Tasty gift: white chocolate lollipops with dried cranberries

White chocolate lollipops with dried cranberries

When I saw this recipe in Lorraine Pascale‘s Fast, Fresh and Easy food I immediately thought this would be perfect for a girls night with tasty treats and chick flicks and indeed, it was a success! Not only do they look good, they taste great too and are so easy to make! Here’s how to make about 8:

Line a large tray or baking sheet with baking parchment so the paper is really flat. Lay 8 to 10 cocktail or lollipop sticks out on the sheet, spaced well apart.

Snap 100 g white chocolate up a bit into a medium bowl. Melt in the microwave in 30-second blasts, stirring between each addition, or set over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water. As white chocolate is harder to melt than dark or milk, keep a close eye on it. As soon as it starts melting, stir for a few seconds and remove from the heat.

To make disc lollipops, place a spoonful of melted chocolate on top of one end of each of the sticks to give a 4cm disc. Finely chop 1 tbsp dried cranberries and scatter them over the chocolate to stick. Place them in the fridge for at least 15 minutes or until set. Very carefully peel the lollipops off the paper and serve. They will keep for up to a month in the fridge.

If you’re not a fan of white chocolate, you can of course go crazy with all kinds of variations: dark chocolate and pistachios, milk chocolate and raisins or nuts, … go crazy 🙂

Use up left-over white chocolate in a blondies, and use up both in white chocolate and cranberry cookies.

Soft and chewy: white chocolate and cranberry cookies

White chocolate and cranberry cookies
White chocolate and cranberry cookies

I’m still trying out my Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days cookbook and these cookies definitely sounded delicious (and they are delicious too!). I’m not a big fan of regular chocolate (most chocolate recipes on this blog, if they appear are usually made for my family-in-law who are all addicted to the brown gold) but you can always tempt me with white chocolate! And I still had half a bag of dried cranberries in my cupboard that I once bought and used for I-can’t-remember-what. So a great way to use them up: a clear win-win situation that is!

Preheat the oven to 160 C and line two baking sheets with baking parchment. Mix together 135 g softened butter, 80 g caster sugar and 80 g soft light brown sugar. Add 1 egg and 1/2 tsp vanilla essence and mix well. Add 190 g flour in two batches, adding 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon and 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda with the second batch. Lastly, stir in 120 g dried cranberries (the recipe calls for a 100 g, but that left a few sad cranberries in my bag and we can’t have that, so I chucked them all in adding another 20 g. Because of it, I increased the amount of chocolate as well) and 80 g white chocolate chips (the recipe calls for 60 g – if you don’t have those, just cut a bar of chocolate in small chunks).

Break off pieces of the dough, roll them into balls and place them on the baking sheets, making sure they are spaced apart so they can spread. Personally, I don’t like American sized cookies. I prefer mine to be a guilt-free nibble instead of a 3-course meal really. So generally I make a golf-ball size ball. In this case, I didn’t expect them to spread that much, it was like wildfire, so I ended up with cookies that were about 8 cm in diameter! Half the size would have been perfect for me, so if you’re like me: roll small balls!

Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 min or until the cookies are a light golden on top. Leave to cool on the sheets for about 10 min before transferring to a wire rack. And try not to eat them all on the same day… good luck!