I’ve had such a busy, but amazing few days. I’m really regretting it now though as my back is really hurting 🙁
I spent all day Friday baking and making gifts for my friends and family and then on Saturday I went out to lunch with my friends which was amazing as we had a good catchup. After that I went to my parents for a couple of hours and then I went to see my grandparents to give them their Christmas presents. I felt like Santa yesterday! The car was full of gifts and I had so many places to go!
In the evening I went out for a meal with my old work colleagues which again was fabulous as we had a great time catching up over a Chinese buffet. I have to say though, that I’ve been totally spoilt now and no Chinese restaurant is as good as my boyfriend’s! Haha 🙂
I also treated myself to a haircut yesterday, there’s only one person I trust to cut my hair and I’ve been going there for years, but it means I have to make it coincide with a visit to my parents! I didn’t have anything drastic, about 3 inches off as it was reallllllly long, but I didn’t want it to be too short, so I can still tie it back when I’m feeling lazy and I got my side fringe put back in! Feels so good to have a fringe again, it was so long it went half way down my neck :/
When I was well and truly into my baking frenzy on Friday, I made mince pies. Which, for me, means it’s officially Christmas. I know I’ve been planning and feeling festive for ages, but as soon as I get that jar of mincemeat down, that’s it! These are really easy to make and far superior to shop bought. The pastry is biscuity and flaky, no soggy bottoms here!
Recipe from BBC Good Food
> 225g unsalted butter
> 350g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
> 100g caster sugar
> Around 12tbsp mincemeant (you can use less, I like mine really well filled)
> 1 egg, beaten, to glaze
> Icing sugar to dust, optional
> Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and grease a shallow bun tin.
> Place the butter, flour and sugar into a large bowl.
> You can use your stand mixer, but I prefer to make pastry by hand. Rub the butter into the flour and sugar and continue until a soft dough forms.
> Lightly flour your work surface and turn the dough out, don’t so much knead as just bring the dough together properly.
> Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thick. Here’s where some people prefer to shape the bottoms and tops themselves, but I prefer to use cutters. I use a 7.5cm one for the bases and a 6.5cm one for the tops.
> Cut out 12 bases and lay them into the bun tin.
> Fill the mince pies as full as you want!
> Re roll the dough and then cut out 12 smaller round for lids. No need to egg wash the edges. Gently push around the edge of the mince pie to ensure a neat edge.
> Poke a hole in the middle of each mince pie to allow steam to be released and then brush the beaten egg over the top of each mince pie.
> Place in the oven for about 20 minutes until golden on top and the pastry feels slightly firm.
> Leave to cool in the tin. Once cooled, dust with icing sugar if desired.
> Will keep in an airtight container for 4-5 days although best eaten on the day they’re made as the pastry will soften.