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Add butter, an egg and some vanilla essence to these dry ingredients, then bake! One of these cookies is never enough.
Makes ~24 cookies.
Flour, baking soda, salt, rolled oats, brown sugar, white sugar, cranberries, white chocolate.
Contains Gluten (flour) and egg (user added)
I have often looked for present ideas for those hard to buy for relatives and come across ingredient jars- where everything except a few perishable or wet items is packaged up in a jar, ready for the recipient to mix together and bake. I have never bought one though, mainly because I was worried that they simply wouldn't be any good- I mean surely the fun is in the eating of the item, not in the cooking as well? And what if they're difficult to make or don't taste very nice? But seeing the jars from Lots of... I was so intrigued, especially with the cranberry and white chocolate flavoured cookies, that I knew I had to give it a go.
When the product arrived it was simply, but beautifully, packaged. A lovely bow of brightly-coloured ribbon provided a pop of colour tied around the glass jar, with an elegant black lid and black and white labels. This would certainly be pretty enough to give as a gift without the need for any additional packaging. I was also really encouraged to see that the process of making the cookies was really easy - just pour the whole jar into a bowl and then add melted butter, vanilla and egg and mix. So simple that even my two-year-old could help out with the mixing.
I decided to bake half as per the prescribed method on the packet (just to be fair), but to have a little fun and go off-piste with the other half, and make them into bases for mini-cheesecakes. Both baked well and were very fast (only ten minutes). After cooling I was then able to add my no-bake cheesecake topping to the bases in moulds and leave in the fridge to set.
The cookies came out beautifully- crispy around the edges but still chewy inside. The addition of the oats to them was a real bonus for me, adding a little bit of texture and bite. The flavour was sweet, although this was slightly counteracted by the little pops of slightly tart cranberry - the ratio of the two was pretty spot on. I was also really pleased that the cheesecakes worked so well. I had been a little dubious as to whether the bases would be too sweet, however when combined with the slightly tart lime filling, the result was out of this world. I would definitely use a product like this to make something a little different and special again.
I have been so impressed with this product. Fun to make, easy to use and beautifully presented, with a very tasty end result. I would be happy to give this to anyone as a gift, left in the knowledge that it would be a gift both in the baking and in the eating. Adaptable, reliable and enjoyable- what a winning combination.
Having had such a great success with the fudgie chocolate brownie variety, I was incredibly eager to try this cranberry white choc variety out. Reading through the directions, I needed the same ingredients; butter, an egg, and some vanilla essence. The directions were also almost identical, with a general mixing of wet ingredients, then adding the dry ingredients, and baking. Obviously, cookies need to be split up and shaped, and this was where it got a bit messy for me. The directions say to roll the cookie dough into walnut sized balls. Now I don't think I've ever actually seen a full walnut (I've seen just the edible part without a shell, but that seemed an incredibly small size), so I kind of estimated at around double the volume of a grape.
Handling the dough got extremely messy, as it was decidedly sticky and stuck to everything, and after I rolled 8 cookies, my tray was pretty full. So I put those on to bake while I contemplated whether I had made them too big. Baking for 8 minutes, the cookies ended up being around 7 cm in diameter. They had an interesting texture due to the size of the cranberries, and it provided quite a variety in the strength of flavour, dependent on how many cranberries you got in each bite. The cookies had a softness to them (when eating them within the first couple of days), but gained a good crunch to them as they aged and dried out a bit.
Ultimately, I preferred these with a good crunch to them, so I must have made them slightly too large. In the future, I would either make them smaller or bake for slightly longer, to ensure I get that great dry crunch to them. A tasty treat, but the texture from the cranberries was a little odd. Smaller pieces would improve it greatly, in my opinion, or a different variety where the cranberries were swapped out for macadamia nuts.
Easy to make (apart from rolling into the balls), but not my favourite flavour. I think the double chocolate would be my choice if I were to purchase one.
Yes, the product is expensive, but what a lot of biscuits the jar makes! When we saw how many there were, that put the price firmly into perspective for us - and the taste was delicious too. Mr Seven had elected to make these; he is quite competent in the kitchen now as he can read (and follow!) instructions and is an old hand at using the electronic scales. He assured us that all the best chefs are male. I challenged that, but he was having none of it: his cookies were going to be the best ever!
Producing the cookies could not be easier - they took precisely eight minutes, exactly as the packet had promised, and the only problem was having to wait till they cooled so we could eat them. The children were fascinated at the way the biscuits hardened as they cooled, and Miss Five (who helped too) said she would like to put some in her lunchbox so it would be ready for school on Monday. As it was only Saturday, this seemed to be a bit premature, but no worries - Mr Seven was on to it and told her he would organise the lunchboxes on Sunday night as he was doing the cooking so it was his responsibility!
