This weekend we celebrated our Annual Christmas Jumper party. I’d like to say that, as the name suggests, it is an annual event but unfortunately last December we were let down by last-minute planning and a lack of available Saturday nights. For one year (and one year only) it became the ‘Less-Annual, January, Retro Ski-Gear Party’. This has much less of a ring to it so we’re back the ACJP and we were going aaaaall out!
I put myself in charge of sweet snacks, and drew much of my inspiration from Pinterest. I began with a simple shortbread recipe, which I baked into circles. As you can see, with just a splash of icing sugar, a plonk of a marshmallow and a twirl of ‘writing icing’ you have yourselves some rather melty little snowmen. You can use any old shortbread recipe, as it is much more about the fun of these. Having said that, I did get a 10 out of 10 for taste and texture too. This surprised some of us more than others…!Cheer up little guys!Ooh someone has spied the fridge…Next up we have the mince pies. They look extremely home made, I know, but that’s part of the allure…I think.
The recipe is top-secret, and only passed from mother to daughter (and 1 family friend, shhh!) so I’m afraid you’ll just have to come and visit me (….or my mum, or my grandma, or the, er…family friend..) to try one. It would be TOTALLY worth the visit though, especially if you come bearing brandy butter. And for my final festive finishing touch we have strawberry santa’s! These are also extremely easy. Whip up some double cream, then just slice the stalk off the strawb and cut it in half through the middle, then pop the cream in the middle, and a dollop on top. A piping bag will make this easier, or you can use squirty cream. This is the cheat that I used but it melted too fast so I’d go with some good, thick and whipped up cream. For the eyes I used chia seeds but poppy seeds will also work. That’s the only fiddly bit, but it’s worth it!
And to drink, it is obviously Mulled wine. There are recipes and sachets and tubes galore, but all you need is a few £2.50 bottles from Asda. Honestly, it’s the best I’ve tried. It’s not too sweet but has a real kick of spice and flavour. You can top it up with a bottle or two of red if you want further depth of flavour, and a few cups of orange juice will sweeten it if that’s your thing – and to pack a punch, throw in some brandy or port.