Reindeer & Snowman Chocolate Bark Recipe by Lulu Grimes
Ingredients – 100g milk chocolate, 100g dark chocolate, 7 red Smarties, 8-10 small pretzels, 22 white mini marshmallows, 1 red jelly shoe lace, sprinkles and stars, black food writing pen
Method – Line a baking tin with baking parchment. Heat both chocolates in separate bowls in the microwave in 30-sec blasts, or over pans of simmering water. Pour the dark chocolate into the baking tin, then pour the milk chocolate on top in a trail. Spread the chocolate out to make a reasonably thick slab. Arrange the red smarties over the slab at intervals – these are the reindeer noses. Cut a marshmallow in half and press above the smarties to make eyes. Snap a pretzel in half for each set of antlers, snapping off any excess pretzel, then push into the chocolate near the noses. To make the snowmen, arrange the rest of the marshmallows in lines of three. Use pieces of pretzel for the arms and a piece of shoe lace for the scarf. Sprinkle over the stars and sprinkles, then leave the chocolate to set completely. Once the chocolate is hard, use an icing pen or small brush dipped in black food colouring to add pupils to the reindeer eyes, and faces and buttons for the snowmen. Use a knife to cut the bark into pieces around the reindeer and snowmen.
Mince Pie Baklava Recipe by Sophie Godwin
Ingredients – 1 x 411g jar mincemeat, 100g pistachios, 100g ground almonds, 1 orange, 150g butter, 2 x 270g packs of filo pastry, 150g granulated sugar, 2 tbsp Grand Marnier or brandy
Method – Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Mix the mincemeat with the pistachios, almonds, orange zest and a good pinch of salt, then set aside. Melt the butter, then use a little to brush the bottom and sides of a 20 x 30cm baking tin. Cut the sheets of filo so they’re the same size as the tin, then cover with a damp tea towel to stop them from drying out. Press one sheet of filo pastry into the tin and brush with the melted butter. Continue to layer the pastry in this way until you have used up one pack of pastry (around 10 sheets). Evenly spread the mincemeat mixture over. Top with the remaining pastry, continuing to brush the layers with melted butter as you go. Brush the final layer generously with melted butter. Using a very sharp knife, cut deep, diagonal lines all the way through the pastry to form a diamond pattern. Bake in the oven for 1 hr until golden. Meanwhile, make the syrup. Put the sugar and 75ml water into a saucepan, and cook over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Simmer until the syrup is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and stir in the Grand Marnier or brandy. Once the baklava has baked, remove from the oven and increase the temperature to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Pour the syrup over the baklava, then return it to the oven for 5 mins or until the syrup has been absorbed. Leave to cool completely in the tin, then slice into pieces along the diagonal lines. Will keep for up to one week in an airtight container.
Snowball dippers Recipe by Sarah Cook
Ingredients – 150g bar dark chocolate, 10 fat white marshmallows, white hundreds and thousands, lots of milk, 10 lollipops or cake pop sticks
Method – Bring a pan of water to a simmer over a low heat. Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and sit it on top of the pan, making sure that the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl, and gently melt the chocolate. Push a lollipop or cake pop stick into each marshmallow. Check the chocolate is melted completely by giving it a stir, then scrape it into a smaller bowl. Tip the white sprinkles into another small bowl. Put a wire rack next to the bowl of chocolate and a sheet of baking parchment next to the bowl of sprinkles. Holding the end of a stick, dip a marshmallow into the chocolate so that it is completely coated. Lift it out, but hold it over the bowl to allow the extra chocolate to drip back in, then put it on the wire rack. Dunk the marshmallows, one by one, then line them up on the wire rack in the order that you dunked them. Pick up the first marshmallow you dunked and dip into the sprinkles to completely coat. Sit the snowball marshmallow on the baking parchment. Continue to dip and coat the marshmallows, working along the line so that you cover them in sprinkles in the same order that you dunked them in chocolate. When all the marshmallows are covered, leave them on the baking parchment until they are set. You can now wrap the marshmallows in cellophane and tie with ribbons if you’re giving them as a present. Alternatively, if you want to enjoy them right away, warm 1 mug of milk – in a microwave or saucepan – per snowball. Use your snowball as a stirrer in each mug of milk and keep stirring until all the sprinkles, chocolate and most of the marshmallow have melted. Check the milk is not too hot, then drink up. Will keep for up to 2 weeks in cellophane bags.
Thank you so much for reading! Please feel free to like, comment, share and get in contact with feedback or ideas of what I could post about in the future. You can also subscribe to get notified when I post. Check out my last post ‘Ultimate Christmas Playlist’.