The other day when Holland & Barrett was having a penny sale (buy one item, get another for 1p – awesome!), I bought a whole lot of dried cranberries, not really knowing what I actually wanted to do with them.
After a bit of Google roulette, I stumbled upon a recipe on EatingWell.com for Cranberry-Orange-Nut Cookies. They sounded pretty good except they had walnuts in them – the devil of the nut family and I’m not a fan of coating cookies in sugar. So I adapted the recipe slightly and made a massive double-batch to take into work. Here’s my version (for around 26-30 large cookies):
Cranberry & Orange Cookies
3 cups plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
2 cups sugar
250ml Bramley apple sauce
1/2 cup sunflower oil
2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
6 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Stir in dried cranberries.
2.. Mix sugar, apple sauce, oil, orange zest and orange juice in a medium bowl until combined. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet mixture. Stir well until blended. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 190°C. Line two baking trays with baking paper.
5. Remove mix from fridge and roll the dough with floured hands (it will be very moist) into 5cm balls. Place 5cm apart on the prepared trays.
6. Bake the cookies in batches until just browning, around 10-12 minutes. Cool on the tray for 1 minute then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
The cookies were divine and I was pretty popular amongst my housemates and colleagues – my boss even told me the cookies were so good that I should sell them! And he doesn’t give away compliments easily… though he does have a very sweet tooth. They’re possibly the softest cookies I have ever eaten (in a good way) and may just have overtaken these oatmeal cookies as my favourite cookie recipe that I have ever made. They are not overly fruity, if that’s not your thing – there is just a subtle hint of the orange as I didn’t use the full amount of zest that the original recipe stated (I admit, mostly because my hand got sore from zesting) and the cranberries are deliciously sweet. These cookies would be absolutely perfect for Christmas treats, maybe with a pinch of cinnamon to spice them up a bit.
They are vegan-friendly, diabetic-friendly, low carb and less than 100 calories per cookie (an educated guess, seeing as I changed the recipe) so hell, they’re practically health cookies! Yeah, we’ll go with that…