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Cranberry and Chocolate Cookies

As much as I love a good mince pie I think Santa may get a little tired of them by house 5555. So I decide to make some festive cookies for the boys to leave out for Santa this year.

These are so simple, you could split the batch in two then add sprinkles to one half and the cranberry and orange zest to the other. They freeze pre-baked beautifully and bake from frozen in just a couple of minutes more than from fresh.
Makes about 20 - 35 depending on size

200g unsalted butter, softened
225g light soft brown sugar
70g caster sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
400g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
A pinch of salt
150g Chocolate Chips 

Now you have a choice either
100g dried cranberries & zest of 2 clementines
30g Christmas sprinkles 

You will also need 3 baking sheets covered with baking parchment.
Preheat the oven to 170c/325f/Gas mark 3.

Cream the butter and both of the sugars together in a free-standing machine until pale, light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten eggs, mixing well between each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, add the vanilla extract and mix again.

Sift the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt into the bowl and mix again until thoroughly combined. Fold the chocolate chunks, (*now you can half the dough if you want to make two different batches) zest and dried cranberries or the sprinkles into the cookie dough. 

Use either an ice-cream scoop or large spoon to scoop the dough into even sized mounds. Place 4-6 or 10 smaller cookies on each baking sheet, allowing plenty of space between each cookie as they will spread during cooking. Chill the baking sheets for at least an hour (or open freeze and pop into freezer bags once solid) 

Bake the cookies in batches on the middle shelf of the preheated oven for about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and sharply bang the baking tray on the work surface to deflate the cookies and then return to the oven for a further 5-7 minutes until pale golden brown. 

Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks until cold.