Tag Archives: christmas baking


I had the most fun in the kitchen recently making Gingerbread biscuits with the little helpers. They loved it, cutters came out and a gingerbread production line commenced. This recipe is adapted and changed slightly, as I am not too keen on the overpowering taste of dried ginger, and to be honest neither are the children. So instead a tiny amount of ginger was used and some mixed spice, cinnamon and orange zest were added. The recipe is still festive and tastes more like the German style gingerbread I remember I had as a child. Do I need to add they make a great gift too or an excellent tree decoration…I am spreading more Christmas cheer this weekend with more gingerbread baking, the house smells delicious!

Magdalena Hendey (2 of 3)Magdalena Hendey (3 of 3)

  • 350g plain flour
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 175g light muscovado sugar
  • 100g golden syrup
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/2 tsp cinamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • orange zest from a half of small orange

Pre-heat the oven to 160 C. Measure the flour, bicarbonate of soda, spices and orange zest. Rub in the butter then stir in the sugar. Finally add the syrup and beaten egg and mix to form a smooth dough. Rest the dough for a few minutes and then roll it out on to a lightly floured work surface to a thickness about 5 mm. Cut out the gingerbread, place on the baking tray. Bake for about 10/12 minutes. Let it cool before handling.

Mince Pies.

We have entered the Mince Pie eating season, I always start a little bit early as I would rather indulge slowly than end up uncomfortable over Christmas, I very rarely actually eat a Mince pie on Christmas Day!

Yes I do make my own mincemeat I think it makes a huge difference, but I am sure a good quality bought mincemeat will suffice for those running out of time and too busy.  My Mince Pies are topped with frangipane, just a little twist as I never liked big fat pastry lids.

Magdalena Hendey (6 of 6)-2

Magdalena Hendey (1 of 1)


Put all of the above ingredients in a pan, mix well and cover with a sheet of aluminium foil and place it in the  preheated oven to 120 C for 2 hours.  Give it a good stir half way through.

For the sweet pastry

  • 150g unsalted butter / room temperature but not too soft as it will be difficult to handle
  • 90g caster sugar
  • 30g ground almonds
  • 2 egg yolk
  • 250g plain flour

Combine all the ingredients and knead lightly until the mixture forms a smooth dough.  Wrap it in the cling film and rest it in the fridge for about an hour.


  • 225g ground almonds
  • 175g soft unsalted butter
  • 225g castor sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp almond extract

Put the butter and sugar in a bowl and cream together with an electric hand mixer or wooden spoon until pale and soft. Beat in the eggs and add almond essence. Set aside if you using it straight away or store it in a fridge for up to a week.

To assemble the pies, roll the pastry out to about 3mm thick, cut out circles in the size of your tin (I use the ordinary muffin tin).  Remember to brush your tin with butter to prevent sticking. Line it with the pastry, spoon the mincemeat  up to the top of the pastry edges and top it with 1 tbsp of frangipane. Bake in the preheated oven to 160 C for 25 min until top is raised and golden brown.

Enjoy hot or cold with clotted cream or my favourite whipped Cointreau cream.  They are absolutely delicious!

Magdalena Hendey (1 of 6)-2

Magdalena Hendey (4 of 6)-2