Make your own Christmas Treats

There is no better time to enjoy your home than Christmas time. That kitchen that you have spent so much time upgrading and personalising can take centre stage. Spend time with the family or impress your friends being a great host with some tasty homemade sweet and savoury treats. There are some ideas below for you to get creative and indulge. Testing out those kitchen gadgets you’ve been treating yourself to throughout the year. It’s a great way to spend time with the children doing a festive activity:

Christmas truffles

Pop these homemade Christmas truffles in a pretty box if you want to give them as a gift. Kids will love giving them to family and friends.

 

150g dark chocolate, chopped

150g milk chocolate, chopped

150ml double cream

50g unsalted butter

Cocoa powder, sprinkles, lustre powder, icing sugar, chopped nuts, for coating

Flavourless oil (such as sunflower), for shaping

Method:

Put the dark and milk chocolate in a bowl, then put the cream and butter in a pan and bring to a simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir until it melts. Leave to cool, then chill in the fridge for 7 hrs. Put the coatings into separate bowls. To shape the truffles, lightly rub your hands with flavourless oil and roll teaspoons of the truffle mix between your palms – this can get messy! Gently roll the truffles in the bowl until evenly coated, then put in a box and chill. Store in the fridge in an airtight container for three days, or freeze for up to a month. Defrost in the fridge overnight.

 

Gingerbread
Iced gingerbread cookies are every child’s dream. There are so many shapes that you can make using the different biscuit cutters now available. To make them you can use any standard gingerbread recipe to create magical shapes using shape cutters such as:

Stars
Christmas trees
Angels
Snowmen
Reindeer

Be sure to spread the shapes out on your baking tray when you put them in the oven so that they have enough room to cook without touching each other. To get really fancy you can make a small hole towards the edge of each biscuit with a straw before cooling to make them into bunting. Once you have made a hole you can thread string or ribbon through them. Once they are cooled you can decorate them to create magical treats using icing, sweet, sprinkles and edible glitter.


Mince pies

You either love them or hate them, but Christmas wouldn’t be the same without a good mince pie. The mincemeat filling is widely available to purchase by the jar so it’s only the pastry that you need to worry about. Requirements are:

225g cold butter, cubed
350g plain flour
100g golden caster sugar
280 mincemeat
1 small egg
Icing sugar for dusting
Cake cutter
12-hole baking tray
Method:
Heat oven to gas 6/ 200c / 180c fan.
Rub the butter and flour together to make the pastry. Then mix in the caster sugar.
Combine the pastry into a ball, roll it out and then roughly cut circles of pastry for the top and bottom of the pies. Flatten the pastry slightly in your hands enough to fit your baking tin (these will make the pie bottoms).

Spoon the mincemeat into the pies, then top your pies with a pastry lid. Press the sides together so that your pies are sealed.

Next, beat the egg and brush over the top of the pies. Then bake for 20 minutes until golden.

Treats for pets

We can’t forget our pets this season, can we? There are many Christmas treats that can be bought that are perfectly safe, but be sure to check the packaging for the ingredients lists to check if it is suitable for your furry family member. You can buy pet biscuit tins or even get them their own advent calendars. If you want to make them treats yourself, be sure that it doesn’t contain anything harmful to them such as gravy, salt, or fats.

All recipes are taken from BBC Good Food.



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