I thought I’d share round-up of my favourite festive recipes this Pieday Friday. The idea was to get you in the mood for all the Christmas baking to come but, in fact, I’ve actually started craving most of these recipes now, so I’m sure I’ll be whipping up some tasty this weekend! Below you’ll find links to my top twelve “12 days of Christmas” recipe blog posts, starting with these snowy dark chocolate cookies and cream-filled snowball meringues – enjoy! It wouldn’t be Christmas without gingerbread. Last year I made a gingerbread sleigh but the recipe can be used to make traditional gingerbread men or decorations to hang on your tree. You can find the classic gingerbread recipe in this blog post plus there’s a festive spiced banana muffin recipe in the gingerbread blog post too, bonus!Even though I first made this chocolate gingerbread recipe for halloween, it’s definitely going to be baked again in December. The chocolate makes a nice change to the traditional gingerbread biscuit recipe, and you could make a batch of both types for Christmas, mmm.
What a healthy start to the new year eh? Chocolate – yes, butter – yum, coffee – great! What more do you want from a weekend treat when you’ve been so very good eating fruit and veggies all week long?! I’ve been in the kitchen baking these yummy brownies so that when I need to reach for a sneaky treat at the weekend, it won’t be a whole tin of biscuits – it’ll just be one square of something rich, chocolately and satisfying. So here’s how I made my mocha choca brownies recipe and I hope you’ll give it a go too:
Ingredients 115g butter, 150g plain flour, 115g dark chocolate, 3 tablespoons of cooled coffee (I used rich Illy coffee), 200g brown sugar, 3 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla extract, pinch of salt, 150g chocolate chips (optional)
Method Melt chocolate and butter together and in another bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar until fluffy then add the vanilla, coffee and pinch of salt before mixing in the liquid chocolate mixture. Stir in the flour and add chocolate chips if you like before pouring into a baking tray – I lined my tray with greaseproof paper so that it would be easier to lift out the brownie after cooking. Bake for 30 minutes at 180 degrees until the batter is set and crisp on top. It should crack a little when you lift it out, but still be gooey on the inside!
If ever I needed an excuse to get out the brownie baking tin I received as an anniversary present last year, this was it! They are sooo delicious, but because I have cut them into small squares, they’re really not too naughty per peice and will store for ages in an airtight tub, so I’ll be able to enjoy them all week – that is as long as hubby doesn’t scoff the lot this weekend 😉
Did you know it’s National Chocolate Week? I had no idea until my friend Jenna gave me a heads-up yesterday afternoon. Are you telling me that I could have been legitimately scoffing chocolate all week, and I didn’t know about it? I guess I’ve got a lot of choccie-eating to make up for over the weekend then! So, not wanting to disappoint my Pieday Friday readers with just any old recipe, I rustled up some chocolate apples for this week’s blog post. Okay, okay, I know there’s not a lot of ‘recipe’ required for dipping apples in melted chocolate, but here are a few of the tips I’ve learnt while making them:
- Melting chocolate is harder than you think. I was going to make white chocolate apples too, perhaps with a cute drizzle over the top, but when I melted my white chocolate in the microwave, I didn’t check it often enough and it burnt in the middle, creating a gloopy, grainy, beigey mess. So my first tip is to keep an eye on your melting chocolate – whether it’s in the microwave or over a steaming pan – and don’t let water from the pan touch the bottom of your melting bowl, because the chocolate will be sure to burn.
Adding a small amount of oil to the melted chocolate is a good way of keeping the chocolate more liquid for longer while you dip the apples in. When making the smooth-running chocolate for a chocolate fountain you need to add oil, but I’d still like my chocolate to set onto the apples, so only a teaspoon is needed.
I added a drop of vanilla essence into my chocolate for a little added flavour, which went nicely with the apples, creating a kind of apple-and-ice-cream-and-chocolate combination. You could even add a drop of cheeky booze for adult chocolates – maybe an amaretto or Baileys?! Not too much though – you still want the chocolate to set!
- It can be difficult to get the skewers into the centre of the apples (I had a breakage) so use the point of a knife to get the hole started before poking the skewers, lollipop sticks or apple sticks into the top of the apples and push them right in so that there’s no chance of the apple plopping off into the bowl of chocolate.
