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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Salted chocolate and cranberry cookies

Sydney weather has turned of late. Is it summer or winter? From week to week, Mother Nature weather can't seem to make up her mind.

This weekend has been cold and wet. Last weekend was hot and dry. Two weekends ago it was unbelievably hot. That dry suck-the-breath-out-of-you kind of hot where your body radiates heat and trees seem to shimmer in the distance.

What did we do? We had a picnic of course. Slathered with sunscreen, we sat in the shade, feasting on a communal buffet of chicken wings, Moroccan lamb cutlets, quiche, deli meats, Nigella's roquefort guacamole and thick slices of maple walnut bread.

I'm always inclined to bring a little dessert. It guarantees I definitely have something sweet to look forward to after all the savouries! Given the journey by public transport, the heat, and the likelihood of feeling stuffed to the gills after lunch, I made up a batch of salted chocolate and cranberry cookies.

These were quick to whip up and best of all, there was no chance of melting and limited danger of breakage. I made them with extra cocoa and salt, resulting in a biscuit that's almost savoury save for the occasional encounters with cranberry. This means they don't give you that sickly oh-my-god-i-think-i-ate-too-much feeling. Best of all it means you can quite easily fit in another one. Or two.

Salted chocolate and cranberry cookies

170g butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 large egg
2 cups plain flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
1 teaspoon salt (reduce to 1/2 teaspoon or omit altogether if you prefer it sweet)
1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat your oven to 180C / 350F.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until combined.

Add the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt and mix on low until just combined.

Fold in the dried cranberries using a wooden spoon or spatula.

Place tablespoons of mixture onto a baking tray lined with baking paper, pressing down on each one slightly. Allow each biscuit some room as they will spread.

Bake for 10-15 minutes depending on whether you prefer your cookies a little chewy or hard and crunchy. I did mine for about 12 minutes and they had a crisp edge with a chewy middle.

Allow the cookies to cool for a couple of minutes and harden, before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 24.
10 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 2/15/2009 02:52:00 am


  • At 2/15/2009 10:15 am, Blogger Simon said…

    Those cookies look quite moreish. How many did you end up having?

  • At 2/15/2009 12:28 pm, Blogger sugar and spice said…

    Your picnic sounds very yum. I am brand new at blogging and am thoroughly enjoying learning about other peoples experiences with food, expecially Australian ones. Enjoying your blog! Sharnee

  • At 2/15/2009 7:46 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What great biscuits! I love dried cranberries.
    And isn't the weather changeable, I'm hoping that summer comes back soon, would love a picnic.

  • At 2/15/2009 11:48 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Simon - The cookies were great. I had one at the picnic but I won't tell you how many I had the night before!

    Hi Sharnee - Congratulations on starting your first food blog! Food bloggers are always friendly, and you're right, it's so much fun to live and eat vicariously through others. Happy blogging!

    Hi Lili - I'm surely tempted to bring out my winter dooner and flanelette pyjamas! I don't mind the cooler weather but I wonder whether summer is officially over or if it's going to get hot all over again!?!

  • At 2/16/2009 4:17 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ooh yummm I love that cracked look and matched with a gooey center = heaven!

    Ahhh picnics, havent been on one in aagggesssssss, sounds like heaps of fun ^^!

  • At 2/16/2009 8:33 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi FFichiban - Not quite picnic weather at the moment but sometimes an indoor one can be just as fun!

  • At 2/16/2009 10:09 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    These cookies would suit a nice rainy weekend! I could eat all of 'em while reading the paper! Cranberries are awesome aren't they, I've been snacking on them instead of sultanas for a while :)

  • At 2/17/2009 12:17 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Jen - Cranberries are great. I love their mix of sweetness with a hint of tartness. So good with dark or white chocolate.

  • At 2/17/2009 11:32 pm, Blogger A Sydney Foodie said…

    hi ag. i love the ide of the non sweet choc cookie, i find them to sweet and yes they do make you feelill afterwards. i have been inspired to make these, although how do you think u could substitute for white chocolate? More salt or more cranberries?

  • At 2/17/2009 11:50 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Sydney Foodie - I substitute ingredients all the time. You should be able to omit the cocoa powder and salt, and then maybe add 1/2 cup cranberries and 1/2 cup of white chocolate chunks/buttons. Happy experimenting!


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