Sunday, 8 January 2012

Christmas treats

Christmas time always means lots of delicious treats. I had so much fun creating these Christmas treats.

First up I made a boiled Christmas pudding and a Christmas Cake. I'll blog about those later, the cake especially was amazing. The recipe was given to me by a friend, and I think it's totally worth sharing (i'm sure she won't mind).

Anyway, I made mini Christmas cakes, and I had way too many so I decided to make some little Christmas truffles.

I made a couple of batches of these truffles. For both I whizzed up the cake as my base. For the first lot I added coconut, melted chocolate and a good slosh of rum (brandy or sherry would also be tasty) and rolled them into balls. For the second lot I added the coconut and rum, but dipped them in melted chocolate rather than adding it to the mixture. I topped both with some melted white chocolate and red and green decorations. (I used chopped up jet plane lollies).

Next on my list of treats was mini fruit mince pies. I made my own fruit mince by whizzing up mixed fruit, sultanas and currants. (I generally use whatever I have. Prunes and raisins also work well.) To this I added a grated apple, a little brown sugar, orange rind and juice, and lots of spices - ground cloves, cinnamon, mixed spice, and whizzed it up some more. Lastly add lots of brandy. Enough to make it a good moist consistency. If you are going to store it (it keeps for months in the fridge) you can be really generous with the booze as the fruit will soak it all up. If you want alcohol-free fruit mince, just use orange juice and omit the sugar.

A pastry star and a sprinkling of icing sugar on the top of my pies made them all very festive!

Sharing the plate with my fruit mince pies are Nigella's Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups. These are seriously so good, and so easy to prepare. Whiz everything up, press them into tiny cases and top with melted chocolate. Yummo! I dusted mine with edible giltter to make them all sparkly.

I also made some festive cookies.

These were really fun to make. I used a cookie recipe from my German Christmas Cookies recipe book. Mix together 300g flour, 250g softened butter, 100g sugar, 100g ground almonds, 1tsp cinnamon, 1tsp cocoa, 1 dessert spoon ground cloves. Chill this in the fridge and then roll out and cut into shapes. I wasn't a huge fan of these cookies, but I took them to work and they disappeared within minutes! One of my workmates commented that they resembled Dutch spice cookies.

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