Everyone tried one as soon as they were cool (ok, I lied - they were still a bit warm and slightly bendy) and they proved to be so popular that we all had a second one. Mr Seven was so proud of himself as he had needed almost no assistance - the clear instructions and pre-measured ingredients meant that the process was pretty foolproof. I was pleased too because I got to watch someone else working for a change.
The cranberries were wonderful inside the cooked biscuits - moist and flavoursome, and not at all hard as I would have expected after being baked. They really added to the texture because there was a nice contrast between the drier oats and the combined softness of the fruit and the chocolate which fused it all together. It was nice too that the ingredients were all natural - there was no added colour or preservative, and the what-you-see-is-what-you-get layered presentation in the glass jar complete with jaunty ribbon and a label that looked more like a seal made it pretty enough to give to someone as a special present.
Mr Seven is already planning to make another batch at some stage. It was a great experience for him, and one he will no doubt be boasting about for some time to come. And I would like to get hold of some more jars as there are one or two other youngsters in my circle that I would like to share the "Lots of" experience with.
I wanted something fun to do with Mr9 the other day, something that he could do himself, with a little guidance where required. What a perfect way to introduce him to The Art of Kitchening for Males than with some yummy cookies. Mr9 found it very simple to mix all the ingredients, and in the process, he learned how to read a simple analogue set of kitchen scales - any day you can include a new learning experience inside a fun one is a good day for homeschoolers.
Being, as I am, a chronic tweaker-of-recipes, there was no way I was going to just leave these alone... not when I had some leftovers from the Top Notch Roasted Salted Macadamias I used earlier... so they all got crushed down into small'ish chunks and added to the mix.Instead of rolling the mix into balls on a baking tray, I used my Magic Round Cookie Making trick - popping the balls of dough into silicon muffin trays - and into the oven they went. When making cookies, I always lower the temperature a bit and cook them a little longer because my sensitive teeth greatly prefer soft, chewy cookies over crunchy ones.
Once they had been decanted and cooled on a wire rack for half an hour, they were ready for a test... and as you can see from the photo, they were a huge hit with Mr9. What you can't see though is that they were also a huge hit with me too! I loved the flavour and the texture - slightly crisp shell, chewy muesli-style centre, the choc chips stayed mostly intact adding crunch along with the macadamia bits, and the tangy chewiness of the cranberries.
Overall, these were so simple to make, so tasty to eat... I think they are wonderful. They would make adorable gifts, and while you could make your own - there's no secret ingredients - the cost of the ingredients and the hassle to do them yourself more than offsets the cost of buying these ready-made and oh-so-stunning jars, leaving you time to get on with other projects. I'd love to explore some of the other recipes in their range, so I may just have to break my own rule and actually take my wallet to the next show they are participating in.
I love baking and cookies are one of those things that I often seem to end up making, usually I make a big batch which I divide into portions and add different fillings to, one of my favourite combinations being white chocolate and cranberry, so when I saw these up for review I knew they'd be something which my family and I would love to try and something which my 4 year old budding masterchef would surely love to help me make!
The first thing that caught my attention as soon as I received the jar of cranberry white choc cookie mix was the beautiful yellow ribbon that was tied around the jar, closely followed by the beautiful layering of each ingredient that could be seen through the glass jar, which looked stunning, just by looking at the presentation of the product I straight away thought that it would make such a lovely gift for someone who loves baking. The jar clearly told you everything you needed to know, the front had a label which clearly stated what the product was and where to go if you wanted to order more, while the back label had the instructions for preparing the cookies and also a list of ingredients, it took me a while to notice it but the bottom of the jar also has a sticker which lists all of the nutritional information.
Miss 4 was begging to know what could be made from the jar as she had previously helped me to make the chocolate brownies from the 'Lot's Of' range, she was over the moon when I told her it was a cookie mix. Together we prepared the ingredients which were needed and not already in the jar, 70gms of butter, 1 small egg, and 1/2 tsp of vanilla essence, which we combined in a mixing bowl with a wooden spoon. Miss 4 then carefully adding the contents of the jar, no issues with these not wanting to come out! and then mixed them altogether. Once combined we had fun rolling them into small balls and placing them onto a lined baking tray to cook.
The cookies were ready in no time at all, as they only took 8 minutes to cook, they smelt divine and looked even better when out of the oven all golden brown. When these were just warm Miss 4 and I devoured one each and both loved them, there was a great balance of cranberries and white chocolate and I really loved the addition of the rolled oats in the cookies which gave them a lovely texture, and a bit of a more healthy and homemade taste than I am used to they were very nice. We managed to make 21 cookies from our mixture. I took some of the cookies around to my inlaws for afternoon tea and they also loved them, especially when heated up for a few seconds in the microwave, which gave a nice soft texture to them, when cold they were a lot more crunchy still delicious though.
I have already been onto the 'Lot's Of' website to see what other flavour products they stock and am looking forward to trying some of these out. They would be perfect to give as a Secret Santa gift or to add to a gift basket, delicious cookies which are worth trying out.
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