These Cranberry and Macadamia Cookie-Shortbreads are, as their name suggests, inbetween a cookie and a shortbread biscuit.
These gluten-free biscuits have a melt-in-the-mouth quality with a crumbly crunch and chewy bits. Certainly to be enjoyed with with a nice cup of tea, but don't dunk as they're too crumbly for that! It is because the gluten-free mixture means that they are a little more fragile than their gluten containing equivalent. It is for this reason we recommend forming them into biscuit shapes by hand rather than trying to attempt fancy shapes with cookie cutters.
As usual, we've tried to keep the fat content to a minimum. It is a myth that gluten-free recipes require quite as much fat as some recipes seem to claim they need. Indeed, any gluten-free recipe where you end up with a big greasy residue after baking, has obviously too much fat in it. Instead try replacing a certain ratio of the fat with with a little yoghurt, milk or dairy-free alternative. For example the Tapioca Flour, which this recipe contains, responds well to this sort of moisture. We've also kept the sugar down and instead used Vanilla Extract and Mixed Spice to fool the taste-buds!
1) Pre-heat the oven to 180°c/Fan 160°c/350°F/Gas 4 and lay greaseproof paper onto a flat baking sheet or tray.
2) Melt the butter and/or cocomut oil in the microwave or in a saucepan over the hob.
3) Once melted, remove from the microwave/hob and add the coconut sugar. Stir for a few minutes until sugar the starts to dissolve. Put to one side.
4) Take the Macadamia nuts and pour into a clean polythene bag such as a freezer or sandwich bag. Hold the end of the bag close with one hand and with the other, using the side of a rolling pin, start breaking up the nuts into rough fragments. Alternative you could use a large pestle and mortar of a food processor. It's just quicker and less washing up using the bag method!
5) In a large mixing bowl add the flour, then the Cranberries and the crushed Macadamias. Use your hands to evenly distribute the fruit and nuts.
6) Then add the sugar-butter mix, egg yolk, Vanilla Extract and the Mixed Spice. Using a spoon or your hands work the mixture together into a rough dough.
7) To bring the final mix together into a smooth, manageable dough it may be necessary to add a little further moisture. To test, try forming a small handful of the dough into a rough ball. If it cracks immediately, then the mix is too dry, so add a little milk to the bowl and bring the dough together again.
8) Take small handfuls of dough at a time to form each cookie. You should be able to form a rough ball, which you then gently flatten into a rough round pattie approximately 1½cm - 1cm thick. Place each finished cookie gently on the baking parchment.
9) Brush milk over the tops of each cookie and place in the centre of the oven for 30-40 minutes or until a rich, golden brown. The biscuits should feel firm to the touch.
10) Allow to cool a little on the baking tray before removing to a cooling rack. Pack gently into cellophane gift bags and seal with ribbon or put in an airtight container until you are ready to gift wrap.
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