When it comes to Christmas baking, we always have the best intentions at heart. In November our minds are ticking over with fun and creative food we can bake. Facebook and Instagram are full of inspirational recipes and images that we save with every intention of coming back to them. Recipes that if we’re honest, we’re no chance of actually making.
Roll around to December and the list drops off a little. The mature Christmas pudding that is meant to cure for weeks ends up in the too hard basket. And the Santa and Rudolph Handmade Cookies conveniently get lost. Come December 23, we’re at Coles fighting all the other Mums who “lost” their Facebook inspirational posts as well.
From a Mum who also struggles to find the time to get creative with baking, I’ve managed to neat up a few little tricks. These little tricks have wowed the Christmas table without a whole lot of extra effort from me.
Everyone loves a good chocolate truffle or rum ball. They are super easy to make and require no baking.
To turn these easy treats in mini Christmas puddings, dip the top in melted white chocolate and decorate with a small cut piece of cherry. Use red and green alternating or be extra creative and add a piece of both for a holly effect. Boom, you have a mini Christmas pudding and not a sultana in site!
There is really no down side to these and if you’re feeling indulgent, check out our Baileys Truffles and Nutella Truffles!
Chocolate brownies are another easy treat to make, especially if you’re like me and have a helping hand from Betty Crocker!
So, what’s so Christmassy about brownies? Well, how’s this for clever. Cut your pieces into triangles instead of squares and drizzle melted chocolate or icing over the triangle in a “tinsel” effect going from side to side. Place mini m&m’s on each “tinsel” point for baubles and a yellow m&m on top for the star. Bingo bango, you’ve got a Christmas tree!
If your OCD can’t get past a brown tree, simple ice with green butter frosting and decorate as your heart desires.
Who said you need santa and reindeer shaped cookie cutters to make Christmas cookies. A simple round cookie, even your favourite choc chip cookie recipe will work, can be turned into a Christmas masterpiece. Bake cookies as you normally would and then mix up some different coloured icing. Ice each biscuit in random colours and you’ve got Christmas baubles! And for the win, put out some sprinkles, m&m’s, coloured candies or pretty much anything you can find and let the kids go nuts decorating their own baubles.
Now you might be thinking these sound hard, but hear me out. All you need is your basic cookie dough recipe and some cocoa or red food colouring. Mix up your cookie dough as normal and then divide it in two batches.
Mix in cocoa or red food colouring to one batch and then roll the dough into rope pieces. Twist the plain dough with the coloured dough and then bend the top to form a cane shape. Voila, you have a red and white or brown and white candy cane!
Tip: Place the cookies in the fridge for 20 mins before baking to help hold their shape while cooking.
Confession: I can’t take full credit for this one… you can see the canes in all their glory here.
Do you have a secret recipe hack that looks like you’ve spent hours in the kitchen? Let us know so we can stop saving these Facebook posts… please!