Christmas cooking

Quick & easy class party treats

Wouldn’t it be lovely to put together an amazing platter of Christmas treats or a beautifully decorated gingerbread sleigh (or a chocolate igloo, lol!) for each Christmas function you attend?

Back in the real world, I just don’t have the time for that yet we needed something else for my daughter’s class party ‘bring a plate’. So we made some Christmassy – perhaps not as polished but a treat nonetheless, my daughter had a lovely time making them, and we got to do something together so probably a better plate anyway.

And these biscuits are also a great Christmas Eve activity to keep excited children busy and then leave out for Santa’s snack.

Ingredients for 30 biscuits

Packet of Marie (or similar) biscuits
icing (we used some from a tub but you can make your own!)
100s and 1000s plus whatever Christmassy decorations you have in the pantry
coloured writing icing gel

Method

Lay out the biscuits upside on a tray or platter

tray f plain biscuits laid out for icing

Spread icing across each biscuit. You could make the icing red or green, but we stayed with white.

young girl icing biscuits with a spoon

Add decorations to each biscuit and add some details to each decorated biscuit with the writing gel.

child's hand adding icing to decorate biscuits

Take the platter to your party and enjoy!

platter of decorated Christmas biscuits for a class party

Edible Christmas treats and gifts

Today, we have a guest post from Kerrie of Print, decorate & eat, maker of delicious and beautiful cakes (I know, I have tasted a few of them!)

Making edible Christmas treats

Kerrie King, Print, decorate & eat

The weeks leading into Christmas can be stressful with so many parties to plan for, food to prepare and gifts to purchase.

I like to give Christmas edible gifts wherever I can, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be time consuming or involve weeks of preparation or be expensive either.

If your child likes cupcakes, and let’s face it what child doesn’t like cake, and would like nothing more than to take Christmas cupcakes to the class party, there are a number of ways you can “cheat”.  It is perfectly OK to buy cupcakes from your local shop, but you could also have some fun with your kids baking your own cupcakes (from a packet is fine if you prefer or are really tight for time) and buy some Christmas toppers from the supermarket or cake decorating store (including online ones), to take them to the next level.  You’ll have fun, spend quality time with your kids, and have some lovely personalised cupcakes for the class party, Christmas picnic or family get together.

numerous cupcakes topped with a red or green Christmas topper

Another way to give beautifully wrapped edible Christmas gifts is to buy a few packets of fancy biscuits, fudge or even chocolates from your local supermarket, Aldi or Reject Shop and repackage them into Christmas boxes you can buy at the $2 shop along with some matching tissues paper, and you’ll have beautiful Christmas gifts with a personal touch.

If you are a baker, like me as I enjoy whipping up a large batch of gingerbread men, trees or stars, you can bake then package them up in Christmas boxes from the $2 shop along with a personalised card.  This is also a lovely way to say thank you to Teachers , volunteers, friends, the cleaner and perhaps even your neighbours.

So get baking, have fun, eat cake, say thanks and have a lovely Christmas!

A chocolate Christmas igloo!

What on Earth is a chocolate igloo, let alone a Christmas chocolate igloo, you may well ask!

Obviously, it is an igloo made out of chocolate, and decorated for Christmas!

two views of a chocolate igloo

Making an igloo from chocolate…

So a friend came across a Cadbury competition where you needed to create a Christmas house from chocolate. As lovers of both Christmas and chocolate, we couldn’t resist and set a time to create our chocolate house.

As we sat there with our mounds of chocolate (four 350g blocks and a 250g block of chocolate, plus some white chocolate melts and lollies), we had the idea of making an igloo from individual pieces of chocolate instead of just sticking together big blocks. Let’s face it, Santa lives at the North Pole so a Christmas igloo seems reasonable – and slabs of gingerbread to make a house is one thing, but a gingerbread igloo wasn’t going to happen!

Of course, making an igloo took more than the 40 minutes estimated for a Cadbury Christmas house!

