Sunday, 21 December 2014

Cheaty Handmade Christmas Party Bakes

Christmas tree mince pies

I love celebrating at Christmas and after a super weekend of partying, I wanted to share some of my cheaty handmade party bakes. Make them ahead so you can enjoy the party season. Handmade is so much better than from the frozen party section of the supermarket!

I always make ahead and freeze or store in an glass jars in the fridge.

Mince Pies

Handmade mince pies are just yum, they taste handmade. I make my pastry ahead, chill in the freezer and work with it quickly. This weekend's mince pies had whisky brushed on the pastry and orange grated on the mincemeat just before the lids went on. Once cooled they were frozen straight away to keep them fresh.

My pastry tips are from Nigella's Christmas book and freeze it to rest before rolling out. The best pastry tip I know.

Other cheaty makes include  -


Using puff pastry for pretty canapes. Here we used roasted peppers and mushrooms with Italian herbs. The vegetables were roasted ahead and stored in the 'fridge in oils. Make the day before and part bake.

Star canapes


...freeze ahead just after cooling and decorate just before the party. I usually make mine the week before. Less mess and washing up when you want to get the home ready to stage the party.

cupcakes can freeze for up to 3 months but I usually turn freeze for 2 weeks so I can keep note of stock rotation


 Roasted garlic is great for bruschetta, canapes and dips. I make it a few days before. Blend roasted garlic with olive oil and store in Kilner jars.

And finally...

Look out for quirky festive cutters. The best place is the magazine rack in the supermarket! These beauties are from Essential magazine.

These lovely cutters and 201 calender came with Essential Magazine

Happy baking,


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