Cranberry cookies

I once had this grand notion that I would make tonnes of cookies, wrap them up, and take them along with me whenever I travel instead of biscuits from the store. But I did not realise that I would have to do this one day before, and then since I had not packed (yeah, I plan a lot it seems) I was back to the biscuits from the store. I love those pre packed cookies too, but I thought what baker would I be if I can't take my own cookies to a trip? Oh never mind. Let me tell you about these cookies.
The blogosphere is full of cranberry recipes these days. Cakes, Cookies, Scones, Cupcakes. You name it. Or imagine it. And shops around here are full of dried cranberries. I would now say that I also want fresh cranberries, but to tell you honestly, there are plenty dried cranberry recipes out there for me to try out first. 

I was under the impression that I'd never get cranberries locally. But for the past few months, shops have been selling dried cranberries and they had become easily available. So obviously, all the dried cranberry recipes disappeared. I couldn't find a single one. I searched my books, I searched my blog list, but nothing turned up. Nothing! Imagine that. I had a packet in my fridge and did not know what to do with it! Then I found this recipe - which I found because in desperation I was reading every line of a recipe and had obviously skipped this part - which was a variation from this Basic Cookie recipe. The best part of it, and which I realised later as I was making it, is that this recipe is egg less. Many many people I know would prefer egg less baked goods for various reasons, so an egg less recipe is always welcome. At the same time, I had not tried cookies without eggs before this - but considering my cookie repertoire isn't too large, I think it was a good thing to experiment. The recipe is completely adaptable; you can add and spices you want, add zest, add dry fruits if you wish or make the basic cookies and ice them with melted chocolate.
From the original recipe, I slightly reduced the amount of flour, as I felt adding any more would have made the dough too dry (and I did not have anymore butter to add to it obviously). And that was what changed these cookies. They were so crispy when baked and absolutely crumbled on one bite. They were rich but the cranberries with their sour hit made them even better. They look pretty - the red dots spread in a cookie - more the better - and the cookie not being overtly sweet is what balances the entire thing. If you are looking for an easy, egg less butter cookie, make these. And you'll know what I am talking about.

Cranberry Cookies
Adapted from Rachel Allen Bake! series
Makes 15 2 inch cookies
You need:

120 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
50 g caster sugar
100 g plain flour
¾ cup (teacup) chopped dried cranberries.

To Make:

1. Preheat the oven to 170C.

2. Sift the flour and set aside. Chop the cranberries roughly.

3.   In a large bowl cream the butter until soft and creamy - do this by hand or an electrical mixer. To this add the sugar and beat until the mixture is pale and fluffy.

4. Add the flour to the butter and the sugar and bring the mixture together to form a firm dough. Add the cranberries and mix until they are evenly spread.

5. Roll the dough into walnut-sized balls and place them about 2 inches apart on a baking tray (no need to grease or line). Flatten them with the back of a damp fork.

6. Bake in the oven for 13–15 minutes until they are light golden brown and slightly firm on top.

5. Carefully transfer the cookies to another plate and leave to cool.


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