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