Throughout the festive period you will find tasty goodies everywhere you look, but if you can’t indulge over the holidays then when can you? Here at Sykes Cottages, we have an extremely sweet tooth so the holidays are the perfect time to satisfy our cravings for baked goods. If like us you like to treat yourself over the holidays then keep reading as we share our favourite Christmas baking recipes.
I make a lot of biscuits for the team here at Sykes and judging on how fast they disappear they must be pretty good! I’ve included my own recipe for butter biscuits below which makes 25 biscuits and takes around 50 minutes from start to finish.
- 250g butter (softened)
- 300g plain flour
- 140g caster sugar
- 3tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg yolk
- Cream together the butter and caster sugar in a large bowl using a wooden spoon.
- Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract before beating the mixture together.
- Sift in the flour and stir until the mixture is combined – if you are struggling to do this with the spoon get your hands in and press everything together.
- Wrap the dough in cling film and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes, this will make it easier to work with.
- Take the dough out of the fridge and place it on a floured surface and pre-heat your oven to 180c.
- Roll the dough out to around 5mm thick before cutting out shapes using festive cookie cutters.
- Place your biscuits on to backing paper on top of an oven try and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden.
- Remove the biscuits from the oven and leave to firm up for 2-3 minutes before placing on a cooling rack. Wait until the biscuits are cool before decorating.
Mince pies are a true Christmas classic and much easier to make then you would first think. The recipe we have suggested below is from the master baker himself Paul Hollywood, will make 16 mince pies and takes around an hour to complete.
For the filling;
- 600g mincemeat
- 1 apple (finely chopped)
- 2 satsumas (segmented)
- Zest 1 lemon
- Icing sugar for dusting
For the pastry:
- 125g caster sugar (plus extra for sprinkling)
- 260g unsalted butter (softened)
- 375g plain flour
- 1 large egg
- 1 beaten egg (for glazing)
- Rub the flour and butter together until it looks like crumbs then add the sugar and egg before mixing everything together.
- Tip the pastry mixture out onto a lightly floured service and fold until the mixture comes together – be careful not to over fold the pastry mixture. Wrap the mixture in cling film and chill for 10 minutes.
- Put your mincemeat into a bowl and add the satsumas, apple and lemon zest. Pre-heat the oven to 220c.
- Take out the pastry mix and roll out until 3mm thick. Using a 10cm round cutter cut out 16 bases and fit them into a muffin try. Fill each pastry with around 2 tbsp of mincemeat mixture and brush the edge of each pie with a little beaten egg.
- Re-roll the pasty this time cutting 16, 7cm lids and place them on top of the mince pies applying slight pressure to seal around the edges. Glaze the lids with the rest of the egg then sprinkle over a little caster sugar before making a small cut in the top and place them in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven when golden brown and leave to cool. Once cooled take them out of the muffin tray and add a dusting of icing sugar before serving.
Who doesn’t love a chocolate cake, especially one with a creamy filling and a chocolate topping? Mary Berry certainly isn’t shy of chocolate and that’s why her yule log is the perfect centrepiece to any Christmas buffet. The following recipe from the Queen of baking takes around an hour to make and will serve up to ten people.
For the chocolate sponge
- 100g caster sugar
- 65g self-raising flour
- 40g cocoa powder
- 4 large eggs
For the cream filling
- 300ml double cream (whipped)
For the chocolate ganache topping
- 300g dark chocolate (broken into small pieces)
- 300ml double cream
- Icing sugar for dusting
- Pre-heat your oven to 200c and lightly grease a Swiss tool tin then line with non-stick paper or baking parchment making sure to push it in at the corners.
- In a large bowl whisk together the eggs and sugar until the mixture turns pale. Sift in the cocoa powder and flour then carefully fold together the mixture using a spatula until all the cocoa powder and flour are incorporated into the mixture – careful not to beat any of the air out!
- Pour the mixture into the Swiss roll tin making sure to evenly cover the surface and corners. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until well risen and firm to the touch (the sides should be shrinking away from the edge of the tin.
- On your work surface place a large sheet of backing parchment (bigger than the Swiss roll tin) dust this with icing sugar before carefully tipping out the Swiss roll and removing the bottom piece of paper.
- Cut a score mark 1in in along one of the longer edges and begin to tightly roll up the sponge using the paper. Keep the paper inside and sit the Swiss roll on top of its outside edge to fully cool.
- Whilst the Swiss roll is cooling you can make your ganache topping. Heat the cream in a pan (it shouldn’t be too hot that you can’t place your figure in it). Remove from the heat and add the dark chocolate, stirring the mixture until it has dissolved. Cool until it reaches room temperature and then place in the fridge to firm up – remember you’re icing the ganache onto the Swiss roll so it needs to be thick enough to pipe.
- Once the Swiss roll has cooled uncurl it and remove the paper. Evenly spread the whipped cream on top then re-roll tightly.
- When the ganache has firmed up put it into a piping bag which has been fitted with a star nozzle. Pipe long thick lines across the cake covering it completely. Cover the ends with chocolate ganache before dusting the icing sugar over the top and serving.
And there you have it our three favourite recipes for Christmas baking. If this post has left you feeling inspired to try out these seasonal recipes then please share your tasty results with us on Facebook and Twitter.