Unexpected combinations are sometimes the best - walnut and roast barley cookies to go with your tea

So today marks the end of the first week adapting to the new routine. I mentioned on my last post that my son's school tweaked the schedules a little this year, thus "robbing" me of half an hour in the morning and half an hour in the afternoon, as well as advancing lunch break by half an hour. For three years I had my day perfectly divided into time slots that worked like a well oiled machine. Get up, eat breakfast, shower, get dressed, wake up boy, feed him, get him to dress, take him to school. First slot. Second slot was come back home, change, exercise for half an hour, sit down to work, either by blogging or writing or doing necessary rounds of social media. Third slot started when I changed back going out clothes, picked kid for lunch, fed him, fed myself, brushed teeth and assured he did the same, prepared his afternoon snack, did the dishes, took him back to school. Then fourth slot was coming back home, change, exercise for half an hour, sit down to write until it was time to get dressed and pick kid up from school for the day. Fifth slot was everything comprising the cooking of dinner, the showering of one smelly boy, the helping with homework, the doing the dishes and tidying the kitchen, the reading, the putting to bed and then the resting of the adults. This slot was usually the one divided between both parental units - you honestly do not expect me to help around with maths homework, do you?

But now there's half an hour less in time slot two and time slot four, and look at it, it's the slots where I get to do my exercise AND get some work done. So I needed to adapt to this change, and took my new and improved timetable for a test drive this week. Suffice it to say, it did not work. The only thing I did was change things around time slot four: instead of coming home from the lunch school run and exercising immediately, I took that half hour of stepper exercise up to time slot five, meaning I picked the kid up from school and came home, and while he did his homework, I did my exercise. Can we take a moment to say 'tsk,tsk,tsk' between our teeth and look at me as if I was nuts? Because, yeah, how did I think this was gonna work, right? Kid doing his homework with no supervision at all means he's just sat there daydreaming. Or he's constantly calling me in for help, and I have to interrupt my exercise routine to check what he needs - I mean, it's homework, as a parent I should help in what I can, no? Unless it's maths. Plus, coming home form all the school runs and everything, and still adding that extra half hour of exercise before cooking dinner and doing all those domestic chores that come with the territory means I have been ending my days completely knackered, and waking up with less and less energy every morning. So we must assume this isn't working, and it's back to the sketch table to find a way of making it work.

What did work were these amazing cookies. My husband first came up with them before we took off on holidays. We like having a few cookies around if we feel peckish late at night, or to go along with a nice, warm tea. Usually, while on holiday, we end up buying cookies, but the amount of horrid stuff gets thrown into these makes me cringe everytime, so I stay away from them as much as I can. This year, husband decided that we should bake cookies and take them with us, and that's just what he did. So off to the kitchen he went, along with the kiddo who loves helping out, and he came up with what I can only say is the best cookie ever. Now, I'm not much for sweets, honestly, I'm a savoury kind of person. I tend to like my cookies the least sugary possible. These are not sweet at all. I mean, sure, there's a hint of sugar in the flavour, of course, and yeah, they are cooked with sugar too, but the overall impression you get is of a slightly tart, slightly bitter cookie. Because of the roast barley, you see. Yes, these have roast barley in them, which combined with the walnuts makes for the tasties morsels I have indulged in lately. They're satisfying in a way Ican hardly describe, you'll have to bake them and judge for yourself. Plus, they really must be good, because my husband took a few to work and handed them around to his co-workers, and he's just gotten an order for a kilo of these to be delivered! So yay, these cookies are really amazing.

And how can you bake your own batch, you ask? Here goes, then:
  • 350 gr flour
  • 200 gr chopped walnuts
  • 250 gr cold butter
  • 175 gr dark muscovado sugar
  • 50 ml milk
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tbsp roasted barley
  • 1 tsp baking pwder
Mix the baking powder, flour and barley together. Pour over a clean, cold surface and make a circular hole in the middle. Add the sugar, butter, milk and egg. Combine the ingredients into a dough. Now, throw in the walnuts and knead very softly, to bring it all together. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate it for half an hour at least. Now, here's a piece of advise for you: this dough is VERY hard to work. Really. So what we do is we divide it into four batches and wrap each batch in cling film. We then place them in the fridge for half an hour and after that time, we move them to the freezer. Yep, the freezer. You need this dough to be as cold as you can get it, but not frozen. After ten minutes, you take out the first batch, roll it into about 7 mm thick and cut into the shapes you favour best - with kids around makes it better, they can choose the shape they want and you don't even have to think about it. Transfer the cut cookies into a baking tray lined with baking parchement and bake in the oven for about 12 minutes at 170ยบ. And you do this for every batch you have in the freezer. Keep in mind it's a really tough dough to work with and needs to be really cold so you can handle it better. But trust me, the moment you bite into the first cookie, it'll be worthy.


  1. I love cookies with nuts inside. They add that extra crunch and texture. YUM!
    Sounds like the change in schedue has been a bit unsettling. But I'm sure you're all find your feet super soon.
    Thanks for sharing

    1. I'm the kind of person who actually likes nuts in almost anything, really. My latest craze is adding mixed nuts to turmeric rice, it's soooooo good!

  2. Us crazy people with the barely-sweet cookies. I'm totally on board. Sudden schedule changes throw me off too. Your boy must be extremely lucky to have such an incredible mom!

    1. Oh, thank you so much!!! I actually feel like I'm the worst mom ever, all the freaking time ahahahah!

  3. These cookies sound so good. I'm not a fan of too-sweet either, so slightly bitter sounds wonderful. :-)

  4. i love the sound of walnut and roast barley cookies! there's something so cozy and toasty about barley, whether it's the cooked grain or used for tea, so i bet i'd love these too (:


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