A list of things that can be made for Christmas that taste better than shop boought

(104 Posts)
bymoonlight Wed 11-Sep-13 20:35:26

I need a list of things I can make before Christmas that are worth the effort and taste better than shop bought.

So what do you all think about:

Christmas Pud - always make my own but wondering if shop is actually nicer.
Chutneys - any really good recipes you would recommend?
Bread sauce
Cranberry sauce
Pickled onions
Yule log - worth the effort
Christmas cake - Link to a good recipe?
Mince pies - do you buy the pastry? The mincemeat? Or make it all?

Do you think these are better when you make them yourself? Have you given up making anything and now shop buy as its easier/tastes better?

Anything else which is better HM than bought in a shop?

Onefewernow Fri 08-Nov-13 14:08:42

Lucysmam, my kids don't like it either.

Strangely they change their mind in march to eat the leftovers spread on a chocolate cake with buttercream, when there are no biscuits in the house!

lucysmam Fri 08-Nov-13 14:51:07

accessorize I'm only soaking my fruit this weekend! Just been in Sainsburys for some almonds & certain bags of fruit and nuts had 20% off if that helps smile

ILikeToClean Fri 08-Nov-13 16:42:16

Accessorize it's not too late, I will probably make mine next weekend.

Think I am going to make a yule log too this year, maybe to have Xmas Eve! Anyone have a good recipe? (or I'll go to the Good Food website, my fail safe source!).

I have to pre-soak fruit? I am such a novice. Ok, so there's still time. Great! I shall pop to Asds or something tomorrow.

lucysmam Fri 08-Nov-13 17:08:51

you don't have to soak the fruit, you can just feed the cake if you want to smile

mazylou Fri 08-Nov-13 17:23:07

I did stollen last year and it got hoovered up. It's easy enough to make. Well worth it.

lucysmam Fri 08-Nov-13 17:52:57

Anyone make panetonne? (sorry about dody spelling, I can never get it right blush )

lucysmam Fri 08-Nov-13 17:53:22

Apparently I can't manage 'dodgy' either grin

Lizzylou Fri 08-Nov-13 18:10:12

The simmer and stir cake I do is really moist and will be made end of November. I made stollen the other year and it was grim, think I overdid the marzipan and it was just huge and sickly! I would love to know a panettone recipe!

So feed the cake or pre-soak the fruit. Excellent. Thanks.

lucysmam Fri 08-Nov-13 18:30:39

I only soak the fruit because it's easier than my girls scrapping over who feeds which cake really....far easier to get them to add fruit to a big jar....they can manage that because the fruit is in bags so one each to pour grin

MrsBennetsEldest Fri 08-Nov-13 18:33:04

We cannot eat wheat but are fine with Spelt so I have to make everything.
I love Delia's Christmas Pud. I have made it lots of times and it's miles better than shop bought.
Mince pies ( own pastry, bought mincemeat )
Sausage rolls, ( again own pastry, home made minced meat. Am thinking of adding minced wild boar this year)
Pork pie (own hot water pastry. It's a faff but if I don't make it,we can't eat it and I only make it once a year).
Christmas cake, I make the easiest ever fruitcake cake all year round and at Christmas I put some booze in it and it is lovely. If you have never made a fruitcake this is the recipe for you. I will post if it's wanted. It can be made a couple of weeks in advance if needed.
My special chocolate brownies, it's an American recipe...if anyone is interested I will post the recipe.
Stuffing, I do a forcemeat stuffing, really easy.

lucysmam Fri 08-Nov-13 18:39:37

I'd like the brownie recipe MrsB, was going to have a look for something to do with the girls tomorrow smile

CobOnTheCorn Fri 08-Nov-13 18:53:00

mazylou please could you share your stollen recipe?

MrsBennetsEldest Fri 08-Nov-13 19:23:51

American Chocolate Brownies.

5oz butter
1 cup cocoa
1/2tsp fine salt.
1 1/3 cups sugar ( ordinary granulated is fine)
1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs ( room temp )
2/3 cup plain flour ( or white Spelt )
1 1/2 cups choc chips ( I use costco dark choc chips)

Line a 9"x13" tin with foil leaving a 4 " overhang on the longest sides. Fold the overhanging foil back on itself twice. ( these flaps will act as handles to lift the brownie out of the tin). Butter the foiled tin.

