White Chocolate Orange Cranberry Cookies

I've never been a big white chocolate fan. Except this grilled white chocolate from Chin Chin Labs in London. It's like crack (but not...). Take a scoop of their already perfect, delectably smooth, nitrogen frozen ice cream and top it with spoonfuls of this stuff - bliss, I tell ya. Also, a billion percent not sponsored, thought I secretly wish I was.

Anyways, that white chocolate apart, white chocolate is just not my thing. I am a die hard chocoholic. A major classic chocolate chip cookie fan. But I recently stumbled across a recipe for white chocolate chip, currant and orange cookies and was inspired to take the plunge. This flavor variation just sounded too good too pass up. Spoiler: they were good.

I must admit that the first time I made these, they turned out waaaay too sweet. Like to the extent that I couldn't stomach more than half alongside a cup of tea/coffee/milk. Sweetness apart, I knew they had potential. So I gave it another shot, and they came out a winner.

The original recipe was great inspiration, but I ended up subbing naturally dried cranberries for the currants, white chocolate chips for the chocolate chunks and coconut oil for the butter (because let's be honest, when do I not use coconut oil?). I also dramatically cut down on the sugar and swapped out some flour for oat flour (healthier and texture is so on point!). Basically, I created the recipe, just borrowed the flavor combination.
These would be a lovely addition to your Christmas cookie party, your dessert table at Christmas lunch, a tea time snack before Christmas dinner or just a treat in your hand as you cozy up with a good book and hot mug of tea by your fireplace. Let's just say they're very festive and wonderfully delicious.

Tie them up in little packets with bows or pile them in a jar and they would make the perfect Christmas present. To yourself is acceptable - I won't tell.

Makes 14 medium-sized cookies
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup unrefined sugar
zest of one large orange
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 egg
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
3/4 cup oat flour
pinch of salt
1/4 cup dried cranberries (sugar and sulphate free)
1/4 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Cream the coconut oil, sugars and zest together in a medium bowl using a hand whisk. Don't overdo the mixing as you want to retain the nice chewy texture once the cookie is baked. Add the egg and vanilla extract and whisk again until well combined.

In the same bowl, add the flours and salt and mix until flour is well incorporated.

Fold in the white chocolate chips and cranberries.

Roll the dough into approximately equal sized balls and place on a cookie sheet linked with parchment paper. Gently press down on the balls of dough (not completely flat) and make sure there is plenty of space between cookies, as they will spread.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until slightly golden brown on top. If your oven has the tendency to have an uneven distribution of heat, rotate the tray after around 10 minutes.

The cookies will be slightly soft even after 15 minutes, but they will firm up. Let the cookies cool on the sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cook completely.

Grab a warm drink, get dipping and enjoy!


The BEST Avocado Toast

So, here's the deal. I'm not sure this post is warranted, but, it's happening guys. It is. Kudos to you for even clicking on it. Also, let's take a moment to stop and appreciate what's on my plate in front of me (yes, eating as usual, because food is fuel!).

I can see you shaking your head, rolling your eyes. You guessed it. Avocado toast.

So... I've always liked avocados, especially when added in small quantities to salads, wraps and sandwiches or in the form of guacamole. But when avocadotoast became the new hot trend, wait for it, I was just not with it. I didn't see what the hype was all about. Sure avocados are super healthy - they offer nearly 20 vitamins and minerals, especially potassium, folate, lutein, B vitamins and vitamins C and E. They're packed full of fiber, are low in sugar and the only fruit (yes, they are) that provide a good source of monounsaturated fatty acids. They help keep your skin glowing, your body running and your insides flowing. They've also given me powers to master the art of rhyming.

Basically they're a nutritional powerhouse, but that's all I saw them as.

And especially smashed avocado on toast? Definitely (was) not my thing. Or never used to be, anyway. But now I know why. I was doing it all wrong, in my humble opinion.

Almost ashamed to say (but not really) that I pretty much eat avocado toast in some form or another at least once a day. Sometimes it's alongside scrambled/fried/boiled eggs for breakfast or lunch, sometimes it's as an anytime-of-day snack and sometimes, well it just happens without explanation.

My key tips for a killer avo toast:
  1. Don't be shy with the amount of avocado. Yes, it's high in calories and fat, but it's great for you so jam pack your toast with all the avo. Less avo = less fun.
  2. Use avocados that are at their peak of ripeness (easy to say, hard to implement - I understand)
  3. Make sure to salt your avocado. But make sure you don't overdo it on the salt front, as I, unfortunately, am guilty of doing on few too many occasions.
  4. Lemon or lime is a game changer.
  5. Make sure you play up the textures - I love adding a sprinkle of seeds on top, but chopped nuts or pomegranate arils would be really great too!
  6. Toast your bread to perfection. Too little and it will be soggy. Too much and you'll have avocado crackers.
If you haven't already hopped on the bandwagon, then who are you? Just kidding. But really, get toastin' - you won't ever look back. I had to share this "recipe" because I don't want you to miss out on this perfection in a plate.
2 medium to thick slices of hearty, dense bread (my favorites: rustic sourdough, walnut cob, dark rye)
1 just ripe medium avocado
juice of 1/2 lime
pinch of salt, to taste
pinch of dried red pepper/chili flakes, to taste
2 tsp mixed seeds (I like using sunflower and pumpkin)
handful of fresh mixed greens or rocket

Toast your bread.

While your bread is toasting, and then cooling, prep your avocado topping. I like to let my toast cool before I top it with the avocado for a couple of reasons: 1) I don't really like warm avocado, 2) a warmer toast will attract moisture and get soggy, 3) if you lay a piece of warm toast directly on a plate, it tends to condense underneath and result in super soggy toast (not good!).

For the avocado, you can either cube it or mash it. I used to be a major fan of cubing, but I've recently turned to prefer mashing. But, even when I mash it, I make sure to leave some larger chunks. It's all about the texture!

Place the cubed or mashed avocado in a bowl and squeeze in the lime and add the salt. Give it a quick stir.

Top your mostly cooled toast with the avocado, a few chili flakes, a sprinkling of seeds and the greens/rocket.

Serve and enjoy!