Jamie Oliver's mince pie cookies - GUEST POST

A real treat today, Recipe Riflers. A guest post from one of my favourite readers, Emelie. We met online, like all the coolest people NOT; I had a small, sick, teething baby - she a feral toddler and a dog that looks like a polar bear. She is also Scandinavian and what with Scandis being so fashionable at the moment, (they are the new gays), I'm mostly friends with her because of that.

Anyway here you go and if you're on Twitter she is @emfrid and terrific value.

I will cheerfully defend Jamie Oliver to all and sundry. Granted, on occasion he can come across as the culinary world’s more earnest answer to Bono. And those Sainsbury ads makes my teeth hurt. But, as far as I’m concerned that is all easy to forgive. Because, his recipes? They. Always. Fucking. Work.

Like, for example, these mince pie cookies. I got the recipe from Jamie’s Christmas Special magazine, and they are rad. Now, I’m not the biggest fan of pastry, which is probably why I prefer them to actual mince pies, but I’d wager that even pastry fiends will like these. They taste like Christmas! They are also very easy to make - it took me less than half an hour to get them in the oven, and that was while I was simultaneously trying to shake off the semi-feral toddler clinging to my leg and prevent the dog from digging a hole through to the neighbours. So give them a go.

For about 30 or so cookies you will need:

250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
140g sugar
1 egg yolk
Grated zest of one clementine/satsuma/mandarin/whatever you prefer
300g flour
One 411g jar of fruit mincemeat (WHY do they come in 411g jars? Why not 420g? Why so specific?!)

1 Preheat your oven to 180C/gas 4 and put greaseproof baking parchment on a couple of baking trays.

2 Beat butter and sugar together until creamy. Add the egg yolk and your citrus zest and beat to combine.

3 Sift in the flour and then fold through MOST of the mince meat (you want to hold some of it back to put on top of your cookies before they go in the oven). Stir until it all starts to come together. I used my hands here – easier.

4 Pull biscuit-sized lumps from the dough, put them evenly across the trays and then press down on each one to shape into cookies. Don’t put them too close to each other – they will run out a little while in the oven.

4 Dot some of your saved mincemeat on top of each cookie, and then put them in the oven for about ten minutes. You want them to be golden, but still a bit doughy and chewy in the middle. I found that my oven needed about 15 minutes for this, but hey, ovens are famously different.

The mince pie cookies are lovely warm – with mulled wine – but the ones you don’t eat straight away can be stored in an airtight container, or frozen.

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