I didn’t realize Nigella had a Christmas Cookbook until I read Jain’s delicious review last year at Food for Thought~ it immediately went on my wish list! There is plenty to please and tempt your tastebuds to celebrate the holiday season~ from cocktails & appetizers, stress-free suppers, edible gifts to the Christmas day feast!
“Christmas is a time for family and friends, for tradition and treats. But, let’s face it, when the pressure to feed and entertain builds up, the festive season can begin to lose its sparkle… That’s where Nigella comes in. With her no-nonsense approach, her inspirational ideas and empathy for the practical realities of the season – combined here with reliable easy-to-follow recipes and reassuring advice about planning and cooking ahead – Nigella Christmas is guaranteed to bring comfort and joy and make sure the season of good will stays that way.”
“Here is everything you could wish for to make your life and your Christmas easy and enjoyable: from party canapés, cocktails and manageable mass catering to sumptuous Christmas cakes and puddings; from no-fuss brunch to quick and easy homemade presents (chutneys, preserves and other delectable standbys) and edible tree-decorations. There are mouth-watering recipes with a seasonal twist and simple menus for feeding friends over the extended holiday season with minimum stress and maximum enjoyment.”
I wanted to share some Holiday Cookbook love and giveaway a copy of Nigella Christmas~ although is late for your cooking and entertaining plans this season, this book is one I’m happy to have at my fingertips for future reference and certainly puts me in the Christmas Spirit with its beautiful photographs and presentation!
I’m also happy to say that Food for Thought is starting back in January with pre-selected books to review throughout the year! If you’d like to join in the fun, you can email Jain or myself for a list of books to review and dates. It will be fun reading with a playful purpose again :)
I went to the baking section for a little Christmas cookie inspiration for an annual cookie exchange and found two different recipes to try. . .
Christmas Chocolate Cookies
Chocolate shortbread cookies that are a “doddle” to make :)
❄ 2 1/2 sticks (18 tablespoons) soft butter
❄ 3/4 cup sugar
❄ 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
❄ 2 cups all-purpose flour
❄ 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
❄ 1 teaspoon baking powder
Festive Topping Ingredients
❄ 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
❄ 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
❄ 1/4 cup boiling water
❄ 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
❄ candy sprinkles/nonpareils
Preheat oven to 350°F & line a cookie sheet with parchment.
Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Sift 1/3 cup cocoa powder into the mixture and beat well. Sift together flour, baking soda and baking powder, and add to mixture. Or just put everything in a food processor and “blitz” :) if you prefer.
Form 1 tablespoon sized balls. Place on cookie sheet at least 2″ apart, pressing down into fat discs.
Bake 15 minutes. The tops will develop a cracked appearance. Cool 15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack until completely cooled.
For the topping, combine cocoa powder with confectioners’ sugar, boiling water and vanilla in a small saucepan. Heat over low heat and whisk until smooth. Cool 10 minutes.
Drizzle 1 tablespoon of glaze on each cookie, spreading lightly with the back of the spoon, then sprinkle with nonpareils. Work with 6 cookies at a time so the glaze doesn’t dry out before applying the sprinkles.
❄ Makes approx. 24 cookies ❄
Cranberry and White Chocolate Cookies
“…even if you are not usually a white chocolate eater, you will, I think, find these persuasive, perhaps even having to eat a second one straightaway just to make perfectly sure.”
❄ 1 cup all-purpose flour
❄ 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
❄ 1/2 teaspoon salt
❄ 1 cup quick-cooking oats
❄ 9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) soft butter
❄ 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
❄ 1/2 cup sugar
❄ 1 large egg
❄ 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
❄ 1/2 cup dried cranberries
❄ 1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
❄ 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and oats. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine butter and sugars. Beat until smooth. Add egg and vanilla, and mix again.
Add flour mixture and beat until well blended. Add cranberries, pecans and white chocolate chips, and mix gently until blended. Refrigerate bowl for 10 minutes.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll tablespoons of dough into balls, and place them 1 1/2 inches apart on baking sheets. Press each ball gently with a fork to flatten it into a fat disk. Place sheets in oven on two racks. Bake just until cookies are pale gold, about 15 minutes; they will still be soft when hot. Let cookies harden on sheet for 5 minutes, remove to cool on a wire rack.
❄ Makes approx. 30 cookies ❄
I did find these persuasive enough to eat a second cookie straightaway :)
Although I decided an additional drizzle of my remaining my white chocolate chips might be in order :)
If you’d like a chance to win Nigella Christmas, mention in a comment you’d like to add it to your cookbook collection!
A winner will be chosen Monday, December 19th.
“Practical yet inspiring, full of delicious, easy-to-follow recipes and reassuring advice, Nigella Christmas takes the stress out of the festive season and puts back the joy.”
The winner of a copy of The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree is Kathi Layfield!
Congratulations Kathi~ email me your address and I’ll get your copy shipped to you!