We broke blocks of chocolate into pieces then formed the igloo using more chocolate as the mortar. It was our first time building an igloo so we made the first rows a bit too upright (ie we should have started the inwards slant sooner) but it worked out in the end.

We went with a flat roof as we weren’t sure we had enough chocolate left nor confident of our engineering skills to get it to curve the whole way in 🙂 But the flat rood made adding a chimney easier!

Adding decorations was easier – melted white chocolate for snow, cut up snakes to make a wreath, sour straps to make garlands of tinsel, cut up jelly lollies to make lights and some milk bottles to be the penguins at the door. And we mustn’t forget Freddo was inside the chocolate igloo (who else could live inside a chocolate building?)

Why a frog in an igloo?

Ok, there aren’t a lot of frogs roaming around the North Pole waiting for Santa to drop in, but Freddo is made of chocolate and seemed the right resident for the house!

Freddo Frog sindie a chocolate igloo decorated for Christmas

Seeing Freddo inside the igloo, my eight year old decided there was a story behind the frog. She wrote a lovely story about a little frog who ended up at the North Pole and built himself an igloo to live in.

It was also my daughter who thought of the penguins – I was thinking of milk bottles at the front door to suit the old milk deliveries but she saw them as penguins which was a much better idea! A little black icing to make eyes, and Freddo had some company!

Alternative Christmas houses

So, that is our Christmas chocolate igloo – what do you think? It won;t win any architect awards, but I think it is fun and a very good first igloo building attempt! Maybe you can try making a chocolate Christmas igloo – if you do, we’d love to see photos!

What other alternative Christmas houses have you seen or created?

chocolate igloo in a snow storm!

Freddo stuck in his chocolate Christmas igloo in a snow storm!

A cheese Christmas wreath

So we went to a Christmas in July dinner last week and I wanted to take something special to add to the Christmas spirit. I think I ended up with a Christmas look and, as everyone kept coming back for more, a yummy treat all in one.

Baked cheese Christmas wreath on a wooden board

Making the cheese Christmas Wreath

 

In the simplest of terms, I prepared a baked cheese and surrounded it with green and some red ‘decorations’.

Ingredients

325 g ricotta cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped grilled red capsicum

decent handful of rocket leaves
bunch of basil
cherry tomatoes (or use stuffed bell capsicums)
couple of pieces of grilled capsicum, sliced into strips
some roughly chopped parsley leaves as a garnish

Method

The baked cheese is very easy and based on a recipe from Taste – I just adjusted it by using herbs we had growing at home and added the capsicum to give it more Christmas colour! Basically, you just mix the ingredients and bake it in a cake tin.

Baked cheese wreath before cooking

After 25 minutes baking, I turned the cheese onto the serving board facing up (ie don’t just turn the tin upside onto the serving dish! Facing up has a bit of colour showing and keeps a better shape as the top is firmer than the bottom of the cheese.) I decided to have a rustic look so used a wooden chopping board underneath the wreath.

Once it had cooled a little, I surrounded it with rocket and basil leaves.

I then added some Christmas baubles (being cherry tomatoes and stuffed baby capsicums).

baked cheese surrounded by green leaves to form a Christmas wreath

For fun, I draped capsicum strips over the baked cheese and greenery as ribbons of tinsel and then scattered chopped parsley leaves over it all for flavour and to break up the red decorations a little.

Baked cheese Christmas wreath on a wooden board

I was really pleased  with my Christmas cheese wreath – it looked festive and tasted delicious!

Do you think this would be a good snack to leave out for Santa (well maybe leave in the fridge for him to get if it’s a hot  night!)?

 

A gingerbread sleigh and reindeer

Happy Gingerbread House Day!

To celebrate Gingerbread House day (yes, there really is a day celebrating gingerbread!), ChristmasJen and I made some gingerbread to give Santa a sleigh.

