Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Christmas Bakes | Biscuits, Last Minute Christmas Cake and Mince Pies

The run up to christmas is possibly my favourite thing about the festive season and one thing that I always love to do is bake so this year I thought I would share some quick and easy recipes that you could use on your own christmas day.
Shortbread Biscuits, Christmas Cake & Mince Pies
Festive Shortbread
Although shortbread isn't typically festive, I'm pretty sure cutting out little gingerbread men, stockings, stars and christmas trees is! These would be especially good to do with little children as the recipe is simple and the icing is very very fun even for the not so little ones... *cough* me 
You Will Need:
225g Plain Flour
75g Caster Sugar
150g Butter

To start off I creamed the butter and sugar together until it was a pale yellow nearly white colour before adding the flour.
I then mixed in the flour well and created a ball by gathering all the mixture together with my hands.
I then rolled out the biscuits on a floured surface before cutting the shapes with different cutters.
I then placed them on a greased and lined baking tray in an oven of 180 degrees celsius for 15 minutes.

Once cooled its time to ice I used melted white and milk chocolate and piped it onto the biscuits into any design I felt like on each biscuit but you could also use any coloured icing of your preference and maybe add some small sweets too however I just kept mine simple and I thought the end product looked quite good.

Christmas Cake 
I recently have become a huge fan of Christmas Cake however I can never be bothered to make a proper one as they seem incredibly complicated with having to use alcohol and 'feed' it over a long period of time however I really enjoy making this alternative.
You Will Need:
200g Self Raising Flour
Pinch of Salt
1tsp Cinammon
100g Butter
100g Caster Sugar
2 Eggs
2tbsp Milk
2oz Glaced Cherries
4oz Mixed Fruit 
Apricot jam
Royal Icing

I started off by creaming together the butter and sugar until pale. Then in a separate bowl sieved together the flour, salt and cinnamon.
I then beat in the egg and milk in the butter and sugar mixture before folding in the flour in parts.
Once this was folded together I added the cherries and fruit mixing until it is all combined.
I then poured this into a square cake tin and put it in an oven of 180 degrees celsius for 1 and a quarter hours.
Once the cake was cooled I rolled out the marzipan to put on the top. To make this stick to the cake I brushed the cake with a layer of apricot jam and then placed the marzipan on the top. The marzipan I used stated to wait 24hrs until i iced so depending on what you use this may or may not apply.
I then rolled out the icing and placed this on to the top of the cake after brushing the marzipan with boiling water to make it stick. 
I then trimmed the edges to make it neat and tidy before cutting into squares. Optionally you could then ice these pieces but I chose not too as icing isn't my particular strong point as shown by the biscuits aha!

Mince Pies
My favourite of the Christmas Treats I made, are Mince Pies, although I don't bother to make my own mince meat and just buy a big jar from Sainsbury's I really enjoying making the pastry and the end taste is delicious.
You will need:
8oz Flour
4oz Butter
8tbsp Water
1oz Sugar + some to sprinkle on top
Jar of Mincemeat

Firstly rub the butter into the flour, then add the sugar.
Next I added the water and combined with a knife then gathered it into a ball with my hands.
I then refrigerated this for about 15 minutes, as pastry is easier to work with cool.
I then rolled out the pastry onto a floured surface and started to cut out circles for the bottoms and stars for the tops.
I then pressed the circles into a muffin tin then filled with a teaspoon of mince meat before placing the star on the top and sprinkling with granulated sugar.
I then cooked these for 12-15 minutes at 200 degrees celsius.

I hope you try out some of these recipes and make sure to tweet or instagram me pictures if you do, or let me know if you have done any christmas recipes as I would love to try them out!