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  • Melissa Orquiza

Chocolate Oatmeal Biscoff Cookies, Gnome Culture, Pentatonix, Bowie, Pink Floyd and Franck

Chocolate Oatmeal Biscoff Cookies. Speculoos cookie butter in a cookie. How gnomey!

(Originally Published 12/16/2020)

Before Thanksgiving, I received a thoughtful package from my mother in law and I started laughing immediately. It was a trio of Christmas Gnomes (she’s German) and I started playfully placing them in unexpected places in the house, trying to find amusement amidst pandemic isolation. It’s become a daily game, finding Nana’s & Grandpa’s Christmas gnomes, making the most stressful of days more cheerful. (Who doesn’t need a well deserved break these days?). Around the house, we have heirloom Christmas decorations from that side of the family (lots of gnomes and trees). I didn’t really understand the cultural significance of these funny- looking creatures. Here are some humorous examples of gnome culture.

Here’s a brief history on on all the different types of Scandinavian gnomes with their similarities and differences. My favorite anecdote is about their overarching need for food or you get pranked!

Scandinavian Gnomes & Their History.

Because the world is such a bizarre place. (People are very strange!) A Belgian man put up a NSFW naughty gnome in his front yard and the authorities were called. I’m (truly) speechless.

Belgian Authorities Ordered to Cover a Naughty Gnome

For you video gamers, here’s Fable 3’s insulting gnome with anger issues. Wow. He’s got some deep-seated issues. Lol!

Fable 3: Gnome Insults

Thanks for reading! I hope this made you laugh, smile, and made your day a bit happier. If you have a food, music, or culture idea you'd like to explore, please drop me a line. Let's jam! Have a wonderful week! Xo, Melissa

I have no idea why, but "Carol of the Bells" brings silly gnomes to mind (among other things)...

Pentatonix - Carol of the Bells

Here’s Bowie’s “Laughing Gnome.”

David Bowie - "Laughing Gnome."

Pink Floyd’s, “The Gnome,” animated.

Syd Barrett - The Gnome

Because Biscoff and TJ’s Cookie Butter are made from Speculoos and traditionally eaten in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and Austria, I’ve paired it with Franck. César Franck was a composer born in Liège, in what is now Belgium (though at the time of his birth it was part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands). He spent most of his adult life in Paris. Here’s Franck’s Sonata for Cello and Piano impeccably played by Gautier Capuçon and Yuja Wang.

César Franck - Sonata for Cello and Piano, Gautier Capuçon and Yuja Wang

Thanks for reading! I hope this made you laugh, smile, and made your day a bit happier. Have a wonderful week! Xo, Melissa

Chocolate Oatmeal Biscoff Cookies. Chocolatey, homey yet upscale and full of warmth... perfect for the colder weather.

Chocolate Oatmeal Biscoff Cookies

By Dorie Greenspan from “Dories’s Cookies”


1 1/2 cups (120 grams) old fashioned rolled oats (not quick cooking)

1/2 cup (68 grams) all-purpose flour

1/4 cup (21 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 stick (8 tablespoons; 4 ounces; 113 grams unsalted butter, cut into chunks, at room temperature

1/2 cup (120 grams) Biscoff Cookie Spread

1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar

1/2 cup (100 grams) packed light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 large egg, at room temperature

1/2 cup (85 grams) chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, or chocolate chips


1. Whisk the oats, flour, cocoa, and baking soda together.

2. Working with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter, Biscoff, both sugars and salt together on medium speed until smooth, about 4 minutes. Beat in the egg and then beat for a minute.

3. Turn the mixer off, add the dry ingredients all at once, pulse the mixer a few times to start the blending and then mix on low speed only until they almost disappear into the dough. Add the chocolate and mix.

4. Wrap the dough well and refrigerate it for at least 2 hours.

Getting Ready to Bake

  1. Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat it to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Wrap the base of a jam or other flat-bottomed jar in plastic wrap.

  2. Using a small cookie scoop, scoop out level portions of dough or use a teaspoon to get rounded spoonfuls. Roll each piece of dough into a ball between your palms and place on the sheets, leaving an inch or so between the balls. Gently press each cookie into a round with a jar.

  3. Bake the cookies for 11 to 12 minutes, rotating sheets top to bottom and front to back after 6 minutes, or until they are just barely firm around the edges; the centers will seem unbaked. Transfer the sheets to racks and allow the cookies to rest for 3 minutes before carefully lifting them onto racks to cool completely; they’ll firm as they cool.

  4. Repeat with the remaining dough, always starting with cool baking sheets. Enjoy!

Thanks for reading! If you have any music, food, or culture ideas you'd like me to explore, please drop me a line! Have a wonderful week! Xo, Melissa

#chocolateoatmealbiscoffcookies, @doriegreenspan, #christmasgnomes, #gnomeinsults, #naughtygnomes, @bowie, #bowielaughinggnome, @pinkfloyd, #floydthegnome, @cesarfranck, @gautiercapuçon, @yujawang, #franckcellosonataAmajor

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