Edible Christmas Treats – Fruit Mince Pies

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Every year, I like to give friends homemade treats. I gather recipes from various sources throughout the year (okay, mostly from the ‘edible Christmas presents’ blog posts that pop up at the end of the year) and experiment with them. I have the staples, the tried and true recipes that make an appearance every year, but I also like to try new things. This is what I tried this year.
 
mincepies

I’ve posted this recipe before but it’s such a good one, I’ve posted again! It took me ages to find the right pastry to match the delicious mince, so I hope you enjoy.
 
Ingredients:
Fruit mince recipe
470g can crushed pineapple
¼ cup brown sugar
1 cup sultanas
½ tspn cinnamon
1 cup raisins
½ tspn nutmeg
¼ cup currants
1 tbsn cornflour
¼ cup apricots
¼ cup brandy
1 apple

Peel and grate apple. Combine all ingredients in saucepan except cornflour and brandy. Stir over medium heat until mixture boils, reduce heat, simmer 3 minutes or until fruit is plump. Blend cornflour with brandy, mix into hot fruit mixture. Stir until mixture boils and thickens. Cool before filling into pie shell.

Pastry recipe
1 cup plain flour
1 egg, separated
1 tbsn icing sugar
1 tbsn iced water (approx)
1 tbsn custard powder
1 tspn finely grated lemon rind
90g cold butter, chopped coarsely
1 tbsn white sugar

Grease 12 round based patty pan (or metal pie shells). Process flour, icing sugar, custard powder and butter until crumbly. Add egg yolk and enough of the water to make the ingredients come together. Knead dough on lightly floured surface until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius. Roll two-thirds of pastry until 3mm thick. Cut rounds to fit patty pan or shells. Repeat until all 12 are filled. Spoon fruit mix into pastry cases.

Roll reserved pastry until 3mm thick. Fashion pie lids in whatever shape you desire. Place over fruit mixture, brush with egg white and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake pies 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Stand for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool.
 
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And that’s it, peeps. All over red rover. I hope you enjoyed the recipes are are inspired to try them yourself.
 
 

Edible Christmas Treats – Chocolate Peppermint Crinkle Cookies

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Every year, I like to give friends homemade treats. I gather recipes from various sources throughout the year (okay, mostly from the ‘edible Christmas presents’ blog posts that pop up at the end of the year) and experiment with them. I have the staples, the tried and true recipes that make an appearance every year, but I also like to try new things. This is what I tried this year.
 
ChocPeppermintCrinkle

Chocolate. Peppermint. Together in a cookie. HOW COULD I POSSIBLY RESIST?

From Things for Boys

Ingredients:
100g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
60g butter, chopped coarsely
1 tsp Peppermint Extract
1 cup plain flour (all-purpose flour)
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking (bi-carb) soda
3/4 cup caster sugar
pinch of salt
1 egg
1/3 cup icing (powdered) sugar

Place chocolate, butter and peppermint extract in a small saucepan and heat over low heat, stirring until the butter and chocolate melt. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in the caster sugar. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the chocolate mixture. Stir together. Crack the egg into the mix and then incorporate the egg.

The dough should be sticky and hold together well. If your dough is not firm enough to roll into balls, chill in the fridge, checking every 15mins until it is firm enough to use.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F). Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper. Sift icing sugar into a small bowl.

To form each cookie, roll a level tablespoon of dough in your hands to form a ball. Roll each ball in the icing sugar, giving it a nice thick coating. Place cookies 8 cm (3″) apart on the prepared trays. If it’s a really hot day, chill the cookies in the fridge for about 20 mins before baking. This helps them to ‘crinkle’.

Bake the cookies for about 15 mins. The tops will be puffed and crinkled, but the dough in the cracks will still look a little under-done. They will firm up as they cool. When done, cool on trays.

makes 24 – 30

 

Next up -> FRUIT MINCE PIES

 
 

Edible Christmas Treats – Macadamia and Pecan Shortbread

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Every year, I like to give friends homemade treats. I gather recipes from various sources throughout the year (okay, mostly from the ‘edible Christmas presents’ blog posts that pop up at the end of the year) and experiment with them. I have the staples, the tried and true recipes that make an appearance every year, but I also like to try new things. This is what I tried this year.
 
M&P Shortbread

This shortbread is delicious, so much so I found it hard to stop eating last year. This year, I made only enough for the gifts I planned to give – there’s enough delicious naughty things around this time of year without adding this more-ish treat.
 
recipe from The Australian Women’s Weekly Christmas Collection

Ingredients:
250g butter, softened
1/2 cup caster (superfine) sugar
2 tspns vanilla extract
2 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup finely chopped macadamias
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
2 tbsn caster sugar, extra

Preheat oven to 160C (325F). Line two oven trays with baking paper.

