Maggie's Books & Recipes

in Memory of Margaret H.L. Lim

Scrumptious Cranberry Cinnamon Christmas Cookies

(You need two batches of cookie dough)

Cranberry Dough

1 8 oz. package Cranberries
1/8 cup water
3 cloves (leave whole)
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 stick butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp Allspice
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

Wash the cranberries in a sieve. Pick out the mushy ones. Put the washed cranberries into a pan with the cloves, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 Tbsp brown sugar and 1/8 cup water. Cook over a low flame, stirring now and then, until the berries split open. Cook down to a gluey sauce. Leave the cloves in the sauce as part of the spices. You wouldn’t want to spend your time fishing for them. Cool and blend with a blender until quite smooth. Set aside.
 

Cream the butter and 3/4 cup brown sugar. Add the cinnamon and allspice. Stir in the blended cranberries, mixing well. Slowly add the flour mixed with the baking powder and baking soda until a pliable dough is formed that is not sticky. Add more flour if necessary, a tablespoon at a time until the dough stops sticking to your hands.
Set aside.

Vanilla Dough

1 stick butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp Vanillin sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder

Cream butter, brown sugar and vanillin sugar. Add flour and form into a dough that is not sticky. Add more flour if necessary. It shouldn’t be crumbly. Set dough aside. Assemble your cookie cutters.

 
Roll out your dough and cut out the cookies. I decided to mix and match. It took me a couple of hours to bake these cookies. I rolled out the last bit of dough separately, then stuck them together and rolled them up to form a pinwheel design.
 
 
Grease and flour your baking sheets if you don’t have non-stick ones. Bake at 350 F or 160 Celsius for 15 to 20 minutes depending on the thickness of your cookies. Cool on a rack.
 
Enjoy!

Thoughts while cookies were baking:

ADVENT COUNTDOWN

What does one do in East Friesland, Germany, when it rains? Drink tea and wait for the rain to stop. So I dug out the Advent Wreath, dusted it off and readjusted the ornaments. Following the tradition closely, I stuck three white candles and a burgundy-coloured one in the holders. Each candle is lighted on each succeeding Advent Sunday. The coloured candle is lighted on the last, the 4th Advent.

The First Advent Candle is lit. The coloured candle is saved for the 4th Advent.

A close-up of the decorated Advent Wreath. The fruits are made of wax. I sprinkled whole and crushed cloves on the wreath so that the room smells of spices associated with Christmas spiced cookies.

According to one source, the original Advent Wreath was a wheel with 24 candles. Several hundred years ago, a kind-hearted pastor in Hamburg had the genial idea of keeping the children of poor families entertained during the long dark winter days while waiting for the Advent of the Christ Child. A candle was lit every day until Christmas Eve to the delight of these children. It has been reduced since the middle of the last century to four candles, one for each Advent Sunday.


Bring out the Cinnamon Stars, Spekulatius and Stollen for Advent Sunday tea.