Cranberry and Pistachio Christmas Cookies*

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Ok, I think I'm finally allowed to say how excited I am for Christmas.

Any earlier than the end of November and you run the risk of appearing a little crackers (ha - pun totally intended), but now I feel it more than acceptable to share my Christmassy joy with you. Because real talk - I've felt a little like this since late October...

So hurrah for the festive season edging closer and hurrah for the lovely folk at Waitrose getting in touch and asking me to share my favourite traditional recipe.* As Jack and I don't host Christmas yet (we're lucky enough to be invited to feast on our parents' wonderful creations), we're yet to perfect a signature traditional dish or pudding. But for the past few years we've been making a large percentage of our Christmas gifts ourselves, which has become a little tradition in itself. So when Waitrose got in touch, I knew I had to share one of my treasured gift recipes.

Some of my favourite homemade Christmas gift items are sloe gin (and I always like to make a little bottle for us, too!) cheese straws - perfect for nibbling on and pickled shallots - always great with post-Christmas cold-cuts. But without a doubt, these Cranberry and Pistachio Christmas Cookies are by far my very favourite.

They're thick, chunky and buttery and bursting with pistachios and cranberries. I love the bejeweled look the wine red cranberries and lime green pistachios give to these cookies. They just have a immensely festive feel about them. And (and now don't tell anyone...) they're a doddle to whip up. A complete doddle.

You can make these cookies up to two months in advance, so why not get cracking this weekend then pop them in the oven on Christmas Eve. This is how to win at Christmas, folks.

For Cranberry and Pistachio Christmas Cookies you will need (makes 20-24):

175g butter, softened
85g golden caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
220g plain flour
75g pistachios, roughly chopped
75g dried cranberries, roughly chopped

Start by creaming the butter, sugar and vanilla paste together with a wooden spoon. Then stir in the flour to form a rough dough. Once you have a dough tip in the cranberries and pistachios. Get your hands in there to disperse the fruit and nuts throughout the dough.

Split the dough into two and roll into logs. Double wrap in clingfilm and chill for 1 hour or freeze for up to 2 months. If you're freezing the cookie logs then just defrost in the fridge overnight before you want to bake them. Then carry on with the following steps!

Once chilled slice your log into chunky cookies. I always like slightly thicker cookies but this then makes a smaller yield. But go with whatever tickles your pickle.
Bake on a tray lined with baking parchment in an oven preheated to 180c for 12-15 minutes.  

Once baked and golden around the edges, take out of the oven and leave to cool on a tray. 

Grab a box and your nicest ribbon and gift to your very favourite people. I hope one of my traditional festive recipes has now becomes yours. But if you're after more inspiration, Waitrose have got you covered with traditional Christmas recipes from around the world! Happy festive baking!

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