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Christmas Biscuits

Christmas Treats

by Donna Hay

Author- Donna Hay

Good, indulgent food is synonymous with Christmas, and no one knows that better than Donna Hay, food stylist, author, and magazine editor.

She joins us this month with four fabulous recipes from Simple Essentials – Christmas.  These are the perfect bite size treats or alternatively give them away as thoughtful Christmas gifts for friends and family.

Sour Cherry Tarts



1 cup sour (morello) cherries
Drained 2 tablespoons
Dessert wine
¼ cup sugar
1 egg
50g butter melted
½ cup almond meal
2 sheets store-bought shortcrust pastry
Makes 6


Preheat the oven to 200˚C (390˚F).

Combine the cherries and dessert wine, cover and set aside.

Place the sugar and egg in a bowl and whisk until thickened. Add the butter and stir through the almond meal.

Use  an 8acm (3 in) round cookie cutter to cut out six rounds of pastry. Push the pastry into six well greased a cup (4 fl oz) capacity muffin tins or tart tins.

Spoon 2 teaspoons of the almond mixture into each tart and top with the cherry mixture.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the tops are puffed and golden.



Christmas Muffins


2 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1.5 cupS caster (superfine) sugar
300g (10a oz) sour cream
1 egg
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
¾  cup dried sweetened cranberries
1 cup halved pitted cherries (fresh or from a jar)
Makes 6


Preheat the oven to 200˚C (390˚F).

Place the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and sugar in a bowl and mix well.Place the sour cream, egg and oil in a bowl and whisk well.

Add to the flour mixture with the cranberries and cherries and mix until just combined.

Line 6 x 1 cup  (8 fl oz) capacity ramekins with non-stick baking (parchment) paper, to make tall cylinders (see photo) and secure with string.

Spoon the mixture into the ramekins and bake for 30 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.




 Pistachio and cranberry nougat


2 ½  cups caster (superfine) Sugar 1 cup (8 fl oz) Liquid glucose
½ cup honey confectionery rice paper
2 egg whites
200g pistachio nuts, shelled
110g (4 oz)
Died sweetened cranberries
Makes 36 squares.

Place the sugar, glucose and honey in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sugar begins to dissolve. Increase the heat and boil for 7 minutes or until 140˚C (285˚F) on a sugar (candy) thermometer.

Line the base of a 20cm (8 in) square cake tin with rice paper. Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk until stiff peaks form. Add the sugar mixture in a thin, steady stream, beating constantly until the mixture is very thick. Fold in the pistachios and dried cranberries and spoon into the tin.

Cover the nougat with rice paper and press to flatten. Set aside in a dry place for 8 hours or until set (do not refrigerate).

To serve, remove the nougat from the tin and cut into squares. Store in a paper-lined airtight container away from moisture.  Again, do not refrigerate.



Vanilla Snap Biscuits


185g (6a oz)
Butter 1 cup caster (superfine) sugar
1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
2.5 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
1 egg
1 egg yolk
Extra icing (confectioner’s) sugar, to serve
Makes 45

Preheat the oven to 180˚C (355˚F).

Process the butter, sugar and vanilla in a food processor until smooth. Add the flour, egg and extra yolk and process to form a dough.

Knead lightly, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough between 2 sheets of  non-stick baking (parchment) paper until 5mm (b in) thick. Use cookie cutters to cut into shapes.

Place on baking trays lined with non-stick baking (parchment) paper.

Bake for 10–12 minutes. Cool  on wire racks and dust with icing sugar, if desired. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Donna Hay- Christmas


Simple Essentials – Christmas

By Donna Hay

Published by Harper Collins

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