Recipe Review

I Tried the Famous Golden Oat Cookies from the World’s #1 B&B

published May 2, 2022
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Credit: Tara Holland

In the southwest of England, Torquay, a beach town in Devon known for hosting some of the country’s most beautiful beaches and balmiest weather, is famous for being the birthplace of the renowned British novelist and playwright Agatha Christie. But now Torquay is also well and truly on the map for being home to The 25 Boutique B&B, winner of the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award for the “Best B&B in the World” two years in a row — beating almost a million competitors from around the globe. 

Andy and Julian, husbands and co-owners of the fabulous 5-star boutique abode, have raised the B&B bar, offering five rooms, each individually designed with a different vibe and high-end amenities. One of the room offerings that they are famous for (and what caught our eye!) are their homemade cookies (or biscuits, as referred to in the British Isles!) freshly baked in-house by Andy. We found this recipe online for their Golden Oat Cookies, and as I was born and bred in England (and constantly missing British treats), I just had to try them.

Get the recipe: Golden Oat Cookies from The 25 Boutique B&B (video)

Credit: Tara Holland

How To Make Golden Oat Cookies from the World’s #1 B&B

The video recipe is in British format and metrics; please see my conversions below, which I did as close to cup measurements as possible. But as with most baking recipes, precision is key, so if you happen to own scales, I recommend following Andy’s gram measurements, but my conversions do work out just fine if you only have cup measures.

U.K. versus U.S. Conversions and Translations

  • 180°C degree oven = (approximately) 350°F
  • Plain flour = all-purpose flour
  • Bicarbonate of soda = baking soda
  • Porridge oats = old-fashioned or rolled oats (not steel-cut) 
  • Glacé cherries = candied cherries
  • 175 grams all-purpose flour = about 1 cup and 3 tablespoons
  • 85 grams oats = 1 cup
  • 175 grams granulated sugar = 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon
  • 175 grams butter = 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks)

The cookies are super easy to make: Start by arranging 2 racks in the middle third of the oven before preheating to 350℉. In a large bowl, you’ll whisk together sifted flour with all the dry ingredients, including 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt if you are not using salted butter. Then, in a small saucepan over low heat, melt the salted butter and Lyle’s golden syrup for 5 to 6 minutes. After that simply pour the syrupy melted butter over the dry ingredients, stirring to combine. Divide the dough into 24 balls and bake in the preheated oven. 

Credit: Tara Holland

My Honest Review of The 25 Boutique’s Golden Oat Cookies

As soon as I closed my eyes, I was instantly transported back to my youth in London, sneaking my mom’s warm, buttery cookies before they had appropriately cooled. I loved the cookie’s crisp-edged texture, slightly chewy middle, and the sweet cherry in the center. The flavor reminded me of a much fancier (and tastier!) version of the ubiquitous McVitie’s Hobnob that frequents most biscuit tins back home. These cookies are deliciously decadent. 

I made these cookies a few times (any excuse!), and I can confirm that it is essential to sift the flour through a fine-mesh strainer and not skip this step. Due to the amount of butter in this recipe, sifting the flour helps soak up the butter, making it easier to roll into balls.

They took me longer to bake than the video says, but every oven is different, so I recommend keeping your eye on them. The video says they take 7 to 8 minutes, but mine took 10 to 12 minutes to get a deep and even golden-brown. 

I’ve been gifting these cookies to all my ex-pat British buddies all weekend, and they’ve gone down a storm! I will 100% be making these cookies again, especially when I feel homesick. They are perfect for serving alongside a steaming cup of strong Yorkshire Tea —the best tea in the land, in my opinion, but that’s another story!

Credit: Tara Holland

If You’re Trying the Golden Oats Cookie Recipe, a Few Tips

  1. Plan on using two large baking sheets. You will need 2 large baking sheets for all 24 cookies. Rotate the baking sheets halfway or cook in two batches. 
  2. Use salted butter. Although it doesn’t state in the video, I checked with Andy at The 25 Boutique, and he kindly confirmed he uses salted butter. If you don’t have salted butter to hand, use unsalted and add 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt as a substitute (I also tried this, and it worked out great).
  3. About the cherries: Glacé (or candied) cherries are not readily available in stores unless it’s the holidays, so you can either buy them online or substitute by using drained maraschino cherries that are thoroughly patted dry, stemmed (if applicable), and halved. Halving them is crucial; otherwise, the cherries roll off during cooking (even if you firmly press the cherry into the dough ball).    
  4. Lyle’s Golden Syrup is an essential ingredient in this recipe. It’s also a staple ingredient in many British desserts. The syrup is available in most large grocery stores, or you can easily order online
  5. A helpful tip on the syrup: Lightly rub the inside of your tablespoon measure with oil to help the golden syrup slide off your spoon easily. 
  6. Forget the parchment paper. You do not need to line a baking sheet with parchment paper, due to the high butter content of the cookies. I found the cookies spread out thinner (like in the video) on a regular baking tray than on a nonstick cookie sheet. Either way, they are delicious! The thicker they are, the chewier they end up being!  
  7. Use a heaping tablespoon to create each of the 24 balls. They need to be placed 2 1/2-inches apart on the baking tray to allow space for spreading. I noticed that if the cookie balls sit for a while before baking, they firm up and do not spread out as thin during cooking.
  8. Don’t forget to cool! Allow the cookies to cool on the tray for 5 to 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.