Hey Foodie Fans, you know we’ve all got those friends. You know the ones. It’s this time of year and a message pings on your phone that the gang are meeting on Saturday evening, and it’s going to be a fantastic Christmas party, and we’re going to have lot’s of fun, and we’re all going to drink too much (all good so far) but!… But everyone has to bring a Secret Santa present! And, it’s got to cost less the 10$. Oh no! Oh man! What to buy?
The thoughts that usually come to mind go something like this:
“I suppose I could give a lottery ticket like I and 5 others did last year”. Hmm. Maybe not…
“I know, how about a sexy calendar for 2019”. Very original!
“Oh, I’ll just google it. Amazon will have something”… Amazon does, but really ????. Check out what on offer here and I think you may want to give it a miss.
So, here’s an alternative…How about making some Secret Santa Christmas Cookies and giving these as a present. Definitely less than 10 bucks and you’ve put the effort in. Surely better than that willy warmer or naked colouring book! Having said that… Haha!
But seriously, whether for a Secret Santa gift or just for the family to munch on, a mixture of different flavoured cookies is great any time of year. Put a festive spin on them and you’re on to a winner.
So let’s make some…
1. Get the ingredients together
In the words of the great Bob Geldolf, and keeping the festive theme…”It’s Christmas time, and there’s no need to be afraid” (I bet you’ll be humming this all day now). And with this in mind, I’ve thrown caution to the wind and made a Concoction of Christmas Cookies. That’s right Foodie Folks, not just one flavour of cookie, but 4! How about cranberry, pistachio and orange; white Chocolate; dark chocolate and orange; and good old milk chocolate… Because I like it!
Sounds good, right? Well, as always, the first thing is to get all of the ingredients together. It makes life so much easier.
2. A little more prep
With everything measured out, there’s a little bit of preparation still to do. Nothing to difficult. Just roughly chop the dried cranberries and pistachios. Then, keeping the different chocolates separate and cut into small pieces.
The only other thing is to take the zest off one orange and then cut it in half and squeeze the juice out for using later.
Ok, you’re ready to make the cookie dough.
3. Make the cookie dough
To make the cookie dough, first, take the softened butter and all sugars and put into a large bowl, or food processor. Now, mix well until all of the sugar is mixed into the butter. Once mixed in add the egg and blend into the butter and sugar mixture. I used a food processor but, either way, it should end up looking like this:
Now, take the flour, baking powder and salt and mix this together before adding it to the butter and sugar mixture. Mix or blend this together until you have your cookie dough base.
You can now add any flavour you like to the cookie dough. As I mentioned above, I wanted to make four different types of cookies so I weighed the dough out and split it into four different bowls. For the recipe size I’ve used this is around 200 grams per different flavour, or 6 cookies each.
4. Adding the flavours
In the first and second bowl, I just added the milk chocolate and white chocolate respectively and mixed thoroughly.
In the third bowl, I added a tablespoon of orange juice, a teaspoon of orange zest and the dark chocolate and mixed in.
Finally, and for the fourth bowl, I added the same orange zest and juice, and then sprinkled some cranberries and pistachios into the dough and mixed it all in.
You can use any flavours you like but the key is not to overdo the quantity. The dough still needs to be the main cookie element. It’s not an exact science but I would suggest making it 1/4 – 1/3 added flavour to 3/4 – 2/3 the dough.
Now you can make and bake the cookies.
5. Make and bake the cookies
By now you should have 4 separate bowls with 4 different cookie mixes. To be ready to bake them pre-heat your oven at 200C / 180C Fan. Now, get you baking trays ready. Obviously, if you only have one then you can bake the cookies in batches. Remember, there is no need to grease the trays.
Take each bowl of cookie mix and split it into the size of cookies you want. Again, for this recipe you should be able to make 24 average sized cookies, so 6 from each bowl. Once you have the individual cookies, wet your hands and roll each cookie into a ball and place on the baking tray with at least 5 cm space around each one.
Note, there is no need to press the cookies down. They will naturally spread and flatten in the oven as the butter melts. Just place in the oven and bake for 12-14 minutes until the edges just start to brown.
Once baked, remove from the oven and place on a cooling wire to cool.
6. Finish the cookies off
I like to finish the cookies off with a little icing drizzled over the top. Just take a couple of tablespoonfuls of water and add a little icing sugar at a time to the water and mix until you have thick icing mixture. Then, dip a dessert spoon into the icing and let this run over the cookies and leave to set.
And there you go. Wonderful cookies for the family, or wrap them up and give them as Secret Santa gifts. Homemade and far less than $10.
OK, my Foodie Followers! That’s it for this time. I hope you enjoyed this recipe and give it a go yourselves. If you do, let me know how you get on. I’d love to know.
As always, many thanks for reading and until next time! Merry Christmas to you all…Steve.
- 225 grams softened butter
- 200 grams golden caster sugar
- 100 grams brown sugar
- 1 egg
- Zest from one orange
- Juice from one orange
- 25 grams chopped dried cranberries
- 50 grams chopped dark chocolate
- 50 grams chopped white chocolate
- 50 grams chopped milk chocolate
- 25 grams chopped pistachios
- 300 grams plain flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Icing sugar and water mix
Get all of the ingredients measured and prepared.
Start making the cookie dough by blending the butter and sugars. Once mixed also blend in the egg.
Now, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together and blend into the butter and sugar mix. This will result in the base cookie dough.
Next, split the cookie dough into 4 equal portions and add the fillings. For the first two just add the white and milk chocolate respectively and mix in. For the third and fourth add to both a teaspoon of orange zest and a dessert spoon of orange juice. Finally, add the dark chocolate to one bowl and the pistachio and cranberries to the final bowl. Mix all ingredients thoroughly.
Now, take each cookie mix and split it into 6 even cookies. With wet hands roll each cookie into a ball and place on a baking tray with at least 5 cm space around each ball.
Bake the cookies in a pre-heated oven at 200C / 180C for 12-14 minutes or until the edges of the cookies start to turn brown.
Once baked remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire cooling rack. Finish the cookies by drizzling icing over each one. Yum!