Quick and Easy Christmas Baking Ideas
Time for some quick easy Christmas recipes. I realise that some people have lots of time for complicated decorating, and really enjoy creating lovely looking cookies and cakes. Sometimes I do too, but at Christmas I always seem rushed off my feet and am looking for shortcuts. Here are my two favourite Christmas, dairy and egg free, fast solutions!
My quick solution to all decorating needs is glitter spray. It’s fast, you can use it in lots of ways, and it’s very pretty. Get lots of colours so you can play around with mixing them – sometimes a single colour is impactful, sometimes a mix works really well. This is a high impact, low expertise option!
Free From: Dairy, Egg, Soya, Nuts
So I’m allergic to nuts, and we’re all allergic or intolerant to dairy. Plus, of course, egg. So we’re on a mission for nut free mincemeat.
Robertsons Classic Mincemeat
JusRol Shortcrust Pastry
PME Lustre Spray
Robertson’s Classic Mincemeat ticks all the boxes for us, so that’s our go to product. Sainsbury’s Mincemeat is also nut free (the red label one), although I’ve not tried it.
We then grab a pack of JusRol shortcrust pastry – the pre rolled pastry, not the square. JusRol is dairy and egg free so safe for us.
You’re probably getting the drift of how easy this is now.
I simply roll out the pastry, onto the paper is comes in. Make is slightly thinner by rolling briefly with a dusted rolling pin.
Using cake release spray for speed, I spray my muffin tin and preheat my oven to 180°C, 370°F.
Using a large circular cookie cutter cut out the circles of pastry and gently push into the muffin tin making sure to get the edges down.
Then I use either a star, tree or snowflake cutter to create the ‘top’ of the mince pie.
I don’t fully cover the top of the tart, but rather just decorate the middle with something Christmassy. Once you’ve got the tops created, then it’s time to use the glitter spray to decorate. Do spread out a lot of greaseproof paper, using a spatula move the pastry tops to the greaseproof paper and choose the colour (s) you wish to use. The spray does spread, so be careful if you are doing multiple colours to keep everything spaced apart.
Add a heaped teaspoon of mincemeat to each pastry case – don’t fill them to the top or they will bubble over and you won’t be able to get them out of the tin.
Gently place the centre pastry pieces on the filled minced pies.
Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. I realise that most recipes call for a longer baking time – for some reason I find the JusRol pastry cooks a bit faster. Use a blunt knife to remove the tarts from the tin, and cool on a wire rack.
These are a go to recipe at Christmas for us. Sweet, crisp and they last for ages. The dough is very forgiving as well, it will keep in the refrigerator for several days so you can bake in batches.
The glitter spray can be really impressive with these cookies. If you spray close to the cookie you get the ‘splash’ effect you see here, you can also spray in stripes, dots or any wiggly pattern you like. It’s much faster than trying to decorate intricate snowflakes and a lot of fun to do with the kids as there is not ‘wrong way’ of doing it.
Free From: Dairy, Egg, Soya, Nuts
3/4 cup Dairy Free Margarine.
I tend to use a mix of Flora Dairy Free Margarine and vegetable fat such as Cookeen or Trex - about half and half as I think the vegetable fat gives a more flaky texture. If you don't have any Trex or Cookeen then you can go with 3/4 cup dairy free margarine.
1 cup sugar
2 tsp egg Organ replacer (plus 4 tbs or 5 tbs water)
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
PME Lustre Spray (on Amazon)
2 tsp of cinnamon for a more Christmasy feel
Cream together the margarine and sugar. Whisk the egg replacer into the water until frothy and add to the bowl along with the vanilla. Mix for 1 minute.
Blend in flour, baking powder and salt - if the dough is a bit dry you can add in a bit more water.
Chill for 1 hour – This is quite important as the dough will be too soft to roll out without chilling. If you find the dough a bit sticky just dust with a bit of extra flour and knead the dough again.
Preheat oven to 400° F/200° C
Now for the fun part. Choose your shape – if I’m in a rush I stick to two – this time snowflakes and Christmas trees. It makes it easy to decorate if there aren’t lots of different shapes to think about. Avoid people (like Gingerbread men, or Santa) for speed means you don't have to add eyes, mouths etc which is time consuming.
Spread out a lot of greaseproof paper – glitter spray goes everywhere.
Then decide if you’re doing solid colours, or a mix. I like a mix – sometimes spraying close to the cookie to get a splash effect, sometimes from the recommended distance to get solid colours. There’s no right or wrong, sometimes I spray over the one colour if I don’t like the effect. In short – have fun!
Then bake the cookies for between 6-10 minutes depending on size. Keep an eye on them – they should be light brown on the bottom.
Cool on a wire rack, then pop them in a cookie jar.
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