Jolly good Christmas delights

Jolly good Christmas delights

Gingerbread Man

Ingredients: Around 2 cups of all purpose flour; ½  tsp of  baking soda; 1 tbsp of ground  ginger; 1 cup of brown sugar; 150  gm of  butter; 1 egg (beaten) and ½  cup of icing sugar.
Method: Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Line  two baking trays with baking paper. Sift the flour, baking soda and ground ginger together and place in a bowl or food processor. Add brown sugar  and  butter and rub in with fingertips or pulse in food processor until resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg and mix. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour and wrap this in a cling wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll out on lightly floured surface or between  two sheets of baking paper until 5 mm thick. Use cookie cutters to cut out the shapes and place on  the trays. Bake the gingerbread men for 8-10 minutes or until cooked and golden. Remove from oven and cool on baking rack. Make the icing by adding a few drops of food colour and  1 ½ tsp of water to the icing sugar. Mix and pipe out designs  of your choice.

Bebinca

Ingredients: Around  175 gm of plain flour;  250 ml of coconut milk; 200 gm of white sugar; 6 egg yolks; 200 gm of butter, 1  tsp of nutmeg  powder and a pinch of salt.  
Method: Preheat the oven to 180 °C exactly  15 minutes before baking. Grease a round tin or loaf pan with 2 tbsp butter. Combine coconut milk and sugar in a mixing bowl. Beat this mixture with an electric beater till the sugar dissolves. Add one egg yolk at a time and beat until they all mix nicely. Now gradually add the flour, 1 tbsp of butter and salt. Beat well. Pour ½ cup of this batter and bake for 20 mins. Monitor frequently. Ensure the top layer is slightly brown but not burnt. Now  brush  some butter over it. Sprinkle little nutmeg powder.
Repeat the baking process after adding one layer of batter after another. Allow the bebinca to cool completely. Demould the pan gently with a tap on the bottom. Slice the bebinca and serve warm or cold with a dollop of ice cream.

Star-Topped Mince Pies

Ingredients: Around 240  gm of plain flour; 60  gm of shortening vegetable oil; 60  gm of  butter (cut into small cubes); juice of 1 orange; a pinch of salt;  350  gm of mincemeat and icing sugar.
Method: Sift the flour into a shallow bowl, and add small mounds of shortening vegetable oil. Add the butter, shake to cover it and place in the freezer to chill for 20 minutes. Mix the orange juice and salt in a separate bowl. Cover and leave in the fridge to chill. Rub the chilled flour in between your fingers to form crumb-like pieces. Gradually add the chilled orange juice and bring the dough together. Add a splash or two of cold water and bring it together. Knead the dough together to a ball. Divide the dough and shape into three equal sized disks. Wrap each in  cling wrap  and rest in the fridge for about 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C. Remove a disk from the fridge and roll out thinly on a clean, floured worktop. Using a fluted pastry cutter cut out 12 circles just a little wider than the moulds of a 12-hole tart tin (or cupcake tin). Place each circle in the tart tin, and fill with about a teaspoon of mincemeat. Re-roll the scraps, and cut out 12 star shapes and place onto the pies. Place these in  the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the pastry is a light golden brown. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Dust the cooled pies with  icing sugar.  
 

 (Courtesy:  Lejna Ramachandran,  Ajeet Nayak &  Nirmala Prem - Cookpad)

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