Cranberry and pistachio cookies

As I’m sure you know, with moving house (and cities) comes great upheaval and chaos. For the last week or so, along with trying to expore this bewilderingly big and endlessly entertaining city, I have been pretty much in nesting mode for the last week. This has mainly involved a lot of squaring up furniture, trying to make our new flat cosy and organised, and discreetly pushing boxes of miscellaneous ‘stuff’ under the bed or to the back of very high cupboards. Out of sight, out of mind…

I was also desperate to get into my new kitchen and get baking, but was lacking a lot of ingredients and the determination to dig out most of my equipment. It was on this premise that I decided to go for cookies. I really forget sometimes just how much of a win-win bake they are.

Firstly, they’re delicious (obviously); warm, fresh, chunky cookies filled with your favourite flavours are always a treat. Secondly, they’re just so easy. It’s basically a case of chucking everything into a bowl, rekindling your playdoh-loving youth by moulding them however you like, and popping them in the oven for next to no time. Everybody wins!

These decadent cookies are a sort of hangover from Christmas – and an expensive one at that. Think of them like a cashmere jumper; expensive and fabulous, but totally worth it. Sadly, unlike a cashmere jumper, these won’t last forever – or very long at all, for that matter.

Their luxurious nuggets of fruit and nut, and the sprinkling of mixed spice are reminscent of an exotic Christmas pudding. I warn you, hang around my kitchen too long in winter and you might just end up with a sprinkling of mixed spice, too.

I’m suggesting caster and light muscovado sugar in the recipe to give crunch and chewiness, though I only had caster sugar in at the time and they were still delicious – just a little crunchier. You can easily make them gluten-free by switching plain flour for corn or rice flour.

Cranberry and Pistachio Cookies

Makes around 24

Ingredients

  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • 125g light muscovado
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 250g plain flour
  • 100g dried cranberries
  • 100g raw pistachios (shelled weight)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 50ml boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice

Method

  1. Pop the cranberries in a mixing bowl and cover with the boiling water to re-hydrate for 5 mins.
  2. Add the butter and sugars and beat until smooth. Add the vanilla and mixed spice and beat again.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder, bicarb and beat, before mixing in the walnuts.
  4. Heat the oven to 170/150 fan/gas mark 3. Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls and press down onto the baking tray, well-spaced to allow for spreading in the oven.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes. Leave to cool on the tray to firm up, before cooling on a wire rack.

The dough will keep in the fridge for a few weeks, so freshly baked cookies can be yours at the drop of a hat!

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