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Are the holidays really happy without dessert? Let’s be honest, nothing spreads cheer faster than a sweet treat. And with December being the perfect excuse to indulge, it’s time to get those gloves out and bake up a storm. While it’s the season to whip up all kinds of goodies, it’s classics like gingerbread cookies or a pastry with mincemeat, that traditional English filling, that people love to come back to during the festive period. So we’ve picked out two recipes that feature some of that rich and scrumptiously decadent mincemeat with its mix of dried fruit, mixed peel, sugar, spices and suet.

Whether you’re thinking of an edible gift or something to serve when guests come over, these super-cute sweet treats include the perfect pinch of holiday spirit and will be loved by all. Continue reading to make the best holiday treats on the block.

Cranberry and Mincemeat Filo Tarts

Makes 8

INGREDIENTS:

  • 270g packet (6 sheets) filo pastry
  • 45g (11/2oz) butter, melted * 410g jar mincemeat
  • 125g (4oz) fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 2 teaspoons icing sugar
  • 8 x 7.5cm (3in) Yorkshire pudding tins, brushed with butter


METHOD:

  1. Set the oven to Gas Mark 6 or 200°C. Cut the stack of filo pastry sheets into 10cm (4in) squares. Cover with cling film while you work with them.
  2. Layer up four filo pastry squares in the base of a tin, brushing each layer with butter and arranging the pastry at alternate angles, like the points of a star. Repeat with the rest of the pastry to make eight tarts. Bake for 10 minutes until crisp and golden.
  3. Spoon mincemeat into the tarts and push cranberries into each one. Bake for five minutes, until the cranberries soften slightly. Dust with icing sugar to serve.


Party Palmiers

Makes 20

INGREDIENTS:

  • 410g jar mincemeat
  • 30g (1 oz) pecans, chopped
  • 60g (2oz) dried apricots, chopped
  • 425g packet (2 sheets) puff pastry
  • A little beaten egg
  • 60g (2oz) golden, or white, icing sugar
  • 2 baking sheets, lined with baking paper


METHOD:

  1. Mix the mincemeat, pecans and apricots in a bowl.
  2. Set the oven to Gas Mark 6 or 200°C. Unroll one sheet of pastry on a work surface with the short end facing you. Spread over half the mincemeat mixture, leaving a 2.5cm (1 in) border along the shortest edge, furthest away from you. Brush this pastry edge with beaten egg.
  3. Roll up the pastry tightly, away from you, like a Swiss roll. Press down the pastry edge. Wrap in cling film and pop it in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up. Repeat with the other pastry sheet and remaining mincemeat mixture.
  4. Cut the ends off each roll and discard, then slice each roll into 10. Using a palette knife, lift the rounds on to the baking sheets, spacing them well apart. Bake for 25 minutes until puffed and golden. Cool on a wire rack.
  5. Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl and gradually stir a few drops of hot water to make a smooth icing. With a teaspoon, or piping bag, drizzle icing over the palmiers.


Tip:

Freeze one tray ready to bake for unexpected guests. Bake from frozen, as above, for 25-30 minutes.

Image and recipe words: Women’s Weekly/REX Shutterstock



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