Any kinds of sprinkles, nuts or sugar will adhere nicely to the chocolate coating, so put out plates of toppings for the children to dip their chocolate apples into.
Feel free to drizzle away – just because my white chocolate didn’t successfully melt, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t melt a contrasting chocolate and drizzle it over the top of the apples. Instead of melted chocolate, I used Dr Oetker chocolate flavour writing icing for my drizzles (it was on special offer in B&M discount store), which looks and tastes just as lovely! And don’t be afraid to double-dip, allowing the first chocolate layer to set completely before dipping into the melted white chocolate – yum!
Not only is it important to eat chocolate-coated apples during National Chocolate Week, but they would be a good idea to for an activity to do with the children over half-term or you could make them for your Halloween party – so much easier to eat than a traditional chewy toffee apple (I always get fed up half way through!). Here are some more of my favourite chocolate recipes below so check them out for your weekend baking 🙂
Chocolate Pieday friday articles
- Pieday Friday ~ Chocolate orange cupcakes (cassiefairy.com)
- Pieday Friday ~ Chocolate brownies straight from the tin (cassiefairy.com)
- Pieday Friday – Cheeky chocolate cheesecake (cassiefairy.com)
- Pieday Friday – Fruity chocolate fridge cake (cassiefairy.com)
- Christmas hot chocolate – spiced, cherry and mint (cassiefairy.com)
- My favourite Friday Pieday recipes for National Pie Week (cassiefairy.com)
I have a feeling that jam tart is cockney-rhyming-slang for heart – or did I just make that up? Anyway, I’ve baked a batch of classic jam tarts and have added pastry love hearts lids to the top. Maybe you’ll have a go at making your own love-tarts for Valentines day, and if you do, I’d love to see the photos 🙂
Ingredients: 500 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting, 100 g sifted icing sugar, 250 g cubed butter, 2 large beaten egg, 1 splash milk, jam.
Method: Sieve the flour from a height into a large bowl and sieve the icing sugar on the top. Rub the cubes of butter into the flour and sugar to make a “breadcrumbs” texture. Add the beaten eggs and milk to the mixture and work it together till you have a ball of dough, flour it lightly and wrap it in clingfilm before putting it into the fridge to rest for half an hour. Flour your work surface and use a rolling-pin to roll out the pastry to the thickness of a pound coin, then cut into rounds with a fluted pastry cutter (or use the edge of a glass!). Put into the pie tin and fill each case with the jam of your choice then top with a heart-shaped piece of pastry – use a cutter, or cut it free-hand with a knife as I did!
You can use this recipe to create lemon tarts too by adding lemon zest to the dry mixture and using lemon curd instead of jam! Let me know how you get on and tweet me your photos @CassiefairyTutu!
- Pieday Friday – Traditional mince pies (cassiefairy.com)
- Pieday Friday – Star Tarts (cassiefairy.com)
- Pieday Friday – Giant Cookie Cake (cassiefairy.com)
- 2012 in Review: My favourite blog posts from Cassiefairy.com (cassiefairy.com)
My fairy-friend Aimee introduced me to making this pretty cake-batter fudge with pockets of yummy white chocolate. I gave it a go, and wasn’t disappointed, apart from by the fact that I couldn’t possibly eat it all at once because it was just too sweet! Here’s the recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction which makes approx 36 fudge squares:
- 2 cups + 2 Tbsp packet cake mix (any brand white or yellow instant cake mix)
- 2 cups icing sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, cut into 4 pieces
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2/3 cup white chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles
- Spray 8×8 baking pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- Mix together cake mix + powdered sugar in a large bowl. Add milk + butter (do not stir them in) and microwave for 2 minutes. Once done, immediately begin mixing everything together. The batter will be very thick. Fold in white chocolate + sprinkles. Stir gently. You do not want the sprinkles to leak their color too much!
- Spoon into prepared baking pan, making sure it is level and smooth at the top. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Cut into squares and enjoy!
- Store fudge in the refrigerator
I hope you enjoy this ‘instant fudge’ as much as I do, its super-easy to make, über-cute looking and the most tasty treat I’ve had in a long time! Let me know if you give it a go 🙂