The holiday season is as much about food (and gathering around it) as it is about anything else, and whether you’re a whiz in the kitchen or you find you’re better at following a recipe, wow your guests with these wonderful recipes that are sure to have them coming back for seconds, thirds and fourths.
Star Mince Pies
A traditional British treat usually served during the Christmas season, mince pies are tasty, traditional, and the perfect size for snacking. This easy star-topped version is via Woman And Home:
225g (8oz) unsalted butter, cubed and slightly softened
100g (4oz) icing sugar, plus extra
2 egg yolks
2 drops vanilla essence
275g (9½oz) plain flour, plus extra
400g (14oz) mincemeat
1 free-range egg, beaten, to glaze
you will need
24-hole mini muffin tin
5cm (2in) round pastry cutter
small star pastry cutter
a rolling pin
- Pulse the butter in a food processor until soft. Sift in the icing sugar and pulse until mixed.
- Add the egg yolks and vanilla, and pulse until there’s no streaky yolk. Sift in the flour and pulse again until you can see no flour and the pastry comes together in large flakes. Divide the mix into two, shape into flattish circles in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes.
- Once the pastry is chilled and workable, roll out on a floured surface to the thickness of a £1 coin. Cut out circles with the round cutter and push into the muffin tin. Fill with 1tsp mincemeat, then use the star cutter to make the tops. Chill well.
- Heat the oven to 200 C, 180 C fan, gas 6. Glaze the mince pies with beaten egg and bake for 15 minutes until the pastry is golden and the mincemeat is bubbling over the sides. Allow to cool slightly in the tin, then cool completely on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar and serve.
Eggnog Cupcakes With Spiced Rum Buttercream
Baker’s Royale came up with a cute and classy way to combine the holiday’s most popular drink with one of the world’s most popular dessert treats. Click here for the recipe!
Baked Brie Bites
Ooey gooey baked brie is a treat in and of itself, but paired with cranberry sauce and pistachios – a la A Spicy Perspective – and you’ve got a match made in heaven!
1 box mini phyllo shells
4 ounces brie cheese
1/2 cup cranberry sauce (homemade or store-bought)
3 tablespoons chopped pistachios
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the phyllo shells on a baking sheet.
- Cut the brie into small 1/2 teaspoon sized chunks and place one in each shell. Bake for 5 minutes, until the brie is melted.
- Remove from the oven and dollop a scant spoonful of cranberry sauce on each little brie tart. Sprinkle with pistachios and serve warm.
Pomegranate Jewelled Cheeseball
Nothing says “party!” more than a cheeseball, and this gorgeous white cheddar, toasted almond and crispy sage version encrusted with pomegranate seeds by How Sweet Eats is almost too pretty to eat! Don’t let that stop you, though, because it packs a tasty punch you won’t want to miss out on. Click here to head to the recipe.
Creamy Crockpot Hot Cocoa
Is there a better way to end an evening than with a toasty warm mug of hot cocoa? If there is, we haven’t discovered it yet. This simple recipe by Mrs Happy Homemaker is sure to warm you heart and soul.
1.5 cups whipping cream
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
6 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups of chocolate chips (milk chocolate OR semi-sweet depending on how sweet you like it. I have a heck of a sweet tooth, and I love the milk chocolate, but others prefer the semi-sweet)
- Stir together the whipping cream, milk, vanilla, and chocolate chips in a crockpot.
- Cover and cook on low for 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until mixture is hot and chocolate chips are melted. Stir again before serving. Garnish as desired.