Tag Archives: Christmas

Chocolate Orange Cookie Bars

Chocolate orange can (and definitely is) eaten throughout the year, but chocolate orange and Christmas go hand in hand in my opinion. What better way to enjoy it than these Chocolate Orange Cookie Bars?

Chocolate orange is one of my favourite types of chocolate and flavour combinations in general. I’m not a massive fan of fruit and chocolate, but orange and chocolate is the exception. Last year I made Chocolate Orange Rocky Road so this year I wanted to step it up a notch. 

I have wanted to make cookie bars for quite a while now. I love cookies – especially soft cookies. For me crisp cookies are a waste of a cookie. You need the soft squidginess in a cookie. Which is why these Chocolate Orange Cookie Bars are so good! 

Apart from their delicious softness, these Chocolate Orange Cookie Bars are also really easy to make. Don’t get me wrong, cookies aren’t difficult to make, but they take a little bit of time to portion up and then I usually have to cook them in batches. With these, you just tip all of the batter into the tin with no faffing at all – perfect!

Time saving steps like this is great at any time of year, but especially at Christmas when everyone is so busy. These don’t take long to make or bake which is another advantage. And if I haven’t convinced you to make these yet, they are also delicious!

As I have mentioned, I like a soft centred cookie so I recommend baking these for twenty minutes. This means you get the gooey centre and the chewy goodness around the outside. If however you like a firmer cookie, bake these for an extra five minutes. 

I would always pick a middle square of cookie – which would you pick?

5 from 7 votes
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Chocolate Orange Cookie Bars

Chocolate orange can (and definitely is) eaten throughout the year, but chocolate orange and Christmas go hand in hand in my opinion. What better way to enjoy it than these Chocolate Orange Cookie Bars?

Course Tray Bake
Cuisine British, International
Keyword Chocolate Orange, Cookie Bars
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 16
Calories 262 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 125 g margarine
  • 100 g light brown sugar
  • 125 g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 225 g self raising flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 200 g chocolate orange chopped

To finish

  • 100 g small chocolate orange segments (16 segments)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (fan assisted, 200ºC non fan) and line a 20x20cm tin with baking paper 

  2. Cream the butter and the sugars together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined

  3. Add in the flour, salt and chopped chocolate orange and mix until combined

  4. Tip all of the mix into the prepared tin and smooth the top until it is level. Place the small chocolate orange segments at regular intervals across the cookie dough 

  5. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes for a soft cookie and 25 minutes for a firmer cookie 

  6. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before leaving to cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into 16 equal squares 

Recipe Notes

Keep for up to two days in an airtight container. 

Nutritional information is given as a guide only.

Nutrition Facts
Chocolate Orange Cookie Bars
Amount Per Serving
Calories 262 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 10mg3%
Sodium 152mg7%
Potassium 29mg1%
Carbohydrates 24g8%
Sugar 13g14%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 295IU6%
Calcium 11mg1%
Iron 0.2mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Brioche & Christmas Pudding Bread & Butter Pudding

Soft delicious custard soaked brioche with tasty Christmas Pudding with crispy edges. Once you have eaten this Brioche & Christmas Pudding Bread & Butter Pudding, you will struggle to eat bread and butter pudding any other way again. 

This recipe is one of my absolute favourites that my Mum made every New Year’s Day. She’d made her delicious Honey Glazed Ham followed by this Brioche & Christmas Pudding Bread & Butter Pudding. It was definitely a meal we all loo forward to all year. 

I don’t know about you, but Mum always bought a Christmas pudding every year with the intention of us having it for pudding on Christmas Day. I’m not sure I can ever remember us actually getting round to eating it though. This was partly because we were all so full and also partly because apart from my Dad, we are all not particularly fond of Christmas Pudding. 

