Updated: Jan 29
In 2007, after completing my bachelor's degree, I moved to the United-Kingdom to continue my studies and complete a master's degree. I adored those years and it was an amazing experience for me to go live somewhere completely different all on my own.
But being an international student in the UK can be very expensive. Tuition costs alone were sky high, and back then the sterling pound was way stronger than the Canadian dollar. What I'm really trying to say is.... I was dirt poor! I had to be very frugal and try to make my student financial aid go as far as possible.
Luckily for me, and the many other poor students I lived with, our residence was actually only a block away from a Netto grocery store. Now, Netto in the UK used to be a discount brand grocery store - not to be confused with Nettos elsewhere in Europe. Shopping at Netto was like shopping at a thrift store - you got what you got and the selection could change every single day. I actually really enjoyed doing my groceries there. It was like being on a gameshow every week and having to come up with fun recipes with what was available.
One product though, that was almost always available at Netto were "American style" (whatever that meant) white chocolate and cranberry cookies. *Drool!* I bought them every week without fail. Looking back and knowing their caloric content, these cookies (and maybe too much beer and cider) were likely the #1 reason why I gained about 10 lbs in my first few months living in the UK.... But I digress.
I still think of those cookies when I think about my time there and I always get excited when I see cookies with cranberries and white chocolate at any grocery store.
So this weekend, I thought I would find a way to bring these cookies back to life. I also happened to have some macadamia nuts lying around from buying far too many ingredients during the holidays, so I figure I'd throw these in as well. Everyone knows white chocolate and macadamia nuts go perfectly together.
So here's my recipe for white chocolate, cranberry and macadamia nut cookies.
I adapted one of my go-to oatmeal cookie recipes as I thought the texture would be great.
Full disclosure, I used Swerve Brown Sugar Replacement for this recipe. This is simply because I try to limit my sugar intake where possible to ease some digestive issues. If you use the sugar replacement, the cookies will not naturally "melt" as with a typical cookie. To remediate this issue, I but my timer for 7 minutes, after which I use a spatula to flatten out the cookies before returning them to the oven for another 6 to 8 minutes. The end result will still be a perfectly shaped cookie.
WHITE CHOCOLATE, CRANBERRY & MACADAMIA OATMEAL COOKIES
Servings: 12-16 cookies
100 g unsalted butter, room temperature
100g brown sugar, packed (or brown sugar replacements as noted)
100g sugar (you could also use a substitute here)
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
150 g all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
150g rolled oats
50g dried cranberries
50g macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
50g white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F.
Using a stand mixer or hand beaters, cream sugar until smooth. Add both sugars and mix until well combined. Add in vanilla and egg and continue to beat until smooth.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually add these dry ingredients to the butter and sugar mix. Continue to beat until the batter is uniform.
If using a stand mixer, switch to the paddle attachment. If using a hand mixer it will be best to use a wooden spoon moving forward.
Gradually add the rolled oats to the mix until well combined.
Lastly, add the cranberries, nuts and chocolate chips. Mix until the last ingredients are well spread throughout the cookie dough.
Using a medium size ice-cream scoop or your hands, shape the dough into balls and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper leaving a few inches between each cookie.
Bake for approximately 14 minutes.
*Note, if using sugar replacements, you can open the oven about half-way through the cooking time to flatten out the cookies and help them spread.
After baking, let the cookies cool on the baking sheet before moving them to a rack to cool completely.
These cookies should keep at room temperature for 3-4 days.