Walnut and Dark Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

img_2364 (2)

I had some walnuts left over from Christmas that needed liberating, after a lot of thought I made these cookies. You can of course use a pack of walnuts. Continue reading “Walnut and Dark Chocolate Shortbread Cookies”


Mince Pie Scones


If you get fed up with mince pies why not try my mince pie scones??

This recipe will make 6 x 65mm scones or 4 x 75mm scones

You will need:

  • 230g Plain Flour (plus extra for dusting)
  • 1tsp Cream of Tartar
  • ½ tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 30g Caster Sugar
  • 60g Butter
  • 80g Mincemeat
  • 7 tbsp Cold Milk
  • 1 egg beaten or milk and sugar for glazing (optional)


  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees grease baking sheet.
  • Sift the flour, cream of tartar and bicarbonate of soda together.
  • Mix in the caster sugar and butter into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  • Add the mincemeat and stir with a fork until well distributed throughout the mixture.
  • Gradually add the milk until you have a soft ball of dough. If your dough is a little dry add another tablespoon of milk.
  • You do not want to over handle the dough or the will be hard and tough.
  • Turn out onto a floured surface and gently press out (I use my finger tips and hands to press out the dough rather than squash it with a rolling pin) until about 2.5cm or 1inch thick. Cut out to your desired size with your cookie cutter.
  • Place your scone on the prepared baking sheet, reform the dough scraps and repeat until all the dough has been used.
  • Glaze with either the beater egg or I like to glaze them at I do my mince pies with milk and a sprinkling of sugar.
  • Bake for about 10mins or golden brown.
  • These are best on the day of cooking but will keep for 2-3 days in an air tight container.

Yule Log (ready made swiss roll)

At Christmas time there is so much to do and most of it needs to be done at the last minute on the day.

If you don’t have time to make your own Swiss roll, don’t panic, just keep a couple of your favourite swiss rolls in the cupboard on standby and within 30mins you can rustle up a Yule log! Continue reading “Yule Log (ready made swiss roll)”

Christmas Mincemeat

This is so unbelievably easy you will wonder why you never tried making your own before.

I cook mine long and slow as this helps it to keep in the jar for longer.

You will want to plan ahead as you need to combine all the ingredients the day before cooking and this will need to cook for about 3hours on a low temperature.

You will need:

  • 450g Cooking Apples peeled and cored (prepared weight)
  • 200g Vegetable Suet
  • 345g Raisins
  • 345g Sultanas
  • 100g Glace Cherries – quartered
  • 100g Dried Cranberries
  • 50g Chopped Blanched Almonds
  • 175g Soft Brown Sugar
  • 175g Caster Sugar
  • 2tsp Mixed Spice
  • 1tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • Grated Zest and Juice of one Orange and one Lemon. (I use a zester for this recipe).


  • Mix all the ingredients together in your roomiest mixing bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and stand overnight.


  • At least 12 hours later….. Preheat the oven to 120degrees.
  • Transfer the mincemeat mixture to your roomiest casserole dish with a lid or oven proof dish that you can cover with foil.
  • Pop in the oven for 3 hours. You will need to check on the mincemeat after 2hours and give it a good stir to make sure it is cooking evenly and the suet has covered all the fruit.  The suet does tend to sink to the bottom and the top can appear dry if you don’t stir it.
  • Mean while you will need to prepare your jars.
  • You will need at least 4 x 530g jars with lids (I reuse my jars).
  • Wash the jars and lids up in hot soapy water, rinse and dry them. Pop the jars, only, in the oven for 20mins before you need to use them. Allow the lids to dry.
  • As soon as the 3 hours is up and just before you take the mincemeat out the oven pour boiling water into the upturned lids, allow the water to spill over the sides and leave them there while you pack the mincemeat into the hot jars, empty the hot water out of the lids and place directly onto each jar. Leave to cool and label.

Remember everything is very hot! The mincemeat, the jars and the lids, so take great care when handling everything!

This will keep in a sealed jar for several months, I found one I have made last year still in perfect condition and ready for my mince pies – Yummy



Cranberry Sauce


Cranberry sauce is so very easy to make and it so much nicer then the bought jars you will wonder why you never tried before.

I make mine in advance of Christmas day, although you can make a smaller amount very quickly on the day.  This recipe makes about 6 x 500g jars. You can use fresh or frozen cranberries. Sometimes I find the frozen more convenient as they will keep in the freezer until you are ready to use them.

You will need:

  • 2 Oranges – juice and zest
  • 680g Caster Sugar
  • 1600g Cranberries
  • 4 Eating Apples peeled, cored and finely chopped


  • Dissolve the sugar in a roomy pan with the orange juice over a low heat.


  • Add the cranberries, zest and apples. Stir and gently bring to the boil.


  • Once boiling and the fruit has started to soften mash with a potato masher and simmer for about 45mins or until the sauce has thickened and it looks like jam.
  • Meanwhile prepare your jars and lids by washing in hot soapy water, ‘cooking’ the jars in the oven at a low heat (100 degrees) for about 15mins to sterilize and I like to sterilize the lids by pouring boiling water into and over the lids just before placing on the sauce filled jars.
  • Once the sauce and jars are ready, carefully fill the hot jars with the hot sauce and secure a hot lid on straight away.
  • Care must be taken at all times as everything is very hot!
  • Leave the jars to cool completely before labelling and storing for the big day!

Cranberry sauce is not only great with turkey, but also with chicken and with brie!