At last, Christmas is almost here! Over the weekend my Facebook newsfeed was full of excited updates from friends flying home for the festivities, and I confess to being a bit jealous – I do love the urgency and joy of a last minute dash across the world to spend Christmas with my loved ones. But it has, of course, been an absolute treat to have the full build up in the UK for a change and to get a full month of eating, drinking and being merry. At the weekend we had a fake Christmas Eve (Christmock Eve, if you will) party tea, which meant a day of pottering in the kitchen, where I am always at my happiest.
And of course tomorrow will be more of the same. Anyone looking out for a last minute homemade treat, please look no further than these colourful little cookies. They are festive and delicious, and quick to rustle up for guests, gifts or greed.
Cranberry & Pistachio Cookies
Makes 15, from BBC GoodFood
175g butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
85g golden caster sugar
225g plain flour
1. Beat together the butter, vanilla and sugar until creamy.
2. Stir in the flour, then add the fruit and nuts.
3. Work in the cranberries and pistachios and bring the dough together with your hands.
4. Roll into a log shape, wrap in clingfilm and put it in the fridge for at least an hour.
5. Preheat the oven to 180C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
6. Remove the dough from the fridge and slice it into 1cm thick rounds. Even after a good hour, mine didn’t quite hold their shape but I just squished them back together with my fingers.
7. Place the rounds onto the prepared baking tray.
8. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Leave to cool on the trays.