Sunday 13 March 2011

Chocolate cranberry crunchies

I love these little crunchy biscuits. I know I've made them before, but they're so versatile, quick and easy to make, and so tasty that they deserve revisiting. The recipe is extremely adaptable to the ingredients you have available, this time I chose dried cranberries and some dark chocolate chips.

I only decided to make them on a whim - I was waiting for some bread to be finished rising, and in the meantime decided to throw together a batch of these biscuits, guessing that they'd probably be pretty well received at work. I was right!

The recipe is from Delia Smith's How to Cook Book 1, in the 'Cakes and Biscuits for beginners' chapter. It can also be found online, here. Delia gives suggestions for variations on the specified chocolate and almond - apricot pecan, cherry flaked almond or raisin hazelnut crunchies, but I think that this could be a very frugal recipe - if you use raisins as the dried fruit (I think they're the cheapest dried fruit you can get hold of round here) and then a mid-range chocolate for the chocolate chips. Much as I adore 70% dark, you could substitute it here for your favourite milk or white chocolate. Yum!

Chocolate cranberry crunchies
110g butter
75g demerara sugar
generous tbsp golden syrup
110g self raising flour
110g porridge oats
40g chocolate chips, or chopped chocolate
40g dried cranberries

- Preheat the oven to Gas 3/170C. Line a couple of baking trays with baking parchment.
- Melt together the butter, sugar and syrup over a low heat.
- Stir in the flour and oats.
If you're using chocolate as one of the add ins leave the mixture to cool a bit at this point otherwise your chocolate will melt and become a big mess (still yummy, but not as attractive)
- Stir in your chosen additions (chocolate and cranberries here)
- Form into walnut sized balls, place on the trays and squash flat a bit.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes. Next time I'll bake mine a little less (I think I gave mine 18-20 mins) because the soft middle was nice!
- Allow to cool on the tray for a while - if you try and move them, they'll fall apart and the chocolate will adhere to the tray rather than stay in the biscuit. When a bit cooler, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

These disappeared rapidly, and I wrote out the recipe for a colleague the day I took them in. (Another advantage of having an easy recipe - it's easy to remember the ingredients!) The next day she reported back that she'd made them successfully and her family all liked them. She used a darker sugar, being the only available one, but is going to try them again with a lighter sugar. They're much cheaper than the commercial cereal bars available, and let's face it, much tastier!

They're oaty and good, and the dark chocolate and cranberries are a lovely combination. The biscuits are still a little chewy in the middle, but crunchy round the edges. As I said above, next time I'll cook them a little less to get more chew and less crunch. But they're so easy and popular that it won't be a problem if I make them again soon!


Anne said...

Yey - I have all those ingredients in the cupboards, know what I'll be doing tomorrow afternoon! They look scrumptious!

The Caked Crusader said...

What a great combination - I'm a recent, but passionate, convert to cranberries.

Nic said...

These have all my favourite ingredients, making them little drops of happiness! Lovely.

Unknown said...

Am feeling poorly and convinced biscuits would make me feel better!!! I love chocolate and cranberry together, especially with oats we can even pretend they're healthy?!

Chele said...

Yum, they do look tasty. Love the name too, just draws you in and makes you want to try one.


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