Brazil Nut & Toffee Stars

Crisp buttery biscuits studded with chunks of brazil nut and sticky toffee, dipped in bittersweet dark chocolate. 

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Brazil nuts are one of the foods that only seem to come out at Christmas, even though they are an absolutely delicious nut!

I wanted to make some Christmas biscuits, so I thought Brazil nuts would be a great festive flavour to include, and I decided they would go really well with toffee and dark chocolate!

These biscuits turned out really well, and they made an excellent festive treat, to get you in the mood for Christmas!

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Variations: You could leave out the toffee and add dark chocolate chunks to the biscuits instead.

Ingredients: Makes 24 biscuits

The Toffee:

  • 75g butter
  • 75g granulated sugar

The Biscuits:

  • 100g butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 200g flour
  • 1/2 tsp butter cream
  • 75g brazil nuts, coarsely chopped.

 

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To Make:

The Toffee:

Line a baking tray with greased greaseproof paper.

Combine the butter and sugar in a small pan, and cook over a medium heat for 5-10 minutes, until the mixture is bubbling away and has turned a deep golden brown colour.

pour out onto the lined baking tray and smooth out into a thin layer. Leave to cool completely before smashing into tiny pieces with a toffee hammer.

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The Biscuits:

Grease a few baking trays and preheat the oven to 180C.

Combine the butter and sugar in a large bowl and whisk together for a few minutes until smooth and creamy.

Slowly mix in the flour, brazil nut pieces and toffee until the mixture forms a stiff dough, and the pieces and evenly distributed.

Turn out onto a clean work surface and roll out to a thickness of about 1cm. Then use a star shaped cutter, to cut out the biscuits.

 

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Transfer to the prepared baking trays, spaced out by a few cm to give them room to grow in the oven.

Place in the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.

Leave to cool completely on a wire rack, then dip the biscuits in some melted dark chocolate if desired. Serve and enjoy!

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Cranberry and Chestnut Sausage Rolls

Crisp puff pastry rolls, filled with sweet cranberry sauce, chestnuts and juicy sausage. 

 

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Its always good to have some quick and easy recipes for christmassy party food at this time of year! I got this recipe from a recipe card in Waitrose, and it looked to good I just had to try it out.

This recipe is super easy, and hardly involves any preparation, its just an assembling job really!

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These sausage rolls tasted absolutely delicious, the chestnuts and cranberry give them a lovely unique flavour, and I think they would go wonderfully on a Christmas buffet table!

Variations: You could use some different flavouring in the rolls, chilli and cheddar cheese would go well. You could also use turkey mince to make a sausage meat instead, for an even more christmassy taste.

 

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Ingredients: Makes 16-20 Sausage Rolls

  • Ready rolled puff pastry
  • 500g good quality sausages
  • 2tbsp cranberry sauce
  • 100g ready cooked chestnuts

 

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To Make:

grease two baking trays and preheat the oven to 180C

Get the sausage meat out of the sausages by slicing through the skin, lengthways, and peeling it off. Place the sausage meat in a large bowl.

Chop the chestnuts into small bite-sized chunks and mix into the sausage meat.

Lay out the ready rolled puff pastry and cut into two long and thin rectangles.

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Spread 1tbsp of cranberry sauce over each puff pastry sheet.

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Form handfuls of of the sausage meat and chestnut mixture into cylindrical sections with your hands and lay on top of the puff pastry sheets. Continue until the sausage meat is completely reaching both ends.

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Fold over the puff pasty, so the sausage meat in encased, and crimp the edges together.

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Cut each sheet of puff pastry into 8-10 sausage rolls.

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Lay on the prepared baking tray and brush with egg wash.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and crispy.

Serve immediately.

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Christmas Swirls

Sweet bread rolls swirls, with a festive apple and mincemeat filling.

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It’s nearly Christmas! I can’t believe it has come round so fast!

