Recipe round up: 10 Christmas desserts and snacks

Christmas dessert ideas

 

Just five more sleeps until Christmas Day foodies! Are you excited? For this, my last post of the year I have rounded up ten of my favourite Christmas desserts and snacks for you to make and enjoy these holidays. There is even something for the kiddies and some no-bake options if you aren’t in the mood to fire up your oven.

I will be taking a short break to spend some time with the fam but will be back in January with some brand new recipes… ooh, it’s going to be good! In the meantime I wish you a very happy and peaceful festive season and thank you for reading this year! Eat good food, have fun and stay safe! x

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Spiced walnut palmiers (with video)

Walnut palmier cookies

I put this recipe together for the Expresso Show as part of their frugal feasting feature last month. Puff pastry was our star ingredient and we made mini chocolate and almond croissants, tomato and chevin tarts (look out for the recipe next week) and these spiced walnut palmiers. They look like a bit of a fiddle but it is actually easy to make palmiers from scratch, and they are oh so moreish!

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Honey oat crunchies (gluten free)

Gluten free crunchies.

Last week I attended a fabulous event in Joburg with the lovely folks from Sasko. The Sasko Chefs Kitchen took place at the stunning Pick ‘n Pay Good Food Studio in Sandton, and on a rainy Thursday morning the foodies gathered to cook up a Sasko feast.

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Lemon Easter Cookies

Today’s post is a bit of holiday fun for the kiddies, and given world events over the past two weeks and particularly here in S.A. I think us adults could do with a bit of fun too! In all seriousness though, this is an exceptionally tasty cookie, with or without all the icing and trimmings, and you should definitely give this recipe a try these Easter holidays! 

Lemon sugar cookies that hold their shape.

Cookie decorating for kids.


My children had such fun cutting out and decorating these Easter cookies (as did I!). We used an oval cutter to make Easter egg shapes as well as a bunny cutter, but you could use circles or whatever shapes you have on hand. This dough holds its shape well during baking, just be sure not to skip the step where you chill it in the fridge.


Sugar cookies for kids.


When it comes to decorating the cookies the options are really quite endless. You can keep things super simple by serving the cookies just as they are or with a dusting of icing sugar, or go all out with icing, sprinkles and speckled eggs. You can see from my photos which option my little ones preferred! Here are a few ideas:
  • Dust the cookies with icing sugar just before serving.
  • Pipe royal icing around the edges and fill the middle with glacé icing.
  • Spoon a “puddle” of glacé icing into the middle of the cookie and top with speckled eggs.
  • Add 100’s and 1000’s, chocolate vermicelli or rainbow funfetti to the cookies while the icing is wet so that the sprinkles stick.
  • Flavour the glacé icing with lemon juice before drizzling over the cookies. 
  • Sandwich the cookies together with buttercream icing. There is a great recipe HERE


Bunny and Easter cookies.

Cook’s notes – keep an eye on the cookies when they are in the oven and adjust the baking time if necessary (i.e. small cookies will bake more quickly than very large ones). If you don’t have a piping bag for the royal icing simply use a small plastic sandwich bag with the corner snipped off.

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LEMON EASTER COOKIES


Makes 28 (depending on cutter size)

Easter egg and bunny cookies for kids.

100g butter
100g castor sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2½ tsp finely grated lemon zest
200g cake flour
½ tsp baking powder
cookie cutters 

To make royal icing:
1 large egg white, room temperature
1 cup icing sugar 
gel food colouring

To make glacé icing:
1 cup icing sugar
water
gel food colouring

To decorate:
assorted sprinkles, speckled eggs, chocolate chips, etc. 


Step 1.) Cream the butter and castor sugar together until combined and fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla extract and lemon zest and mix in.

Step 2.) Add the flour and baking powder and mix. Use your hands to bring everything together into a dough. Shape the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Step 3.) Preheat your oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Roll the dough out to a thickness of 3-4mm on a lightly floured surface. Cut out your shapes and arrange them on the tray. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes or until golden around the edges. Transfer to a cooling rack.

Step 4.) To make royal icing: whisk the egg white for a few seconds until foamy. Sift in half of the icing sugar and use an electric beater to mix until combined. Sift in the remaining icing sugar. Beat the mixture for 3-4 minutes until thick and glossy. Add a drop of two of gel food colouring, mix and spoon into a piping bag.

Step 5.) To make glacé icing: sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Add a small amount of water and mix. Continue to add a little bit of water at a time until you have a thick icing. It should be runny enough to spread but thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Add a drop or two of gel food colouring and mix well.

Step 6.) Once the biscuits are completely cool decorate with the icings and sprinkles. Allow to dry before serving. 





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Competition Time!

Delicious baked treats


Those of you who follow me on Instagram will have seen me raving about my latest favourite account – @josieluvslocal. Her passion for local products is inspiring! Jo and I are both crazy about Cape Town and supporting our local producers and have decided to team up for a fun (and delicious) giveaway for our Capetonian followers! 

One lucky follower will be spoiled with their choice of treats from CupcakesandCouscous.com, yum! Keep an eye on the @josieluvslocal Instagram account where every day this week she will be posting another delicious treat. Give us a follow, tag your friends and you could be our winner. Too easy y’all. 

So remember, local is lekker… and good luck! 


The T’s and C’s: 

  • Competition starts Monday 27 March and closes midnight on Friday 31 March. 
  • Entrants must be Cape Town residents (our treats probably won’t fare well in the post!). 
  • Prize will be hand delivered to the winner on an agreed date. 
  • The winner may choose one treat from the nine that are featured on Instagram during the course of the competition. 
  • The winner will be chosen at random and announced on Saturday 1 April.
Tasty tea time treats

Orange and apricot jam squares

Orange and apricot jam squares.

Ever had one of those weeks when you feel as though you are having to put up with a lot of nonsense? Well, I feel as though I am there at the moment, and to combat that I am sharing my recipe for good old fashioned no nonsense jam squares. A classic but a goodie. Enough said.

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Recipe round up: 10 fabulous edible Christmas gift ideas

 Edible gift ideas for Christmas.

 

Happy Friday! Christmas is just around the corner (eek!) and if the thought of hitting the shopping malls this weekend fills you with dread then this post is just for you.

Personally, I love getting edible foodie gifts. But more than that, I love making and giving foodie gifts. Who doesn’t enjoy receiving a parcel of delicious goodies that have been beautifully packaged and made with love? So today I have rounded up some of my most popular gifting recipes that I am sure you and your specials will love too. And without further ado, here they are:

 

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Christmas biscuit tree

Spiced Christmas reindeer and star cookies.

This week the nostalgic mood continues with another family inspired recipe. When it comes to food there is no question that baking is my first love, and when I think back to my earliest baking memories I am always reminded of childhood Christmases. The much anticipated, long December school holidays that felt like they went on forever were the perfect time for sun drenched afternoons in the pool and fun with friends, but a real highlight for me would be the Christmas baking. Each year I looked forward to making mince pies, biscuits and the decorating of the Christmas cake which my mum would have baked a few weeks earlier using my grandmother’s recipe. (And still does!)

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