Sunday, December 21, 2014

Made over orange, cranberry and chocolate chip biscuits

I'm pleased to say that in the space of a week, I have gone from disorganised to organised with Christmas food. I've sorted our Christmas meals for the Lake District, made my annual spiced Christmas cookies, and made a healthier, orange flavoured version of my popular cranberry and dark chocolate cookies.
Spiced Christmas cookies

Yesterday, we also had an early Christmas dinner with my UK family, making another day trip to my grandparent's home in Sussex. There were nine of us in total and it was great to be able to join in on celebrations with family here. We went out for the meal and I enjoyed a nut roast that may have been the best I've had (although I'll concede I haven't had all that many). The setting in a Tudor building was great too - quite different to Australian Christmas!

Christmas dinner, plant style -
nut roast with a sweet potato and coriander sauce, and vegetable trimmings
As for the orange biscuits, they are really a cross between biscuits (cookies), scones and rock cakes. Whatever you call them, they are very tasty. The cranberry and chocolate cookies I adapted them from are also delicious, but feature a cup of vegan margarine and another of refined sugar. I'm all for those sorts of treats on occasion, but thought I'd see if I could make the recipe over with more whole foods.


The resulting biscuits use a banana and one tablespoon of coconut oil in place of the margarine, and sub half of the refined sugar for coconut sugar. I also added orange zest because orange and cranberry is a combination that, to me, is beautifully Christmassy.

The biscuits pasted muster with Mr Bite and are sturdy enough for dunking in tea (two very important things!). They are most enjoyable within a few days of baking, but I don't think you'll struggle to get through them.

Orange, cranberry and chocolate chip biscuits
These biscuits are dense, chewy, and full of flavour - but draw on few refined ingredients
Makes 20 to 30 biscuits, depending on size

Author: Bite-Sized Thoughts

1 medium-large ripe banana, mashed
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp orange juice (juice of 1/2 orange)
1 to 1-1/2 tbsp grated orange zest (zest of 2 oranges)
2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
Pinch salt
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup dairy free chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 160'C and prepare 2 oven trays.

Mix together the mashed banana and coconut oil, and then add the sugars. Beat to combine. Add the cornstarch, vanilla, orange juice and orange zest and beat briefly to incorporate.

Add the flour, baking soda and salt and mix through with a wooden spoon. When the ingredients are fully combined, stir in the cranberries and chocolate chips.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden and firm at the edges. The biscuits will continue to firm up on standing.

Have you been doing any Christmas baking this weekend?


  1. Your Xmas dinner looks great! And those biscuits, yum, the combination sounds so good :)

    1. Thanks Kate! Between the dinner and the biscuits it was a good weekend of eating :-)

  2. Bite sized and delicious! Wishing I had a few to sink my teeth into right now! ;) Happy Holidays!

  3. that's a great version! I've made some biscuits to give out as gifts and wincing a little at how much butter etc is involved as I don't usually bake that way. But I decided this was the year to do it, seeing as we have some cooler weather right now which means I can use the oven and experiment more :)

    1. Cooler weather at Christmas is definitely a good reason to experiment with baking in Australia! And if there's a time for baking with butter...December is it :)

  4. My boyfriend's mom just bought me a huge box of oranges from the store the other day. I think I know how I'll put those fruits to use;) Thanks for sharing - pinned!

  5. Chocolate, cranberry and orange together sounds perfect.

  6. You do sound super-organised. Fantastic that you've been able to fit in so much baking. Your Christmas dinner in the tudor house sounds like beautiful. I'm glad your first Christmas in the UK is turning out nicely xx

    1. Super organised or just late, panic-induced's hard to know ;) The tudor setting for the meal was really lovely - so different to Australia!

  7. It must feel great to have all your food sorted for the festivities. I know what I'm planning to cook, but I didn't order my food in time and all the online delivery slots are booked. I'm going to have to brave the shops on Christmas Eve which I'm not looking forward to at all :/ Serves me right though for being disorganised.
    Your biscuits sound absolutely delicious and perfect for this time of year. I love how you've managed to cut out almost all the fat. They'd make great lunch box treats in January too.
    Have a wonderful time with the family over Christmas. Wishing you a very happy New Year xx

    1. Oh dear! I hope the Christmas eve shopping isn't too stressful. I didn't even try to book an online slot - you had to get them so early and it was too hard to know when would suit!

  8. You do look like you have perfected those cookies. Hope you have a great time in the Lakes District ( love that area). Merry Christmas

  9. How fun to experience Christmas on the other side of the world. Love your cookies.

  10. 3 Studies PROVE How Coconut Oil Kills Belly Fat.

    This means that you literally burn fat by consuming coconut fat (including coconut milk, coconut cream and coconut oil).

    These 3 researches from big medical journals are sure to turn the traditional nutrition world around!


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