A gingerbread sleigh shown from different angles

We used a gingerbread recipe known to work well and a cutter set that I had grabbed from an op shop.

Cutter set

Using the cutters, we cut out two sleigh sides, two sleigh ends and four reindeer. My tip if you create a gingerbread sleigh – cut half the reindeer with the cutter upside down so some will face the other way for decorating.

gingerbread pieces and an empty piping bag

Baked gingerbread pieces

The set made this all very easy, but you could cut out cardboard templates instead – the ends are just squares and the sides were about 3 times longer with curved sections to look like a sleigh. Any other animal cutters may work if you don’t feel able to draw some reindeer templates!

Creating the sleigh

So you will need gingerbread and icing, plus a board to sit your sleigh on.

  • two sleigh sides
  • two sleigh ends
  • reindeer (as many as you want – I got four out of the recipe above)
  • egg whites
  • icing sugar

To make the icing, start by beating two egg whites until they are white and form stiff peaks.

Stiff peaks in the egg whites are important

Then add icing sugar, about half a cup at a time, to make a really thick icing. I used 3.5 cups in total, and probably could have used more. Remember that thinner (ie runnier) icing takes longer to set so you will end up holding pieces together for a while.

Spoon standing in icing to show how stiff the mixture is

Stiff enough to hold up a spoon!

Lay out your gingerbread pieces and pipe some icing to stick them together as a sleigh.

Sticking pieces of gingerbread together to form Santa's sleigh

Let the construction begin!

Decorating the sleigh

The reindeer were easier to decorate lying down, but the sleigh can be decorated once it is put together – especially if you want to decorate the back of the sleigh.

Some lollies ready to use in decorating the gingerbread

Some of the lollies used on our gingerbread sleigh

My son had a wonderful time using the remaining icing to stick on Smarties, candy canes and lolly cupcakes.

CHild's hand attaching lollies to a gingerbread sleigh

He was generous with the icing as he attached lollies!

To finish off our sleigh, we added a marshmallow Santa on top.

 

Decorating the reindeer was quick and simple – and we added a glacé cherry to one to be Rudolph!

Decorating gingerbread reindeer

They gained personality as added decorations!

Then we ran long streams of snow (also known as icing!) out in front of the sleigh and stood the decorated reindeer in the snow. This is where stiffer icing would have helped as I need supports for the reindeer for a little while as the icing fully set.

We used some sour pencils to form the reins between the sleigh and reindeer, and we were done!

Santa's gingerbread sleigh

Santa’s gingerbread sleigh

It was a lot of fun to make Santa’s sleigh. And the reaction at a local Christmas party when I presented the sleigh was priceless! There were compliments from adults, but more striking was the amazement and wonder on lots of little faces – I do love delighting young children! It didn’t take long for there to just be an empty board with bits of discarded icing…

Making a Christmas Gingerbread house

Yes, it is July but why should that stop us making a gingerbread house?

Our completed Gingerbread House!

I actually have had this kit for a while as we just didn’t get time to try it before Christmas and it seemed like a good way to spend a cold Sunday afternoon with my children. I have to say that the icing was a little stiff and difficult to manipulate but I am assuming it is because the kit was sitting around for so long.

Although there has been some debate about whether the house can be eaten now or if it must wait until Christmas Day… Do you have a tradition about when to eat gingerbread houses?

Gingerbread house kit

I know you can make a house from scratch, and there are dough cutter sets in appropriate shapes, but we used a kit this time to keep it fun and simple – and to learn some techniques!

This kit had everything we needed except for a tray to work on and scissors to cut the bags open, so it is definitely quick and easy to get going on the house.

Inside and outside of the gingerbread house kit

The gingerbread house kit we used.

Decorating the house

Most of the decorating happens before putting the actual house together. This is much easier as the pieces can lie flat on a tray or board as you work – and are much easier for little fingers to access.

In some instances, the kids tried to mimic the instructions exactly, and then other bits they were more creative over (like adding a back door on a side panel).