New Year’s Day was always a day we saved room for pudding though because Mum would make this Brioche & Christmas Pudding Bread & Butter Pudding. She found the inspiration for this recipe in a Sainsbury’s Magazine years ago and tweaked the recipe from the original Panettone version to be the one we know and love today using brioche, Cointreau and orange zest.  

This definitely is the best way to eat Christmas pudding. The soft, sweet brioche and the orange flavours really compliment the Christmas pudding and make it far more exciting than just eating Christmas pudding by itself. 

I have been known on more than one occasion to eat any leftovers for breakfast the next day. At Christmas you can get away with eating pretty much anything for breakfast so I take full advantage of this. You can heat it up again in the oven or just use the microwave which is what I do. This still keeps the crispy bits of the brioche crisp. 

My preferred way of serving this is with lots of double cream; and I mean lot of. Double cream is a glorious thing and should never be used sparingly in my opinion!

This pudding will keep for a couple of days in the fridge. 

 

5 from 5 votes
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Brioche & Christmas Pudding Bread & Butter Pudding

Soft delicious custard soaked brioche with tasty Christmas Pudding with crispy edges. Once you have eaten this Brioche & Christmas Pudding Bread & Butter Pudding, you will struggle to eat it any other way again.

Course Dessert
Cuisine French, British
Keyword Bread and Butter Pudding, Brioche, Christmas Pudding
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 506 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 225 g brioche
  • 450 g Christmas pudding
  • 75 g unsalted butter melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 40 g caster sugar
  • 225 ml milk
  • 150 ml double cream
  • Zest of one orange
  • 2 tbsp Cointreau
  • Pinch of salt
  • Icing sugar for dusting

Instructions

  1. Cut the Christmas pudding into roughly 2cm chunks. Add to a microwaveable bowl and heat for one minute to soften the pudding

  2. Brush the inside of an ovenproof dish (with a capacity of 3 pints) with some of the melted butter

  3. Cut the brioche into roughly the same sized pieces as the Christmas pudding and add both to the buttered dish 

  4. Spoon the remaining butter over the brioche only 

  5. Beat together the eggs, extra yolks and sugar until pale and fluffy

  6. Add the cream, milk, orange zest, Cointreau and salt and mix to combine 

  7. Pour the liquid mix over dish and allow to soak for 15 minutes

  8. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan assisted). Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes until it is just set and a lovely brown colour 

  9. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before dusting with icing sugar and serving

Recipe Notes

Keep the pudding in the fridge for 2 days. Reheat in the microwave until piping hot. 

Nutritional information is given as a guide only.

Nutrition Facts
Brioche & Christmas Pudding Bread & Butter Pudding
Amount Per Serving
Calories 506 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Fat 22g34%
Saturated Fat 13g81%
Cholesterol 137mg46%
Sodium 164mg7%
Potassium 66mg2%
Carbohydrates 19g6%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 855IU17%
Vitamin C 0.1mg0%
Calcium 68mg7%
Iron 0.5mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Mincemeat Pinwheels

Mince pies but without all of the cutting and assembling. My Mincemeat Pinwheels are really quick, very easy but still everything you want from a mince pie. 

There is lots of food that is synonymous with Christmas here in the UK with mince pies being one of them. For those of you that aren’t familiar with mince pies, they are shortcrust pastry filled with mincemeat which is a sweet mixture of raisins and other dried fruit with suet. It might sound a little strange but it is very tasty. 

I love a mince pie, but making them can be a bit fiddly even using shop bought pastry. Maybe it’s just me being lazy, but you have to cut out rounds of pastry and put them in the tin, fill them with mincemeat and then cut out the lids from pastry. I know what you’re thinking, this is by no means complicated but when you are making lots of them and with all of the other baking and cooking at this time of year, it can feel like a bit of a chore. 

Due to my laziness, I am always looking for new ways to still get my festive mincemeat fix, but in a more simple way. Last year I made Frangipane Mince Pie Slices, and this year I came up with these Mincemeat Pinwheels. 

