As Christmas is less then a week away, it’s time to head to the shop and stock up on all the essentials needed for Christmas day. The turkey, the table wear, party nibbles and of course the desserts and sweet treats. There is a lot on offer at most supermarkets these days, you can buy your Christmas pudding or yule log in the bakery section at most stores but nothing beats home baking, more so at this time of year! The smell of cinnamon and ginger fills your house while the gingerbread is cooking and all of a sudden it feels so much more like Christmas time. So, today I have listed my top ten favourite baked goods to make during the Christmas season.
Although I am not a fan of these small treats, I do like to make them and it wouldn’t feel like Christmas without taking a box of homemade mince pies to our family get-together on Christmas Eve. They’re simple enough to make whether you make them from scratch or use the cheat way and buy everything boxed, either way you do it, you’ll still get that homemade look and taste.
You could make your own pastry or mincemeat but if you’re new to baking or want a quicker way, buy the jarred mince at your local supermarket ( they range from around 90p to £5) and buy premade short crust pastry. All you need to do is; lightly grease a cupcake tin, cut the premade pastry into circles, add a spoonful of the jarred mince and cut out a circle or star shape and place on top, egg-wash and pop in oven for 10-15 minutes. Sprinkle some icing sugar on top once cooled and serve! Easy enough right?
Here is the link to MY recipe on Lifeasshan! – https://lifeasshan.wordpress.com/?s=mince+pies
I have never actually thought of making these for Christmas before this year but I came across an image of these cute French treat with a reindeer design on top and an idea was formed in my head. So, this year I decided to make up some macarons which is quite easy once you’ve got the basics down. I used cocoa powder to make them a brown colour and filled them with a chocolate ganache(cream and chocolate; warm cream, add chocolate pieces, wait 30 seconds, stir and leave to thicken to desired consistency). Once my macarons were filled, I added white chocolate on the top, letting some drip down and added two red sweets and a fondant holly leaf to each macaron. These were my mini Christmas Cake inspired macarons (as a non lover of Christmas cake, these are a perfect sub for me…and they looked way cuter).
Chocolate Yule Log
A classic at any Christmas meal, I believe. This cake is great for the non Christmas cake lovers in the family (mainly the children), who will still get some cake and custard after their Christmas meal, just minus the orange peel and raisins). I love to make a yule log at Christmas because they can be personalised to your families preferences and the children can help decorate it with fondant snowmen and logs. My brothers pester me to make them this during the Christmas holidays.
Gingerbread People OR House
Another classic at Christmas… gingerbread. Whether you keep it simple with gingerbread people or whether you like to create a whole house for your gingerbread people, ginger is one of those spices I always associate with this time of year. You can buy gingerbread house kits in the likes of Tesco for £4 or you can make your own gingerbread and create whatever kind of shapes you want.
Cinnamon & Honeycomb Pancakes
Christmas morning is normally filled with eating chocolate out of your stocking and the afternoon spent starving waiting for your big feast. I like to make sure I have something proper for breakfast as we don’t eat till late afternoon and on Christmas day I am normally up early. I don’t want something boring on Christmas day like Weetabix, it’s Christmas! I want cinnamon and chocolate. So, I came up with these pancakes a couple years ago that are the perfect Christmas morning breakfast. If you’ve already got a busy day of cooking ahead on Christmas day or want to spend as much time with your family as possible, I suggest making the honeycomb and pancake batter the night before. You can follow any normal pancake recipe and just add cinnamon and chocolate chips to the batter and store in the fridge till Christmas day. Making the honey comb is pretty simple as well, just add sugar and syrup to a pan and heat and add bicarbonate of soda and pour into a tub, leave to set and break up into small pieces. Store in an air tight container. On Christmas day all you need to do is cook the pancakes and serves with chocolate sauce, honey or Nutella with the honeycomb pieces.
Is it weird that I have an ‘honourable mentions’ section? Oh well, here is some other things I like to buy or make as little extras during the winter months. They’re cheap to buy or easy and quick to make! So, these little treats may suit you better then carving out a whole 2 hours to decorate a gingerbread house to perfection.
- Hot chocolate and cream with marshmallows on top – 3 ingredients, super cheap, really easy and speedy!
- Homemade Truffles – https://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/chocolate-recipes/amazing-diy-chocolate-truffles/
- Cinnamon Rolls – https://www.waitrose.com/ecom/products/jus-rol-ready-to-bake-cinnamon-rolls/488850-363287-363288
- Chocolate Tubs (Quality Street, Hero’s or Celebrations) – https://www.waitrose.com/ecom/products/quality-street-milk-chocolate-tin/009961-4962-4963
If you’re looking for some Christmas inspired bakes, check out these youtubers/bloggers for their Christmas bake recipes! (These are some of my favourites)
Laura in the Kitchen; YouTube Channel and Blog – www.laurainthekitchen.com/
Cupcake Jemma; YouTube, Blog & Bakery Owner – https://www.cupcakejemma.com/
Jamie Oliver; Chef, YouTube Channel & Blog – https://www.jamieoliver.com/
HowToCookThat; YouTube and Blog – https://www.howtocookthat.net/public_html/
I will be back in the New Year with lots of new, fresh posts. Next year is looking at being a very big and interesting one for me personally, so I imagine I will have a lot to write about, which is pretty exciting.
I hope you enjoy baking this Christmas season! Tag me in any recreations on twitter under the hashtag #xmasbakewithshan and remember to tag me @lifeasshanx. I am also under the same handle on Instagram!
Have a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year! See you in January!