The last few weeks have been such a rush. Lots of orders for prints and textiles which were my priority but I also wanted to get treats made for Christmas gifts.
Every year I am on the look out for new recipes that I can make in advance to give out when people visit at Christmas. I have some traditional favorites that I make every year such as Cantuccini but I love to try something new.
This recipe for Cantuccini Biscotti is really easy and they always come out well. It makes about 50 biscuits.
500g plain Flour
250g Caster sugar
50g whole, unpeeled, untoasted almonds
1 tsp baking powder
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp of quality vanilla paste
Pinch of salt
3 medium eggs
2 egg yolks ( 1 white reserved)
Pre heat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4
Mix all the dry ingredients together then make a well in the middle and add the 3 eggs + 2 egg yolks. The dough should be soft. Transfer to a lightly-floured surface and divide into 4 equal parts. Roll out each portion into a long log about 4 cm wide.
Transfer the logs to a parchment-lined baking tray. Separate them by about 4 cm. Mix the reserved egg white with a tbsp of caster sugar and brush all over the top and side of the logs.
Bake for 40 mins, turning the oven down to 170C/Gas Mark 3 after 20 mins.
Slice the cooled logs diagonally into individual biscuits about 1.5cm wide then place them onto a baking sheet and bake for a further 5-10 minutes until hard and toasted. Remove and cool.
The biscotti keep in sealed cellophane gift bags for several weeks. Enjoy them best dipped in a good desert wine!
Stem Ginger Macaroons
These make fab gifts and again keep well so you can make them in advance. The recipe came from Dan Lepard in The Guardian
They are so easy to make but taste delicious and look great in a gift bag.
Chocolate and ginger tiffin
Here is a new recipe for me this year and it comes from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's Three Good Things. I added some chopped hazelnuts as well as the stem ginger and then when the mixture had been in the fridge for several hours I cut it into small 'bite-size' pieces and tossed them in icing sugar so that they don't stick together. These are really good and i've already eaten too many of them!
I designed a label for them and packaged them in packs of eight as they are very rich. Again they make lovely treats to give as gifts.
So the house is a tip and the tree is still to be decorated but we have plenty of yummy gifts at the ready!