The weather outside was frightful, but the baking was so delightful

More snow covered the suburbs of Bristol this weekend, so it was the perfect time to bake some Christmas goodies. Mince pies and Gingerbread were on the menu.

A delicious outcome to all my hours of baking, i am particularly pleased with the shortcrust mince pies. So i thought i’d share the recipes…

Shortcrust Mince Pies – makes 16

Pastry
170g Unsalted Butter
265g Plain Flour
75g Golden Caster Sugar

Jar of mincemeat

.

Preheat the oven to 180C / Gas Mark 6 then cut cubes of butter and mix thoroughly with sifted flour until completely combined, the easiest way is to rub together using your fingertips. Then stir the sugar through the mixture. Do not add any water, pull together by kneading until the dough has a shortbread consistency.

Now you can either use the pastry straight away or store it in the fridge. If you store it, then remove it from the fridge a little while before you want to use it then re-knead the dough to make it soft.

Roll out the pastry and cut out circles to put in as bases in muffin/bun tray, put 1-2 tsp of mincemeat in each then cut out circle or star for lid, brush each pie with whisked egg then bake for 15-20 minutes.

Gingerbread Stars – makes 20-24

75g Softened Butter
50g Golden Caster Sugar
½ tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
50g Golden Syrup
2 Egg Yolks
250g Plain Flour
½ tsp Ground Cinnamon
½ tsp Ground Ginger

Preheat oven to 180C / Gas Mark 4. Beat together softened butter and caster sugar until creamy. Stir in bicarbonate of soda, golden syrup and the egg yolks.

Sift plain flour, ground cinnamon and ground ginger into the mixture with a wooden spoon.

Knead until the dough comes together, then put it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Roll out the dough, to about ½cm thickness. Cut out stars, then re-roll the trimmings to use again. Lift the stars onto greased / greaseproof paper on baking sheets.

Bake for 10-12 mins until slightly risen and golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. I used tube of white icing to decorate once cooled.

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