I love these chocolate, cranberry and pumpkin seed cookies, an adaptation of Nigella Lawson’s recipe from https://www.nigella.com/books/at-my-table The cookies are sweet, sour, chewy and crunchy all at the same time, with a little bit of heat from the chilli! With the kids back at school, I’m determined to start off on the right foot by baking something on Sundays. Provided the kids aren’t too greedy, these will get me though the week.
Did you know that the Mayans began mixing cocoa with ground chilli and spices as early as 460AD? The first cacao trees arrived in Mexico from South America around 1200 years ago. Chocolate was not introduced to Europe until the 1500s, and it was used only as a drink until the mid-1800s. Cocoa powder is produced from the cakes of roasted cocoa particles remaining after the extraction of cocoa butter. These solid particles give the chocolate its strong chocolate flavour and colour. https://curiouscook.typepad.com/site/on-food-and-cooking.html
I don’t often make cookies because, for me, they’re more work than making brownies or a slice. I need to get out the electric mixer (which isn’t really that hard). I need to get my hands dirty by rolling the cookie dough (I can always wash them). However, if I’m organised, I double the recipe, make half a batch of cookies, and refrigerate or freeze the rest of the dough for another time. Do you have a favourite recipe for the kids’ lunchboxes?
If you’re looking for another lunchbox treat, this no-bake recipe is fabulous! chocolate rice bubble slice with coconut and cranberries
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Chocolate, Cranberry and Pumpkin Seed Cookies
- 125 g wholemeal spelt flour
- 100 g raw sugar
- 70 g brown sugar
- 75 g unsalted butter, softened
- 50 g cocoa, sifted
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 100 g good quality dark chocolate, broken into small pieces I used Lindt, 78 % cocoa
- 100 g good quality dried cranberries I like Market Grocer dried cranberries
- 50 g pumpkin seeds
- 1 orange, zested
- 1 tsp vanillla bean paste
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/4 tsp ground chili (optional)
- pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Line 2 trays with baking paper.
- Mix the together the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda, chilli and salt and set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugars together in an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg, vanilla and orange zest and beat until incorporated.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, and beat on a slow speed until all combined.
- Fold in the chocolate pieces, dried cranberries and the pumpkin seeds.
- Roll the mixture into small balls. I like to weigh the first few to about 35 g to make sure they're even in size. Space them out on the tray, about 3 x 4 per tray. Gently press down on each cookie with a fork.
- Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes. They will be a little soft to touch, but they will firm up as they cool.
- Cool on a rack and store in an airtight container for up to 5 days (mine never last that long)!