Friday, 23 December 2011

Have a very merry Schwartz christmas

If you're looking for some last minute, delicious recipes then here are a few from Schwartz. Our personal favourites are the tree biscuits, although only a few make it onto the tree as they are so delicious. We've also given them as gifts to Eva's class friends, and My best friend.

·         450g (1lb) plain flour

·         2 tsp baking powder

·         4 tsp Schwartz Ginger Ground

·         2 tsp Schwartz Cinnamon Ground

·         Schwartz Sea Salt Mill

·         200g (7oz) caster sugar

·         250g (9oz) unsalted butter, diced

·         4 tbs golden syrup

·         1 large egg, beaten

Hang these tasty Ginger and Cinnamon flavoured biscuits from the Christmas tree.

How to:

1.       Sift the flour, baking powder, Schwartz Ginger and Cinnamon into a mixing bowl. Season with a little Schwartz Sea Salt.

2.       Add the sugar and butter and rub in with your fingers until the butter is absorbed and the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

3.       Mix the golden syrup and egg together and then stir into the mixture with a wooden spoon. Bring together with your hands and knead very gently to form a smooth, stiff dough. Shape into a ball and cover in clingfilm. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes to firm up.

4.       Pre-heat the oven to 180°C, 350°F, Gas Mark 4.

5.       Remove the dough from the refrigerator and cut into quarters, allowing you to work with each quarter at a time. Keep the remaining dough in the refrigerator until you are ready to roll it.

6.       Roll out the dough to a thickness of approx. 3mm and cut into festive shapes.

7.       Place the biscuits onto baking sheets lined with greaseproof paper.

8.       Bake the biscuits for 12-14 minutes until golden brown, remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack.

9.       Using a wooden skewer, make a small hole in each biscuit whilst they are still warm.

10.   Once completely cooled, decorate as desired, tie a ribbon through the hole and hang on the tree.

Cook's Notes
These biscuits can be kept in an airtight container for up to 1 week. This recipe makes approx. 75-80 biscuits, which may seem a lot but there will be plenty to hang on the tree, for the children to nibble on, and even more to wrap up in lovely Christmas film and give to friends and family.

We have made this a couple of times using half the quantities of the ingredients, and there has still been plenty to go around. Definitely worth a try as a truly yummy treat.

·         Oranges, lemons or limes
·         Masking tape
·         Toothpicks or wooden skewers
·         1 jar Schwartz Whole Cloves (will cover approx. 2-3 pieces of fruit)
·         2 Schwartz Cinnamon Sticks
·         2 Schwartz Star Anise Whole
·         2 Schwartz Nutmeg Whole
·         Ribbon
Pomanders make excellent fragrant festive decorations and are great for Christmas gifts.
How to:
1.       Use masking tape to mark out where you want to tie the ribbon on the fruit - oranges look great with a criss-cross formation, lemons and limes work well with ribbon tied around the middle of the fruit.
2.       Then, using the toothpick or wooden skewer, pierce evenly spaced holes into the surface of the fruit around the masking tape and insert the Schwartz Cloves. Leave a small gap between each one as the fruit will shrink when dried.
3.       When the surface of the fruit is covered with Schwartz Cloves, remove the masking tape and place onto a wire rack.
4.       Put Schwartz Cinnamon Sticks, Star Anise and Whole Nutmeg onto a baking tray and place the wire rack on top. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 130°C, 275°F, Gas Mark 1 for about 4-5 hours, or until the fruit has darkened and dried out.
5.       Alternatively, place the fruit in a paper bag and pop in a warm airing cupboard for 3-4 weeks to dry out.
6.       Allow the pomander to cool, then wrap the ribbon around the gap left by the masking tape. Tie in a bow or loop for hanging.
Cook's Notes
Your pomanders will look great in a coloured bowl, decorated with the Schwartz Cinnamon Sticks, Whole Nutmeg and Star Anise. Why not try brushing them with some gold dust for a beautiful sparkle.
This is a fun activity to do with little ones that will leave your house smelling beautiful and festive. Also make great handmade gifts for family and friends.

·         100g (4oz) self-raising flour

·         50g (2oz) fresh white breadcrumbs

·         50g (2oz) ground almonds

·         275g (10oz) soft dark brown sugar

·         75g (3oz) suet

·         225g (8oz) raisins

·         225g (8oz) currants

·         225g (8oz) sultanas


·         50g (2oz) flaked almonds

·         1 tsp Schwartz Cinnamon Ground

·         ½ tsp Schwartz Nutmeg Ground

·         ½ tsp Schwartz Coriander Ground

·         ½ tsp Schwartz Allspice Ground

·         ½ tsp salt

·         3 medium eggs

·         3 tbs brandy

·         150ml (¼ pint) brown ale

·         3 x 0.5 litre pudding bowls

This deliciously spiced, moist and fruity, home-made Christmas pudding is really simple to make. The recipe is enough for 3 puddings and, if you can resist eating them all over the festive season, they do freeze really well.

How to:

1.       To prepare the pudding basins, grease them really well and line the bottom of each one with a small square of greased greaseproof paper.

2.       Mix together all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the brandy and brown ale.

3.       Combine the fruit mixture with the egg mixture and stir well. Spoon equally into the prepared basins and cover each with a circle of greaseproof paper. Top each basin with a large square of pleated greaseproof paper and secure well with string. Make a handle with a double length piece of string and tie securely through both ends.

4.       Place each pudding in a separate steamer or large saucepan with an upturned saucer inside, and pour in enough boiling water to come half-way up the sides of the basins.

5.       Steam for 2-2½ hours, topping up with more boiling water when necessary. Remove and set aside to cool. Replace the greaseproof paper with fresh, ready for re-steaming, and store in a cool dry place.

6.       On the day of serving, re-steam the pudding, as above, for 1-2 hours. Alternatively, pierce the greaseproof paper and re-heat in the microwave on full power for 2-2½ minutes, or until piping hot throughout.

7.       Remove the greaseproof paper, place a plate on top of the basin and turn upside down. Shake the pudding gently to release onto the plate.

8.       To flame, simply heat 2 tbs brandy in a small saucepan and light before pouring over the pudding immediately.
Cook's Notes
You can make your pudding anywhere up to 6 months in advance of Christmas. This recipe makes 3 puddings, each serving 4-6 people - that's one for Christmas Day, one to wrap up as a gift and one for unexpected visitors over the Christmas season, or you can keep it for Easter if you can resist it that long!

·         75cl bottle red wine

·         200ml (7fl oz) orange juice

·         3 tbs brown sugar

·         150ml (¼ pint) brandy(optional)

·         1 orange, sliced

1.       Place the wine, orange juice, sugar and Schwartz Mulled Wine Spice sachets in a large saucepan.

2.       Heat to just below boiling point and hold this temperature for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3.       Remove sachets.  Stir in brandy and orange slices then serve.

I will be making this Christmas eve to truly get into the Christmas spirit, but must remember not to drink too much so that I don't spend Christmas day hungover.

Have a very merry Christmas, from all at Schwartz x

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