These are so easy it is almost cheeky to call them a recipe. I make them even easier by using shop bought ready rolled pastry. You can obviously buy the pastry in a block and roll it yourself, but rolling pastry has never been a skill of mine. 

You can also make your own mincemeat if you plan ahead, but if you haven’t already made some, you’re too late now so get yourself down to the shop and buy some! 

These will keep in an airtight container for at least 3-4 days. 

Makes roughly 22

375g puff pastry, ready rolled 
260g mincemeat
Orange zest, half orange (optional)

1 tbsp milk or 1 egg
Spray oil 

  1. Unroll the pastry and using a rolling pin, roll until it is 2-3mm thick keeping it on the baking paper it comes with 
  2. Spread the mincemeat evenly over the pastry leaving roughly one centre of pastry uncovered on one of the long sides

  1. Scatter some orange zest (if using) across the mincemeat
  2. Starting from the long end closest to you, tuck the pastry over as tight as you can. Then using the baking paper roll the rest of the pastry up to create a long roll

  1. Leave to chill in the fridge for 10 minutes 
  2. Preheat the oven to 190ºC (fan assisted) and spray 2 trays with oil 
  3. Take the pastry out of the fridge and slice into rounds around 1cm in thickness
  4. Place the pinwheels on the oiled baking trays and brush with the milk or egg 

  1. Bake for 17-20 minutes until the pastry is golden brown

  1. Allow to cool on a wire rack

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Cranberry & White Chocolate Cookies

Soft cookies crammed with dried cranberries and chunks of white chocolate. These Cranberry & White Chocolate Cookies are delicious at any time of year, but especially at Christmas. 

I am not typically a fan of white chocolate, I find it quite sweet. But there are instances when it is the perfect chocolate of choice and makes me realise it is actually quite tasty! 

These are an adaptation of my go-to cookie recipe which I wanted to make a little festive. Cranberries are an obvious choice for Christmas and can be a little tart which I thought would work really well with the sweet white chocolate. 

I made the cookies and photographed them ready to write up my recipe and that is when I saw that a few people already have recipes for cookies with cranberries and white chocolate. Although I haven’t come up with a new flavour combination,  that doesn’t matter because it means you’ll just have more variations of a similar recipe to try and see which one you prefer!

The reason why I like this cookie recipe so much is because of the soft cookies it makes. I have always been a soft cookie fan. I want a squidge to my cookie and for it to have a soft bend not a crisp snap like some do.

One of the secrets behind a soft cookie is not cooking them for too long. After being baked, they will be soft to touch in the middle and you may be tempted to bake them for a few minutes longer thinking they aren’t quite done – but don’t! They will harden up slightly as they cool making the perfect soft cookie. 

These cookies will keep in an airtight container for at least 4-5 days. As they get older, they will become slightly more crisp on the outside which is another reason to make sure you don’t cook them for too long in the first place!

This recipe is really simple and quick to make which is another reason why it is great for Christmas. You can make a batch of these cookies and keep them for when people pop in over Christmas, because people always pop in! They would also make a really lovely present as people do love a homemade gift!

I wanted these cookies to look rustic and obviously homemade which is why when I was shaping them I didn’t smooth them. This gives them a slightly rougher and more textured look to the edges. If you did want them to look a bit more ‘perfect’, smooth the balls of cookie dough between the palms of your hand to smooth them before putting them on the baking tray. 

