Ho ho ho, everyone. You didn’t think you would get away without a portion of Christmas baking from me, did you? December may be crazily busy and I may be living in two different cities at the same time right now, but still, Christmas baking is a must. Even on the tightest of schedules, that would allow one to, I don’t know, settle on Christmas snacks instead.
This might be a breeze in comparison to my other Let’s tries – although as always these are the tutorials or recipes I have pinned before and am dying to try for you guys – but I promise, it includes all of the Christmas classic at least Brits have learnt to love.
(Polish Christmas is a… a bit different)
Gluten Free Vegan Gingerbread Men Cookies Recipe by Audrey (Unconventional Baker)
Close your eyes and imagine Christmas without gingerbread houses and cookies. That would be a true nightmare, wouldn’t it? Just the thought of it makes me shiver.
Gingerbread is such a Christmas snack classic, it just had to make this list. And once I saw these adorable Gingerbread Men made by Audrey, I was hooked.
Before I proceed, one note on the gingerbread I usually make. Yes, I have a me-friendly recipe I have been relying on for some time that is thoroughly tested. As it is a Polish recipe, I did not want to use it because of the language issues you guys would be facing, but this is where you can find it. You will notice that the main sugary glue in it is honey – as it would be in a traditional Polish gingerbread. This whole treacle thing is a complete novelty for me, although it does help one with the dilemma of Is honey vegan?
Audrey’s gingerbread took very little time to prepare. The dough was very nice to touch, but I did have one enormous problem with it. It was just so soft. I kept adding flour to it with every reroll and I think at the end of the day, I had at least an extra cup in – and that is when it started solidifying a little. That is also when the cookies started to taste like flour, eh, so at the end of the day that was not a very good solution.
Not that they were snappy after I finished baking them either – they were good. It is just that cutting them out and transferring them into the baking sheet was… well… problematic. I didn’t manage to get any big moose out of it, and moose cookies look so magnificent, and…
I did start cutting the baking paper under the cut cookies and carrying them to the tray on the paper. It was that soft. Then again, it is just aesthetics, isn’t it? They hardened just fine in the oven.
As I am also not keen on the icing – way too sweet for my taste – I just left my cookies as they are. There is a reason I have a hundred different cookie cutters. They can be beautiful in their true form. But the way Audrey carved hers is really, really pretty; you should definitely have a look at it if you’re struggling for cookie design inspirations!
Thank you, Audrey, for this recipe! If you struggle with food intolerances the way I do, you will find Audrey’s blog, Unconventional Baker, very useful – she posts delicious recipes truly free from (not supermarket free from which I believe usually stands for free from nothing but taste).
No Bake Coffee and Walnut Cake by Stacey (Goodness is Gorgeous)
For years and years of living over here, I had no idea that walnut cake is a Christmas tradition in the UK. Seriously. I think I learnt it from Mary Berry… I mean, who am I kidding, I have learnt everything I know about bakes from TGBBO. But even though I have been master of this matter for a good year now, till last week I was a total noob when it came to walnut cakes.
I mean it. I have never ever made one, and I have baked cupcakes made from courgettes.
So when I saw this recipe for a walnut and coffee cake by Stacey, I knew it had to make it for my Christmas snacks roundup – just so that I can tick something else off my baking bucket list, if nothing else.
Raw cakes scare me. I thought I’d put it out there for all of you to judge and laugh at my face. They just do. Even though I have made tons and tons of vegan bakes a week, I just… They scare me, ok? I don’t know how they work. One second they are wobbly and gross and the next they are a yummy cake.
I am a physicist; I should understand the power of refrigeration.
Also, I hate dates with a burning fashion – which I think I must have mentioned a dozen times on this blog. Just the smell of them makes me anxious. So, as you can see, I am really no expert on raw (which is always date-full).
I did enjoy making this one; it was quick and the result, with the crushed walnuts on top, looks spectacular and very café-esque. This is the sort of bake you want to fix up in two minutes during your favourite show’s commercial break and still impress everyone at the party.
As far as the taste goes, I have no clue. I… well, I did not try it after I saw how many dates I put in it. BUT since my boyfriend ate literally all of it with the speed of light (really, good I took my photos straight away…), I have asked him to tell you guys how it was (in his own words):
The walnut cake’s filling was pretty normal for a gluten free cake (in that it tasted of dates) and so was ok. However, the inside only served as a placeholder for the amazing icing and walnut topping, which is absolutely delicious.
Bonfire Night Mulled Blackberry Wine by Kate (The Veg Space)
You know what I did try? The mulled wine, of course.
No Christmas snacks collection would be complete without mulled wine. Well, perhaps a kids list would include a hot chocolate instead. Which would in itself make a very good Let’s try idea, wouldn’t it? Let’s try: Hot Chocolate, Hot Blankets and Hot Fireplaces. Maybe next time.
I decided to finish this roundup with something slightly different than the mulled wine I would usually make. My choice is the classic of all classics – cinnamon, lemon and orange with maybe some ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, whatever is in my cupboard. Kate’s mulled wine includes something I’d never think to put inside: blackberries.
The obvious problem lies in the fact that blackberries are not exactly winter fruits, but then again, in the current day and age all fruits are in season somewhere, right? Right!
Let me tell you something – I wish I had thought about putting blackberries and apple juice in my mulled wine before. It just makes it so so so much fuller. This little idea is bound to send me on an exploration of other things one can put in wine… I’ll let you know what I think of mulled… white? with passion fruit and mango.
Kate’s recipe comes with a little bonus idea too; on how to make very easy but cute apple decorations for your wine. I ran out of apples (as I always do in the autumn/winter when all I eat is baked or cooked apples), but you may want to have a look at the original ones!
A little question for you guys – from a woman who always forgets she is meant to ask questions – which style of Let’s try do you enjoy more? I have tried solid 3-parters, where all the recipes get a lot more love, and some snappy 4- and 5- parters, where there is more diversity but I do get considerably less time and space to devote to each of the recipes. I think I know my preference, but I would love to get to know your opinion!
As always, please let me know of any delicious Christmas snack recipes down below! I’m dying to try more while the Christmas spirit is still around!
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