4 Festive Recipes

It’s only 3 days until Santa takes flight, and of course we need to make sure that they house smells delicious and inviting for when he gets here! So I have searched the inter-webs for some of the most appealing recipes and voilà (!) I found some.

With no further ado I wish to share them here, and then I’m going to get into the kitchen to give them a try. Enjoy!

1) Mince Pies

Screen Shot 2014-12-21 at 11.22.04 AM

This is a classic, and I found a very special version of this Christmas staple, Mince Pies with Orange and Cinnamon Pastry, on All Recipes. You can either follow the link to the original, or see follow the description below:

Ingredients
Serves: 18 

  • 225g plain flour
  • 4 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 150g butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • 4 tablespoons ice water
  • 200g mincemeat
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • icing sugar for dusting

Method
Prep:25min  ›  Cook:15min  ›  Ready in:40min 

  1. Preheat oven to 200 C / Gas mark 6.
  2. Sift together the flour, 4 tablespoons icing sugar and cinnamon. Use a pastry cutter or two forks to mix in the butter until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the orange zest. Sprinkle with ice water, and gather dough into a ball. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to .5cm thick. Cut out approximately 18 (7cm) diameter circles, and 18 (5cm) circles, rerolling dough as needed.
  3. Line muffin tin or patty tin using the larger pastry circles. Fill each pastry shell with about 1 tablespoon of mincemeat. Top with smaller pastry circles, pinching pastry together to seal the edges. Brush the top of each pie with egg.
  4. Bake pies in preheated oven until tops are golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool slightly on wire racks. Dust with icing sugar just before serving.

2) Shortbread

Screen Shot 2014-12-21 at 11.24.39 AM

This is one of my husbands favourites and he will be very unhappy if Christmas passes without them. I found a very easy and yummy looking recipe as provided by the BBC.

Ingredients

  • 200g/7oz unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into small cubes

  • 100g/3½oz sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 300g/10½oz plain flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3.
  2. Mix together the butter and sugar, either by hand or using an electric hand whisk, until pale and smooth. Add the vanilla extract, then gently mix in the flour until completely incorporated (try not to work the flour too much or the biscuits will not be so crumbly). Using your hands, squeeze the mixture together into a ball of dough.
  3. Gently roll the dough out to about 5mm/¼in thick (dust the work surface with a little flour if the dough sticks). Cut into shapes using a biscuit cutter. Transfer the biscuits to a baking tray lined with baking parchment (or a non-stick baking tray) and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes to rest (chilling makes them hold their shape better when baking).
  4. Before cooking, sprinkle each biscuit with a pinch of granulated sugar. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until pale golden-brown.
  5. Remove from the oven and transfer the biscuits to a wire rack to cool.

3) Baked Cinnamon Apples 

Screen Shot 2014-12-21 at 11.26.08 AM

Now, I can’t bake for my hubby and not my Daddy, and his favourite at Christmas are these succulent spicy yet sweet cinnamon apples. I found a brilliant recipe on Simply Recipes. Let’s see what he thinks. 😉

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 large good baking apples, such as Rome Beauty, Golden Delicious, or Jonagold
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  • 1/4 cup currants or chopped raisins
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 3/4 cup boiling water

Method

cut out apple core scoop out apple core

1 Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Rinse and dry the apples. Using a sharp paring knife or an apple corer, cut out the cores, leaving the bottom 1/2 inch of the apples intact. If using a paring knife, first cut out the stem area and then use a small metal spoon to scoop out the seeds. Cut the holes so that they are an inch or so wide.

apple with hollowed out hole apples stuffed and ready for baking

2 Place the brown sugar, cinnamon, currants or chopped raisins, and chopped pecans (if using) in a small bowl and stir to combine. Put the apples in a baking dish and stuff each apple with the sugar stuffing mixture. Place a dot of butter (a quarter of the tablespoon called for in the ingredient list) on top of the sugar.

3 Pour the boiling water into the bottom of the baking dish. Bake at 375°F (190°C) for 30 to 45 minutes, until the apples are cooked through and tender, but not overcooked and mushy. When done, remove the apples from the oven and baste them with the juices from the pan.

Terrific with a side of vanilla ice cream.

4) Guinness Chocolate Mouse

Screen Shot 2014-12-21 at 11.20.11 AM

Since we are living in Ireland at the moment, I also wanted to find something uniquely regional, and the Guinness Storehouse shares some of its own recipes on their website, and I am just itching to try this one!

 Ingredients (Serves 6)

  • 10 egg yolks
  • 10 egg whites, whisked
  • 350g dark chocolate
  • 1/4lb butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100ml GUINNESS® draught

Method

Melt dark chocolate and butter in a bain-marie, add in the GUINNESS® draught. Beat egg yolks and caster sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the melted chocolate mixture in with egg yolks
and slowly folding in the whisked egg whites until everything is smooth. Transfer mousse
to serving glasses and chill.

Serve with fresh raspberries or other seasonal berries.

*yum* *yum* *yum* *yum* *yum*

Are you going to try any of these? If you do, I would love to see some of your pictures and creations! Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and Happy Baking!!!

Thanks for reading. Take care. xoxox

(All images: Google)

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