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)
Opening up my KIWIreviews package, I was delighted to see the "Lots of" jar included. The idea of these is great, and having made similar myself for Christmas a few years ago I was keen to see how these might be for the upcoming Christmas!
The packaging itself is really nice - I have noted that the ribbons per jar seem to vary - which could be good and bad - it could be a good plan to keep the same flavours to the same colour - then again, gifting to males and females - different colours gives variety. The jars are simple and stylish - good thick sturdy jars, easy to open lids, and the instructions right there on the sticker. If people are not careful, however (like Miss 8) they will tear the ribbon off the jar, taking the instructions with them! The jars also look attractive, with the ingredients layered nicely to see.
Producing the cookies is easy - and the extra ingredients needed are things that are in most peoples cupboard. The instructions are well laid out and simple to understand - THANKYOU - as some ready made type mixtures leave you scratching your head wondering what on earth they mean! The jar says they make about 24 cookies, but this really does depend on the size of the "walnut sized ball" you use. Honestly, I could have made them more bite-sized and they would be great also.
After preparing the biscuits, I popped them into the oven and set the timer for 8 minutes as per the instructions, but found they just were not fully cooked. I popped them in for another 2 minutes, and that was enough. They came out golden, nicely cooked, but still a little soft and smelling divine! After waiting for eternity (or so the kids thought!) we tried one of the cookies - so so so so good!!! Chewy in the middle, a little bit crispy on the outside, lots of chocolate bits and cranberries! My three kids did not like the cranberries, but loved everything else about them - I just loved them entirely!
On to the price for these. At $12.50 I am unlikely to purchase them again soon. The reason for this is that they are not cost effective for me, however, for a thoughtful, delicious and well-packaged gift for someone - especially someone who is hard to buy for or has everything, these are great. I am hoping to try some of the fudge chocolate variety sometime soon!
One year a friend gifted all of our group a jar of brownie mix that simply needed the wet ingredients to be added and it was awesome. The brownie in it was one of the most amazing brownies I've ever had, and the jar made it so easy. It was an absolutely fantastic gift idea - especially for someone like me who doesn't bake often so isn't the best at it. It is only my husband and I at home, and with him being diabetic I steer clear of baking as we just don't need it. However it is nice to have something every now and again and jars like this make it easy for me to make something yummy without having to purchase a whole lot of ingredients I wouldn't use again. I was excited to see that someone was making these jars to purchase, as they would be a great thing to buy as a gift for Christmas, which is approaching very quickly! I was even more excited when I received a jar in my most recent review parcel and couldn't wait to try them.
When unpacking my parcel the first thing I noticed about the Lots Of jar is that it is very simple, but very eye catching. Using simple labels on the front with a sheer ribbon allows you to see inside the jar to see all of the ingredients in it. This would certainly catch my attention if it was on a shelf in a shop among other similar products. The label has the website and mobile number very clearly, and states that this jar makes cranberry white choc cookies. On the back is another simple label that has the instructions on it.
Reading the label I got some butter, an egg and some vanilla essence out of my fridge and pantry and found a mixing bowl. I softened the butter as per the instructions and mixed in the egg and vanilla. It didn't seem like a lot of wet ingredients but once I put in the dry ingredients I soon found out it was the perfect amount. I needed a spoon to get the ingredients out of the jar as it was very tightly packed in there. However, being so tightly packed means that none of the ingredients moved during shipping which is good, as it wouldn't look quite as appealing if all of the layers got mixed up. I rolled out all of my biscuits and placed them on a baking tray as instructed. I only got 19 cookies out of my mix, if I had gone to 24 I feel they would have been too small. I placed them in my preheated oven and set the timer.
Eight minutes later my timer went off and I looked at the cookies. I could tell they had browned on the bottom, but the tops looked very under done. I left them in for another minute before I decided to take them out as I didn't want to over do them. The bottom were a nice brown colour but the tops hadn't browned at all. Maybe next time I would put the baking tray up a shelf inside the oven. The smell was amazing and it was hard to wait until they had cooled! When we finally did try they were still warm, which is the best way to have cookies. The cookies were very soft, however this didn't bother me as I do enjoy them this way. I found them to be very sweet, but not so much that I didn't go back for a second! The white chocolate flavour is very faint - I often prefer to use buttons instead of chips as I feel you get a better chunk of chocolate, and that could be why I couldn't really taste it. The cranberries were a yummy addition, bursting with flavour as you ate them. I would have preferred the cookies a little thicker so I think if I was to make them again I would make the balls of dough a little bit bigger when rolling them. This would however mean we don't get as many out of a batch.
I really did enjoy this product, however looking at the price and the amount we got I'm not sure it would be something I would buy again. We got 19 biscuits and at the price of $12.50 plus butter, an egg and some essence it is near on $1 per biscuit. We could buy some nice, expensive pre made biscuits for less than this. So it certainly is a novelty and would suit people like me fine, but if you bake more often it certainly wouldn't be a way to save money.
