Malted oat cookies.
Text and Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro 2013

Sunday afternoons are the perfect occasions for reflection and relaxation and my favourite occupation at such times is to bake something. Maybe to enjoy with the afternoon fika at home or maybe to share with my office colleagues by Monday depending on the amount of damage control needed to let the remainder look good.

Today my thoughts as always covered a wide circle, making pit stops at such seemingly disparate topics as the ASEAN countries free world trade negotiations, the ongoing election in Italy and the joint Volvo Geely research centre that is being planned, ongoing events that in part shape the world we are all living in.

The common denominator was the question of human innovation and motivation, as covered by Professor of innovation knowledge, Bengt Järrehult in a recent article. As I see it, nothing is given and we are all part of the process in which we all create the future together, step by step and by our own choices.

Järrehult on intrinsic motivation and the concept of Flow.

I was also amused to see how well his concept of Flow seems helical in structure, and how much akin it seems to my pet topic on Gravesian Levels of Personal development.

Creativity and innovation knows no boundaries and even odd and unrelated activities can help the thought process. Some iron their shirts, some do laundry, I bake.

While based on the Swedish classic havreflarn (oatmeal cookies) after some creation and innovation I found myself having recreated a nice batch of malted oat cookies that reminded me so much of malted cookies that were available in the shops in Singapore well into the early 1980s. So much for being innovative and creative. But these were nice tasting, so I thought I’d share this variation with you:

Ingredients (agak agak = estimated)
120 g butter
2 dl oats
1,5 dl sugar
1 dl malted milk powder
1 dl flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 dl full cream milk

With my mind really on human capital and innovation management, I was admittedly not too careful with the above measurements to this batch of cookies, going with the proverbial Peranakan philosophy of agak agak (estimate) when baking.

Whenever I ask for recipes in Singapore, a collectivist culture that continue to safeguard family recipes quite unlike the food culture of Sweden (see the case on Swedish meatballs), and hear the words agak agak, I’m never really certain if they know what they’re doing or not, since it could well mean exactly, that they don’t – agak agak, lah!

The butter was melted, then added to the dry ingredients. Mixed well, and the batter scooped in half tablespoon measurements loosely onto the baking tray lined with baking paper. About 8 minutes at 175 centigrade is what is needed for these to turn out golden brown, with a crisp outer shell, chewy insides and yes, a new thought / insight into my current reads.



  • Professor of innovation knowledge, Bengt Järrehult his article on what is the Best Motivation for Innovation (6 Nov. 2012, Innovation
  • Kaffebröd, ICA Förlag, 47th edition 2010, Havreflarn.