Firstly, if you are going to be in London for Christmas and you're at a loose end, then check out what the lovely Simon from the Making Space is up to. He's running a Christmas Day craft workshop. It's at Sunbury Workshops which are near Columbia Road. You can donate to charity if you like, but the tickets are free. 'Cos, you know, it's Christmas.
I've been to another workshop there since the Mask Making, details will follow soon. All I am going to say is that it reminded me of Claire, the Purl Pirate...
There's soooo much baking going on around here at the moment. Despite my reservations about the amount of butter involvoed in most of recipes and the thoughts of handing loved ones a slice of heart disease on a plate, I have been cracking on with quite a few of the recipes from the Hummingbird bakery book. I heart it, I think. Because of that I am quite tempted to try the Primrose Bakery cupcakes although when I've tried them, I haven't been so impressed - perhaps because you've no way of knowing how long they've been around?
Something that's around at this time of the year but they rarely linger is mince pies. I've made a tray or two lately. When this was blogged elsewhere, I used their new name:
Makes 24 mini pies (doubling up the quantities will make you even more popular) in mini mince pies trays...
You will need:
160g plain flour
40g vegetable shortening
40g cold unsalted butter
Juice and finely-chopped zest of 1 small orange
Pinch of salt
400g mincemeat (you could make your own but shop-bought is fine)
Optional - 1 beaten egg to glaze, and cinnamon sugar to dust
Mini tart trays
Small round cookie cutter, approx 4-5cm
Small cookie cutter for decoration
- Put the flour in a shallow dish and add the shortening and butter, chopped. Spoon the flour over to coat the fats, then put into the freezer for 20 minutes. While you're waiting for it, add the salt to the orange juice and zest, and place in the fridge.
- Blitz the fat and flour into crumbs in the food processor, then slowly add the orange juice til it gets to that stage just before it whirls into a huge ball of dough. Remove and combine it by hand, and divide into 2-3 discs to chill in the fridge (so you're always working with cold dough later).
- Wrap the discs in clingfilm and put in the fridge for 20 minutes, and preheat the oven to 220c/gas mark 7.
- Roll out the dough very thinly and cut out 24 circles. Place in the tin and fill each with less than a teaspoon of mincemeat (not too splody, please). Reroll the remaining dough and cut out your top shapes. You can brush with egg wash and sprinkle on some cinnamon sugar now if you want.
- Cook for 10-15 minutes depending on your oven, and do keep an eye on them!