Tis the season to be jolly…fa la la la la la la la la! It’s December! Wow, I just cannot believe how quickly this year has flown by. Where has all the time gone?! Now that it is December, I feel like it is officially the Christmas season. Decorating the tree, listening to carols, wrapping presents and baking like crazy can now begin.
I must admit, I LOVE Christmas. I always have. But now that I am older, I think that I get excited about different things that I used to. I love spending time with my family and seeing my friends. And of course, I like getting presents, but I also REALLY enjoy giving them too. I get so excited when I find something that I know one of my loved one’s will like, and look forwad to seeing the look on their face when they peel back the wrapping paper to see what is hidden beneath.
So, in order to celebrate the start of the Christmas season (although, decorations have been available in shops since September…crazy!), I thought it might be fun to share some of the things that I have baked for Christmas over the years. That is another part of Christmas that I enjoy…all the food! And each year, I love deciding what I am going to make to take for dessert after Christmas dinner.
In Grades 9 and 10, I chose Food Studies as one of my subjects, and loved being able to make food for Christmas in the final weeks of school. Both years I decorated a fruit cake, and in year 9 I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to make a ginger bread house too. Although, I’m sure if I made these again now, they would look quite different, but I am pretty proud of my 14 and 15 year old efforts!
A few years after leaving high school, I decided it was time to get out the fondant once again…Christmas just didn’t feel the same without decorating a cake! I don’t really like fruit cake all that much, so this time I decided to decorate a chocolate mud instead, which I believe was a reaaaaaaaaally good decision. This time, I ran with the present theme…
I have tried out lots of different recipes and made lots of yummy things to enjoy on Christmas and the days following. Toffee Truffles, Brown Sugar Shortbread, Raspberry Brownies, Almond Bread, Peppermint Bark, Caramel Mud Cupcakes…yum, yum and yum! Fast forward a couple of years, and this is one of the things I made last year…Hot Cocoa Cups! (I just LOVE making food gifts…like those jars filled with the ingredients for cookies…so cute!)
And of course I can’t forget what else I made last year…Christmas Tree Cake Pops, based on those originally made by the wonderful Bakerella! When we were in Honolulu a couple of years ago, Mum bought Bakerella’s Cake Pops book for me, and I have been in love with them ever since. I must admit, sometimes I just love flicking through and looking at the pretty pictures! I was worried that they were going to be reaaaaaaally tricky, but by following Bakerella’s detailed instructions, they weren’t too difficult at all. Sure, they were a little time consuming, but oh so worth it.
Christmas Tree Cake Pops
Recipe adapted from Cake Pops: Tips, Tricks, and Recipes for More Than 40 Irresistible Mini Treats by Bakerella
48 uncoated Basic Cake Balls (click here), formed into cone shapes
48 ounces dark green candy coating (this is quite expensive in Australia, so I used white chocolate melts and added green colouring)
48 paper lollipop sticks
48 yellow jumbo star sprinkles (these can be tricky to find, so I made my own stars using Royal Icing and my piping bag)
Multicoloured rainbow chip sprinkles
1. Have the cake balls chilled and in the refrigerator.
2. Melt the green candy coating in a microwave safe bowl. Make sure the bowl is filled deep enough with candy coating that you cab submerge the entire cone-shaped cake pop in one dunk.
3. When you are ready, remove a few cake balls at a time from the refrigerator, keeping the rest chilled.
4. One at a time, dip about 1/2 inch of the tip of a lollipop stick into the melted candy coating, and insert the stick straight into the flat bottom of a shaped cake ball, pushing it no more than halfway through. Dip the cake pop into the melted candy coating, and tap off any excess coating.
5. Before the coating sets, use a toothpick to drag gently through the coating, creating branches. Place a jumbo star sprinkle on top of the tree.
6. Let dry completely in the Styrofoam block.
7. When the trees are dry, use a toothpick to apply dots of melted green candy coating to the tree in the places where you want ornaments, and attach multicoloured rainbow chip sprinkles.
I certainly have my traditional favourites to make and eat each Christmas, but I love making something new and different too! What are you making?
Remember amongst the ham and turkey…eat sweet!