Sorry for mentioning the C word, especially in the midst of summer, but I am a little in love with this recipe for Christmas cookies. In my defence, the weather has been rubbish of late, the grey skies, chilly evenings and constant rain feeling deceptively wintry. Plus, this recipe doesn’t really have Christmas spices (like cloves or cinnamon), so it can easily be made out of season.
I am in the middle of organising all the recipes I have hoarded over the past few years, and I have got it down to two mountains of loose leaf papers. Spending more time indoors has meant that I now have zero excuse not to do all the things I needed to do, like organise my wardrobe, paperwork and start chucking stuff that I haven’t looked at for yonks, therefore don’t really need.
I came across this recipe that I’d saved from Sainsbury’s Magazine, a December 2006 issue that makes me feel simultaneously happy (to have saved an old recipe) and surreptitiously guilty for not having a look at the paperwork mountain sooner. (I try not to hoard, honest.) The original recipe is by Sarah Randell which I tweaked to make egg-less. I also added more nuts, more cherries, swapped golden caster sugar for demerara sugar and a shorter bake time to yield a softer cookie.
This recipe makes 10 large cookies, or around 20 smaller ones. I much prefer larger ones, they feel more luxurious. By adding more nuts and cherries, the texture was more chunkier and packed full of flavour too.
I am trying to steer clear of eggs (more on that in a different post). If you don’t have aquafaba, use one egg at room temperature, that is lightly beaten instead, and chuck that into the mix.
125g room temperature salted butter
170g demerara sugar
185g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
70g macadamias, roughly chopped’
70g glacé cherries
3 tablespoons aquafaba (chickpea water)
2 large baking sheets lined with baking parchment
A quick note about the creaming butter and sugar stage. Don’t worry if the sugar feels a little granular, that is fine. Here’s a short video of what the mixture looked like after being beaten for around 7 minutes. The butter should change from a light yellow to a pale beige.
- Preheat oven 170°C fan.
- Cream butter and sugar for around 7 minutes.
- Add aquafaba, whisk for another minute.
- Add flour and baking powder, mix for around 20 seconds then switch off the mixer.
- Add the nuts and cherries, folding these in by hand to see the mixture comes together in a ball.
- Divide the mixture in 10 large balls, lightly flatten in your palm and bake 5 cookies in each tray for around 10-12 minutes. They should be a pale golden brown and slightly soft to touch initially, but will get sturdier once cooled.
Enjoy with a glass of Moët & Chandon Rosé Impérial, whose delicate red berry notes pair well with sticky cherries and cookies with a soft bite.