Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Gingerbread Cookies

Deciding which treat to leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve was always a big deal in our house. My brothers insisted on a can of Guinness whereas l loved to pick the special sweet treat. We went from mince pies to Lemon drizzle cake but my favourite has to be gingerbread cookies. If you happen to have a little time on your hands this year, why not try these super easy gingerbread stars. They're delicious dipped into a mug of hot chocolate or dunked into a glass of ice cold milk. 


100g Light Muscavado sugar 
125g Butter (softened)
1 Egg yolk 
125ml Golden Syrup
1.5 tbsp Ground ginger 
1 tsp Mixed Spice 
1 tsp Baking powder 
375g Plain flour 


1) Preheat your oven to 180C/350F/ Gas 4 and line your flat baking tray with greaseproof paper.

2) Cream the butter and sugar together in the electric mixer. Once pale in colour, add the egg yolk and golden syrup and beat again. 

3) Sieve the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger into a separate bowl and combine. Add this to the wet mixture and beat again. 

4) Empty the moisture onto a lightly floured worktop and knead the dough until combined (add more flour if needs be). Roll the dough out and using cookie cutters of your choice, cut the dough and bake for approximately 10 mins until golden brown in colour. 

5) Allow the cookies to cool while you prepare the icing by combining ten tbsp of icing sugar with three tbsp of water. Pipe the icing onto the cool cookies on a pattern of your choice. To colour the icing, add a few drops of food colouring to the mix. 

Friday, 12 December 2014

Spiced Christmas Hot Chocolate

I love nothing more than curling up in front of the fire with a great big mug of hot chocolate at Christmas time. To make my hot chocolate that little bit extra special, I add a few surprises to give it a delicious festive kick. Go on, throw on that onesie and pick your favourite festive flick.

- Image via Tumblr -

For four large mugs you will need...

3 mugs of milk 
1 cup of whipping cream
6 tbsp Cadbury's drinking chocolate 
50g dark chocolate 
Half tsp nutmeg 
Half tsp of hot chilli powder 
1 cinnamon stick 
Large Marshmallows (to serve) 

To make the hot chocolate...

In a saucepan heat your milk, cream and cinnamon stick. Add the drinking chocolate and dark chocolate and stir until combined. Once at the desired temperature, add the nutmeg and chilli powder. Remove the cinnamon stick and serve with heaps of large marshmallows (not the crappy small kind!). 

Monday, 8 December 2014

Mince Meat

Seens as December is upon us, I thought I'd make the mince meat for my Christmas Eve batch of mince pies. It's good to make your mince meat early to allow it to rest for a few weeks, but, if you run out of time in the lead up to Christmas - don't panic - leave it to sit for a couple of hours and it'll still taste delicious. Making it early did give me an excuse to indulge in that festive buzz without feeling too guilty about it so go on whip out your wooden spoon! 

I love my mince meat to be nutty, full of fruit and to have a real boozy kick so I have carefully chosen the following set of ingredients... 

250g Flaked Almonds
300g Raisins
400g Sultanas 
250g Currants
2 large cooking apples (grated)
Zest of one orange 
Zest of half a lemon 
Juice of half an orange 
1 250g box of shredded beef suet 
200g Dark Muscovado Sugar 
150g Demerara sugar 
1 tsp mixed spice 
1 tsp cinnamon 
200ml Brandy  
100ml Cointreau 

You can substitute and other flavoured liquore for Cointreau - disaronno works well, or, you can simply add a further 100ml of brandy. 

To make the mince meat, simply empty all of your ingredients into a large bowl and mix. Leave the bowl sitting for approx six hours - giving it a little stir each time you pass by. After the six hours have passed, fill your sterilised or dishwashed jars with the mix. 

The meat will last for upto six months at it's best.