Mince pie cookies (all the flavour in far less time!)

mince pie cookies

I had been looking for a novel Christmas recipe so a big thank you to my friend Cynthia for recommending this one, which is based on a recipe from The Times.  Best of all the cookies are very easy to make so you end up with all the mince pie flavours (using orange zest and shop-bought mincemeat) with a fraction of the effort!  That is my kind of recipe.  A great one for making with kids too if you fancy it.  Brilliant.

Apparently the cooked cookies and the dough both freeze well.  Recipe makes between 20-30 cookies depending on size.

Mince pie cookies

250g unsalted butter, softened
140g sugar
1 egg yolk
Grated zest of a smallish orange
300g flour
1 x 410g jar mincemeat

Heat oven to 180 degrees/gas mark 4.  Line 2 or 3 baking trays with grease proof/baking paper (or use a non-stick tray).  Lightly beat the butter and sugar until creamy, add the egg yolk and orange zest and then gradually the flour.  Then add most of the mincemeat and stir/mix with hands to make a dough.  Don’t worry if it seems greasy – it should crisp up when baking.

Pull off little clumps of dough, place on the baking tray and flatten slightly.  Dot a small blob of the remaining mincemeat in the middle of each biscuit.  Put in the oven and check after 10 minutes.  They will be ready in 10-15 mins when golden, a little brown at the edges but still a bit soft in the middle.  Be careful not to burn them!

Cool, and store in an airtight container.  Will last a few days.

Based on a recipe from The Times


Spiced whole roast cauliflower (10 mins prep/1 hour cooking)

spiced whole roast cauliflower

I have been wanting to try this all year and can now confirm that it really does work!  You cover a whole cauliflower with a marinade of Greek yoghurt and spices, roast it in the oven until it is brown then put it in the middle of the table so people can cut off chunks.  A unique, low carb/fat and delicious meal and it only takes 10 minutes to prepare then up to an hour in the oven!  Perfect for a mid week dinner.  Serve with a salad.  And don’t be put off by the the fact it looks a bit like a brain…

spiced whole roast cauliflower

spiced whole roast cauliflower

Spiced whole roasted cauliflower

1 medium head cauliflower
4 heaped dessert spoons Greek yogurt
Zest of 1/2 lime
1/2 – 1 tsp chilli powder (depending how fiery you like it!)
1/2 tsp ground cumin/cumin seeds
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp mild curry powder
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400°/gas mark 5. Trim the base of the cauliflower to remove the leaves and stem.  In bowl, mix the yogurt with the lime zest, chilli powder, cumin, garlic, curry powder, salt and pepper.

Put the cauliflower on a baking tray and use a spoon to spread the marinade evenly all over it.  Roast until the surface is dry and well browned, for between 45 mins – 1 hour.  Place on the table and let people cut off wedges.  Serve with a salad!