Cranberry & White Chocolate Cookies

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

I have a love-hate relationship with baking. I love to bake, but it hates me. I've tried so many times before, but it seems that baking will always be elusive to me. Never mind that my Grandma used to have a bakery, and could churn out cakes and baked goodies with both eyes closed, without the aid of sophisticated machines or measuring implements.

Recently, after I attended a special bake class organised by Munch Ministry, I realised that baking is simply all about trial and error, which would then divulge the little secrets that only seasoned bakers will know.

A very good friend (who is the go-to person for food and bakes) also told me that the most important thing is to understand your various Batterie de Cuisine, be it the food processor, blender, mixer, oven, and even the pots and pans. Each machine reacts differently in various conditions, and the temperature of your work area also affects the end product. Diana is The Domestic Goddess (Wannabe), and knows these from experience. Everything that comes out from her kitchen and is featured on the blog is tried and tested.

When she featured her 'Cranberry & White Chocolate Cookies' recipe, the first thing which struck me was how BabyMoo would love these! She then made a trip all the way down to town to pass me some (how lucky can a little boy be?) - and true enough, the kiddo loved them.

Have to hold that delightful cookie with two hands, otherwise fallen crumbs will be wasted.
He made me decide to give it a go. The recipe seems foolproof, and nothing is particularly foreign sounding to me!

So I borrowed my mum-in-law's spare mixer (you should have seen her jaw drop when I asked!), grabbed the ingredients at a 24 hour supermarket, forced the boy to sleep, and started.

The virgin baker's (read: dummy) guide to:
Cranberry & White Chocolate Cookies
original recipe here

250gr unsalted butter - use a well-known baking butter brand, it makes all the difference!
3/4 cup | 9 tbs brown sugar (I used a normal tablespoon, heaped portions - since I don't have a measuring cup!)
3/4 cup | 9 tbs caster sugar
2 1/4 cup | 36 tbs plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
200g dried cranberry 
200g white chocolate chips

**Note: 1 cup - 16 tbs if you use this. I've reduced the count because I didn't want the cookies to be too sweet.

1. Mix the butter and sugar till its creamy. The butter should be at room temperature so that you won't have blobs of butter flying everywhere. Add the vanilla extract and egg once it achieves this consistency.

2. Sift the flour along with the bicarbonate of soda, and fold in the mixture. Don't attempt to put all at one go, or else the mix may get lumpy.

3. You should get a doughy mix of this consistency.

4. Add in the cranberry and white chocolate chips. I used a lot, because I don't want to have to peer into each cookie to find a piece of cranberry!

5. If you have one of those 'proper' nice looking mixers, use the pulse function so that the ingredients get mixed in uniformly. If, like me, you only have the bare basics, use a wooden spatula to mix all in. It still works although it may take more time, but beggars can't be choosers, know what I mean? 

6. At this point, I checked the recipe 2x because I was afraid I had missed something out. This seems too easy to be true!

Everything looks to be in order, and so I placed a blob of the mix on a tray (lined with baking paper), took a deep breath, and pushed it in the oven, which had been preheated to 180deg C.

I waited with bated breath (and crossed fingers) for 15 minutes. The original recipe stated 12 minutes, but I was totally unfamiliar with my water oven, and figured out that I could take the cookies out the moment they turned brown. If they are overbaked, they would taste burnt and nasty (common sense tells me).

7. I got worried... because they looked FAT, unlike what's shown in the original post! so I crossed my toes, and hoped that it will at least be cooked inside. Doughy cookies are yucky.

So... 12 minutes later, this was what came out of the oven!

BabyMoo loved it.

They are surprisingly good if I may say so myself... although I wondered why they were more moist and chewy than what I tasted previously. Diana mentioned that different ovens will yield different results, especially if it isn't a conventional one.

So I went to Google (my other good friend) and found out, that water ovens make use of water (duh!) which is boiled internally to produce hot steam, which then cooks, grills, steams or bakes the food / cake. They don't use the usual fan mechanism which is used in conventional ovens. The end product will always be more moist (for cakes) and juicy (for food items) than usual.

Since I then returned the mixer to my mum-in-law, I suppose a shopping trip this weekend to get a mixer for myself is absolutely necessary. 

This is going to be the start of a wonderful baking journey.


  1. I am so impressed!!! Well done, you!!! More bakes from now on! :P

  2. My jaw drop! Mrs Moo, you are incredibly amazing! Nothing beats you!

  3. woah your cookie dough looks yums.... wah, is this the same person behind me that Sat in the kitchen??? solid leh!!



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