i’ve gotten a pretty quick schooling in american vs. british english since moving to london. trash = rubbish. bathroom = loo or toilet or ‘the ladies’. cell phone = mobile phone (had to make that conversion fast considering i run a business based on mobiles). and on the food side: zucchini is courgette, arugula is rocket, eggplant is aubergine, cookie is biscuit, jello is jelly, and so on and so forth.
all this is a fun vocabulary game that i actually enjoy until the point that it MESSES WITH MY COOKIES. see, i went to the local grocer and purchased granulated sugar for my honey walnut cookies. because granulated sugar is granulated sugar, right? well, in fact, it’s not. what we in america bake with and call granulated sugar is called caster sugar in england. and what they call granulated sugar here in england are the massive boulder-like rocks that people stir into their coffee as sweetener.
i discovered this upon pouring a cup of allegedly granulated sugar into my honey walnut cookies and sticking a fingerful of batter in my mouth and finding it…crunchy. gritty. like someone had poured sand into my cookie dough. WTF england!?! i figured out the problem after googling around and finding this very helpful translation/glossary of US vs. UK kitchen terms.
the cookie dough was basically done, but luckily i hadn’t put in my only bag of walnuts in yet. rather than throw out the batter, i decided to just pour it into a baking tray and bake it anyway while redoing the recipe with the right kind of sugar. maybe the grittiness would make people think of beachy vacation summer picnics spread out on the sand or something. except…after 10 minutes in the oven, the grittiness had disappeared and the honey cinnamon squares were golden brown, warm, and incredibly delicious. whaaat? confusing but awesome. the attempted linguistic sabotage of my cookies turned out to be a miraculous victory. i’m not sure whether it was because of or in spite of the sugar issue, but regardless, these cookies are mighty tasty. like the essence of honey distilled in a chewy little package. and they’re even better filled with homemade cardamom ice cream as the sandwich of your dreams…
Honey Cinnamon Squares and/or Honey Walnut Cookies
(adapted from this recipe from CDKitchen)
What You Need:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar. granulated, caster, whatever.
a gloppy slop of honey. like say a half cup.
1 + 3/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
about a cup of chopped walnuts
What You Do:
1. preheat the oven to 350º
2. beat together the butter and sugar, then add in the egg and honey. lots of honey is tasty.
3. mix all the dry powdery ingredients together and add to the wet mixture.
4. if you’re making the squares, just pour the dough into a greased baking pan. easy peasy.
5. if you’re making the cookies, add the walnuts and then place mini dough balls on a greased baking sheet.
6. for the cookies, bake about 8-10 minutes. the squares probably need a few minutes longer, but they’re really good a little soft and chewy in the center.