I had a productive morning today, merrily baking tree ornaments to give to the mums coming to 'Mama & Me' tomorrow - see, I'm starting to feel festive! I remember a few years ago seeing a recipe in a magazine for stained glass biscuits and thought, 'How hard can they be?'. I adapted Nigella's tree ornament recipe (as per usual, not all the ingredients were available) so here's my version:
Stained Glass Tree Ornaments
100g dark muscavado sugar (I used kuro zato)
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt (I replaced the salt and pepper with my Chipotle and Lemon Sea Salt)
1 teaspoon black pepper (apparently, to stop the kids from pinching them off the tree)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
4 tablespoons runny honey
hard boiled sweets
Divide the sweets by colour, then smash them with a pestal and mortar (be warned, it flies everywhere - if you wear glasses, use them!).Cream the butter and sugar together, and mix the eggs with the honey. Add the flour, baking powder and spices to the butter and sugar, and add as much of the egg mixture as needed Roll the dough out and cut whatever shapes you fancy. Place onto a piece of baking paper and then cut out a shape or hole in the middle of each one. Put a teaspoon of the smashed sweets in each hole. Using a chopstick, make a hole at the top of each biscuit to thread the ribbon through. Bake at 180c for about 20 minutes. When they come out of the oven, you'll need to stick the chopstick in the hole again to make it a bit bigger. Let them cool enough for the melted sweets to set, the remove to a rack. It's up to you as to whether you decorate them or not, personally I like the rustic look of them just as they are (and of course, it's less work!).
They tasted pretty good. M thought so, too. She appreciated the chilli.
Did you think I'd forgotten about the chutney? Actually, I had some for dinner with some pan-fried tofu - very, very nice! It's quite strong in flavour and probably won't suit everyone, but I am going to have to make another batch just for me!
6 persimmon, peeled, stoned and chopped
2 lemons, halved and thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups brown sugar (I used kuro zato)
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup cider vinegar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground corriander
1 stick of cinnamon
1/4 star anise
Put all the ingedients into a large pan and simmer for about an hour. Done!
Actually, although it's very simple to cook, it took me ages to prepare the persimmon. And as I'm typing this up I've realised that I'd bought some sultanas to go in this to... oh well, it's good enough without! By the way, the 'green raisins' I used in the apple relish turned out not to be sultanas - I managed to find the real thing on the other side of the stand (and at a fraction of the price) in Kaldi.
Right, I've got to go and wrap a present for 'Pass the Parcel'. Tomorrow's party is going to be 'birthday style', to remind them Christmas is actually a celebration of a very special birth!
6 hours ago