Christmas is a time for giving but Christmas is also a time for eating! It’s tradition to surround yourself with good food and drink at Christmas and one of my favourite Christmas Eve activities is to indulge in a little baking ready to serve on the big day. On no other day of the year is it acceptable to eat as much food as we do on Christmas Day, so why not make the most of it and treat yourself to some of Sykes Cottages’ favourite Christmas Baking recipes.
Traditional Mince Pies
Ingredients (makes 18 pies):
- 225g butter
- 100g golden caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 350g plain flour
- 280g mincemeat
- Small amount of icing sugar to sprinkle on top
- To make the pastry, rub the butter (which should be cold and diced) into the plain flour, then mix in the caster sugar and a pinch of salt. Roll the pastry into a ball and knead briefly. You can use this straight away or leave it to chill and use later.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/gas6/fan 180C. Line 18 patty tin holes with walnut sized balls of pastry then spoon mincemeat into each.
- Using slightly smaller balls of pastry than before create the lids by flattening the dough into a round shape big enough to cover the pies. Cover the bottom of the pie with the dough lids, pressing the edges of the lid and the pie together.
- Beat the egg then brush onto the lids of the pies. Put in the oven for 20 minutes until golden. Leave to cool for 5 minutes before dusting on the icing sugar and serving when ready.
Hot Chocolate Stirrers
Ingredients (can make as little or as many as you need):
- Candy canes
- White chocolate
- Melt the white chocolate in the microwave or over a pan of boiling water.
- Pierce the middle of the marshmallows to make a hole for the candy canes.
- Dip the bottom marshmallows into the melted chocolate and then dip into the sprinkles.
- Once the chocolate has set, slide the candy canes through the marshmallows. Use one or two marshmallows per candy cane.
- Serve hanging from a mug of warm hot chocolate. To enjoy, stir into the hot chocolate for a delicious, minty, marshmallow taste.
Stained Glass Window Biscuits
Ingredients (makes 25 biscuits):
- 350g plain flour
- 100g butter
- 175g brown sugar
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. bicarbonate of sofa
- 2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 egg, beaten
- 4 tbsp. golden syrup
- Fruit flavoured boiled sweets in different colours
- Preheat your oven to 180C/gas 4.
- In a bowl, mix the plain flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and ginger together. Then rub the butter in until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Next, stir in the sugar.
- In a different bowl, beat together the golden syrup and egg. Pour this into the flour mixture and knead to make a smooth dough.
- Crush the boiled sweets whilst still in the wrappers. This is best done using a rolling pin.
- Roll out the dough onto a flat, floured work surface so it is around 0.5cm thick. Cut into shapes using cookie cutters then transfer to the baking sheets lined with baking paper.
- Cut out shapes in the centre of each biscuit and fill the hole with the crushed boiled sweets. Make sure to leave a thick enough edge around the sides of the biscuit.
- Bake the biscuits for 10-12 minutes or until golden. Take out and leave to cool. Do not remove the biscuits from the baking sheet until the boiled sweets have completely cooled and set.
- Your biscuits are now ready to serve!
Here at Sykes Cottages, we hope you enjoy making and eating these delicious festive treats. If you’re looking for a last minute getaway this Christmas, we still have some holiday cottages available over the festive period. Our dedicated holiday advisors are on hand to help from 9.00am to 9.30pm 7 days a week. Give them a call on 01244 356 695 and they’ll be happy to help!