5 from 4 votes
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Cranberry & White Chocolate Cookies

Soft cookies crammed with dried cranberries and chunks of white chocolate. These Cranberry & White Chocolate Cookies are delicious at any time of year, but especially at Christmas.
Course Snack
Cuisine American, British
Keyword Cookies, White Chocolate, Cranberry
Servings 40
Calories 88 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 125 g margarine
  • 100 g light brown sugar
  • 125 g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 225 g self raising flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 100 g white chocolate chunks/chips
  • 100 g dried cranberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC (fan assisted 200ºC non fan). Line baking trays with grease proof paper or silicon liner and set aside

  2. Cream the butter and the sugars together until light and fluffy don't be afraid to keep it mixing for 5 minutes or so
  3. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combine
  4. Add the flour and salt and mix before then adding the dried cranberries and white chocolate
  5. Shape into equal sized balls. To do this I use a tablespoon measure to scoop out the mix. You can then put the mix onto the trays as they are or roll them between your palms to create a smoother ball. Leave a good gap between each cookie to allow for spreading whilst cooking
  6. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes before leaving to cool on the tray for a further 5 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely  

Recipe Notes

Keep in an air tight container for 3-4 days. 

Nutritional information is given as a guide only.

Nutrition Facts
Cranberry & White Chocolate Cookies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 88 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Cholesterol 4mg1%
Sodium 61mg3%
Potassium 12mg0%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Sugar 7g8%
Vitamin A 120IU2%
Calcium 4mg0%
Iron 0.1mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Turkey & Cranberry Sausage Rolls

Crispy puff pastry filled with the flavours of Christmas. Delicious as a light lunch or as a nibble to serve to guests at a party, these Turkey & Cranberry Sausage Rolls are really easy which is good because after you’ve made them once, you’ll be asked to make them again and again.  

Christmas wouldn’t be the same without sausage rolls in my opinion. My Mum made them for as long as I can remember at Christmas and they have always been very popular in my family. This meant that when I moved out, I carried on the tradition much to Mr Curly’s delight as he is a very big fan. 

I love traditional sausage rolls made with pork sausage meat, but I also like the idea of making slight tweaks to make them more exciting. One variation that my Mum makes uses pork sausage meat with a fresh slice of mango. This might not sound like it would be delicious, but believe me it is. 

When thinking about flavours I associate with Christmas, turkey and cranberry sauce obviously came to mind. Turkey isn’t usually my favourite choice of meat to have as a roast because it can be a little bland. I do like using turkey mince in dishes that I can add lots of flavour to as it is a healthy meat option because it is low in fat. In large supermarkets I have noticed that you can now buy turkey breast or thigh mince.

My preference would always be the thigh mince because it has a little bit more fat than the breast which I think adds flavour and helps keep it moist. However I ran out of time and did a home delivery for these ingredients and they only had turkey breast mince. I thought that was an advantage though because if it was tasty with the breast mince, it would be even more tasty with the thigh mince!

As I mentioned previously, turkey can be a bit bland which means it really welcomes flavours to be added to it. Don’t be afraid to add lots of herbs and seasoning to your mince because it will make the end result tastier. 

I made these when Mr Curly’s friend came round with his DSLR. Mr Curly and Andy snacked on these during us taking the photos and I sent Andy away with a goodie bag of the things I had made that we had photographed; apart from these sausage rolls. We met up with Andy and other friends that evening and there was outrage that they hadn’t got to try these sausage rolls Andy had mentioned were so tasty. I made up for their disappointment by dropping some round to their house the next day. 

Obviously feel free to make your own pastry, or use ready bought pastry and roll it yourself if you prefer. You can also make the cranberry sauce yourself too, but I was trying to make these as quick and easy as possible. 

These are delicious served warm or cold and can be kept in the fridge for up to a week. 

Makes roughly 16

400g turkey mince
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp sea salt
¼ tsp black pepper
½ tsp garlic powder
1 x 375g pack ready rolled puff pastry
130g cranberry sauce

1 egg, beaten or 1 tbsp milk 
Spray oil 

  1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC (for fan assisted or 210ºC) 
  2. Empty the turkey mince into a large bowl and add the thyme, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Mix thoroughly to distribute the seasonings, I find it easiest to do this with your hands 

  1. Unroll the pastry and cut the pastry in half length ways. Spread half of the cranberry sauce down the middle of each strip of pastry
  2. Form the turkey into two long sausage shapes and place on top of the cranberry sauce

