Three winter recipes to get you going when it's just too cold out

Check out these winter pick-me-up baking recipes from Michelle Darmody. They’re perfect for Christmas too!

These cold winter mornings are perfect for steaming, sweet bowls of porridge. But if you do not have the time to stand over a bubbling pot you can also get the benefits of porridge by adding the nutritious oats to baking recipes.

I often throw a handful into a brown bread or make cookies and crumbles with lots of oats included.

Many other ingredients can also be incorporated to bulk up recipes, such as the cookie one below, and dried fruit, chopped nuts or toasted seeds are all beneficial additions.

Here I have included a slightly more luxurious recipe which uses rum soaked raisins. If you wish to omit these I would substitute them with golden raisins as these are softer

and stay lovely and moist during baking. The butteriness of this crumble works well with the strong almond flavour of amaretto and the toasted oats on top create a rich and sweet after dinner desert.

The date recipe is good for an afternoon snack, the slices are quite rich so I cut the tray bake into thin fingers and enjoy them with a strong cup of tea. So next time you are baking, reach for the bag of porridge, the oats are not only local, but healthy and quite cheap.


Run and raisin oat cookies


  • 150g of raisins
  • 100mls of dark rum
  • 80mls hot of water
  • 220g of butter, at room temperature
  • 190g of sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • 180g of oats
  • 510g of flour
  • ½ tsp of baking powder
  • ½ tsp of sea salt

Three winter recipes to get you going when it's just too cold out


Soak the raisins in the rum and warm water.

Drain any excess after 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment.

Beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Stir in the egg and vanilla.

Mix the oats, flour, soda and salt in a bowl and stir those into the mixture as well until everything is combined.

Spoon the mixture onto a baking tray, a tablespoon for each cookies is usually enough.

Press the dough down with the back of the spoon and leave space between each cookie.

Bake for ten minutes until golden.

Oat and ginger tray bake with dates


  • 260g of dates, destoned and chopped
  • 175g of plain flour
  • Half tsp of baking powder
  • 140g of light brown sugar
  • 3 tsp of powdered ginger
  • 120g of porridge oats
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • 175g of butter, cubed
  • 100g of dark chocolate chips

Three winter recipes to get you going when it's just too cold out


Heat the oven to 180D and line a 10in square tin with parchment.

Pour 330ml of water over the chopped dates in a saucepan and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the mixture is soft and thick, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Sieve the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the sugar, half of the ginger, oats and salt and mix well.

Add the butter and rub it in with your fingertips until moist clumps form.

Press half the mixture into the base of the lined tin and smooth it out then spread the cooled date mixture on top and smooth this out too. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the dates

Spread the remaining oat mixture on top and press down gently with your hands. Sprinkle the rest of the ginger over the top.

Bake for about 40 minutes or until golden on top.

Allow to cool in the tin and then slice into fingers.

Buttered apple and amaretto crumble


  • 340g of plain flour
  • 270g of cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 80g of brown sugar
  • 30g of ground almonds
  • 135g of porridge oats
  • 6 apples, cored end sliced
  • 1 tbs of amaretto
  • a handful of slivered almonds

Three winter recipes to get you going when it's just too cold out


Beat together the flour, butter, brown sugar and ground almonds until the mixture forms crumbs. Do not over beat as it will start to combine too much. Stir in the porridge oats.

Slice your fruit and place in an oven proof dish, drizzle with the amaretto. Top with your crumble mix and top with the slivered almonds, as well as a light sprinkling of sugar.

Pop into a warm oven until the crumb is golden brown and the apples are soft.

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