Beat butter, sugar and extract with electric beater until light and fluffy. Stir in sifted flours and nuts. Press mixture together. Turn dough onto a lightly floured board and knead gently until smooth.

Divide dough in half and press into each tin or, if desired, shape into circles and pinch the edges into a frill. Sprinkle with extra sugar.

Bake for approx 20mins. Cool and then cut as desired.
 

 
 

Edible Christmas Treats – Hazelnut Crunch Chocolates

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Every year, I like to give friends homemade treats. I gather recipes from various sources throughout the year (okay, mostly from the ‘edible Christmas presents’ blog posts that pop up at the end of the year) and experiment with them. I have the staples, the tried and true recipes that make an appearance every year, but I also like to try new things. This is what I tried this year.
 
FR

This recipe I pilfered ages ago from a Tupperware party. The Tupperware lady had us make these chocolates that mimic well known branded chocolates (rhymes with berrero focher) and I’ve been making them ever since.
 
375g chocolate melts
100g copha (vegetable shortening)
1/2 cup puffed rice (branded cereal rhymes with bice rubbles)
1/2 cup crushed nuts
hazelnut spread
whole hazelnuts

ice trays

Melt chocolate and copha together. Add puffed rice and crushed nuts. Mix well.

Spoon mixture into ice trays until half full. Add hazelnut spread to center of each and place a hazelnut on top. Cover with chocolate mix.

Chill in refrigerator or freezer.
 

 
 

Edible Christmas Treats – Bacon Jam

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Every year, I like to give friends homemade treats. I gather recipes from various sources throughout the year (okay, mostly from the ‘edible Christmas presents’ blog posts that pop up at the end of the year) and experiment with them. I have the staples, the tried and true recipes that make an appearance every year, but I also like to try new things. This is what I tried this year.
 
baconjam

I made this mainly for a Canadian friend who LOVES her bacon. As the recipe also incorporates maple syrup, how could I resist?

recipe from YumSugar
 
Ingredients
500g smoked bacon
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons sriracha, plus more to taste
1 cup coffee
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, plus more to taste
1/4 cup maple syrup, preferably grade B
Freshly cracked black pepper

Slice the bacon into 2cm strips then cook in batches until it’s lightly browned and just starting to crisp. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.

Add the onion and garlic. Cook until soft and translucent, 10-12 minutes.

Return the bacon to the pan. Add the brown sugar, sriracha, coffee, apple cider vinegar and maple syrup. Bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat and allow to simmer, stirring every now and then to prevent sticking until it has a thick, jam-like consistency and a deep, rich brown color (approx 3-4 hours).

Allow to cool and then transfer to a food processor. Pulse for several seconds to finely chop and blend the jam. Allow the solids to settle and then skim off any fate. Season to taste with additional vinegar, sriracha and salt.

Serve at room temperature with crackers, crostini, or on a burger.
 

 
 

Edible Christmas Treats – Cashew and Salted Caramels

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Every year, I like to give friends homemade treats. I gather recipes from various sources throughout the year (okay, mostly from the ‘edible Christmas presents’ blog posts that pop up at the end of the year) and experiment with them. I have the staples, the tried and true recipes that make an appearance every year, but I also like to try new things. This is what I tried this year.
 
CashewSaltedCaramels

I decided on this recipe due to the current caramel and salt trend sweeping the nation. The combination isn’t new but it seems to have really taken hold here in Oz this year.
 
recipe from The Australian Women’s Weekly Christmas Collection

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups caster (superfine) sugar
1 1/2 cups thickened (heavy) cream
1/4 cup glucose syrup
1 1/2 cups unsalted cashews
2 teaspoons sea salt

Line a baking pan with baking paper. I used a square tray about 20cm x 20cm. Also, neat trick with baking paper I learned from Jamie Oliver is to cut off the required amount, scrunch into a ball and then dunk in some water. This will make the paper extremely pliable and able to fit any shape. Nifty, hey?

Stir sugar, cream and glucose in a saucepan until sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil and keep boiling uncovered until the mixture reaches 120C (248F). If you don’t have a candy thermometer, there are nifty ways to tell if the mixture is ready. I have a candy thermometer but I have no idea where it is so used the old fashioned method. It worked out a treat – you can totally see when the mixture is ready, btw.

Add nuts and half the salt but don’t stir (um, whoops. Totally stirred. Oh well, the world doesn’t end if you stir, so don’t fret, peeps.) Pour caramel into prepared pan and sprinkle with remaining salt. Allow to cool.

Use a warm knife to cut caramel into pieces.

You can store the caramels between layers of baking paper in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to a week.
 

Next up -> BACON JAM