscuit recipe so it’s as delicious as it is wholesome. The little bit of chocolate makes it very appealing, and importantly for schools, it is nut free.
My son has been taking this biscuit to school for his morning tea almost every day for a while now: he’s happy he’s got something yummy that he can easily walk around with and I’m happy that he’s getting some wholesome foods into him.
This batch makes about 8 decent, morning tea-size biscuits, but you could make them any size you like. I roll them into balls and freeze them individually, then pop one in the oven as I need.
A word on muscovado sugar: if you can get hold of this, it will improve your baking out of sight. It gives a mouthwatering, melting crumb. Look for it in good supermarkets, delis and grocery stores.
- 120 g butter at room temperature
- 1/2 cup lightly packed light brown muscovado sugar, or light brown sugar if you can’t find muscovado sugar.
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup of wholemeal flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup oats
- 2 tablespoons desiccated coconut
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup each of dried cranberries and sour cherries (you can substitute with other small dried fruits if you wish, such as blueberries, currants or sultanas)
- 30 g dark chocolate chopped into small pieces (or use dark choc chips)
Preheat the oven to 180c
In an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar for about a minute until it has turned pale and creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined.
Combine all the remaining ingredients in another bowl and mix. Add to the butter/sugar/egg mixture and combine to form the biscuit dough.
Line a baking tray with some baking paper, roll out into balls of whatever size you choose and place however many you need on the baking paper. Bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on how big they are, until golden and brown on top. Let them sit for a minute or two, then carefully slide biscuits onto a wire rack and allow to cool. They will fall apart if you try to pick them up too soon.
Wrap the remainder, uncooked, in cling wrap and freeze. When you need to use the frozen biscuit dough, you can put them straight from the freezer onto the baking tray and in the oven, but you will need a few extra minutes’ cooking time.