My siblings and I are trying to help my mum out with the big day preparations this year, you know because we keep multiplying – breeding babies, getting married, it’s all very grown up of us, and inconsiderate on the menu. So my brother and sister-in-law have bought the ham, my sister’s bought all the grog, that sort of thing. Being far away with not being able to bring much (I was stupidly considering holding a trifle on my lap for eight hours?!) I was at a bit of a loss as to my contribution. But, baking, well baking I can do!
Usually my mum bakes little rum balls, white choc macadamia brownies and shortbread etc. for us all to nibble throughout the Christmas period. This year I said no, no, no, don’t bake a thing – I’ll be the baking elf this year! So off I trotted to get all inspired. And then out of my oven trotted these…
Christmas Tree Meringues (recipe here)
A little something I’ve had pinned goodness knows how many Christmas’s ago. And one of my new years resolutions is to try new things in the kitchen, I am no piping expert, so swiftly armed myself with a real grown up piping bag and fancy pants nozzles. No more snipped corner of a plastic bag for this little baking elf. Piped those babies out, convinced myself that no they did not look like dog poo, popped some sugar pearls on for ‘baubles’ – ta da! Note to self: go heavy on the colouring next time as they lighten when baked.
Almond, Cherry and Pistachio Biscotti (recipe here)
Who doesn’t love biscotti? Initially, you think it’s okay, then you want more, need more…so moreish. Love the cherries and pistachios in this batch, although I did think of swapping in for some cranberries too. And a dash of espresso, that’d be the go. I made my biscotti logs enormous so my slices are also enormous.
Salted Lemon Thyme Shortbread (recipe here)
My friend (ok well Matt’s best friend’s sister, Michelle) put me onto these – game changer! Deliciousness in all the traditional shortbread ways, but fancy pants with the salty lemon tang. You can follow Michelle on instagram @thecinnamonfox, she is quite the fantastic stylist and is going gang busters with it all.
My Nan makes rum balls, oodles of them, with mixed fruit and peel and what-not. Very traditional. Extra rummy too (good one Nan). These, however, are truffles. Can’t have too many of these without getting a belly ache. I contemplated making ones for the kids without the rum…but then I remember eating Nan’s rum balls as a wee one and having that rummy tang and wondering what on earth it was?! Let’s not deprive my nieces of that childhood memory. White rum (Bacardi) for the white truffles, dark rum (Bundy) for the dark truffles.
I’m also planning on making these white chocolate, cranberry and pistachio puddings today…in between sewing last minute gifts and packing and cleaning the house and washing the car and editing newborn photos…hmmm we’ll see how we go!
I popped a small selection of treats into some merry looking noodle boxes I found at the el cheapo store in town, one for each of the nieces and one for the Steendam handmade KK.
What have you been baking this year for Christmas?