Happy 2013 everyone! New Year has been and gone and Christmas seems but a dim and distant memory. I love the Christmas season and am, in some ways, a little disappointed it is all over already! Christmas, for me, represents many things such as, spending time with the people I care about the most, parties, yummy food, presents and decorations. I particularly love all the baking and delicious cooking I get to do during the festive season therefore, over the next week or so, I am going to share with you some of my favourite recipes that get dragged out as soon as December hits!
I adore spoiling the people I love and do have the tendency to go a bit crazy when doing my Christmas shopping. Over the last few years, I have also made an effort to make people gifts as well – nothing adds a personal touch like edible Christmas presents! This year, I gave some of my family and friends tiger butter and Christmas peppermint sweets all of which seemed to go down really well.
The recipe for tiger butter has been in our family for as long as I can remember after it was passed to my Mom from an American friend. In some ways, I have been reluctant to share this recipe as it will give away just how easy it is to make!! This recipe is so very, ridiculously, simple that I don’t really think it constitutes ‘cooking’ or ‘baking’; it is, in fact, so easy that even my Dad (who is not a cook in any way!) has been able to make some tiger butter to take into work.
(Makes 40+ chocolates)
375g milk/dark chocolate (or a combination)
375g white chocolate
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1. Using a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, melt chocolates separately.
2. Mix the melted white chocolate with the peanut butter.
3. Swirl the two separate chocolate types together in either a 10″ square pan lined with wax paper or 3+ chocolate moulds.
4. Leave to set at room temperature or in the fridge until solid.
5. Remove tiger butter from moulds or cut into squares.
See, I told you it was ridiculously simple and it is always a big hit!!
The next recipe is also fairly simple but requires a little more effort; I came across the peppermint recipe in the November/December 2012 issue of the Co-operative Food magazine (free in store to customers) and it was such a good idea I couldn’t resist giving it a go and making little bags of mints for my parents and Neil’s Mum.
Christmas Peppermint Sweets
(Makes 25+ sweets)
225g icing sugar (plus extra to dust)
100g condensed milk
1/2 tsp peppermint essence
Red and green food colouring
Put the icing sugar, condensed milk and peppermint essence into a large bowl and mix well. The mixture will become fairly hard and more difficult to mix, add a drop more condensed milk to loosen if necessary.
- Split the mixture in half. Add red food colouring to one half of the mixture and green to the other.
- Dust a work surface with icing sugar. Roll each half of the mixture until flat. Use Christmas shape cutters to cut out the sweets.
- Place the sweets on wax paper. Leave for 2-3 hours to harden.
Although a little fiddley to get out of the cutters, these sweets worked really well! I used a star and Christmas tree cutters which gave the peppermints a festive touch but they can be easily adapted and this recipe used all year round. The sweets tasted just like Trebor extra strong mints! Sorry about the terrible photo quality….I was so busy over Christmas I neglected my photos a bit!
Stay tuned for Christmas cupcakes, tripple chocolate chip cookies and mincemeat recipes!