Cookies and biscuits, oh my!

By now you’ve probably worked out that there’s palm oil in almost every cookie or biscuit you can buy at the supermarket. McVitie’s Digestives, Oreos, Tim Tams… nothing is safe. There is not a single sweet biscuit in the Arnott’s range that is palm oil free, and the Coles and Woolworths ranges (both bakery and house brands) are only marginally better.

Aldi is slightly better again, and there are a couple of smaller brands that have palm oil free products, but the options are heavily skewed towards shortbread-type options (I guess, when you’re calling it butter shortbread, you can’t skip out on the butter and use palm oil!).

So, if you’re not the shortbread type (or even if you are, but just want something different occasionally!), I’m sharing a foolproof and super versatile cookie recipe with you – so you can make your own. Not only will they be palm oil free, but you’ll know exactly what’s gone in to them!

 Macadamia, white choc and cranberry cookies ( ½  cup of each, using the recipe below)

Macadamia, white choc and cranberry cookies (½ cup of each, using the recipe below)

I can’t take the credit for this recipe, it was posted on a cooking forum that I love, by a member who’d got it of a member of a different forum! You’ve gotta love those recipes that just get handed on again & again. I don’t really have a name for them, as they were originally posted as ‘White Chocolate & Macadamia Cookies’, then ‘m&m Chocolate Chip Cookies’, and I just use whatever ‘mix ins’ I feel like on the day! So, we shall call them Sares’ Cookies (after the original poster).

Sares’ Cookies

  • 125g butter, softened
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1¾ cup self raising flour
  • 1½ cup ‘mix ins’ (approx.)

Preheat oven to 180°C, and line baking trays with paper.

Beat together butter, sugars and vanilla until the mixture is pale.

Add a lightly beaten egg and beat some more until it is well combined.

Sift in flour and mix well with a wooden spoon. Then, using clean hands, mix/knead the dough until it all comes together.

Add in half the ‘mix ins’ and continue to mix with your hands. Keep adding more until the mixture won't take any more. You know you've put in enough when you try to fold in some more and others fall out.

Shape the dough into small balls and place on prepared oven trays, allowing a little room for them to spread.

Bake for 10-12 minutes; they will still look pale and a little uncooked when they should be taken out. A good way to tell is the bases will be a little browned, but the top of the cookie won't look set (mine in the photo above are a little overcooked...). Take them out of the oven and allow to cool on the trays for 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.


  • White Choc & Macadamia (the original) – ¾ cup each of white chocolate chips & roughly chopped macadamia pieces
  • m&m Choc Chip - ¾ cup each of chocolate chips & m&m’s
  • Chocolate cookies – replace ½ cup of flour with cocoa powder

Also worth remembering that the dough freezes really well. You can just keep a ‘log’ in the freezer wrapped in glad-wrap, and slice rounds off to bake as you need. And look like a domestic goddess with freshly baking cookies at a moments notice!

Please let me know if you make these cookies – I’d love to hear what variation you come up with!