  1. Brush one of the long edges of each piece of pastry with the beaten egg or milk 
  2. Roll the pastry closest to you tightly under the turkey mince and then roll over so the sealed edge is on the bottom

  1. Cut each long roll of pastry into individual sausage rolls
  2. Spray two baking trays with oil and place the sausage rolls on the tray. Brush each sausage roll with the beaten egg or milk
  3. Using scissors, make roughly three cuts into the top of each sausage roll

  1. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Once out of the oven, transfer the sausage rolls onto a wire rack as soon as possible and allow to cool 

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Chocolate Orange Rocky Road

Christmas isn’t Christmas without Chocolate Orange. This Chocolate Orange Rocky Road is the perfect festive treat filled with as much chocolate orange as possible!

Chocolate Orange is delicious anytime of year, but it is almost essential at Christmas. For as long as I can remember, we have always bought my Mum a Terry’s Chocolate Orange at Christmas. Then as my sister and I grew up, we each bought her one so she ended up with quite a few to keep her stocked for the rest of the year!

Chocolate orange is one of my favouite flavour combinations. I’m not generally a fan of fruit and chocolate but there is definitely something about chocolate orange that makes it irresistible. There are lots of chocolate orange flavoured chocolates and biscuits available, even more so around Christmas. If you can’t find one of the ingredients below though, just substitute it with something you fancy or increase the quantities of another ingredient. 

Rocky Road is such a simple and delicious treat that anyone can make. This is a great recipe for children to help with as they only need supervision melting the chocolate as the biscuits can be crushed and broken by hand. It only takes a couple of minutes to assemble and then can be kept in the fridge in an airtight container for at least a week. This is a great recipe to make when you have a spare minute over Christmas which can be stored ready to bring out when you have guests. 

People tend to get a lot of chocolate at Christmas, and if like my Mum you get a few chocolate orange’s, this is a good way to use them up if you don’t just want to sit there and munch your way through them. 

This is one of the recipes I photographed with the help of Mr Curly’s friend. He brought his DSLR camera over for me to have a play with as I have asked Santa for one this year. We had a great time playing with food styling. Neither of us are very creative but I like the cute reindeer and his suggestion of ‘snow’ definitely helped create a festive scene. 

200g chocolate orange 
100g milk chocolate
100g butter, unsalted
150g golden syrup
125g chocolate orange KitKats
100g orange Matchmakers
100g digestive biscuits
50g marshmallows 
Mini chocolate orange segments and sprinkles to decorate (optional)

  1. Line a 20x20cm tin with parchment paper
  2. Add the chocolate orange to a heatproof bowl along with the milk chocolate broken into chunks, the butter and golden syrup

  1. Melt in the microwave in short bursts, stirring after each burst
  2. Cut up the KitKats and Matchmakers into small chunks and break the biscuits up. Add them to a bowl 

  1. Add the marshmallows to the cut up chocolate and then pour over the melted chocolate
  2. Mix until everything is covered in the melted chocolate 
  3. Tip it all into the prepared tin and level out. Add a few mini orange segments and sprinkles 

  1. Put in the fridge to set for at least a couple of hours, or overnight 

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Honey & Mustard Cocktail Sausages

Sticky and sweet sausages with a very slight bite from wholegrain mustard. These Honey & Mustard Cocktail Sausages are very addictive and will disappear very quickly!

I love sausages, and I especially love all of the different flavours and varieties you can buy these days. My all time favourite sausages have to be pork and apple though, there is definitely something about them – what’s yours? I really love the sticky sweetness the apple brings to the sausages which helped inspire this recipe. 

Honey and mustard are one of my favourite flavour combinations. Other types of mustard aren’t really for me, but wholegrain mustard in recipes is definitely my cup of tea. It also works really well with the sweetness of the honey which helps it stick to the sausages better. 

This recipe is ideal for gatherings anytime of year, but especially at Christmas. The days between Christmas and New Year always blend into one and no one really knows which day it is. I love these days because they are typically days when you graze on food without necessarily having a full meal. 

