Christmas is the best time for baking; you always get the best recipes for this time of year. Welcome to Blogmas Day 4!
I always make a Christmas themed bake to take to my Mom and In-Laws for Christmas and Boxing Day. We tend to alternate whose house we spend the day with, so I always like to take a little something round to add to their table.
I thought that, instead of showing you a traditional recipe, I’ll show you some of the festive bakes I’ve made over the past few years, as well as my favourite things to bake!
Decorate-it-yourself Sugar Cookies
Me and my Sister make these every year, and get everyone involved in a competition for who can decorate them the best!
90 grams soft unsalted butter
100 grams castor sugar
1 large egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
200 grams plain flour (plus more for rolling)
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
Festive Cookie Cutters
150 grams icing sugar (sieved)
Appropriate decorations (chocolate, sprinkles, sweets etc)
1. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and lighter in colour, then beat in the eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and salt, and add to the wet ingredients. Mix until combined, but be careful not to over mix so the mixture doesn’t become tough.
2. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and rest in the fridge for an hour.
3. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/ gas mark 4/350ºF.
4. On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough to about a half centimeter thick, and cut into various shapes, placing the biscuits onto a baking sheet.
5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges. Remove and leave to fully cool.
Chocolate Yule Log
This is perfect as a Christmas Day pudding alternative, especially when served with hot custard!
For the Cake
85g golden castor sugar
85g plain flour
2tsp cocoa powder
1/2tsp baking powder
For the filling and icing
140g dark chocolate
1tbsp golden syrup
284ml double cream
200g icing sugar, sifted
1. Preheat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Grease and line a 23 x 32cm Swiss roll tin with baking parchment.
2. Beat together the eggs and sugar with an electric whisk for about 8 minutes until thick and creamy.
3. Mix together the flour, cocoa and baking powder, then sift onto the egg mixture. Fold in very carefully, then pour into the tin, spreading it evenly into the corners. Bake for 10 mins.
4. Lay a sheet of baking parchment on the work surface. Tip the cake onto the parchment, peel off the lining paper, then roll the cake up from its longest edge with the paper inside. Leave to cool.
5. For the icing, melt the butter and chocolate together in a bowl, over a pan of hot water. Take off the heat and mix in the syrup and 5tbsp of cream. Beat in the icing sugar until smooth.
6. Whisk the remaining cream until it holds its shape, then unravel the cake and spread the cream over the top. Carefully roll up into a log shape.
7. Cut a diagonal wedge from one end of the log, arranging the slices onto the plate to make a branch shape.
8. Pipe the icing over the log and branch, and use a fork to create a bark effect. Sprinkle with icing sugar to look like snow, and garnish with holly or other decorations.
This year, I might attempt a Black Forest Gateaux or a Traditional Christmas Cake!