The Christmas season for me means cozy evenings in, relaxing and watching films with my husband. What better way to top off this quality time than enjoying a tasty homemade treat together. Here are a few of my favorite recipes.
Cranberry and Walnut Bread
There’s nothing quite like enjoying a warn bread straight from the oven, and this is a festive version. We have this for breakfast on Christmas Day and usually in the evening on Boxing Day. This recipe makes two loaves so you can share one if you’d like or keep it for later ( its also freezer friendly).
- 5 teaspoons instant yeast
- 2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons room temperature water
- 6 3/4 cups bread flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter (melted)
- 2 cups walnuts (coarsely chopped)
- 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
- In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, combine the instant yeast and water. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Add the flour, salt, sugar, and melted butter. Mix until the dough comes together, then knead for about 10 minutes by hand on a lightly floured surface or with the dough hook of the stand mixer. If needed, add more flour, in small amounts, to keep the dough from sticking to the bowl or your hands.
- Add the walnuts and cranberries and knead them in until they are distributed throughout the dough. This is best done by hand unless you feel your mixer can handle the task.
- Oil a large bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl and roll over to coat all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Sprinkle lightly with cornmeal.
- Punch down and transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Divide into 2 portions and form each into tight rounds. Place on the prepared baking sheets. Cover the loaves with a lightweight kitchen towel and let rest for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180oc.
- Bake the loaves for 30 to 40 minutes, until they are nicely browned and sound hollow when tapped on the bottoms.
I love a nice fudgy brownie with a crispy top, they are great hot, cold and even the next day. Thios recipie is one bowl and easy to do.
- 125g unsalted butter, chopped
- 125g dark chocolate, chopped
- 3 eggs, lightly whisked
- 335g (1 1/2 cups) white sugar
- 115g (3/4 cup) plain flour
- 30g (1/4 cup) Dutch cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 1Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan forced. Grease a 20cm (base measurement) square cake pan and line with baking paper.
- 2Place butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (don’t let the bowl touch the water). Stir with a metal spoon until melted. Remove from heat. Quickly stir in egg, sugar, flour, cocoa powder, vanilla and salt until just combined. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs clinging. Set aside to cool completely.
Christmas Sugar Cookies
For the Cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a large mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and mix until combined. Gradually add the sifted dry ingredients, one spoonful at a time, until thoroughly combined. Add the vanilla. Chill the cookie dough in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
2. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Roll out half of the dough at a time, keeping the remainder of the dough in the refrigerator. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 1/4-inch thickness and cut into desired shapes with a cookie cutter. (For medium cookies, use a 3-inch cookie cutter.)
3. Place the cutout cookies 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet and put the cookie sheet in the refrigerator for a few minutes before baking. This will help the cookies to retain their shape. (You can roll out the scraps to make a few more cookies.)
4. Bake until just before the edges of the cookies start to brown, 8 to 10 minutes (if baking two sheets at a time, rotate halfway through baking). Cool the cookies for 1 to 2 minutes on the cookie sheet before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
I hope you try these recipes and enjoy them. Do you have any I should try?
Take care x