One of the reasons there is a lot of grazing is because these days are typically spent with friends and family and people are already in a bit of a food coma from their Christmas meal days before. These Honey & Mustard Cocktail Sausages are great to whip up if people want a tasty snack (that isn’t a leftover turkey sandwich). They would also be great to serve as part of a buffet for a New Year’s Eve gathering. 

They’re particularly great for gatherings because they can easily be eaten with a cocktail stick – no cutlery needed and also only require one hand which is good because there may be a festive tipple in the other;and also because they are bite size (or two if you’re dainty). 

Be warned though – if you make these for a group of people, make plenty. They are so delicious people will keep coming back for more and they will be gone before you know it! 

I like my sausages dark and crisp, but if you would prefer them slightly less crisp, cook them for 25 minutes. I would recommend soaking your baking tray as soon as you have taken the sausages off though because as you can see some of the sugar burns and will be much easier to was off after a soak!

18 pork cocktail sausages
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 ½ tbsp runny honey 
¼ tsp sea salt 

  1. Preheat the oven to 210ºC (190ºC fan assisted) 
  2. Put the sausages in a bowl and add the mustard, honey and salt 

  1. Stir to make sure the sausages are evenly coated in all of the honey and mustard
  2. Lay the sausages onto a baking tray in one layer and spoon all of the mustard and honey mix on top 

  1. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes, turning the sausages half way through. Coat the sausages in the juices from the tray when you turn them 

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Nutella Pinwheels

Crispy pastry with layers of sweet Nutella and roasted hazelnuts, these Nutella Pinwheels are great as a canape at a party or if you just fancy a sweet treat. 

More than at any other time of year, Christmas is a time when you see family and friends. Well that is what it’s like with my family. Everyone makes more of an effort to meet up and spend some time together over the festive period. This means that you always need to be prepared to whip up something quickly as it is quite possible you will not receive much notice before your guests arrive. Also because it is such a busy time of year, you don’t want to be the person stuck in the kitchen whilst everyone else is having fun.

That is where the idea for these pinwheels came from. I wanted something quick and really easy that was sweet. Pastry always makes me think of Christmas for some reason – probably because of mince pies; and when I needed an idea for a filling, obviously Nutella sprang to mind. 

These pinwheels really are quick and easy to make; especially if you use not only shop bought pastry, but ready rolled pastry too. Now I know this may seem really lazy to some people, but I often buy shop bought pastry because it is so much easier than making it yourself. The ready rolled pastry obviously makes things quicker, but it also means you get a perfect rectangle. Unfortunately my rolling skills are not good enough to achieve a perfect rectangle just yet, so ready rolled is the safest option for me. If you did want to make your own puff pastry or use shop bought pastry in a block and roll it yourself, please do.

Don’t get too carried away with the Nutella. I know as well as anyone that it is easy to add to much but you are really just looking for a layer 1-2mm in thickness so that when you roll it, it doesn’t squidge out of the sides. You also want to make sure you roll the pastry as tightly as possible so you get a nice number of swirls in your pastry. 

For the photos below, I used half a pack of ready rolled pastry for this recipe and the other half for another recipe. You can always cut the pastry in half as it may be easier to roll up as two separate sheets of pastry rather than one large piece. 

These will keep in an airtight container for 3-4 days. 