COllage of images where children's hands are putting icing onto the gingerbread pieces

The kids loved decorating the house…

Constructing the gingerbread house

I did most of the work constructing the house as it takes a little coordination and patience to hold the pieces in place as the icing dries enough to hold them together. Having said that, only adding the roof was particularly tricky and it didn’t take very long to constructs our Christmas Gingerbread House 🙂

Collage os photos showing stages of the gingerbread house being put together

Constructing the house didn’t take long…

Once the house was standing, some additional lollies and candy canes were arranged as well.

The results…

We ended up with a cute Christmas house which the kids were very proud of. They also enjoyed the consumption of the house over time, too!

In the packet, the amount of icing and lollies provided looked pretty good. But I think there were too many lollies for the size of the house in the end. Once the candy canes and other large lollies were added, it seemed a bit overdone to my eye.

back wall of the decorated gingerbread house

The back wall was decorated simply.

Other gingerbread house ideas

If you like the look of a gingerbread house or want to make one without feeling you have to eat them all, here are some other gingerbread house ideas to try:

images of the completed Christmas gingerbread house

BHG Christmas edition review

Better Homes & Garden Christmas magzineSo the latest edition of Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) magazine is out and it is based around Christmas and includes a Christmas cookbook attachment. I grabbed the magazine for inspiration (and witches fingers – see below) and thought I’d share my thoughts on the magazine as I did last year.

BHG “Hello Christmas” December 2016

It does feel a little ridiculous calling it a December edition when I bought it in October, but that is fairly common practice these days… Ironically, the editor writes as if the magazine isn’t published in October (she refers to some people starting Christmas preparations in October as if that was a while ago!) And yet the Priceline advertising feature (6 pages at one end of the magazine) talks about October being Breast Cancer Awareness month

The magazine includes some delicious recipes such as a chocolate orange fruitcake, prawns with hazelnut mayo and seared eye fillet with gado gado-style salad – I’m looking forward to trying some out 🙂

I really like that it includes some Christmas crafts and ideas that are not budget busting, like making coloured linens instead of paying a fortune for pre-made tablecloths and napkins.

On the other hand I just rolled my eyes at the December events calendar – all very interesting if you are in NSW or Queensland but not inclusive for the rest of Australia. Actually, there is a listing for Christmas Melodies in Melbourne (never heard of it before!) but ignoring Carols by Candlelight at the Myer Music Bowl  and other states is a bit nauseating.

If you are looking for recipes and craft ideas for Christmas, then this magazine will help you – and also give you some gardening and decorating information.

BHG “Your amazing Christmas cookbook” 2016

This 36 page cookbook has both recipes and tips for cooking meat beautifully for your Christmas events.

It starts with recipes for chicken, ham and pork (complete with crackling!) then moves onto side dishes such as whole roast cauliflower cheese and roast beetroot with figs, goat’s cheese and thyme. Of course, it finishes off with a Christmas pudding and brandy custard, and some pav stacks.

I haven’t tried the recipes yet, but they are written in clear steps with pictures so I think they will work fairly easily.Better Homes & Garden Cookbook

Witches fingers

witch finger shaped healthy biscuits

Biscuits that look like witches fingers suit Halloween more than Christmas!

Ok, this is definitely a Halloween recipe rather than Christmas but I had the magazine in time for Halloween and my kids had seen these made on the TV show and were keen to try them at home!

It is a simple recipe in that you throw everything in together and mix, but I found it more challenging and it took a lot longer than 10 minutes to prepare them! The mixture is quite thick and sticky while also needing to break up the nuts and fruit. I didn’t use a food processor but tried a vitamiser and hand processor – it was hard work! I’d suggest reducing the size of the nuts before adding everything else.

Santa shaped biscuits

Colour used as eyes and mouth instead of witches nails!

