Easy and festive Christmas dessert recipes

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As the holidays are approaching, I think we can all agree that Christmas food is something we look forward to all year round. And by food, I mean mainly desserts. However, if you’re afraid you’ll mess up, as you don’t consider yourself a great cook, you might find these easy recipes ideal for you. As the intimidating food critic from Ratatouille said, “anyone can cook”. So why not begin with these festive and easy Christmas dessert recipes.

 

Gingerbread cookies

Ingredients:

  • 400g flour
  • 6g baking powder
  • 3,6g baking soda
  • a pinch of salt
  • 14,3g ground ginger
  • 7g ground cinnamon (you can also add nutmeg)
  • 85g softened butter (unsalted)
  • 96g brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 64g molasses
  • 8,4g vanilla extract
  • Optional: orange zest

Instructions:

  1. Whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda and salt.
  2. Mix the sugar and butter until combined, then add the eggs and molasses and continue mixing. Gradually add the flour and continue mixing until combined.
  3. Form the dough into 2 balls, flatten them, wrap in plastic wrap and put them in the fridge for about 2 hours.
  4. Put your chilled dough on a lightly floured surface and using a rolling pin flatten it out. Use cookie cutters of your preference to cut out the shapes then place them on to a parchment paper-covered baking tray.
  5. Bake them at 180oC for about 10 minutes.
  6. Let them cool for another 10 minutes.
  7. Decorate them however you like: sprinkles, icing, powdered sugar, crushed candy canes. The sky’s the limit.
  8. If you want to use icing a simple recipe is by mixing: 224g powdered sugar, 30 ml milk and 1,40g vanilla extract. Add to a piping bag and start decorating.

 

Sugar cookies

If gingerbread cookies are not appealing or simple enough for you, I present to you: sugar cookies. One of those festive Christmas dessert recipes you can use year-round, as they are so fun and creative to decorate.

Ingredients:

  • 480g flour
  • 40g corn starch
  • 4g salt
  • 227g softened butter (unsalted)
  • 200g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 5ml vanilla extract (but you can use whatever extract feels most festive and appropriate to you)

Instructions:

  • Mix the dry ingredients together.
  • Mix the butter and sugar together. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract.
  • Put the dry ingredients in and mix until combined.
  • Form the dough into a ball, flatten it out, wrap in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for about 2 hours.
  • Put the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll it out using a rolling pin.
  • To cut the cookies you can either use a circular cookie cutter or a glass to get the shape.
  • Place on a baking sheet on the baking tray then put the cookies on it.
  • Bake at 180oC for about 10 minutes and let them chill for another 10 minutes.
  • Again, when it comes to decorating you can use whatever you would like best and create the images you want. This is your creativity’s time to shine.

 

Apple pie

Might sound intimidating, but I promise you if I can make it, so can you.

Ingredients:

For the filling:

  • 1,5kg apples
  • 2-5 spoons sugar
  • Cinnamon to taste (about one and a half spoons, but you can use more or less)
  • 50g of butter

For the dough:

  • 500g flour
  • 200g softened butter (unsalted)
  • 100g sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 150g sugar
  • 4ml vanilla extract
  • 10g baking powder
  • A pinch of salt

Instructions:

For the filling:

  • Wash your apples, peel them, grate them, and put them in a large pot on medium heat.
  • Add the butter so they don’t stick to the pot and burn. As you stir them, add the sugar and cinnamon. Once you’re pleased with the taste, continue stirring for about 20 minutes, or until they brown and no longer watery.
  • Let cool.

For the dough:

  • Whisk the butter and sugar together. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Add the sour cream and continue mixing.
  • Mix the dry ingredients together and add the previously mentioned mixture on top. Continue mixing until combined.
  • Take the dough out, knead it and separate it into 2 balls.
  • On a lightly floured surface roll one of the dough balls with a rolling pin and put in on a baking tray.
  • Add the apple filling on top.
  • Do the same for the second dough ball and place it on top of the apple filling.
  • Bake at 180oC for about 35 minutes.
  • Let it cool for about 20 minutes then add powdered sugar on top.

 

Pinwheel cookies

Sick of cookie recipes yet? Didn’t think so either. Here’s another one of those festive Christmas dessert recipes you can get as creative as you want with.

Ingredients:

  • 250g sugar
  • 420g flour
  • 225g softened butter (unsalted)
  • 4,2g vanilla extract
  • 2,5g baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 2,5g red (or any) food colouring
  • 2,5g strawberry extract (but, again, you can use any you would prefer)

Instructions:

  • Mix the butter, sugar, vanilla, baking powder, and salt in a bowl until creamy.
  • Add the egg and continue mixing.
  • Add the flour and continue mixing until combined.
  • Divide the dough into 2 balls. Put one of the halves into a bowl and add the food colouring and your extract of choice and mix until the colour is evenly spread.
  • Divide each half in 2 again (so you should have 4 halves) make them into balls, flatten, plastic wrap them then place into the fridge for about 2 hours.
  • When chilled, take one of the halves, roll it out into a rectangle. Transfer the dough onto a baking sheet. Repeat the process for the remaining halves. Place them back in the fridge for another 15 minutes.
  • Take a red coloured piece of dough and place it on top of the white one, cut the edges so they line up and start rolling them together. Repeat the process for the other pieces of dough.
  • Place them back in the fridge for another 2 hours. Once cooled again, slice them into smaller circles and place them on a baking sheet on a baking tray.
  • Bake them at 180oC for about 12 minutes then let them cool.

You can also use any 2 (or more) food colouring colours you prefer to make them more fun.

 

Peppermint bark

Doesn’t get easier than peppermint bark in the realm of Christmas dessert recipes.

Ingredients:

  • 340g dark/brown chocolate
  • 340g white chocolate
  • 2,5 peppermint extract
  • 8 candy canes

Instructions:

  • Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl, add the extract then stir together.
  • Place the chocolate on a baking sheet in a baking tray then place in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
  • While the dark chocolate cools, melt the white chocolate.
  • When your dark chocolate is firm, pour the white chocolate on top and top with crushed candy canes.
  • Refrigerate again for about 20 minutes.

 

Hot chocolate/hot chocolate bombs

I think we can all agree that hot chocolate is a staple of the wintery season. Nothing goes with the cold weather quite like it.

I believe it’s safe to say everyone knows how to make it, but if you want to make it a bit more festive, I suggest adding vanilla or peppermint extract or ground cinnamon to it and chopped chocolate that will eventually melt and combine with the milk.

However, if you are curious about the hot chocolate bombs going viral right now, they are just as easy to make.

For the “bomb” itself, you can either use a Kinder egg or just melt chocolate and coat a circular mould then place it in the fridge. Once it’s solid you fill it with the hot chocolate powder and marshmallows, crushed candy canes or any sweets of your choosing. To join the 2 halves together just use some melted chocolate on the edges and place them back in the fridge.

When they are done, place them in a cup with hot milk and watch the magic happen.

You can even add a bit of rum if you’re feeling frisky (and if you’re age-appropriate).

 

Getting into the holiday spirit has never been as hard as this year. While the world is falling apart, something sweet can’t be wrong. Only comforting. So enjoy these easy and festive Christmas dessert recipes as you improve or get started on your baking skills.

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