I love Christmas, as there are so many parties and get togethers, which present the perfect excuse to bake some delicious treats, so I will be posting a LOT of christmassy recipes 🙂

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Mince pies are the ultimate Christmas treat, but I wanted to see if I could come up with any alternatives, so I had a think and came up with mince-pie cinnamon rolls!

They make a delicious breakfast or afternoon treat, and they are a fun change from mince pies!

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Variations: You could try alternative Christmas’s fillings if you don’t like mincemeat. I think a marzipan and apple filling would be delicious, or white chocolate and cranberry!

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Ingredients: Makes 12 Rolls

The Dough:

  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 10g salt
  • 30g caster sugar
  • 10g yeast
  • 250ml milk
  • 100g butter, melted.

The Filling:

  • 500g mincemeat
  • 1 green apple
  • 50g chopped almonds
  • 1 tbsp stem ginger

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To Make:

Warm up the milk in a small pan until it has just reached body temperature. Stir in the sugar butter and yeast.

Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl, making a well in the centre. Pour the milk mixture into the well and mix the dough until it begins to come together.

Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead for 5-10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Return to the bowl, cover and leave to prove for 1 hour.

Meanwhile make the filling. Grate the apple into a large bowl and mix in the rest of the filling ingredients to form a homogeneous mixture, set aside.

Once the dough has doubled in size, turn out into a clean, floured work surface. Use a rolling pin to roll to stretch out into a large rectangle, about 2cm thick.

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Spoon the filling onto the rolled out dough and spread out evenly, making sure to each righto to the edges.

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Roll the dough into a long sausage shape, then cut into twelve 5cm thick rolls.

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Place on an oiled baking tray and cover. Leave to prove for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Once the rolls have proved, bake them in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and cooked though.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Serve while still warm for a delicious Christmas treat!

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Christmas Cake

Rich, dark, spiced cake, filled with a mixture of sweet dried fruits and chopped nuts.

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I LOVE fruit cake – especially Christmas cake, but unfortunately I am in the minority in my family, so I’ve never really been able to justify making one. However this year I have decided that I will make one, even if I end up eating the whole thing to myself!

I’ve followed Delia’s recipe for a Classic Christmas Cake, but I have changed the fruit combination a little bit, and I have used Grand Marnier and Cointreau rather than brandy.

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I was a bit worried when I made this, that my cake tin wasn’t tall enough, but the lining of foil-backed greaseproof paper did a wonderful job!

I would recommend starting this in the morning as it takes quite a while to cook! I started at 8PM (stupidly) so I was up past midnight making this cake! Dedication!

I’m enjoying ‘feeding’ my cake every so often and I can’t wait to eat it! I will put up an updated post it is all iced and finished 😀

I will be bringing this along to Fiesta Friday#97 this week hosted by Angie. Happy Friday everyone!

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Variations: Change the combination of fruits to suit your taste!

Ingredients:

The Pre-soaking:

  • 450g mixed dried fruit (raisins, sultanas, currants, candied peel)
  • 100g dried cranberries
  • 175g glace stem ginger
  • 175g chopped glace cherries
  • 200ml Grand Marnier

The Cake:

  • 225g self raising flour
  • 1/4 of a nutmeg, grated
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 225g dark brown soft sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1tbsp black treacle
  • 225g butter
  • zest of one orange and one lemon
  • Cointreau for feeding

To Make 

Grease and side-line a 20cm cake tin with foil-backed greaseproof paper.

Preheat the oven to 140C.

Place all the dried fruits in a large bowl and submerge with the Grand Marnier. Cover and leave to soak for at least 12-16 hours.

Combine all the other cake ingredients (except the almonds) in a large bowl and mix with an electric whisk, until light and fluffy.

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Slowly add in the fruit and almonds, 1tbsp at a time until fully combined.

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Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake in the centre of the preheated oven for around 4 hours. Remove from the oven once a skewer sunk into he middle of the cake comes out clean.

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Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Poke holes in the top if the cake using a skewer and pour over a few tbsp of Cointreau.

Wrap tightly in greaseproof paper and foil and store in an airtight container. Keep feeding win Cointreau a few times a week until you are ready to ice the cake.

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