Christmas Baking & Gifts Bakers Will Love

Christmas Baking & Gifts Bakers Will Love

One of my favourite things about the festive season has to be all the Christmas baking, I love whipping up a batch of mince pies, trying to perfect my trifle recipe, getting my icing just right on top of the Christmas cake, as well as inventing new ways to make brownies festive, this year I’m all about adding cranberries in, seriously yummy. So, I thought I would share with you a few of my favourite mincemeat recipes, as well as my ultimate gift guide for any bakers in your life.

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First up when it comes to Christmas baking, mince pies, a serious must-have for me, I love the smell of them when they just come out of the oven, so heavenly, and they really are the easiest thing you can bake up yourself this festive season. OK, so you can make your own pastry and even your own mincemeat – if you like, however, I’ve found that by not stressing on making the perfect pastry makes the whole Christmas baking so much more enjoyable, so I’ve put together the easiest mince pies you can make using ready-made products, with a few added extras to make them extra special.

Christmas Baking – Easy Mince Pies

Ingredients (makes around 12)
Butter for greasing
375g ready rolled shortcrust pastry
400g jar mincemeat
Handful of dried cranberries
Handful of cut mixed peel
Brandy (as much or as little as you like)
2 tbsp milk
Icing sugar
Method
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (fan)/200°C/gas mark 6

Lightly grease a 12-hole mince pie tin with butter and set aside

Unroll your pastry, which should have been left out of the fridge for at least 20 minutes. Use a rolling pin to make it a little thinner, I love the Joseph Joseph Adjustable Rolling Pin, as it has four sets of rolling pin rings that raise the rolling surface by different amounts, to create exactly the required pastry thickness, so perfect results every time

Using a 9cm cutter, cut out 12 circles of pastry and press them gently into the greased tin using your fingers

Mix up your jar of mincemeat with the cranberries, cut mixed peel and brandy in your mixing bowl, and then add a spoonful of mincemeat into each one, be careful not to overfill

Re-roll the remaining pastry scraps and cut out tops for your mince pies, I use a mixture of cutters, a slightly smaller round one, a star cutter and a Christmas tree cutter to create different effects to the top of the mince pies

Place the tops on the mince pies and brush the tops lightly with a little milk, just to help them stick together

Bake in the pre-heated oven for around 20 minutes

Allow to cool in the tin for a couple of minutes before removing them to fully cool on a wire rack, where you can sift over a little icing sugar

You can then freeze these for up to a month, so perfect for getting ahead of your Christmas baking before the family arrives!!!

Christmas baking, baking gift guide,joseph joseph,mince pies, mince pie muffins, mincemeat muffinsNot a fan of mince pies? Well, why not try my mincemeat muffins, which I always do to use up any excess mincemeat from my mince pies. These are a great alternative and people who generally don’t eat mince pies will really love them.

Mincemeat Muffins

For the muffins:

Mincemeat – as above, you will generally need around 75g

200g soft butter

150g caster sugar

4 medium eggs

200g plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

A dash of orange extract

12 muffin cases, more festive the better

For the icing:

300g icing sugar

150g soft salted butter

1 and a half teaspoons of orange extract

A generous pinch of finely grated nutmeg

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4

Line a 12-hole muffin tray with paper muffin cases

Cream the butter in a large bowl, I use an electric mixer or hand mixer for ease. Add the caster sugar and beat until light and fluffy, then gradually add the whisked the eggs, beating all the time. Then add in the mincemeat, before sifting in the flour and baking powder and then simply fold in gently

Divide the mixture among the muffin cases, couple of spoons per case, and bake for 25-30 minutes or until well risen, with a light spring to the touch

Leave to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely

While cooling make the icing by whisking together all the ingredients – then all you need to do is spread onto the cooled muffins and decorate as you wish, I used little holly and berry decorations I bought at the supermarket

8 Gifts any Baker Would Love This Christmas

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Do you enjoy Christmas baking?

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