retro cookies

As I mentioned in an earlier post, somehow I always want what I can´t get. Around Christmas last year everybody on was posting about and baking Nigella´s Cranberry and White Chocolate Chip Cookies. I wasn´t too interested until it came to my knowledge that the German, Swedish and Norwegian editions of Feast are not complete (at least 15 recipes are missing) and then suddenly I became very greedy. I wanted to know which recipes I was missing out on and I wanted to have them. One of the forummers was kind enough to share the recipe and I decided to try it. To start with, I couldn´t find dried cranberries but my mother came - once again - to my rescue by bringing me around 400g of frozen berries.

Yesterday evening I just felt for something sweet and I came to remember the frozen cranberries. First problem was that I didn´t have any white chocolate and shops has already closed so I had to use milk chocolate. I didn´t defrost the berries as I didn´t want to crush them when folding into the mixture.

The cookies came out nicely but even though I halved the amount of caster sugar, I still find them too sweet. Next time - because it is going to be a next time - I´ll try to use dark chocolate to see how that alters the taste.

When I sat down to play around with the pics I just got the feeling of sitting
in a coffe shop in New England (whishful thinking?) back in the 40ies, 50ies and
that led me to investigate (not too deeply though) when the choc chip cookies
were "invented".
This is what I´ve found:
"Ruth Graves Wakefield was the woman responsible for coming up with the concoction. In 1930, Ruth and her husband Kenneth Wakefield purchased a Cape Cod-style toll house located halfway between Boston and New Bedford, on the outskirts of Whitman, Massachusetts. the Wakefields decided to build on the house's tradition, turning into a lodge and calling it the Toll House Inn. Ruth cooked home-made meals and baked for guests of the inn, and as she improved upon traditional Colonial recipes, her incredible desserts began attracting people from all over New England.One of Ruth's favorite recipes was for Butter Drop Do cookies. As she prepared the batter one day she discovered she had run out of baker's chocolate. She found a semi-sweet chocolate bar that had been given to her by Andrew Nestle, and so she cut it into tiny bits and added them to the dough, expecting them to melt as the cookies baked in the oven. However, the chocolate did not melt. Instead, it held its shape and softened to a delicately creamy texture. Needless to say, the cookies Ruth had created became very popular with guests at the inn, and soon her recipe was published in a Boston newspaper, as well as other papers in the New England area."
For those of you out there who doesn´t own Feast or have a Swedish or other-than-english edition, here is the recipe.

cranberry and white chocolate cookies

140gr flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tbs salt
75gr rolled oats
125gr soft unsalted butter
75gr dark brown sugar
100gr caster sugar (I used 50gr)
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
75gr dried cranberries
50gr pecans, chopped
140gr white choc chips

Preheat to the gas mark 4/180c. Measure out the flour, baking powder, salt and rolled oats into a bowl. Put the butter and sugars into another bowl and beat together until creamy-this is obviously easier with an electric mixer of some kind, but you just need to put some muscle into it otherwise-then beat in the egg and vanilla. Beat in the flour, baking powder, salt and oat mixture and then fold in the cranberries, chopped pecan and chocolate chips or white chocolate, chopped into small dice. Set the bowl of biscuit dough in the fridge for 10-15 minutes. Roll tablespoonfuls of dough into a ball with your hands, and then place them on a lined or greased baking sheet and squish the dough balls down with a fork. You may need two baking sheets or be prepared to make these in two batches. Cook for 15 minutes; when ready, the cookies will be tinged a pale gold, but be too soft to lift immediately off the tray, so leave the tray on a cool surface and let them harden for about 5 minutes. Remove with a spatula or whatever to cool fully on a wire rack.


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