Monday, 12 December 2011

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.


  1. i am dribbling with excitement at the thought making these! i love christmas baked goods. Super guest blog. xx

  2. They look lovely, can I ask a dumb question? Plain or Self raising flour??

  3. Mmmm sounds like just what I need to make with my own kids (driven feral by Christmas) and two visiting toddlers this week. Thanks for another great blog.

  4. Not a dumb question! Plain flour xxx

  5. Would the mincemeat on top not just burn into a disgustingly burnt flavour that is so popular with home-made mince pies?

  6. Ooh, these look good. Also I'm pleased to see a bit of a different spin on mince pies. I've got myself into an insanely Stepfordian situation where I promised to make mince pies for my husband's work but then remembered that I only have to go within five feet of pastry before it all rips to pieces and looks godawful after the inevitable "patching" so instead I shall make these and not end up looking a tit. Cheers!

  7. Couldn't resist making a batch of these today and they didn't disappoint! Unfortunately the last few didn't get topped with mincemeat tho due to my over zealous washing up as I go technique but hey ho they still tasted yummy.

  8. Just as nice if you mix in the whole jar-full, although a daub of mincemeat on the top does make them taste authentically Christmasy. I did a batch with 3/4 tsp of mixed spice added in with the flour 'cos I'd only got an elderly orange left to zest before it escaped to the bin. I hoped it would give a sort of mulled wine note, but it just seemed to disappear entirely.
    They all went nevertheless. Good one. I'll deffo do them again


  9. I have a feral toddler, can we be friends?
    And fruit mince comes in 411g jars because recipes always call for 475g of it - so you have to go and buy another sodding jar that will fester in the cupboard until next year (but you won't remember it, and will go out and buy more... do you get my drift?)

  10. A great post. However, I won't be making these, or indeed ANY OTHER Christmas fare*, because I am handing Christmas over to my mother in law. In return, I will be enduring herring a thousand different ways. Pesky Scandis. (*This is a bit of a lie. Spurred on by your recent blog, I made Nigel's non-meat gravy this week. Despite its tree-hugging credentials (and my having burnt it - twice) it's really damn good.)

  11. I made these last night to bring to work Christmas corridor party (don't ask) today. The recipe worked BRILLIANTLY. So many times when I make biscuits or cookies they spread into a massive disc of crispy sorrow, but these stayed like proper biscuits. Had to prevent my husband from eating 4 in a row.

    The only thing I didn't add was zest from my satsumas (not a euphemism). I have NEVER understood how to zest small citrus fruits? They just collapse into the zester before any zest is collected? What am I doing wrong?

  12. These look fabulous and as a mince pie fan, I love the idea of little biscuits with mince pie flavours! I have bookmarked this recipe for the festive baking season!
    Karen @ Lavender and Lovage

  13. SWMBO made these the other night - we decided that they were too dangerous to keep around the house so they went to work - a double batch lasted 19 minutes. Top draw, well done

  14. Yay - it's EmFrid! Exciting!

    I will make some of these to take up to the in-laws. They look less hassle than actual mince pies and easier to eat without the inner goo going everywhere.

    Important question: do I still get to eat a dollop of brandy butter the size of my head?

  15. Why did you only light three out of the four candles?

    These look beautiful by the way, can't wait to try them.

    Come back now, it's been long enough and we all miss you xx

  16. These were really good! They satisfied my American tradition of Christmas cookies, while giving a nod to British mince pies. In fact, I like them so much better than mince pies. I also appreciate that they didn't require 100 bowls and pans. Thanks.

  17. I've just made these for a family do tomorrow, and was a bit worried they looked amateur, but they taste stupendous! I would add clementine or mandarin zest though, I can't really identify the satsuma. Thanks for the recipe, will be visiting again!

  18. Sob, this is my best blog ever, but you don't post enough! Please please keep em' coming.