Makes roughly 22 

375g pre-rolled puff pastry
160g Nutella 
4 tbsp hazelnuts, roasted and chopped 
1 tbsp milk or 1 egg
Spray oil 

  1. Unroll the pastry and using a rolling pin, roll until it is 2-3mm thick keeping it on the baking paper it comes with 
  2. Spread the Nutella evenly over the pastry leaving roughly one centre of pastry uncovered on one of the long sides
  3. Scatter the hazelnuts evenly over the Nutella

  1. Starting from the long end closest to you, tuck the pastry over as tight as you can. Then using the baking paper roll the rest of the pastry up to create a long roll

  1. Leave to chill in the fridge for 10 minutes 
  2. Preheat the oven to 190ºC (fan assisted) and spray 2 trays with oil 
  3. Take the pastry out of the fridge and slice into rounds around 1cm in thickness 

  1. Place the pinwheels on the oiled baking trays and brush with the milk or egg 

  1. Bake for 17-20 minutes until the pastry is golden brown

  1. Allow to cool on a wire rack 

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Frangipane Mince Pie Slices

Mince Pies but without all the fiddly pastry! These Frangipane Mince Pie Slices have all the flavours you’d associate with mince pies but in a tray bake instead of an individual little pie.

Mince Pies may not be something you are aware of if you’re not from the UK. They are little sweet pies filled with mincemeat which is a sweet filling consisting of dried fruits, spices and spirits. Although I love a mince pie, mincemeat does divide people and it’s not everyone’s thing!

For me it isn’t Christmas until the mince pies have been made. However the traditional way of making them is a little fiddly as you have to cut out circles of pastry before filling with mincemeat and then topping with more pastry. At a time of year when there is always so much going on, a quicker version is always welcome!

I thought about making a tray bake as a way to speed the mince pie process up. I have come up with this recipe which includes the added extra of frangipane and after a couple of tester bakes sampled by my friends at work, I have come up with the below recipe. I like a good thick layer of mincemeat but feel free to use a bit less if you would like. You could also scatter the top with flaked almonds before putting it into the oven.

These Frangipane Mince Pie Slices freeze really well so make a batch and freeze some ready to whip out the night before you have guests coming. You will then have a lovely home baked treat for your guests without any last minute stress!

 
Enjoy and remember to thank me when you’re no longer cutting out circles of pastry!

Updated December 2018

5 from 5 votes
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Frangipane Mince Pie Slices

Mince Pies but without all the fiddly pastry! These Frangipane Mince Pie Slices have all the flavours you'd associate with mince pies but in a tray bake instead of an individual little pie.
Course Tray Bake
Cuisine British
Keyword Frangipane, Mince Pie, Mincemeat
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 24
Calories 219 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 175 g plain flour
  • 75 g unsalted butter
  • 2-3 tbsp cold water

For the frangipane

  • 150 g margarine
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 60 g plain flour
  • 90 g ground almonds
  • 3 medium eggs
  • ¼ tsp almond extract
  • 1 orange zested

For the filling

  • 500 g mincemeat

Instructions

  1. For the pastry, measure the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs

  2. Add enough water to form a soft dough. Add it gradually because you might not need to add all three tablespoons

  3. Preheat the oven to 160°C (fan assisted, 180°C non fan). Roll the dough out on a slightly floured surface and line the bottom of the tin with it

  4. In another bowl cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the rest of the frangipane ingredients and mix until combined

  5. Spread the mincemeat evenly across the pastry making sure you get right to the edges

  6. Dot spoonfuls of the frangipane on top of the mincemeat and spread evenly across the mincemeat

  7. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes and then allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes or so before turning out onto to wire rack to cool completely 

  8. Cut into 24 equal squares 

Recipe Notes

Nutritional information is given as a guide only.

Nutrition Facts
Frangipane Mince Pie Slices
Amount Per Serving
Calories 219 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 27mg9%
Sodium 183mg8%
Potassium 20mg1%
Carbohydrates 30g10%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 20g22%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 330IU7%
Calcium 15mg2%
Iron 0.7mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Mary Berry’s Christmas Chocolate Cupcakes

Mary Berry’s Christmas Chocolate Cupcakes are light, fluffy and topped with festive vanilla buttercream. Great for children to help decorate too! 

This is my go-to recipe for chocolate cupcakes and is so tasty I haven’t felt the need to look for an alternative. I’ve slightly adapted Mary Berry’s recipe to make these festive beauties. 

