Saturday, 11 May 2013

Edible Orcs

No, not these nasty looking creatures from Tolkein

the hunt for gollum 4

ORC stands for Oatmeal Raisin Cookie.

bake anna olson

I have been recording Anna Olson on the Food Network recently, and gradually in odd moments [like when I am doing the ironing] I have watched this lady [born in the USA, now living in Canada] baking some great recipes.

She demonstrates one basic recipe, then a few ways to develop it.

anna olson

In a recent programme, she showed a basic cookie recipe, then added raisins, oatmeal and a peanut filling [and finally produced home-made ice cream to sandwich cookies together]

I decided to make the Orcs. She used a regular ice cream scoop – which made huge cookies, and then sandwiched two together. I opted to use my 1” scoop, which gave me twice as many biscuits!


Makes about 3 dozen individual cookies, 18 sandwich cookies
Yield: 18 sandwich cookies


  • 1 cup [8oz] unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1¼ cups plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2¼ cups regular porridge oats (not instant)
  • 1 cup raisins


  • ¾ cup peanut butter
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup icing sugar, sifted

For the cookies, preheat the oven to 180° and line baking trays with parchment paper. Cream the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar together until smooth and light. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla.

In a separate bowl, stir the flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, salt and allspice together. Add this to the butter mixture and stir to blend. Stir in the oats and then add the raisins. Drop the cookies by tablespoonfuls (or use ice cream scoop), leaving at least 2 inches between the cookies. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes (the cookies may look underdone, but will be nice and chewy once cool) and allow them to cool on the baking tray. Don’t try to lift them till they are cool!

To prepare the filling, beat the peanut butter, butter and icing sugar until smooth. Spread a layer of the filling one the bottom of one cooled cookie and sandwich with a second cookie.

The cookies will keep for 3 days (filled or unfilled) in an airtight container. Here are Anna’s sandwich cookies – about 3” across

annas orcs

Mine – sandwiched, and singly, about 1¾” across


I ended up with 72 biscuits – so I made 24 ‘sandwiches’ and left 24 plain. I tweaked her filling recipe – I used half the quantity of peanut butter and butter, and a level tbsp of icing sugar, as I thought there was enough sugar in the recipe already!

Anna doesn’t call her cookies Orcs – but it seemed a good name to me – both brown, wrinkly with lumpy bits! Mine taste better though.[they went down well at the Library Coffee Morning, anyway]




  1. Funny! That bottom orc does look quite oatmeal-y!
    I'm trying to stay away from wheat flour for a while, but you did make me hungry for cookies (biscuits).

  2. That's what I like - delish recipes and a sense of humour!
    I don't know why I bother with recipes really, I always seem to alter some ingredient in them!
    Wonder if this would work leaving out the raisins? Would you have to substitute something else maybe for the volume or texture?

    1. The texture is fine, and the spices give good flavour, so I think you could probably omit the fruit without too much problem.


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