Frangipane Mine Pie Slices

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Did you know, that throughout the period of Advent you're supposed to eat a mince pie every day? Apparently every pie awards you a month of good luck in the coming year, you don't have to tell me twice.  If this is indeed true, I'm in for some serious good luck in 2017!

A delicious take on a traditional mince pie.

While I'm usually partial to an iced-top mince pie, this year I've veered away from my comfort zone and have been delving into the world of frangipane.  Let me tell you, a frangipane mince pie is something else. The delicate almondy top is the perfect accompaniment to the delightfully boozy mincemeat. 

A delicious take on a traditional mince pie.

This bake can be as easy or as complex as you'd like it to be.  I made my own pastry but you can use a good quality store-bought version.  I used a jar of store-bought mincemeat, but you can alway make your own if you find a free afternoon. All I can say about these is they won't last long.  Pile them up and watch them quickly disapear.  Best served with a glass of prosecco and a Christmas movie. Preferably Gremlins!

A delicious take on a traditional mince pie.


Frangipane Mince Pie Slice

Ingredients
  • For the pastry:
  • 60g unsalted butter, cold and diced
  • 60g icing sugar
  • 1 large, free range egg yolk
  • 130g plain flour
  • pinch of salt 
  • For the frangipane:
  • 80g unsalted butter, brought to room temperature
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 3 large, free range eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 200g ground almonds
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • Jar good quality mince meat
  • Handful flaked almonds
Cooking Directions
  1. For the pastry, in the bowl of a food processor mix together the butter and icing sugar until combined. With the motor still running add the egg yolk followed by the flour and salt. As soon as the pastry comes together in a ball stop the motor and form into a flat round. Wrap in cling film and chill for 2 hours.
  2. Preheat the oven to 170C and grease a 36 x 12 x 3cm fluted tart tin with a little butter. Lightly flour your work surface and roll out your pastry into a long rectangle to fit your tin. Drape the pastry into the tin and press lightly into the fluted sides. Trim any excess pastry and chill for 1hr.
  3. Once chilled, line the pastry case with baking paper then weigh down with baking beans (I just use dried beans, they work a treat). Bake for 20 minutes, remove the beans and paper from the case and bake for a futher 5 minutes. Allow to cool while you make the filling.
  4. For the frangipane cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, add the eggs one at a time followed by the vanilla, almonds and baking powder. Mix until combined.
  5. Spread a jar of mincemeat over the bottom of your pastry case, spoon over the frangipane and carefully spread it over the mincemeat layer taking care not to mix the two. Scatter over a handful of flaked almonds and bake for 25 minutes until golden brown.
  6. Allow to cool, dust with icing sugar and cut into slices. These bars stay moist for a few days if kept in an airtight tin.
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Cranberry & White Chocolate Cookies

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Tis the season to bake cookies, fa la la la laaa.  Christmas is the time of year where you can count on unexpected guests dropping by. You never know when you'll hear that knock at the door and the last thing you want is to greet your friends and family empty handed. What would Nigella say?! 

Give Santa a break from mince pies this Christmas and bake up a batch of these cranberry and white chocolate cookies instead.

Cookies will always save your bacon. Whether you've got a batch ready rolled sitting in the freezer or you're the kind of person I wish I was and have a cookie jar filled with freshly baked goodies, you're in the clear.  There's nothing people appreciate more than a freshly baked cookie, or a Mulberry bag, but let's not trouble ourselves with that.

Nothing screams holiday baking like cranberry and white chocolate and I can guarentee a certain Mr Clause sure will appreciate a few of these babies come Christmas morning.

Give Santa a break from mince pies this Christmas and bake up a batch of these cranberry and white chocolate cookies instead.

Cranberry & White Chocolate Cookies


Ingredients:
  • 175g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 150g light brown sugar
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 300g plain flour
  • 2tbsp cornflour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 150g dried cranberries
  • 150g white chocolate chips
Cooking Directions:
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the butter and sugars together until light and creamy. Add in the egg and vanilla extract and beat till combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go. 
  2. Mix together the flour, cornflour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and with the mixer set to the lowest speed, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet. Once everything is combined add the chocolate chips and cranberries and mix until evenly distributed. Cover the bowl with cling film and chill for 2 hours or overnight. 
  3. Once ready to cook the cookies, remove the bowl from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature, around 10-30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 175C.   Roll into walnut sized balls and place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper leaving a two inch gap between each cookie. 
  4. Bake for 10-12 miniutes, until just begining to turn golden. Allow to cool on the tray for 5 minutes before transfering them to a cooling rack to cool down. Enjoy with a tall glass of milk or a steaming mug of hot chocolate.






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