I went to the supermarket the other day, and got excited by fresh cranberries (I mean, it is the season), because I have either a) never noticed them before or b) never had them in my supermarket before. Normally we just have dried cranberries (“craisins”), which I use in my homemade granola sometimes.
Anyhow, I bought a bag of fresh cranberries, thinking I would make cranberry sauce. But then I realised, why would I make cranberry sauce? I mean, really? The only Christmas dinner I’m having in the near future is on Sunday, with a few of my closest friends. It’s our annual Elf Yourself Christmas, and we always do it in early December so that none of our diaries clash with other events.
Now, for this Christmas lunch, we always buy it made from one of the various locations that offer cooked Christmas options. People think we order a lot of food, and make jokes about ordering for a “large party”. But no. It’s just 5 hungry ladies. And we always have leftovers, which is great for lunch for the next two or three days.
Last year, if you remember, I made Christmas sugar cookies. They were delicious, but a little… bland? I love sugar cookies, but I’m much bigger fan of cookies with different flavour combinations. You should try my dad’s chocolate chip cookies!
I was scrolling through Pinterest, and this recipe from Turning the Clock Back for cranberry and orange shortbread came across my feed. It didn’t just call my name, it SCREAMED at me to make it. How could I say no?
So, for the first day of the official Christmas countdown (let’s be honest, my advent calendar has been staring at me for a week since I bought it, and once the 1st door gets opened, the countdown is on), I give you.. Christmas-y cookies, using ingredients that are seasonal and readily available.
Get baking, dear readers!
220 grams butter, softened
112 grams caster sugar
100 grams fresh cranberries, finely chopped
240 grams plain flour
1 orange, zested (approx 2 tbsp)
- In a mixing bowl, beat the sugar and butter until creamy and fluffy.
- Add the flour, 60 grams at a time, and mix until well combined before adding the next 60 grams.
- Add the cranberries and orange zest. Mix well with a wooden spoon.
- Divide the dough in half, and roll two equal sized logs. Wrap in cling film (or a sustainable alternative such as beeswax wraps). Refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Cut the dough into 1cm thick rounds.
- Lay them on a lined (but not oiled) baking tray or cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the biscuits just start to go brown at the edges.*
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
*These biscuits do not really brown, and you don’t want to over cook them, so just keep an eye on the edges just starting to go a golden colour. That’s the time to pull them out of the oven.