Mary Berry’s original recipe is a chocolate cupcake with chocolate buttercream that is spread on with a palate knife. I decided to swap the buttercream to vanilla because sometimes a chocolate cupcake and frosting can be a bit too much for people, and also I wanted to make the frosting look like a Christmas Tree which would be easier to colour with a vanilla frosting.

It isn’t very difficult to create these Christmas Chocolate Cupcakes. I’ve taken slightly tweaked Mary Berry’s chocolate cupcake recipe. For example I have altered the cooking temperature as I prefer a lower oven temperature when cooking cupcakes to help create a flat topped cupcake. 

On top of the simple, but very delicious cupcake, you add the Christmas Tree buttercream. This is actually really easy, especially once you have practiced your piping skills. The green colour comes from gel food colouring which I would definitely recommend you use instead of liquid food colourings. The gel colours are thick and a small amount goes a long way whereas you need to much of the liquid colours and even then the final colour isn’t very vibrant.

 
Once you have achieved your perfect Christmas Tree green, you can then pipe the buttercream. This is easier than you may think! Just go slow and remember if you really make a mess you can always carefully scrape off the buttercream and start again!

When your trees have been piped, you can then decorate then however you would like. Think of them as your own Christmas tree at home and add your own personality! Or better yet, get your children to help you and you will probably end up with brightly coloured trees with far too many sprinkles! 

  

If you want the icing to be a bit more luxurious, you could use whole milk or even cream. I use semi-skimmed or sometimes 1% fat milk as this is what I always have in the house and the icing is still really delicious. 

Apart from looking festive and cute, these cupcakes are really tasty. They are really light and fluffy with a lovely creamy buttercream. Plus they are also really simple to make! Give them a go this Christmas. 

Updated December 2018

5 from 6 votes
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Mary Berry's Christmas Chocolate Cupcakes

Mary Berry’s Christmas Chocolate Cupcakes are light, fluffy and topped with festive vanilla buttercream. Great for children to help decorate too! 

Keyword Cupcakes, Chocolate, Mary Berry, Christmas Tree
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 389 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

For the cupcakes

  • 4 tbsp water boiled
  • 40 g cocoa powder
  • 3 eggs
  • 175 g margarine
  • 165 g caster sugar
  • 115 g self raising four
  • 1 tsp baking powder

For the buttercream

  • 140 g unsalted butter (softened)
  • 280 g icing sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp milk
  • green food colouring

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC (fan assisted, 180ºC non fan) and line a cupcake tin with 12 liners and set aside

  2. Sift the cocoa powder into a bowl and add the boiling water. Mix until it forms a thick paste and then add the remaining cake ingredients. Mix until combined

  3. Divide the mix between the cupcake liners. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes until a cocktail stick comes out clean

  4. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes or so before allowing to cool completely on a wire rack 

  5. When the cupcakes have cooled completely, make the buttercream. Beat the softened butter for a minute or so before adding the icing sugar 

  6. Add half of the milk and beat until the buttercream is smooth. Add small amounts of food colouring until you have managed to create a tree-like green. If the buttercream is too stiff, add a touch more milk 

  7. Spoon the buttercream into a piping bag with a star shaped tip. Starting at the edge of the cupcake, pipe round in a circle and then upwards to create the Christmas Tree look

  8. Add any decorations you like to make it look like a Christmas Tree 

Recipe Notes

When making the buttercream, add less milk to start with as if you're like me it will take a while to get the green colour you're looking for. Due to this, the buttercream will probably get mixed quite a lot making it looser. 

Nutritional information is given as a guide only

Nutrition Facts
Mary Berry's Christmas Chocolate Cupcakes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 389 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Fat 22g34%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Cholesterol 66mg22%
Sodium 156mg7%
Potassium 114mg3%
Carbohydrates 39g13%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 36g40%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 875IU18%
Calcium 37mg4%
Iron 0.7mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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