Hello Mommies !!! I’m back…only this time, with an express delivery from Santa. Or should I say, Mrs. Claus…
With Diwali barely behind us and Christmas fast approaching, clearly, Im frantically trying to get all my baking done ahead of time. Of which I never seem to have enough of this time of the year. But hey, nothing can beat baking goodies for the holidays with our little elves standing on their tippy toes trying to sneak a peak into to the bowl.
Having lived half my life in the US of A, which is the heart of all things Christmas, this holiday is especially close to my heart, not to mention, my daughter who looks forward to Christmas all year long ….like I look forward to my Tax Refund…lol!!! . Shes already made her list, put up the Christmas tree (the ornaments on which never seem to be enough for her) and even put up fake snow on it. All that’s left to do is bake Santa some warm gooey cookies.
Although we just love the warm scent of cinnamon, apples, nutmeg and pumpkin pies, that fill our home every year around Christmas, this year we decided to stir things up a notch and make some nutty and cool, superfast, Christmasy treats that….lets just say…will make it reeeeeally difficult, if not impossible for Santa to leave once he gets there 😉
After all, Nuts are the powerhouse of energy and Santa’s gonna need every little ounce he can get his hands on !!
So lets get nutty mommies, Good Old Santa is counting on us!!!
First on the list….
Salted Caramel Maple Nut Rocks
- 1 cup assorted unsalted nuts
- 3 tablespoons real maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- couple pinches of flake salt
1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
2. Chop the nuts into tiny pieces
3. In a bowl put the chopped nuts, add Maple Syrup, Vanilla Extract and salt.
4. Mix till everything is well combined.
5. Line a cupcake /muffin tray with cupcake liners.
6. Divide the mixture evenly among the cups.
7. Pat them down tight with the back of a spoon.
8. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes.
9. Take them out and sprinkle a little flake salt on each one.
10. Let them cool a bit.
11. them for at least an hour. Serve as needed
Fig and Chocolate Turtles
- Handful of dried figs or dates
- Handful walnuts or pecans
- 200gm milk chocolate chips
1.Grind the figs in a blender or food processor. (if you are using dates, be sure to take out the pits)
2. Grind until it forms a sticky dough. If its not forming a dough, u can add just a tsp of water to help it along, not too much. Add in salt and mix.
3. Put the dough in a plastic wrap and freeze for about 2 -3 hours.
4. Once its hard, break out little pieces of the dough and for m them into little balls about 2” wide and place them on a tray with butter paper on it.
5. Press 3 pieces of walnuts(with the walnuts sticking out a little to make it look like little turtles) and flatten them a little
6. Place them back in the freezer for about 20 mins.
7. In the mean time, melt the chocolate chips on a very low setting in the microwave for about 20 secondss. Take it out, stir and put it back in the microwave for 20 seconds. Repeat till the chocolate has melted into a smooth saucy consistency
8. Take the turtles out of the freezer. With a small spoon spread a little chocolate over the enter of the turtles avoiding the legs. (walnuts)
9. Put it back in the fridge till the chocolate hardens. Enjoy !!!
Strawberry Yoghurt Parfait
For the Yoghurt layer
- ½ cup plain soy yogurt (or plant-based yogurt of choice)
- 2 tsps fine castor sugar
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Crunch
- 3 tablespoons oats
- 1 tablespoon butter (or peanut butter , Nutella)
- 1 tbsps chopped roasted almonds (optional)
- 1 tbsps raisins (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tsps fine castor sugar
4-5 Strawberries (Hulled and Chopped)
1. Mix the yogurt with Sugar and vanilla, put half of it in a tall glass.
2. Add chopped Strawberries on top of the yoghurt layer.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together oats, raisns, sugar, chopped almonds.
4. Spread this mixture over the strawberries.
5. Cover with another layer of the yoghurt mixture.
6. Garnish with the remaining strawberries and oats mixture
- Twisted Pretzels
- Red M&M or 1 small strawberry
- Milk Chocolate chips
- 2 tbsps of melted white chocolate
1. Break the pretzels carefully to make it look like the antlers of the reindeer.
2. Put the oreo on a sheet lined with butter paper. Carefully open the oreo apart.
3. Press 2 pieces of the pretzel into the cream filled side of the oreo. (where the antlers would be)
4. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave at 20 seconds intervals.
5. Dip the plain side of the oreo in the melted chocolate and place it back on top of the other side of the oreo (at its original position)
6. Put it in the fridge for the chocolate to harden
7. Dip a toothpick into the melted white chocolate and drop 2 very small dots on the oreo (to make it look like the white of his eyes)
8. Dip another toothpick into the dark chocolate and make the pupils of the eyes.
9. Using the melted white chocolate as glue, stick the red M&M (or a small piece of Strawberry) on the oreo where the nose of the reindeer would be.
10. Let it set and gobble up as needed
Strawberry Santa Hats
- 1 cup of strawberries
- 200 gms of white chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup fine castor sugar
1.Cut the green tops off of the tops of each strawberry.
2. Set aside one white chocolate chip for each strawberry.
3.Put the remaining chocolate chips into a glass bowl. Microwave the chocolate chips for 20 second intervals, stirring in between, until the chocolate chips are melted.
4. Dip the flat part of the strawberry just a little into the melted chocolate to form a white border at the bottom. Sprinkle some sugar over the chocolate to make the brim of the Santa hat.
5. Using the melted chocolate as glue put one chocolate chip in place at the top of the strawberry to form the top of the hat.
6. Repeat for the remaining strawberries. Chill in the refrigerator till the Chocolate has set
Banana Pistachio Christmas Trees
- 6 bananas
- 1 cup fresh pistachios
- 2-3 strawberries
- 300 gms white chocolate chips
1. Microwave the white chocolate chips for 20 second intervals, stirring in between, until the chocolate chips are melted.
2. Pulse the Pistachios very fine or pulse them in a food Processor. It doesn’t have to be a very fine powder. Keep it a little coarse.
3. Chop the strawberries into small pieces.
4. Peel the banana. Cut into halves horizontally so u can get 2 pieces out of each banana.
5. With a knife, slightly sharpen the tip of each piece to make it look like the top of a Christmas tree.
6. Dip each piece into the melted white chocolate. Let it sit on a sheet of butter paper for a minute or 2. once the chocolate has set a little but still soft, coat it all around with a layer of the crushed pistachios.
7. Using the melted White Chocolate as glue. Randomly stick a piece of strawberry around the tree, to make it look like little red ornaments.
8. Stick 1 chocolate chip on the tip of each tree where the star would be.
9. Et Viola !!! You have 12 little Banana Pistachio Christmas Trees!!
Have a rocking Christmas all !!! Whose the Santa Now Eh??
Rakhi is a very talented Cake Artist and Pastry Chef and the owner of Sweettalk. She has worked as a chef in several leading hotel chains and started Sweettalk when she was in L.A. USA after her first daughter Mirra was born. Her passion for creating beautiful cakes took her from baking small birthday cakes to now baking some of the most iconic cakes that can be imagined.
Her FB page is https://www.facebook.com/SweettalkIndia and she can be contacted on +91 7738270006