Cranberry, muesli & white chocolate cookies

Here is a recipe for some delish cranberry, muesli & white chocolate biscuits I made for a friends birthday recently. I think they would be perfect Christmas biscuits because cranberries always feel so festive. They also have muesli in them which makes them suitable for breakfast. In my opinion.

This recipe is adapted from Taste and you will need

250g softened butter
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla essence
2 eggs at room temperature
3 1/2 cups self raising flour
1 cup white chocolate bits
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1 cup muesli
Cream butter, sugar and vanilla until fluffy (in an electric mixer). Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. It’s important to have the eggs at room temperature so they dont cause the butter to seize up.
Add sifted flour to the butter mixture and then add cranberries, chocolate and muesli. Stir to combine. Roll out walnut sized balls, place them 5 cm apart on the trays and flatten with your palm.Bake for 12-15, swapping trays halfway through cooking, or until golden. Box up, wrap in a bow and give them to someone lovely.

 

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Date and pecan muesli… are you cereal?

Making your own home-made muesli is ridiculously easy and what’s great about it is you can customise it to include all your favourite fruit and nuts, lots of healthy stuff and leave out all of the bits you don’t like.

There are a few basic types of muesli – toasted, untoasted and bircher and I am a firm fan of the toasted variety. I know people look at it in terms of calories in the added sweeteners and oil but when you make it yourself you can control all of that and it’s still better for you than pre-packaged sugary cereals. Plus, rolled oats are really, really economical. For about $1.50 you can get 750 gm of oats – that’s a lot of muesli!

I was making this muesli as part of a birthday present so, rather than adding lots of healthy seeds like I normally would I decided to keep it sweet and decadent as a bit of a treat. I originally wanted to make maple-pecan muesli but my local supermarket didn’t have maple syrup! Still, this honey version is delicious.

Ingredients

7 cups of rolled oats

3/4 cup honey

4 tbsp sunflower (or other vegetable) oil

2 cups of whole pecans

2 cups whole dates

1 1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/2 cup dried currants

Method

Pre-heat oven to 160ºC

On a large tray lined with baking paper, toast the pecans for 5 minutes but don’t let them brown

While the nuts are toasting, put the oats in a large bowl and set aside. Measure the honey and oil into a microwave safe glass jug and heat for 30 seconds until the honey is runny. (or in a saucepan on the stove). Whisk lightly and pour over oats and stir until the oats are evenly coated

Take the pecans off the tray and set aside to cool. Spread the oats on the tray as evenly as possible and put in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until they are golden and the edges of the tray are starting to brown. Stir the oats every 5 minutes during the cooking time. Once done, leave to cool

While the oats are cooking chop the pecans (roughly in quarters is a good size). Do the same with the dates. Your cooled oats may be stuck together so use a spoon or your hands to break them up. Put them back in a large bowl and add the pecans, dates, currants and coconut and mix well.

And that’s it – it’s so super easy to have delicious muesli every day for a lot less than some of the fancy-schmancy muesli on offer at the supermarket or food halls of department stores and it makes a great gift that you can personalise to the taste of the lucky recipient.

You could try lots of different combinations like dried apple & cinnamon, macadamia & cranberry, apricot & almond, tropical fruit & coconut and walnut & raisin – yummo!

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