Confession: I do not particularly like white chocolate, and there are very few circumstances in which I will agree to eat it. One such circumstance is the half white chocolate/half milk chocolate Freddo Frog (do you feel that childhood nostalgia?). Another is in a cranberry macadamia and white chocolate cookie.
This is one of those classic, never-fail cookies flavours. The tartness of the cranberries cuts through the sweetness of the white chocolate, and the crunchiness of the macadamias is a nice addition to an otherwise soft and crumbly cookie. That being said, you can easily replace the macadamias with any other nut, or substitute dark chocolate for the white chocolate if you like it even less than I do. Whatever floats your boat, baby.
The secret to a really crumbly, melt-in-your-mouth cookie lies in the creaming of the butter and sugar. I find that brown sugar works best for this type of cookie (it has a richer, more caramel-like flavour, and also adds colour), but you can also use white sugar if necessary. It is important to let the butter and sugar cream for several minutes, until the mix is noticeably paler in colour and very soft. It should almost have the consistency of beaten egg whites – sort of fluffy and cloud-like (sounds quite pretty, doesn’t it?). Creaming the butter and sugar creates pockets of air in the dough, which helps baked goods to rise and creates a light, fluffy texture. If you don’t cream the butter and sugar for long enough, your cookies will be dense and stodgy. Not ideal. So don’t skimp on the creaming process!
So now you know all the tips and tricks, go forth and make cookies! Let me know in the comments below how it goes. Happy baking!
Cranberry Macadamia & White Chocolate Cookies
makes 18-20 cookies
100g butter, softened
2/3 cup + 2 tbsp brown sugar
1.5 cups gluten-free plain flour
1tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1/3 cup white chocolate chips
1/3 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1/3 cup chopped dried cranberries
1 tbsp milk
- Preheat oven to 170ºC. Line a cookie sheet with baking paper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar for several minutes until light, fluffy and pale in colour.Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl occasionally to make sure all the sugar has been incorporated. Add egg and beat to combine.
- Stir in flour, bicarb of soda and xanthan gum, followed by the cranberries, macadamias and chocolate chips. Add milk, and pulse until a dough forms.
- Roll a chunk of dough into a ball (about the size of a ping-pong ball), place on the baking tray, and flatten into a 1cm thick disc. Repeat with remaining dough, leaving 4-5cm between each cookie.
- Bake for 18 minutes until just firm to the touch (they will harden more as they cool down). Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before eating.
Keeping time: 3 days in an airtight container.