Christmas baking

The Christmas tree is up, the presents are wrapped and the cards have been sent. Now it’s time for me to tell you about some of the festive baking I have been doing this month.

First up there were the Jamie Oliver mince pies (from last years Christmas show, recipe available here). These were incredibly simple to make and a delicious twist on traditional mince pies. We ate a few warm from the oven and the rest are sat in the freezer patiently waiting to be reheated from frozen nearer to Christmas. I followed the main recipe but I used more than 100g of mince meat as it was spread too thinly for my liking.
Next up are these Christmas spiced biscuits from Sainsbury’s magazine. The flavours in these biscuits are delicious and quiet frankly I could eat them all year round! I’m sorry to say that there are none left! For that extra festive touch I decorated them with red and green icing.
I have also taken part in this months festive themed Daring cooks and Fresh from the oven challenges. The results of which will be posted on the 14th and 28th respectively. I also aim to find time to bake some extra Christmas treats for my family and also complete the December Daring bakers challenge so keep an eye out for them on here soon.

Spiced Christmas biscuits
Sainsbury’s magazine, December 2008

225g soft butter
175g light soft brown sugar
1 tablespoon clear honey
1 large egg
350g plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice

  • In a food processor, mix together the butter, brown sugar and honey for a few minutes or so until pale and creamy. Then add the egg and mix again until combined.
  • Sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and spices and mix until the mixture comes together to form a dough.
  • Turn the mixture out on to a lightly floured surface and knead gently, then divide in two.
  • Roll out each piece of dough between two sheets of baking parchment to about 0.5cm thick and chill for at least one hour until firm.
  • Preheat the oven to 190C, 170C (fan), gas 5.
  • Cut out star shapes using a cutter and place on a baking sheet; repeat until all the dough is used up.
  • Bake in batches for 10-12 minutes until golden, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  • When cold, decorate with icing if desired.

Will keep in an airtight container for up to a week. Can be frozen uniced.

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