Christmas Cookies: the sequel

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With lots of company on its way, I’ve been busy in the kitchen this past week. When I have time, I’ve managed to squeeze in a few more cookies for Christmas. Z rarely asks for me to bake something for him, so when he does, his requests are almost always granted. He asked, hopefully, for his favourite cookie ever, double chocolate cranberry. Now, I can’t believe I haven’t blogged about these yet, since they are the cookie I most often bake, but here you go. These cookies are rich and decadent, with a batter so gooey it’s more like cake. So good.

Double Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

Ingredients

1 cup dried cranberries

2 tbsp orange juice or orange liqueur

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup cocoa

1/2 tsp each baking soda and salt

3/4 cup butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 packed brown sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Place cranberries in microwave-safe bowl. Pour orange juice over top, cover, and microwave on medium 1-2 minutes.

In medium bowl, stir flour with cocoa, baking soda and salt. In large bowl, beat butter with both sugars, scraping down the sides, 2-3 minutes. Beat in eggs and vanilla.

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Beat in the flour mixture until just mixed. Stir in cranberries with juice and chocolate chips.

Lay out spoonfuls on baking sheet and bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

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The other day, I found myself with a little time to putter in the kitchen, and a reason to make some shortbread cookies: I had just bought the most adorable cookie-cutters at IKEA, in the shape of woodlands animals. For some reason, I find the idea of moose cookies hilarious. So I whipped up a really easy cookie dough.

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Easy Shortbread Cookies

1/2 cup cornstarch

1/2 cup icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar, in Canada it’s ‘icing’)

1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened (= 1 1/2 sticks, no margarine or substitute)

Sift together corn starch, icing sugar and flour. With wooden spoon or by hand, blend in butter until soft, smooth dough forms.

Roll dough to 1/4 inch (6 mm); cut into shapes with cookie cutters. Place 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) apart on an ungreased cookie sheet, flatten with lightly floured fork.

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Decorate as desired. This was the fun part with me. I don’t have any Christmas-y type decorations, so I raided my pantry to see what I could use. The bulk of what I used was chocolate chips, but I also used poppy seeds for moose antlers, almond slivers for porcupine spines, coconut for a white fox, crushed candy cane for a snail shell, and a liberal use of peanut butter on everything. They’re not the prettiest things ever, but it was fun.

Bake in 300 Fahrenheit oven for 15-20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

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Word of the day:

Daguerrotype: an obsolete photographic process, invented in 1839, in which a picture made on a silver surface sensitized with iodine was developed by exposure to mercury vapour; a picture made by this process

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