Sunday, 20 December 2009

Cranberry (belly) Robin biscuits

I have to admit I have never made Christmas biscuits before, but recently the little home cook in me thought why not after all it is the festive season. So I decided upon making some 'robin biscuits' with the ingredient of the moment, the seasonal cranberry.

Cranberries are deep crimson in colour and are related to the blueberry, but unlike its cousin the cranberry is quite a tart and sharp tasting berry, so it is not to everyones taste. Cranberries have always been valued, but it only over the past ten years, the cranberry has gained worldwide popularity, particularly for its juice. There are a number of health claims which suggest that it can help to prevent urinary-tract infections, gum disease and stomach ulcers, and may even help to protect against heart disease and cancer.

Unlike other berries such as the strawberry and raspberry, the cranberry is quite robust and can last in the fridge for at least two weeks. The reason it is long lasting is because the berries contain large amounts of benzoic acid, a natural preservative. As cranberries are a seasonal berry and only available during the winter season, I would recommend to anyone to freeze some as they will keep up to nine months. Then they can be used directly in recipes without thawing. Cranberries make delicious muffins.Now back to my biscuits, although I have a lot of biscuit and cookie cutters, including Christmassy themes ones, I did not have a robin one, so in the style of a 'Blue Peter' child I made a template of rocking robin from an old Christmas card, cut it out and then used it to carefully to cut around the rolled out dough.
I know these are not the most professional looking of Christmas biscuits, but as a home cook I am pretty chuffed with them. In the future, I think I would stud the belly of the robin with a mix of white chocolate chips and chips; or even coat the whole robin biscuit all in dark chocolate and then stud the belly with cranberries.

As you can see below I originally submitted this recipe to the Weekend Herb Blogging event, but I have been encouraged by Nicisme of Cherrapeno who is hosting the December Sugar High Friday (an event created by Jennifer of The Domestic Goddess) to submit it as the theme of Holiday Sweet Treats.
I am submitting this recipe to the lovely Haalo who is hosting this weeks Weekend Herb Blogging#214. WHB is a weekly food blog event showcases information and recipes about herbs, vegetables, fruits and other plant ingredients. WHB was initiated 4 years ago by Kalyn's Kitchen, it is now organized by Haalo of Cook (Almost) Anything At Least Once. Please note that Weekend Herb Blogging will be taking a break for Christmas and the New Year and will resume on January 4th 2010 when Haalo will be hosting again.
Finally, please remember to feed and water the 'real' birds over the winter season.

Cranberry (belly) Robin biscuits
Find a reliable biscuit recipe and make according to instructions, use a robin biscuit/cookie cutter and cut out required number. Then stud the eye and belly with fresh cranberries that have been cut in half and bake according to recipe instructions.

32 comments:

  1. I think they're really cute - the robins and the trees. Lovely :)

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  2. I made the cranberry muffins (3 lots)!They are delicious and I have includedthem in a post and linked back to you for the recipe.I may give the biscuits a go during the week. Thanks for sharing

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  3. WOW! You're so creative and these are too pretty to eat :D

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  4. Thank you so much Rachel.


    Oh Peggy, I am so glad you liked the recipe. I am making some more again, but this time using S/R flour and 1 teaspoon of baking powder to see if the will get any higher.

    I Really appreciate the link back, it will be nice to see some new visitors. Thank you.


    Anncoo,
    These bouts of creativity don't happen often, but when they do - they do make me smile inside. Thank you for your kind comment.

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  5. I should think you were chuffed with them - they look lovely and very creative.

    Happy Christmas

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  6. these are so cute i can't even stand it!

    LOVELY!

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  7. those are gorgeous - E's family has a fondness for robins - when we were in Edinburgh they were amused to spy one eating the cat food - I am not sure this is quite what you mean about feeding the birds

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  8. Your holiday biscuits are cunning, Mango. I love the robin design, and just about any recipe using cranberries. Merry Christmas!

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  9. So very clever and just too adorable - they are brilliant!

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  10. They look really lovely. Ive never tasted fresh cranberries before, only the dried ones, it was nice to find out some more about them.

    Rose

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  11. I'm a rubbish cookie baker but these are so cute I'm almost tempted to try them.

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  12. Aww Thank you Choclette.


    Shannon, so lovely to make your acquaintance. Thank you so much for your comment, it made me smile.


    That so funny Johanna. But your right cat food was not what I was thinking (unless of course your feeding the fox), more like left over yorkshire pudding, nutroast - or real bird food - seeds and dry berries :D


    Thank you Barbara.
    Merry Christmas to you too.


    Thank you so much Haalo.


    Hi Rose,
    I must admit I tasted fresh cranberries about 4 - 5 years ago and only because I wanted to make and eat Nigella's Cranberry pudding, which is now my preferred Christmas dessert. Hope you find some to try, they taste very different to the dried.


    Hiya Kella.
    Try and try - you'll get better. You know you will and your girls will love all the cookies you bake.

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  13. Ciao Mangocheeks, thank you for visiting my blog, I tell you, this was the first year I had such beautiful broccoli romani!!!

    I like your blog, if you don't mind I would like to follow you and put it in my lists of blogs, as I am into your kind of food (and your relationship with food)

    ciao

    Alessandra

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  14. These look divine! Have never seen cranberries on cookies before but I love it -- both the color and (I am betting) the taste.

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  15. I am in awe of your incredible biscuits! I am SO impressed that you created the gorgeous robins without a biscuit cutter - you are truly a talented artist! The Christmas trees are beautiful too - I would love to have your biscuits framed and hanging on my wall as artwork! :-)

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  16. These cookies are so cute. Good job! Love your blog. Thanks for dropping by to see mine.
    Merry Christmas!

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  17. Hello Alessandra and Welcome.
    I am honoured that you like my blog to become a follower. Thank you so much, it really is a lovely Christmas gift for me.
    PS I am really envious of your Romani and dream one-day that mine will grow that way!


    Thank you and Welcome Tigerfish.


    Thank you Phd in Yogurty.
    I would certainly recommend experimenting and putting some cranberries on your cookies.



    Oh Astra,
    Your just too too kind. I am going to tell my husband that I have been told that I am an artist. You now what is going to happen he is going to fall over with laughter. Oh well, at least I know he loves me.


    Hello Dedene,
    Thank you so much for coming by.

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  18. Owww, these are really cute, I love the little birdies! Guess they tasted great as well.
    Happy Christmas!
    Tintel

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  19. Thank you Tintel.
    Happy Christmas to you too.

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  20. Thank you so much Diane.
    At the moment the kitchen is the only place my creativity comes through, maybe one-day it will come through some crafts.

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  21. Your biscuits are beautiful. Nice job.

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  22. Those are absolutely fantastic! Very cute, professional and festive.
    Want to add them to my SHF event too?

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  23. Thank you so much Judy.


    Nicisme,
    It would be an honour, please go ahead and use them for the SHF event.

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  24. Thank you so much for adding these to my SHF event!
    Happy New Year!

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  25. Very cute! I never would have thought to have added real cranberries to my cookies!

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  26. Thanks Nicisme.


    Thank you Fanmily Spice.
    I am not good/handy at icing for cookies or cakes, so this was an easy way of decorating cookies for me.

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  27. Aw... the cookies look so cute... Thanks for sharing this recipe... I shall try this soon...

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