My gosh these cookies sounded so very appealing to me you can't go past a white chocolate and cranberry combination I love the sweetness of the white chocolate balanced with the slightly bitter taste of a cranberry. Even better the fact that it is a baking kit means that I can make them with little fuss, effort or extra ingredients. Reading the instructions I even saw I could have warm cookies in just a few minutes so I set about making them.
The ingredient jars look absolutely beautiful so well presented it almost feels like a shame having to pur the ingredients out because they looked so good sitting on my shelf. The contents were slightly difficult to get out I thought at first I would open the jar and just pout but with the cranberries and the chocolate chips on the top layer I had to loosen it up with a teaspoon a bit first so the finer powdered ingredients could come out. There were definitely plenty of yummy ingredients in the jar.
I can see the price is reflective of the ingredients included in the jar and the way it is presented but it is a little high end for my budget in comparison to making from scratch or buying similar cookie kits even so they are a great gift if you are looking for something a bit different. When I had visitors over and they saw the jar on the bench they had commented wanting to know where I had got the jars from and how pretty they were.
I mixed the ingredients together per the instructions which was really simple and then baked them for the number of minutes suggested, at the end of that time I took them out and thought they looked a bit soft but sometimes with cookies they harden as they cool. This was not the case with these cookies and they didn't harden so we had very soft cookies but they were actually very enjoyable this way with just a small amount of chewiness around the edges that had cooked a bit better. The taste was amazing like I said cranberry and white chocolate is delicious together and I could smell that as these were cooking.
With Christmas fast approaching I am on the look out for gifts for the extended family. As soon as I saw these I thought fantastic Christmas will be done and it will not break the bank but first I had better try it. Receiving the KIWIreview package this jar definitely stood out and I was automatically whisked away to a white beach where fairies might be playing - it looked so magical. Pretty much everything you require for approx 24 cookies is contained in a jar covered with a blue bow.
Now it is school holidays we have time to do the things we have put off and as the girls were hungry what better time then to do some baking. I must confess me and baking do not work and if I can find an easy escape then I will and this was perfect. Adding butter, vanilla essence and an egg it was so simple then a quick mix and basically it was done. My five year old took over the next stage and made little balls and then I pressed them down with a fork. Eight minutes later the alarm went off and that is where the dream died.
As soon as I took the tray out of the oven I could tell a majority of them were burnt. I reread the instructions and I had followed everything perfectly but there was no mistaking the black char around them. There were also under cooked and were still bouncing so I decided to leave them and see what happen in the next ten minutes. I am glad I did not put back in the oven as although they did not firm up completely they seemed to become more solid.
My little chef took one and said 'mum these are the best biscuits we have ever made together' so I too had a bite and even though the base was black the biscuit was yummy. It had enough cranberries and white chocolate to mask the taste and actually you could not even taste anything burnt. There were nice and fresh and I am glad they were not rock hard but nice and squishy. Our batch ended up with 21 cookies and after the three and us had 'taste tests' there are nine left for daddy when he gets home.
These are so simple to make and they taste great. I am almost positive that these will be under the tree this year as they really do look extremely cute and besides the black base they are little winners. I have two very happy girls and there is no mess in the kitchen.
I have tried plenty of 'just add wet ingredients' products from the supermarkets for birthdays, Christmas or just because, many times before but never a product as nicely displayed as this. The jar comes nicely presented, the ingredients sit nicely, the information doesn't take up much space and compliments the package nicely. There is a ribbon stuck to the jar and goes over the lid, which looks pretty and slips off nicely out of the way. The back gives nice and easy instructions, letting you know exactly what is needed, quantity of how many you stand to make and how long in the oven.
Getting the dry ingredients out of the jar required a little more oomph than I had expected but at least it meant they'd packed in as much as they could. I did find that a small egg really does mean a small egg and thus the only egg that I had provided a little too much liquid to the mix and I needed to add a little more flour to get the mix role able. I did find these a little harder than I would have liked, a sentiment agreed with by a friend. I gave a biscuit to eight other people, five of the eight finished their cookie saying they liked the flavour whilst the other three said they didn't like it at all. I found that I couldn't taste the White chocolate and it wasn't as sweet as I may have liked but I loved the cranberries.
I'm not sure if I would get this particular jar but I'm intrigued enough to want to try other combinations in their line.
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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KIWIreviews is an independent entity, part of the Knock Out News Group. This is a free public forum presenting user opinions on selected products, and as such the views expressed do not necessarily reflect the opinion of kiwireviews.nz and are protected under New Zealand law by the "Honest Opinion" clause of the Defamation Act of 1992. KIWIreviews accepts no liability for statements made on this site, on the premise that they have been submitted as the true and honest opinions of the individual posters. In most cases, prices and dates stated are approximate and should be considered as only guidelines.
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