Thursday, 29 November 2012

hot chocolate

Peppermint Stick Hot Chocolate Recipes


  • 8 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
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  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped 
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  • 12 candy canes 
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  • 3/4 cup miniature marshmallows 
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  • Whole grated nutmeg (optional)


  1. Combine milk, brown sugar, cocoa, vanilla, nutmeg, and semisweet chocolate in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook 25 minutes or until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth, stirring occasionally. Serve with candy canes and marshmallows. Garnish with whole grated nutmeg, if desired.

Crispy Santa Hats

Santa Hats

What you'll need

  • 2 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Red colored sugar




How to make it

  1. Heat the oven to 200ยบ F. With an electric mixer, beat the egg whites until soft peaks start to form. Beating all the while, add the cream of tartar and vanilla extract, then slowly add the 1/2 cup of sugar. Continue to beat until the peaks stiffen.
  2. Spoon the meringue into a quart-size plastic bag. Snip off a corner and pipe 2 dozen 1 1/2-inch-tall Santa hat triangles onto a parchment-lined baking sheet (you should have about 1/4 of the meringue left).
  3. Sprinkle the triangles with the red sugar, then use the remaining meringue to give each one a pom-pom and trim. Bake the hats until they're hard but not browned, about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the hats in it for an hour to crisp before removing
 recipe sourced from

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Reindeer Cinnamon buns

What you need:
  • Dough
  • 1 1/2 Cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 Cup white flour
  • 2 1/2 Tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 Tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 Tsp. cinnamom (optional)
  • 1 Cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 Cup applesauce
  • 1 Tbsp. butter

  • 1 Tbsp. melted butter
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 Tsp. cinnamon
  • Stick Pretzels
  • Cranraisins
  • Red string licorice
  • Raisins
  • Green candies
  1. Mix dry ingredients for dough. Add yogurt and melted butter. Spoon dough onto a heavily-floured surface. Dough will be sticky, so add a little more flour to the top of the dough. Flour hands and knead dough until smooth. Add additional flour if necessary. Roll dough into a rectangular about 1/2 inch thick.
  2. For filling, spread melted butter on dough and sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar mixture. Starting from longer side, roll dough into coil and cut 2 inch pieces. Set rolls on end in a lightly greased muffin pan and bake at 425 for about 20 minutes. Let cool thoroughly before decorating.
  3. If a glaze is desired, mix 2 tablespoons water and 3/4 cup confectioners sugar. Drizzle on rolls while hot.

Friday, 16 November 2012

sugar & spice cookies

Christmas cookies


  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  • 30g (1oz) unsalted butter
  • 60g (2oz) light muscovado sugar
  • 250g (8oz) self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 2-4 tbsp juice
  • 60g (2oz) ground almonds
  • 1 large egg
To decorate:
  • 50g (5oz) icing sugar, sieved
  • Silver balls
  • Parchment paper and baking sheets
  • 5cm (2in) biscuit cutters
  • Small plain piping nozzle
  • Paper piping bag


  1. Put the honey, butter and sugar into a small pan and stir over a low heat until the butter is melted.
  2. Sieve the flour, ginger and cinnamon into a bowl. Add the lemon zest and ground almonds.
  3. Pour the egg, melted mixture and lemon juice into the dry ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together.
  4. Knead the mixture on a lightly floured surface for a couple of mins, then wrap in cling film and pop in the freezer for 30 mins to firm up.
  5. Set the oven to Gas Mark 4 or 180°C. Roll out the dough to a 5mm (¼in) thickness, on a parchment-lined surface, and stamp out the biscuit shapes. You should be able to get about 20. Push the tip of a tiny plain piping nozzle near the top edge of each biscuit, and lift out to make a hole.
  6. Put the biscuits on to parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake for 15-20 mins until pale golden. Cool on a wire rack.
  7. To decorate: Mix the icing sugar with 4 tsp hot water, to make a smooth icing. Spoon into a paper piping bag with the nozzle. Pipe icing on the biscuits and decorate with silver balls. Leave to set

star shaped christmas tree

Shortbread tree


  • 500g (1lb) plain flour
  • 300g (10oz) unsalted butter
  • 150g (5oz) caster sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2tbsp milk
  • Few drops of vanilla extract
  • Icing sugar, for dusting
For decoration:
  • 125g (4oz) royal icing sugar
  • 6 x star cookie cutters in various sizes, from 4.5cm to 13.5cm (1¾-5½in)
You'll also need:
  • Baking sheets, lined with non-stick liners or baking parchment


  1. Set the oven to 180°C or gas mark 4.
  2. Tip the flour into the bowl of a food processor, add the butter, sugar and salt, and whizz until the mixture forms fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg, milk and vanilla extract, and whizz the mixture until the ingredients bind together into a dough. Or rub the butter into the flour, add the other ingredients and work them until they bind together.
  3. Roll the dough out to about 5mm (¼in) and, for each tree, cut out two of each size of cutter, re-rolling dough as necessary. So, for two trees, cut out four of each size. Place cookies on the lined baking sheets and bake the cookies in the centre of the oven for 12-15 mins, or until they're a light golden colour.
  4. Remove cookies from oven and transfer to wire racks to cool. Dust cold cookies with icing sugar.
  5. To decorate the cookies, mix water into the royal icing sugar to give a spreadable consistency. To save making your own, ready-made royal icing can be used to stick the cookies together. Spread a little royal icing onto each cookie to stack them up. Stack two of each size, alternating the points, and sticking the top star on vertically. Leave a while for the royal icing to set before placing the cookie trees on plates and wrapping them in cellophane. The cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week (not suitable for freezing).

Monday, 12 November 2012

Easy Christmas jellies recipe


  • 8 small glasses or plastic cups
  • 1 packet of raspberry jelly
  • 1 packet of passionfruit jelly
  • 1 packet of lime jelly
  • Fresh berries or Christmas lollies to decorate


Prepare red jelly and pour 1/4 cup into each cup, refrigerate until set (will take about 4-6 hours).
Prepare yellow jelly, allow to cool and pour 1/4 cup gently on top of red jelly, return to fridge until set.
Prepare green jelly, allow to cool and pour 1/4 cup gently on top of yellow jelly, return to fridge until set. Just before serving, decorate with berries or lollies.