Melt butter in double boiler over simmering water.
In a seperate bowl mix the salt, sugar and cocoa together.
Add the above to the melted butter and whisk slowly until the sugar has dissolved. Mixture should resemble fudge and pull away from the boiler.
Allow to cool until warm but not hot.
Stir in vanilla to loosen mix.
Add eggs 1 at a time.
The batter should look shiny and well mixed.
Add flour and stir until fully incorporated.
Beat mixture until your arm hurts smile
Fold in choc chips.
Spread mixture evenly in tin.

Bake for 30/35 mins 325f/165c/gas 3.

Leave in tin , on cooling rack until completely cooled.
Use foil flaps to lift from tin, cut into squares.

It's very rich and dense and gooey. I dust with edible gold and silver.

lucysmam Fri 08-Nov-13 20:02:16

oooh, sounds lush! tyvm smile

MrsBennetsEldest Fri 08-Nov-13 20:15:41

You are very welcome smile

ZingWantsGin Fri 08-Nov-13 20:26:28

gingerbread biscuits

meringue kisses

ice cream

INeedThatForkOff Fri 08-Nov-13 21:26:08

Haven't read the thread, but I think homemade mince pies and shop-bought are two different things. My mum is obsessed with just so, thin, short but not too crumbly pastry, topped with a dusting of icing sugar. Yum. But I also love the foil encased, thicker, granular shop-bought pies. Sainsburys bakery ones are nice; better than TTD.

Shop-bought mince pies are always better than my gran's yellowy, glazed-looking, heavy and rock-hard missiles <boak>

shezzle Sat 09-Nov-13 00:08:03

Oh I love this thread!
Every year I make-
A chocolate and apricot steamed pud with choc sauce as we don't like trad pud.
Chicken liver and champagne pâté- made it for gifts last year as family kept asking for it from the year before. Probably one of the simplest recipes ever!
Mince pies with homemade pastry and shop bought filling, a really good one if i can afford it.My friend gave me her pastry recipe after mine was always a disaster and I have never looked back! She uses trex which I swear makes perfect pastry even in my hands.
Italian festive stuffing from an old good food recipe book. It's vegetarian if you use rennet free type Parmesan cheese. I don't as not a veggie but just love this stuffing. It has pine nuts,raisins,ciabatta,herbs and Parmesan.
The thing I like about these recipes is you can make and freeze all of them at least a month ahead except for the stuffing. Each one tastes delicious and exactly the same as if they hadn't been frozen.

joymaker Sat 09-Nov-13 00:08:52

MrsBennetsEldest can you share your fruitcake come christmas cake recipe? I'm interested by the fact it can be made year round and 'jazzed' up at at Christmas. How so? My lot love fruit cake.

shezzle Sat 09-Nov-13 00:09:02

Forgot gingerbread Xmas cookies with the children- again they seem to keep for weeks and weeks too.

shezzle Sat 09-Nov-13 00:10:53

And nigellas orange and lime ice cream which also goes down a treat. I don't do complicated cooking and as a recipe it's just lovely and simple for Xmas with a mince pie.

WallyBantersJunkBox Sat 09-Nov-13 00:26:15

I made a huge batch of mince pies tonight and used 3 different pastry suggestions.

Delia - traditional pastry - half lard, half butter- it's okay, but fairly bland.

Nigella with orange juice and Trex was a little more crumbly - I added zest to the pastry too.

But the most outstanding was the Great British Bake off recipe book pastry for mince pies. It had ground almonds, all butter and some caster sugar. A beggar to roll out, but very forgiving to reroll.

They baked really well, and kept their shape.

I now have 90 mince pies boxed in the freezer. I am feeling tres Angelic!!

I can recommend Waitrose Traditional Mincemeat too, absolutely delicious.

We cracked open a jar of Delia's Christmas chutney today - I made it 4 weeks ago. Absolutely delicious, would definitely recommend.

So far I've made 3 mini puddings (Delia), her Christmas Cake, Chutney and my mince pies.

Sausage rolls will be next weekend, and I will bake the creole cake from Delia tomorrow (the fruit is steeping in mucho booze at the moment)

I will be making some chilli jam from Nigellas book next weekend too.

Closer to Christmas we'll make the Christmas Rocky Road from Nigella, some ginger biscuits for the tree and the Yule log. Oh and some shortbread too - that's very easy to make.

Everything else will be shop bought - I think I'll have done enough!!

shezzle Sat 09-Nov-13 00:33:39

Wally- do you have a recipe for your shortbread you could share? It's another of those things which have never gone well for me but we all love it! Mine seems to fall apart or I cook it for too long and it is hard.

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