I couldn’t resist trying them in Christmas shapes, and will play with this recipe a bit as I can’t send these to school as they are (no nut policy) – so watch out for a Christmassy adaptation of Fast Ed’s witches fingers!

Christmas trolls ~ recipe

This is based on a recipe I used for my daughter’s Frozen party last year. We thought it would be fun to create some red and green trolls to help us have a delicious Christmas, and it was worth the experiment as they tasted yummy!Christmas trolls on a plate

 

Christmas trolls

Ingredients:

ingredients for Christmas trolls400g chocolate chip biscuits (about 2 packets)
250 g cream cheese, softened
3 Tablespoons dried cranberries
200g white chocolate (a bit more would be easier but 1 packet will just make it!)
red jelly crystals (most actually look pink or purple)
green jelly crystals (we used lime)

Method:

Crush the biscuits into crumbs (use a rolling pin to smash them or a blender – I used my red hand blender from Tupperware).

Add in the cream cheese, cranberries and 1 tablespoon of green jelly crystals, and mix until they are all blended together.mixing ingredients for Christmas trolls

Form the mixture into balls. Ideally, put them in the fridge for a little while as it makes them easier to work with if chilled.Rolling dough balls ot make Christmas trolls

Melt the white chocolate in a small bowl.

Roll each ball into the melted chocolate until it is covered.

transferring balls from chocolate to jelly

using a spoon to transfer the troll balls from the melted chocolate to the jelly plate.

little figners coated in melted chocolate

Rolling balls in chocolate can lead to messy little fingers!

Roll the ball in jelly crystals – you can make some balls red and some green, or use both colours on each ball. This is the messy bit, especially if little hands get involved 🙂

chocolate coated troll sitting on jelly crystals

Pop each ball on the jelly crystals then roll to coat – it doesn’t look this neat for long!

Pop them on a plate and the leave the plate in the fridge for half an hour or so to set.

Four chocolate Christmas trolls on a plate

Four chocolate Christmas trolls on a plate

Gently break off any dripped chocolate to make the tolls look nicer. remember to store these in the fridge (if they last that long!)

Alternatives:

To add more Christmas colour to the balls while eating them, you could also mix in some cut up green lollies (spearmint leaves would give a minty taste, while jelly babies or snakes would add sweetness and texture).

Instead of rolling the balls in jelly crystals (which give colour and glisten), you could try

  • adding food colours to the melted chocolate (use cake decorating quality dyes or it will set the chocolate)
  • using red and green sprinkles (1oos and 1000s) to roll the balls in
  • leaving the balls white and sticking some red and green on top like holly (as we did in the Christmas Royal puddings) and call them Christmas presents or Christmas puddings!

These are yummy so I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

A Christmassy salad

This is a colourful salad that really suits a Christmas lunch or would be great alongside a BBQ any time this summer!

Salad dressing

 ingredients

1/4 cup lime juice*
1 tablespoon of grated lime zest*
1 large spring onion
1/4 cup virgin olive oil
4 or 5 drops of sesame oil
2 or 3 mint leaves

* depending on their size, 3 or 4 limes will be needed

method

  1. Put lime zest and juice in a bowl
  2. whisk in finely chopped spring onion and mint leaves
  3. whisk in both oils
  4. cover and refrigerate (for up to 4 hours) until needed
  5. bring dressing out of fridge for about 15 minutes before serving and then whisk before use

Christmassy salad

Ingredients

350g snow peas, trimmed
kernels from 2 ears of corn (or 1 1/2 cups of tinned kernels, well drained)
1 red capsicum, seeded
2 Lebanese cucumbers
350g cherry tomatoes
3 spring onions
1 red chilli
1/2 bunch coriander leaves
1 avocado

Making the salad

  1. prepare vegetables and add to salad bowl
    1. cut snow peas into pieces about 2 or 3 cm long
    2. dice the capsicum
    3. quarter the cucumber lengthwise then chop into wedges
    4. half the tomatoes
    5. thinly slice the spring onions
    6. slice chili into very fine circles
    7. roughly chop half the coriander
  2. toss the salad
  3. add half the dressing and toss
  4. add more dressing until the vegetables are coated, but not so there is a wet layer at the bottom of the bowl. Toss salad gently
  5. peel the avocado, remove its stone and then dice the flesh
  6. roughly chop remaining coriander
  7. spread avocado and coriander over the salad
  8. serve and enjoy!

