Tag Archives: Christmas

Here are a selection of recipes perfect for Christmas; a time of indulgence and eating food with family and friends. And of course chocolate!

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 8 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 practised 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, Mary Berry’s Christmas Chocolate 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. 

 

4.72 from 7 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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