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Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Put the oatmeal, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl and mix well. Stir in the cranberries. Heat the butter and 150ml water in a small pan until the butter melts.
Make a well in the centre of the oatmeal mix, pour in the liquid and use a palette knife to mix everything together. The mixture will initially seem a bit wet, but the oatmeal will gradually absorb all the liquid to give a soft dough.
Lightly dust a clean work surface with oatmeal. Tip out the dough, then roll out to about 5mm thick. Use a small round or star-shaped cutter to stamp out the oatcakes, or use your favourite Christmas shapes. Re-roll any trimmings and continue to cut out biscuits. Cut biscuits can be frozen, uncooked, for up to a month. Freeze flat before packing into bags or boxes.
Brush off any excess oatmeal, then space the oatcakes over 2 baking sheets. Bake for about 20 mins, carefully turning the oatcakes every 5 mins or so to stop them from steaming and going stodgy. When cooked, they should be crisp and lightly golden. Lift onto a wire rack and leave to cool. Will keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
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