I think this would go beautifully with satay prawns or BBQ chicken… what will you try it with?

Tiny Christmas pudding gifts ~ recipe

I’ve been busy so left it a little late to plan the gifts for prep/kinder teachers the children wanted to make. So I looked back through the Love Santa recipes and found Anna’s tiny Christmas puddings 🙂

These will be easy enough to make quickly, I figured, and the kids could be involved in every step – and enjoy the final decorating phase. So this is what our final gifts to the kinder teachers looked like:

Tiny Christmas puddings ready to be wrapped in celophane

Tiny Christmas puddings ready to be wrapped in cellophane

Making tiny Christmas puds

And this is what we did to make them…

I bought a fruit cake from the supermarket that we have enjoyed many times – it’s just a homebrand cake but it is moist and not too heavy. I’m not a huge fan of the dark traditional Christmas cakes as I find them too heavy and dry, but you could certainly use one if you, like my husband, do like them.

Ingredients

Prepared fruit cake – bought or home made!
yoghurt
icing sugar
red & green jelly babies
red & green smarties

Quantities will depend on how many puddings you want to make 🙂 I used about half a cup of icing sugar and 1.5 tablespoons of yoghurt and most of a purchased 1 kg fruit cake.

Small packets of jelly babies and/or smarties should be enough as long as there is enough red and green ones in there!

Instructions…

Cut the cake – slice off about 3cm piece

Slice cut off a fruit cake

Slice off a generous piece of cake

Cut the slice into smaller pieces. Roll each piece into a ball – actually, you’ll need to form the shape as it will fall apart if you try rolling it.

Fruit cake shaped into small balls

Not very glamourous at this stage – balls of fruit cake

Put the cake balls into the fridge for a while – I left them there overnight. This helps them firm up a little so they are easier to work with.

As the balls were fiddlier and less stable than I expected, I also tried do big pieces to effectively make small cakes for my son’s teachers. These were also easier for little fingers to decorate (and quicker to prepare!).

Small Christmas cakes, decorated and gift wrapped

Small Christmas cakes, decorated and gift wrapped

Slice up the jelly babies – making small red circles and long, thin green strips. Cut the green smarties in half.

red and green smarties and jelly babies on a plate

Whole or sliced, jelly babies and smarties are colourful

Mix the yoghurt and icing sugar to a reasonably thick mixture.

Spoon some icing over the cake balls.

Decorate the tiny puddings with the red and green lollies. I created a holly effect but my son just had fun making the cakes colourful!

Child's hand decorating small Christmas cakes

My son enjoyed adding lots of colour to the small Christmas cakes!

Passionfruit Christmas biscuits ~ recipe

Passionfruit Christmas biscuits on a plate with tinsel

Passionfruit Christmas biscuits

While these biscuits don’t look or sound very Christmassy (other than by adding colouring to them or icing with Christmas colours like I have), they feel like a Christmas treat to me!

I think it is because the passionfruit flavour is a hint of summer and the texture is like shortbread (which I associate with Christmas).

These are fairly easy to make so are suitable for young children to help with – and I bet Santa would enjoy a few of these on Christmas Eve!

 

Passionfruit Christmas biscuits

  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs castor sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 Tbs passionfruit pulp (1 – 2 passionfruit)
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 Tbs cornflour

{Makes about 40 biscuits}

Mix the butter (softened butter makes this easier!) with the sugars and vanilla essence.

Mix in the passionfruit pulp then add in the flours.

