If you’re a follower of my Instagram stories (quick plug, they’re great, get ’em by following me on Instagram) then you’ll know that I’ve spent much of November wandering around supermarkets to ogle at their Christmas food. I love that about this time of year, there’s just so much to look at. I like to imagine that there are special festive food task forces that sit around in meetings all year round thinking this stuff up (for the record, I think that would probably be my dream job).
In the Morrison’s bakery section this year you’ll find a packet of five stollen cookies for just under a quid. Tom bought them for me, I ate them all, they were excellent. So excellent, in fact, that I decided they needed to happen in my kitchen.
Stollen has always been present at the Christmas dinner table in my family. It’s the disgustingly stodgy, cream soaked dessert that makes absolutely no sense to eat after an enormous dinner but we go ahead and do it anyway. I never had a particular fondness for it, opting rather for mince pies or whatever chocolatey thing I could lay my hands on. I mean it is literally bread. Who can eat sugary bread right after a bazillion roast potatoes? (I’m looking at you, Uncle Adam).
It hadn’t occurred to me that other people didn’t eat stollen at Christmas until my friends asked me what on earth it was when I was waxing lyrical about these cookies. The flavours at play here shouldn’t be new to any of you though: mixed spice, cranberries, sultanas and marzipan. No boundaries are being broken.
These are, I think, the kind of thing it makes sense to make a batch of the weekend before you have lots of Christmas catch ups. You can bag up a few for each person you’re likely to see and everyone will love you.
Did you have stollen at your family Christmases growing up? Is my family weird? Let me know in the comments section or any of the other places you can find me, I’m real curious.
Makes around 24
150g salted butter
80g light soft brown sugar
80g granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
175g plain flour
50g ground almonds
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp (big pinch) salt
50g dried cranberries
1 tsp mixed spice
- Heat your oven to Gas 4/350F/180C. Line two baking trays with baking paper.
- In a food mixer or just in a bowl with a wooden spoon, cream together the butter ad two sugars. Beat in the vanilla and egg.
- Sift in the flour and bicarb, add the salt, ground almonds and mixed spice, and stir with a wooden spoon.
- Fold in the cranberries, sultanas and marzipan.
- Put teaspoon amounts on the baking trays and bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are beginning to brown.
- Cool on a wire rack.