I love baking at Christmas, something about the smell of delicious things coming out of the oven adds to my Christmas spirit. It’s also brilliant way to keep little hands busy if you have kids at home.
Shortbread can be fiddly to cut out, but these cookies just need slicing into rounds. What’s even better, you can make the shortbread dough up to 72 hours in advance and let it chill in the fridge and then take the log of dough out to slice and bake them just before you need them. They can be stored in airtight box for up 3 days (they won’t last that long).
I used a food processor to make these, which makes them super quick and easy. If you don’t have one, you can chop the cranberries and mix the butter and flour together using the rubbing in method.
You can also dip or drizzle with dark chocolate if you’re feeling particularly indulgent. However they are still delicious just as they are.
Makes around 30 cookies
70 Grams Dried cranberries
100 Grams Sugar
230 Grams Butter (chilled and cut into cubes)
340 Grams Plain flour
1 Orange (zest and juice)
100 Grams Dark chocolate (optional)
Add the cranberries and about a third of the sugar into a food processor and pulse for about 30 seconds, until the cranberries have started to break up (the shouldn’t be too finely sliced)
Transfer the sugar and cranberry mix to a bowl. Add butter and flour to the food processor and pulse until they look like fine breadcrumbs.
Add the butter and flour mix to the cranberry mix with the rest of the sugar and the orange zest and mix well
Start adding the juice of the orange a little at a time (how much you will need will depend on your flour). Get your hands in the bowl and start pressing the mix together to form a dough
Turn out onto a large sheet of cling film and squeeze into a sausage shape about 4-5cm in diameter. Wrap tightly in the cling film, you can also give it a little roll to help it look a little neater
Chill for at least 30 minutes (but the dough can live in your fridge for 2-3 days if you want to make ahead of time
When you are ready to bake, pre heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a cookie sheet with baking parchment. Remove the cling film from the dough and cut into 1cm thick slices and put on the baking parchment (they will spread a little, so allow some space between them)
Bake for 12-15 minutes, and allow to cool
If you want to dip or drizzle the cookies in chocolate, make sure they are cool. Break the chocolate into small pieces into a microwave proof bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds at a time until melted and then either dip the cookies or drizzle with a spoon
Christmas eve is a strange day, and kids especially are over excited and bored. A bit of Christmas baking keeps them occupied. Even if you don’t have kids, it’s a nice way to get into the Christmas spirit, and your house will smell fabulous.
Many years ago I lived in Germany, where I was introduced to the crack cocaine of all Christmas baking, the snickerdoodle.
These are soft, chewy, buttery little cookies that are rolled in sugar and cinnamon before going to the oven. While in the oven the sugar and cinnamon melts and crisp up around the already delicious cookie.
I sincerely apologise in advance for any weight gained as a result of these cookies. I know there is a lot of butter and sugar, but it is Christmas after all ( these are delicious at any time of year though, and work really well as a base for a scoop of vanilla ice cream too)
Please do try them though, they smell absolutely heavenly, and you can always off load the extras (as if), on friends and family. These live very happily in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
For the cookies
370 Grams Plain flour
2 Tsp Baking powder
230 Grams Butter
1/2 Tsp Salt
300 Grams Caster Sugar
For the coating
50 Grams Caster sugar
1 Tbsp Ground cinnamon
Add the flour, salt and baking powder to a bowl
In a separate bowl beat the softened butter, and sugar for 2 minutes or until light and sluff
Add the eggs one at a time, and the vanilla, then add the flour mix gradually.
When all the ingredients have been thoroughly combined, chill in the fridge for an hour to allow the dough to firm up
After an hour take mix out of the fridge, and mix the sugar and cinnamon for the coating together in a small bowl
Make small balls of cookie dough about the size of a walnut. Roll in the sugar mix
Place the balls if cookie dough on baking parchment on a cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes in an oven preheated to 200 degrees. Make sure to give them plenty of room to spread od else they stick together
Remove from the oven and allow to sit on the baking sheet for another 10 minutes