Christmas passionfruit biscuit ingredients mixed together in a bowl

The mix is browner than most biscuits because of the brown sugar.

It forms a stiff mix, not quite like a pastry dough – and it looks a bit sticky.

Put a little plain flour on your hands then roll small bits of the mixture into balls (the flour is enough to stop them sticking to you).

Floured ahdn holding a ball of passionfruit Christmas biscuit dough

Turn a sticky blob into a ball…

Put the balls on a greased tray or tray lined with baking paper (I’ve tried both and neither seems superior to the other).

baked passionfruit Christmas biscuits on a greased tray and a baking paper lined tray

Greased tray or baking paper – the choice is yours!

Push down on each ball lightly with the back of a spoon to make them flatter. Note these biscuits don’t spread very much so you don’t need a lot of space between biscuits.

Bake at 160°C for 13 – 15 minutes.

Cool on the tray before serving, icing or storing.

Passionfruit Christmas biscuits on a white plate for serving

Passionfruit Christmas biscuits – they look simple but taste divine!

Some additional notes…

Why use the different flours? Well, corn flour and coconut flour are gluten free so these biscuits are lower gluten than most biscuits. The coconut flour also adds protein and fibre so these biscuits are lower carbohydrate than you’d expect. It also gives a slight hint of coconut to add to the summery effect.

Why brown sugar? It is less processed so healthier than white sugar of any type.

I melted some white chocolate and added colouring to cover some of my biscuits. I love the crunch of the set chocolate but I found it did overwhelm the passionfruit flavour a bit – they still were yummy and melted on the tongue though!

A child's ahnd reaching for the last passionfruit biscuit on the plate!

What my children and friends thought of the biscuits…

I am thinking of making batches of these with my kids this year for them to give to kinder/school teachers as Christmas gifts.

What will you do with the biscuits you make?

And I’m curious, if you are from the northern hemisphere, would these feel Christmassy or would you prefer them in summer?

Christmas pudding balls ~ recipe

Christmas pudding balls on plate

Complete Christmas pudding balls – they didn’t last long on the plate in our house!

I came across a recipe for dough balls which looked yummy and adjusted it for taste and to make it more Christmassy.

It is easy to make, doesn’t need to be cooked and could be a nice snack to leave out for Santa, on a plate to take to a function. I’m finding these quite handy to send along to the kids’ Christmas parties at school and scouts because they are quick and easy and kids love them!

I don’t think they quite fit the nice gift category but that could just be me 🙂 Try the recipe and let me know if you’d give them as a gift…

Christmas pudding balls

100g unsalted butter (room temperature or almost melt it in the microwave to make it really soft if kids are helping you cook!)
3/4 cup raw sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 teaspoons red food colouring
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons of mini chocolate chips
3/4 cup fruit mince (or dried mixed fruit plus 1-2 tablespoon of liquid*)
1 cup plain flour
125g white chocolate
1/2 teaspoon green food colouring

mixing ingredients for Christmas pudding balls

An easy recipe for little people to help with – although you may get a bit of flour splatter around the kitchen!

How to make Christmas pudding balls

Cream the butter and sugar.

Mix in the essence, red food colouring, cinnamon and flour.

Stir in choc chips and fruit mince.

Form balls of dough. I found it needed some moisture to really hold together and be able to roll it – dry fruit alone will be fairly crumbly and impossible to roll (forming shapes is ok) thus fruit mince or some liquid is required.

Put them in the fridge to harden – I left them for a few hours but half an hour or so is probably enough. Note they taste much better at this stage now when just mixed 🙂

Melt the while chocolate until liquid. Then add green food colour.

Christmas pudding balls created and ready for fridge

It’s not easy to make neat balls with this mix, so be comfortable with a rustic effect!

Dip each ball into the green chocolate and place on a tray.

Put back in the fridge for the chocolate to set, and for storage. Enjoy!

* You could use a liqueur or some orange or cranberry juice

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