Need to fit some Christmas baking into your busy schedule before December 25th? Our resident baker Juliana Mare shares her three favourite short but sweet biscuit recipes.
When your Christmas list is three pages long and your weekends are busy catching up with everyone in your contacts list, the last thing you want to do is spend hours baking in the kitchen.
That being said, everyone seems to get in touch with their inner baker at this time of year because the idea of home-cooked dinners and desserts is so much more appealing than store-bought.
These recipes will take no time at all to prepare, have minimal ingredients (so you save on time and cost) and will go down a treat after Christmas lunch.
It’s not Christmas without shortbread and who can resist the rich, buttery flavour? There are so many quirky cookie-cutters available too so you can stick to the traditional stars and Christmas trees or go for something more exciting like the Batman symbol, a dalek from Doctor Who or even Darth Vader himself!
- 225g salt-reduced butter
- 250g plain flour
- 60g icing sugar
- 1tsp vanilla essence
- Cream the butter and sugar.
- Add Vanilla Essence, then the flour and beat with electric mixer until combined.
- Using your hands, knead the mixture into a dough.
- Divide dough into two, glad wrap each half and refrigerate until firm (approximately half an hour)
- Roll dough out to approximately 5mm thickness and use cookie-cutters to cut into shapes.
- Place shortbread on an oven tray lined with Baking Paper and bake for 8 – 10 minutes on 170 degrees.
You don’t need a whole pantry full of expensive ingredients to make the cutest Christmas treats; Cointreau Fruit Cake Puddings are quick and easy to make and guaranteed to receive a comment along the lines of ‘these are the cutest desserts I’ve ever seen’ from your guests!
The Cointreau pairs with the fruit cake perfectly but can easily be substituted for orange juice to make the recipe kid-friendly.
- 1 x Home brand, light fruit cake
- 3TBS Cointreau (or fresh orange juice)
- 1 pack white chocolate melts
- 1 pack mint leaves
- 1 pack mini M&M’s
- Crumble fruit cake into a bowl.
- Add Cointreau/OJ and mix well with a spoon. Add extra liquid if necessary, until the cake is wet enough to mix into a ball and hold its shape.
- Slice mint leaves in half and divide the mini M&M’s to separate all the red ones out. These will form the holly decorations on top.
- Melt the white chocolate in the microwave then dip the balls in, coating the top half.
- Add a slice of the mint leaves and three mini M&M’s.
- Put in the fridge for at least 2 hours or until chocolate sets.
A hybrid dessert, traditional Italian pizelle are a combination of waffle and cookie!
Pizelle do require a special type of waffle iron, which is how you get them super thin and imprinted with the pattern however you can get the same delicious flavor by making them in a regular waffle iron.
They will turn out much thicker and doughier than the traditional recipe but if you prefer more of a cake-like consistency opposed to a crunchy biscuit, then you’ll probably prefer them cooked like this anyway!
- 6 eggs
- 1 1/2C sugar
- 3 1/2C plain flour
- 5tsp vanilla essence
- 4tsp baking powder
- 1TBS lemon zest
- 1/4C milk (if necessary to thin mixture)
- Use an electric mixer to beat the eggs until fluffy.
- Gradually add the sugar until combined, then add the vanilla, lemon zest, baking powder and the flour last.
- If the mixture is too thick to spread on the waffle iron, add the milk gradually to thin it out.
- Cook in waffle iron for approximately 1 minute or until golden.
This recipe will give you 50+ thick pizelle and probably over 100 if you have a proper machine. And just like regular waffles, you can add whichever ingredients you like to the batter to change the flavours. Think chocolate chips, peppermint essence or Nutella!
With these three easy recipes, you can put together a delicious Christmas goodie tray won’t take you hours in the kitchen to prepare and won’t cost too much at the supermarket.
Christmas baking is meant to be fun so get your friends and family involved. My favourite method is one person to roll the dough, one person to decorate and you both get to taste-test at the end!