Strathclyde Telegraph

Winter Treats

By Katie McEvinney

The festive period and never ending plates of food melt together like, strawberries and chocolate, or cookies and cream. Perhaps it is the twinkling lights of Christmas time that spark the fire in our stomachs, or the chirpy tunes filling the streets, that call upon the constant hankering beneath our reindeer knitwear. Quality street crown each night, and in a panic, we hunt down the surviving ‘good ones’ in a calorie consumed sea of glimmering empty wrappers, with a Terry’s Chocolate Orange secured in the other, chocolate-stained, no-shame showing hand. Or maybe, it is the dark December days and the ringing voice of Bono reaching out to us, reverberating around the world, that drives us into the fridge, again and again and again. Whatever the apparent reasoning, Christmas is a time for celebrating and sharing the food we are so grateful to have.

Here are some festive recommendations and recipes to satisfy those merry appetites this year.

Firstly, for any winter treat, the Christmas Market on Arygle Street should be your immediate stop. A variety of delicacies from around the world, ranging from Dutch pastries, German favourites and even, a Caribbean take on the classic Christmas cuisine. Waffles, pancakes, and chocolate-coated marshmallows line the stalls, mesmerising the passers-by, seducing them into the indulgent world of wonderful desserts. The cherry on the cake is the stall that serves churros, a deep-fried Spanish doughnut, coiled into ridged twists of choux pastry, and pure delight. Perfectly moist, crunchy and sugary, served with lashings of whatever you want; melted chocolate, salted caramel, icing sugar, chopped strawberries or chocolate chips. When it comes to churros, you are sure of a good time. The mulled wine from the market is cheap and tastes fantastic, unravelling the supermarket alternatives to nothing.

And if you feel creativity flowing from your fingertips this Christmas, then gingerbread house making kits are a simple way to make a tasty statement, centrepiece or decoration. Available in nearly all supermarkets, baking shops and craft stores, these kits are easy to assemble and allow you to put your own stamp on a festive European tradition. For only £4.99 in Morrisons, the kit comes with decorative icing, chocolate allsorts and sweets to get funky with. Creating the best house can make for interesting competition between friends, especially after some of that mulled wine, and once opened lasts for 3-4 weeks – perfect for picking at as the January blues take hold.

 

Christmas Pudding Krispie Cakes

We can remember the classic krispie cake, taking pride of place at coffee mornings and fetes across the land for years, but these Christmas pudding reincarnations give new life to the old school treats.

Preparation Time – 15 minutes

Completion Time – 25 minutes

What you will need:

-90g of Rice Krispies, any brand works just as well

-1 x 100g bar of chocolate, milk chocolate tastes the most classic, dark gives the cakes a bitter, more sophisticated edge

– 80g of white chocolate

-60g of unsalted butter

-3 tablespoons of golden syrup

-A pinch of ground cinnamon

-Dried cranberries

– Green and red decorative icing

  1. Melt the bar of milk or dark chocolate in the microwave (break the chocolate into small pieces) or melt over a pot of simmering water.
  2. While stirring, add chunks of the butter until melted, followed by the golden syrup, cinnamon and dried cranberries.
  3. Add the Rice Krispies and fold until everything is mixed and sticking together.
  4. Spoon the mixture into 12 round balls.
  5. Melt the white chocolate in the same way.
  6. Dip the balls into the white chocolate to form the tops of the Christmas puddings.
  7. Leave until cooled.
  8. Decorate the tops with leaves and holly berries with the icing.

 

Marshmallow, Chocolate and Coconut Snowmen

This winter treat combines three ingredients, which harmonise together to create a sweet, sticky, melt in your mouth experience. And on top of that, it comes in the form of adorable, miniature snowmen.

Preparation Time – 10 Minutes

Completion Time – 20 Minutes

What You Will Need:

1 x 100g of white chocolate

1 bag of white marshmallows

200g of sweetened desiccated coconut

Decorations for the snowmen –coloured icing, chocolate chips, jelly sweets, liquorice, whatever the vision for the snowmen

  1. Melt the bar of white chocolate in the microwave (break the chocolate into small pieces) or melt over a pot of simmering water.
  2. While the chocolate is melting, slice the corners off the marshmallows with a sharp knife, to give them a rounder shape. Cut more away from some marshmallows, and more still from others, so the snowmen have three different sized balls to make up their bodies.
  3. Evenly roll the marshmallows in the melted chocolate and then coconut.
  4. Stick the three sizes of marshmallow together while the chocolate is still wet and hold each one firmly for a few seconds until secure to form the snowman shape.
  5. Leave until the chocolate has hardened.
  6. Decorate the snowmen with icing, and then stick on chocolate and sweets to bring the snowmen to life.

 

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