Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

The making of Christmas treats is well and truly under way now. I am making an assortment of bits and pieces to give to my staff, hairdresser, personal trainer, beauty therapist, friends etc. I love giving wee treats and really wished that I could take a few days off work to completely devote myself to wee treat making.

I made these first wee treats in the weekend. The wee cookies are marzipan cookies. They are almost like meringues filled with marzipan. They don’t look that fabulous (although if you use your imagination they could be Christmas snow flakes) but they do taste yummy if you like almondy flavoured things. The recipe is from the latest Donna Hay magazine which has got lots of great baked gift ideas. These actually taste the closest I have got to those little almond cookies that you get in Italy. Quite yummy.

The second wee treat is red velvet cake truffles. I got the idea for these on Bakerella’s site. If you haven’t visited her site, you must. She is so clever! She, of course, makes the most amazing things from her cake balls. I am far less creative and went for plain old truffles. The truffles are made from cake crumbs and chocolate ganache (although the original recipe uses cream cheese icing) mixed together, rolled into balls and then dipped in chocolate. This was a great way to use up leftovers. I hate wasting things and when I made my red velvet cake to decorate a couple of weeks ago, I put all the scraps into a zip lock bag in the freezer. Likewise with some leftover chocolate ganache. I was able to pull both out and make these truffles. I have also made some other ones with left over Madeira cake and chocolate ganache and I added some orange blossom water to the mix to give a different flavour.

Marzipan Cookies (adapted from Donna Hay magazine)

250g marzipan
1/3 c mixed peel
½ tsp lemon zest
2/3 c ground almonds
2 egg whites
2/3 c castor sugar
icing sugar for dusting

· Process marzipan, mixed peel, lemon zest and ground almonds until they resemble fine bread crumbs
· Beat egg whites until soft peaks form, then gradually add sugar until the mixture is thick and glossy
· Fold in the marzipan mixture
· Drop small spoonfuls on a baking tray and bake at 150c for about 25 minutes
· Dust with icing sugar immediately after coming out of the oven
Cool on trays


Maria said...

I love holiday treats! These look amazing!

Jacque said...

I think I would like the almond cookies. They sound wonderful.

The truffles are perfect for this time of year... so Christmas-y.

Great job!

Anonymous said...

Red Velvet is my favourite cake,thanks for the idea of using it in truffles.My hairdresser will be the lucky recipient of some of these on Saturday,and the neighbours will also be given them along with a jar of my (Digby Law)mint chutney.Probably best not eaten together though.