Tis the season for...Cranberries

It's usually not until we're deep into December and gearing up for Christmas before the wonderful cranberry makes an appearance in our kitchens.  And even then, it's often demoted straight into the cranberry sauce that barely gets touched amongst all the other more appealing offerings on the Christmas table. This small but mighty berry packs a punch when eaten raw with an intensely tart, almost bitter flavour. But with the addition of a few simple ingredients, cranberries really work as a beautiful accompaniment in both sweet and savoury dishes. Over the next few days, I'll be showing the cranberry some love by sharing a few festive recipes and giving you some ideas on how you can incorporate them into your Christmas spread.

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One of the many foods or bakes associated with Christmas is the humble shortbread. Whether it's a novelty shop bought tin gifted from relatives or a big batch of the homemade variety, either must be consumed with a huge mug of tea in front of a classic Christmas movie. Most of the time, if I fancy a bit of shortbread, I'll always gravitate towards the plain kind - no frills or odd combinations - just a thick wedge of buttery crumbly biscuit generously sprinkled with caster sugar. It's definitely up there as one of my favourite biscuits. But as it's Christmas, I wanted to inject some festive flavours and give this British classic a little twist. I've gone for  Cranberry, White Chocolate and Orange. Oh my, these were good.Packed with juicy dried cranberries and a subtle orange flavour peeping through, I may have had a few too many whilst they still warm!  And I promise, they're so easy to whip together with no fancy equipment needed and a pleasantly short list of ingredients!

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R E C I P E

225g Butter
100g Sugar
Zest of 1 Large Orange
300g Plain Flour
2 tbsp Cornflour
75g Dried Cranberries
100g White Chocolate, chopped

M E T H O D

In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy and then add in the zest
Sift together the flour and cornflour and fold it into the butter
Mix in the cranberries and white chocolate. Use your hands to bring it all together being careful not to overwork the dough.
Roll out the dough onto a piece of parchment paper and use any shaped cutter to make as many shapes as possible. Reroll the scraps and repeat.
Preheat oven to Gas Mark 4/180C/350F
Place the cut out biscuits on a baking tray and refrigerate for 30 minutes until firm.
Bake the biscuits for 15-18 minutes until very lightly browned.
Let the shortbread cool completely before dusting with icing sugar or caster sugar