Now I'm not saying I'm a cheap b-.... um....a grinch over Christmas but there's something special about a gift someone makes for you rather than something they've grabbed from a super-drug bargain bin and awkwardly wrapped with two different kinds of wrapping paper. And almost everyone I know has gotten a batch of these Christmas Cookies this year in either cookie form or in gift set form (see below). They're really easy to make, taste great (especially with a hot cup of tea) and all the ingredients are really 'Christmassy' so it's a great way to get into the festive spirit if you haven't already!
(If you want to decorate then four teaspoons of sifted icing sugar mixed with one teaspoon of water and an assortment of your favourite cookie decorations - I've used a very manly golden glitter in these photos with some butch red ribbon and didn't wear a hat or a disguise at the checkout once).
Preheat your oven! 160 degrees C
Cut up your butter into tiny blocks then mix it into your flour, vanilla sugar and egg.
Rub the butter into the flour (like you would a crumble base) then add the brown and muscovado sugar and cranberries.
Mix really well then place onto a sheet of cling-film and cover tightly before placing into the fridge for 30 minutes to harden.
In the meantime, if you're going to decorate your cookies with icing sugar sift it then slowly mix in a teaspoon of water until you get a gloopy paste that should look similar to glue.
Half an hour later, take out your cookie dough and roll it out on a floured surface. I cut my dough in half because it was to large, I had loads! Cut out your shapes and add them to a tray lined with greaseproof paper and bake for 10-15 minutes depending on the size and shape of your cookies. Keep a close eye on these because it's really easy to burn them.
To decorate let your cookies cool then coat the top surface with the icing and sprinkle with your glitter..sorry, *cough* sprinkle with your manly glitter. Tie them up with your ribbon and you're good to go! In the photo you can also see I layered my ingredients in a jar and used the ribbon to decorate it but I'm not as talented as any of our craft bloggers so yes, it does look a bit ham fisted.
Have a great Christmas and New Year, thanks for all your comments this past year, I've loved cooking with you all and hopefully see you all again in 2014.