Easy Christmas Recipes
Posted 18/12/2015 by BrightHouse Team
Christmas is about spending time with family and friends, sharing gifts, and enjoying traditions, but mostly it’s about the food. There are so many great things to make and eat during the festive period, from mince pies and chocolates, to roast turkey with all the trimmings on the day.
It’s the perfect time to have a go at some recipes yourself, whether as gifts for friends or just for extra treats at home. Here are a few easy Christmas recipes to get you in the festive mood:
Nothing says Christmas like a mince pie. Making your own pastry is easier than you think, and you can use whatever mincemeat you like for the fillings.
200g plain flour sifted
40g golden caster sugar
75g ground almonds
125g unsalted butter, diced
1 large egg, beaten
Milk, to glaze
Start by lightly buttering a 12-hole muffin tin. Mix the flour, sugar, almonds and butter in a large bowl, and rub together with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs, then mix in the egg. (Or you can mix the dry ingredients briefly in a food processor, and slowly add the egg through the feeder tube.)
Bring the mixture together with your hands so it forms a lump of dough, then wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for an hour. Once chilled, roll the pasty out thinly on a floured surface. Cut out 12 circles with a pastry cutter, big enough to fill the bases of the tin. Gently press each circle into the holes so it covers the base and the sides. Fill each one with the mincemeat.
Cut out another 12, slightly smaller, circles to use as lids. You can re-roll the pastry if you need to. Press the edges of the lid to the base to seal each pie. Cut a small slit in the top of each one and brush lightly with milk. Chill them for half an hour, and preheat the oven to 200C. Back for 20 minutes until golden brown.
Christmas Pudding Rice Crispy Cakes
Great fun for kids to make, these little Christmas pudding treats will add festive cheer to a party or on the table after dinner.
50g plain rice pops cereal
30g raisins, chopped
100g milk chocolate broken up
2tbsps crunchy peanut butter
30g mini marshmallow
80g white chocolate
Ready-made icing holly leaves
Put the rice cereal and raisins into a bowl. Put the butter, milk chocolate, peanut butter, and marshmallows into a small saucepan. Place on a medium heat and stir until the chocolate and butter have melted and the marshmallows are just beginning to melt.
Pour onto the rice pops cereal and stir well until coated. Line an egg cup with cling film, and press about a tablespoon of the mixture into it. Press firmly then remove, peeling off the cling film. Place the pudding flat side down, and do the same with the rest.
Chill the puddings in the fridge until they’re firm. Melt the white chocolate in the microwave, and spoon a little over the top of each pudding. Decorate with the icing holly leaves.
Twisty Cheese Straws
These make great nibbles for a Christmas party, or just to snack on while waiting for dinner. You can easily experiment with different flavours and fillings, too.
100g cream cheese
320g sheet of puff pastry
A little flour, for dusting
1 egg, beaten
Heat the oven to 200C/180fan. Mix up the cream cheese and pesto in a bowl they’re well combined.
Unroll the pastry on a lightly floured surface, and cut in half lengthways. Spread the cheese mix over one half, and place the other piece of pastry on top like a sandwich. Cut it in half lengthways to create two long rectangles, then slice each rectangle into short strips about 1cm thick.
Twist each pastry strip and place on a baking tray lined with parchment. Bush the twists with egg and bake for 20-15 minutes until risen and golden brown.
Easy Cranberry Sauce
The perfect accompaniment to roast turkey, and goes fantastically on turkey sandwiches or roast ham, or pretty much anything!
100g light muscovado sugar
100ml fresh orange juice
250g pack of fresh or frozen cranberries
Tip the sugar and orange juice into a pan, then bring to the boil. Stir in the cranberries and simmer until tender but still holding their shape – this will take about 5 minutes if using frozen cranberries, or about 8-10 minutes if using fresh. The sauce will thicken as it cools. You can keep it in the fridge for up to a week, but allow to get back to room temperature before serving. haha