Now Christmas is in full swing, I seem to be baking mince pies nearly every day. I always feel a bit sorry for Charlie, though, who doesn’t like mince pies and so tends to head for the biscuit tin instead. I decided to have a fiddle with my normal cookie recipe to come with something a little more festive.
If your mince pie hater can tolerate a bit of dried fruit (maybe cranberries?), feel free to substitute these for other ingredients – just try and keep the basis quantities the same and they’ll work fine.
You will need:
125g salted butter
150g light muscovado sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
150g plain flour
50g ground almonds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
100g dried fruit, chopped chocolate, chopped nuts or any combination of the three
To make the cookies:
Cream the butter and sugar together until it’s creamy and light, then add in the egg and vanilla extract (it doesn’t matter if it curdles).
Stir in the plain flour, ground almonds and cinnamon, then the dried fruit/chocolate/nuts/whatever.
This will make a sticky dough. Now you can either spoon it in dollops onto a baking tray covered in parchment paper (they will spread so keep them well apart), or pop it into clingfilm and roll it into a sausage. Put the sausage in the fridge until it’s firm, then you can keep it there until you need it, slice it and then bake it.
Bake at 180C/gas 4 for about 10 – 12 minutes. Keep an eye on them. You want them golden but still soft in the middle.
You can change these up into multiple different things. Use all dark chocolate and add a teaspoon of orange extract, or do half white chocolate/half cranberries – whatever you have to hand. I tend to make double, chill and slice both sausages, then rewrap one and put it in the freezer. You can cook them straight from frozen, they’ll just take a minute or two longer.
What’s your favourite cookie combo?