White chocolate, stem ginger and rhubarb cookies
I’ve used white chocolate here, which is very out of character for me. Usually I find it too sweet, but I find it works very well with the sharpness of rhubarb. If you want to make this recipe vegan, use an alternative.
2 sticks forced rhubarb (about 180g), cut into 1cm pieces
150g plain flour
50g porridge oats
¾ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp fine salt
150g golden caster sugar
125g white chocolate, roughly chopped (or a vegan alternative)
2 balls stem ginger, roughly chopped
85ml sunflower oil
2 tsp vanilla extract (or ½ tsp vanilla bean paste)
Put the cut rhubarb on to a lined baking tray and then put in the oven, turning it to 190C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6. As the oven slowly comes up to temperature, it will start to draw out the moisture from the rhubarb (while keeping some of that vibrant pink colour). Bake for 20 minutes while you prep the cookie dough, then set aside to cool.
Line two large oven trays with baking paper, and start on the cookie dough. Put the flour, oats, baking powder, bicarb, salt and sugar in a large bowl and mix well with a whisk (this stops the baking powder and bicarb from clumping). Add the white chocolate and stem ginger.
In another bowl, whisk the oil, vanilla and two tablespoons of water. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients, stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together into a batter, and pop the bowl in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes.
By this time, the rhubarb should be cool; add half of it to the chilled dough, loosely stirring to mix it through. Scoop out the mixture one tablespoon at a time, then gently roll the dough in your hands into balls about the size of a golf ball. Put the raw cookies on to a baking tray, leaving about 10cm between each, so they can spread out while cooking. Gently push them down to flatten them and pop a little extra rhubarb on top.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the cookies have a crisp, golden edge and are not wobbly to the touch in the centre. Leave to cool completely on the trays before eating.
IMAGE: Matt Russell for The Guardian