Food

Cranberry and Macadamia Nut Biscuits/Cookies

I am a big fan of nuts – I think it might be hereditary as my Mum has a nut addiction worse than any other I’ve come across. This can be a good thing because you’re never stuck for a small gift for her when one is required. It can also be a bad thing because she’s been known to have to go out and buy the nuts for specific baking projects, like (read especially) Christmas cake, a number of times before she actually gets round to making whatever it is she has in mind before she (and the rest of the family) has polished off the nuts. I have a particular weakness for macadamias, and would be lying if I denied that a similar process to the one I’ve outlined for my Mum above took place prior to actually getting round to making this batch of biscuits (cookies for those across the Atlantic; I know biscuits means a whole different thing for you!), though on the plus side, I only had to go out and re-buy the nuts once (admittedly that isn’t counting all the nuts I bought for the few attempts it has taken to get these kind of how I want them)! I’ve seen 150 gram packs of cranberries and macadamias in lots of supermarkets, which is why I’ve listed that as an ingredient , rather than a measurement using cups and/or with the cranberries and macadamias listed separately – if can’t get it pre-packaged, just measure it out yourself, using approximately 75 grams of macadamias and 75 grams of dried cranberries. Don’t worry if you’re a gram or two (or ten) over. This makes around 16 biscuits. All the cup measurements below were made using a 250 ml mug.

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What you’ll need:

1/2 cup butter (use real butter!!)

1 cup caster sugar

1 small to medium size egg

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

2 cups self-raising flour

Pinch salt

150 gram pack mixed dried cranberries and macadamia nuts

What to do:

1. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5 and grease some baking sheets (I appear to have lost my flat baking sheet so am reduced to a baking tray!).

2. Cream together the butter and sugar using an electric beater.

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3. Crack the egg into the bowl, and add in the vanilla essence, and then mix together again using an electric beater.

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4. Sift the flour and salt into the bowl and then fold into the butter/sugar/egg mixture. The mixture will be quite dry, but just keep going until it is all mixed together in clumps (like in the picture below the picture below!).

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5. Add the dried cranberries and macadamia nuts to the bowl and stir into the butter/sugar/egg/flour mixture for a minute or two. Then (with clean hands) bring the mixture together using your hands.

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6. Place the mixture on a clean, lightly floured surface and squish down until it is about 1 cm high, and then cut out biscuit shapes using a glass cutter with about a 6 cm diameter.

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7. Put the cut-out biscuits on to the greased baking sheet, leaving quite a bit of extra space between biscuits (at least a few centimetres) and bake in the middle of the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until done, and then leave to cool (and harden a little bit) on a cooling rack before consuming, in greater quantities than you should (that last instruction is really just to make me feel better for doing so!).

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