Cooking and Baking

Christmas Treats

It’s time to eat and be merry! Whether you’re entertaining for Christmas or just looking to indulge your sweet tooth this holiday season, look no further.

These easy to follow recipes are a great way to bring the Christmas spirit and warmth into your home, and sure-fire favourites whether you’re entertaining guests or just having fun with the kids.

Festive French Toast

Got leftover croissants? Turn them into this delicious dessert or decadent Christmas day breakfast! christmastreatscroissants

4 large eggs

½ cup thin cream

1/3 cup (80ml) milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 medium to large croissants, halved

1/2 punnet of fresh strawberries

40g unsalted butter

Thick cream or vanilla yoghurt, to serve

Maple Syrup, to serve

Method:

Step 1

Beat the eggs, cream, milk and vanilla in a wide shallow bowl, place the croissant halves in the mixture turn over to coat and leave to soak for 5minutes, occasionally pressing down to ensure the mixture is fully absorbed.

Step 2

Heat butter in a non-stick fry pan over medium heat. Drain excess egg mixture from croissant halves and cook for 1-2 minutes each side until golden (they should finish with a crispy texture on the outside while remaining soft and creamy on the inside)

(Hint: to enjoy your food with less fat and full flavour you can try this grill-style slimmers fry pan)

Step 3

To serve, place two croissant halves on each plate, top with strawberries, maple syrup and a dollop of cream.

Christmas Pudding Cupcakes119626871

2 cups dried fruit

2 cups water

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

2 teaspoons mixed spice

125g butter

300g good quality dark cooking chocolate, melted

1 teaspoon bicarb soda

½ cup brandy, sherry or port wine (optional)

2 eggs

2 cups self-raising flour

Method:

Step 1

Put the dried fruit, water, mixed spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and butter all into the saucepan and bring them to the boil. Remove from heat and stir in the bi-carb soda, drizzle in the brandy while stirring. Pour the mixture into a bowl and allow it to cool for 1 hour.

Step 2

While the mixture is cooling, melt the chocolate (hint: for smooth, un-scorched melted chocolate try this clever double wall melting pan) and beat the eggs separately. Once the mixture has cooled, stir in the beaten eggs, melted chocolate and self-raising flour.

Step 3

Place patty pan papers into non-stick muffin trays and the prepared mixture into the trays (Hint: silicone muffin trays are ideal for easy cupcake removal. Bake in your oven at 160 – 170 degrees C for 15-20 minutes.

Step 4

If you like, sprinkle with an extra dash of brandy to keep moist and serve with custard, cream or ice cream.

*Helpful Hint: for an alternative take that the kids will love, try baking the mixture in these christmas cake moulds or giant doughnut mould!

148226329Simple Snowmen Cookies

A great recipe for kitchen fun with the kids, no cut-outs required!

 

1 roll of plain cookie dough

Large Jubes

Miniature candy-coated chocolate baking bits (smarties or m&ms will suffice)

Coarse white sparkling sugar

Step 1

Break up the cookie dough in a large bowl. Divide dough in half; wrap each half in plastic wrap and freeze for 10 minutes.

Step 2

Heat oven to 180 degrees C . Shape one half of the dough into roughly 35mm balls. With fingers, roll each ball into 250mm (25cm) rope, roughly 5mm wide; carefully place on non-stick cookie tray. With each rope, starting at top, make small spiral for head, continuing to make larger spiral for body, in an “s” shape or figure 8. Repeat with the remaining half of dough.

(Hint: for the best results and easy removal try this fat free baking tray)

Step 3

Cut out hat shapes from the jubes and place on the snowmen’s heads. Cut smaller pieces from red jubes for lips. Use baking bits for their eyes, noses and buttons (if you feel like getting more creative you can even give them chocolate sprinkle beards!) Sprinkle with coarse sugar for a sparkling finish.

Bake for 8 to 12 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool for 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks

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