Rachel Lambert: forager, author, guide
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Rustic Gorse and Oat Cookies

Rustic gorse cookies

As the saying goes; 'when gorse is not in flower then kissing has gone out of fashion.' Luckily there are two types of gorse (Ulex gallii and Ulex europeaus) here in the UK (and in many places across the world) and they hybridise too. Between them, all seasons are covered with gorse flowers, because kissing never goes out of fashion!

As I write this in late summer, the gorse and heather flowers are starting to flash their colours across the moors and on cliffs near the coast. Hmm, those wonderful yellow and purple hues together make me smile.

Gorse and heather flowers near the coast

I used to call these Gorse Martyr Cookies because these cookies wanted to look less than they are; homemade biscuits fit for a martyr not a foodie. I also wanted to keep this fab recipe to myself!

Cobweb stretched across a gorse bush

Although these are wholemeal oat cookies, they are also deceptively sweet with their rustic-looking icing. They are a favourite of mine, so I’m quite happy that they are disguised as overly humble biscuits. Made using dried gorse flowers they can be crafted any time of year.

Pile of gorse cookies drizzled with gorse icing

Gorse and Oat Cookie Recipe

Makes 12

Ingredients 

  • 15–20 g dried gorse flowers
  • 75 g butter
  • 25 g soft brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp Gorse Flower Syrup (page ..)
  • 75 g rolled oats
  • 75 g wholemeal flour

For the icing

  • 25 g unrefined caster or icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp dried gorse flowers
  • 1 tbsp water or Gorse Flower Syrup

Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a large baking tin. Place the gorse flowers in a small saucepan along with the butter, brown sugar and gorse syrup. Heat, stirring occasionally, over a low heat and once the butter has melted, take off the heat and leave to infuse.

In a large bowl, mix the oats and wholemeal flour. Stir in the butter and gorse mixture and combine well. Roll into 12 small balls and flatten into cookies on the baking tray. Bake for around 12 minutes, or until golden brown and slightly crispy at the edges. Allow to cool before removing from the tray.

For the icing, finely blend the flowers and sugar in a seed grinder or equivalent; the result should be a powder with tiny flecks of yellow. Mix in the water, or syrup if you have it. The consistency will be quite watery but leave to set for a few minutes before pouring it over the cooled cookies. The moisture will soak into the biscuit. Leave to dry, then enjoy as wholesome sweet snacks.

Rustic gorse cookies

I teach gorse throughout the year on many of my foraging courses, I also have plenty more recipes for gorse flowers here on the gorse section of my blog.

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