Cranberry, Walnut & White Chocolate Cookies: Sweet & Simple Bakes

Biscuits | 1st January 2010 | By

My third Sweet and Simple Bake AND it was another chocolate one – hoorah! It was also a great one to make for Christmas presents. How could I not do it? Thank you Maria and Rosie for coming up with such a splendid idea. As I didn’t have any pecans but had loads of walnuts in stock, I decided to substitute one for the other. I also only used 100g of white chocolate as I didn’t really want to have to start another bar and I thought one bar would be enough. Other than that I mostly followed the recipe as given.

This is what I did:
  • Creamed 125g unsalted butter with 100g caster sugar and 75g dark brown sugar until pale.
  • Beat in a large egg and 1 tsp vanilla essence.
  • Mixed in 150g flour (1/2 wholemeal spelt and 1/2 white spelt), 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt (pink Himalayan) and 75g rolled oats.
  • Stirred in 75g dried cranberries, 75g roughly chopped walnuts and 100g white chocolate (Green & Black’s) roughly chopped.
  • Formed mixture into roughly walnut size balls (36), placed on lined baking sheets and squashed down with a fork.
  • Baked in a preheated oven for 12 mins at 180C (gas 4) until golden in colour.
  • Let cool for a few minutes then removed with a spatula onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Packaged into cellophane bags, labelled and tied up with a ribbon.

I was really pleased with these cookies – CT and I had to do a quality taste test of course! They held together really well so were ideal for packaging up, were nicely chewy and very, very tasty.
Wishing you all a Happy New Year and may your baking be satisfying – both in the preparation and the eating.

Snow-Flecked Macadamia Brownies: Sweet & Simple Bakes

Brownies & Blondies | 29th November 2009 | By

Fortune shines! My second Sweet & Simple bake and it’s another chocolate one, so no having to think twice. Not that there was much thinking to be done – I really enjoyed doing the last one as it’s fun to see the same thing baked by many and to discover how varied the results are. I’ve been wanting to make brownies with macadamias for some time now and as I prefer not to have my cakes too sweet, this presented an ideal opportunity to swap the white chocolate in the original recipe for macadamias. I cut the quantity by a third from the original as even for me this was rather a lot of brownies to munch my way though (or so I thought). See Sweet & Simple Bakes for the real thing.

This is what I did:
  • Melted 200g 70% dark chocolate with 200g unsalted butter and left to cool slightly.
  • Beat 4 duck eggs, 180g soft brown sugar and 2 tsp vanilla extract.
  • Stirred in chocolate mixture.
  • Sieved in 125g spelt flour (100g wholemeal & 25g white) with a pinch of salt and mix until combined.
  • Stirred in 100g macadamia pieces.
  • Poured mixture into a 9″ sq cake thingie and baked at 180C for 20 mins.
  • Allowed to cool a little then sprinkled the top with 1 tsp icing sugar and cut into 16 squares.
Despite the warning Maria gave about this, I did slightly overcook the brownies (by about 3 minutes I reckon), so they were not as gooey as I would ideally have liked. However, they were moist and tasty, not too sweet and with a delicious macadamia crunch. They have also been fantastic keepers, tasting better with each day that passes – one week on and I am still eating them (chief taster having succumbed to the flu and unable to be tempted). I now regret the decision to not make the full quantity as these were so good and an ideal opportunity to put some by in the freezer – hey ho!
As a bit more time has now passed since originally writing this post, I’m just doing a quick update. Things got a bit dramatic with my chief taster being rushed off to hospital at midnight in an ambulance – pneumonia it seems
He did get to taste one of the brownies before being rushed off, but I’m not sure his mind was really on it. My concerns for his welfare explains my lack of recent posts.
Tomorrow, I’m off on my Schumacher course, which is why I’ve posted this a day or two earlier than the official posting date.

White Chocolate & Orange Cookies: Sweet & Simple Bakes

Biscuits | 1st November 2009 | By

This is a first for me. I had noted all the wonderful St Clement’s Drizzle Cakes made by the members of Sweet & Simple Bakes last month and thought it would be fun to have a go myself. As this month’s bake included chocolate, I couldn’t really dip out!

I mostly stuck to the recipe as given – sort of! I used 1/2 wholemeal and 1/2 white spelt flour and all my ingredients are, of course, organic. Actually, I also used less chocolate – G&B Vanilla is so rich, I thought 100g would be enough.

Here is a link to the original recipe.
The results were pretty good, they were crisp around the edges and a bit chewy in the middle and I like my biscuits like that. I wasn’t quite so happy with the high sugar content though and found them rather too sweet. So I was glad I didn’t use the full quantity of chocolate as stated. The flavour combination was good though, so I will be making these again – less sugar next time and maybe a bit more chocolate. Thanks go to Maria and Rosie of Sweet & Simple Bakes for this.