Christmas Baking 2016

I was a little bit ambitious for Christmas this year, and wanted to showcase a variety of cakey snack things for my friends. I like to give cake because it’s relatively cheap while still being something people can appreciate and not be some tacky knick-knack that will eventually contribute to landfill. With that in mind, everything I made I packaged either in takeaway containers that I’d washed and reused, or paper bags that could be recycled. It really bums me out that candy canes have to be individually wrapped in plastic, but I’m hoping since Coles supermarkets recycle soft plastics, they can recycle tiny bits of candy cane wrappers.

I think if I had more time or thought about it a bit sooner, I’d look into pretty jars/Tupperware to put treats in. 

Anyway, this year I made a few things for my family and friends that have really looked out for me this year. Everything was vegan since I have many vegan friends/friends allergic to dairy. I made blondies using a recipe from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar by Isa Chandra, and topped with peppermint candy canes and Sweet William white chocolate.

I also made chocolate truffles dipped in dark chocolate. They were originally going to be rum balls, until I remembered a lot of my friends are parents. Haha.

Finally, I also made some gingerbread, using a recipe from the same Isa Chandra book. I think of all the cookbooks I have, I use hers the most! I did my baking over a couple of days rather than all at once. Well worth the effort! This is probably the last baking I’ll do for the year, so looking forward to more baking in 2017!

Christmas Gingerbread Snow Cakes

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I love gingerbread, especially around Christmas. I wanted to make cupcakes for my gym’s Christmas party (counter-intuitive, I know). I had some wafer snowflakes that I impulse-purchased on my UK holiday earlier in the year, so from that my idea for Christmas cupcakes was born.

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The gingerbread cupcake recipe itself is from Isa Chandra’s Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, which I then topped with a vegan frosting.

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Making the snowy ‘ground’ by spreading flat blobs of frosting

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I spiralled the frosting so it mimicked a Christmas tree.

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Then I topped with silver glitter spray and a wafer snowflake!

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Woo hoo! Christmas!!!

Christmas Dessert Trio

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Since the boss is going away in December, this year our work Christmas function was a bit earlier than usual. Everyone was asked to bring a plate so I volunteered to bring desserts, because they’re obviously my strong point when it comes to food.

I got a bit carried away with the baking and made three bitesize desserts. They’re all dairy-free to accommodate for allergies. I’m pretty pleased with how they all turned out!

The first were mini choc mint cupcakes.  These were vegan.

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They’re meant to look like little trees!

The second dessert were gingerbread cookies. I used a traditional recipe and swapped the butter out with margarine.

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The last were chocolate rum balls shaped like Christmas puddings. These were a bit finicky but overall pleased with how they looked. To make them, I baked a dairy-free chocolate cake and let it cool overnight, then mixed in vegan frosting and a splash (or two) of rum until a soft dough-like consistency.

I then rolled them in melted dark chocolate and let them set before topping with an icing made from egg whites and icing (confectioner’s) sugar, and a chopped piece glacĂ© cherry.

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Actual Christmas is still a little bit away but I still can’t believe the year is nearly over! Crazy!

Merry Christmas!

It’s Christmas Eve (Christmas in the eastern states, but we’re a few hours behind. But still ahead of US and UK!). I’m at my parent’s house and managed to find some privacy before being reluctantly carted off to midnight mass (just as I typed that my brother walked in yelling “hey Kim’s in here!” Sigh.).

I managed to squeeze in some Christmas baking and wanted to share!

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Mini Christmas tree meringues! I burnt these which made me sad, so here is a pre-oven picture.

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Gingerbread reindeer and mini trees! I used the trees as cupcake toppers (see below), pretty chuffed with how they turned out.

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I also made a pavlova at my brother’s request, but it kind of collapsed so I’m too embarrassed to post a picture, haha. Otherwise I’m pretty happy with what I did manage to pull off. My dream is to one day have the time and money to make a Christmas dessert table!

Hope everyone has a super lovely holiday season! I’ve already stuffed my face and still have four days here before I go back home… oh dear.

Much love xo

Christmas Crafting Part Two

I’ve been really bad with updating this lately, I guess because I haven’t been baking as much as I’d like. Been working on other projects though, including making and selling custom ornaments and accessories on my Facebook store.

The most popular seem to be Star Wars ornaments! They’re not quite perfect but still relatively pleased with the outcome:

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I’ve also (belatedly) discovered the power of Mod Podge and glitter – got a few shiny headbands in the works!

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I’ve been making hair bows for awhile now, which also make really cute present toppers. Been really pushing the handmade ethic this year! Kind of comes hand in hand with being poor haha. I did go to Made on the Left markets for local artists and craftsters and bought a few gifts there too.

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Support handmade!