Christmas is just around the corner. Are you hosting a dinner at your place? Preparing a surprising menu can be a difficult task but, don’t panic! We can help you with these three recipes for Christmas desserts that will leave your guests asking for seconds. Which one is your favourite?
Gingerbread cookies are a classic Christmas dessert. They can be shaped like a little man, a house, a Christmas three… there are endless options when it comes to shaping your gingerbread cookies. And the best thing is that they can either be eaten as a dessert, or as an afternoon snack with hot chocolate, coffee or tea. Why not make some at home?
- 500 g of flour.
- 2 teaspoons of ground ginger.
- 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon.
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground clove or ground nutmeg.
- 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda.
- 225 g of butter, at room temperature.
- 200 g of brown sugar.
- 1 large egg.
- 170 g of honey or treacle.
Instructions: Christmas gingerbread cookies
– In a bowl mix the dry ingredients.
– Meanwhile, in another bowl beat the butter with the sugar until creamy.
– Add the honey and egg, and mix. Lastly, add the dry ingredients.
– Knead until you get a smooth but slightly sticky dough.
– Let it rest in an airtight container for two hours.
– Spread the dough with a rolling pin in between two layers of baking paper and place it in the freezer for 10 minutes. Then, cut out the cookies.
– Bake at 180ºC (having preheated the oven). Cooking time will depend on the size of the cookies.
Three Kings’ Cake
Another staple Christmas dessert in all households during this season, and especially, around the feast of the Epiphany, is the famous Three Kings’ cake (a ring-shaped cake). Filled with cream or with chocolate… there are many ways to enjoy it and the excitement you get from finding the little king figurine hidden inside is truly unique. Have you ever made you own Three Kings’ cake? It’s really easy, try this recipe:
- 650 g of bread flour.
- 250 ml of milk, warm.
- 25-30 g of fresh yeast.
- 120 g of sugar.
- 120 g of butter, melted.
- 2 eggs and 1 egg yolk.
- 10 g of salt.
- 2 and 1/2 tablespoons of orange flower water.
- Zest of 1 large lemon and 1 orange.
- Candied fruit, to taste.
- 1 egg, beaten.
- 1 orange.
- Oven-safe figurines.
Instructions: Three Kings’ Cake
– Mix a little warm milk with 2-3 tablespoons of bread flour. Add 25-30 g of crumbled fresh yeast and stir everything together. Cover and let it ferment for 15 to 20 minutes in a warm place.
– Once the dough has fermented, in a large bowl add the remainder of the flour and slowly add the other ingredients: sugar, lemon and orange zest, salt, milk, 2 eggs, the fermented dough mixture, orange flower water and melted butter. Stir well until you get a smooth dough.
– Dust a flat surface with flour and knead. If necessary, add a little more flour to help work the dough. Roll the dough into a ball and let it rest in an airtight container for two hours in a warm place.
– After two hours, the dough should have doubled in size. Take it out of the container and place it on a flat dusted surface to roll out. Little by little give it the shape of a ring. Once it is shaped like a ring, let it sit well-covered for one hour in a warm place.
– Finally, glaze your cake with egg and decorate to taste with candied fruit, laminated almonds, icing sugar, etc. You can also hide a little figurine inside the dough, which will make eating it even more exciting.
– Bake the cake at 180ºC (having preheated the oven) for 15-20 minutes. Take it out of the oven and let it cool down a little. If you want, you can cut it in half horizontally (so you have two rings) and fill it with cream, truffle or chocolate.
Another traditional dessert in all Christmas lunches or dinners are polvorones, a traditional dessert from the south of Spain similar to shortbread. Preparing them at home is much easier than you might think, and if you don’t believe us, write down this recipe and make this tasty Christmas dessert.
Ingredients (makes a dozen approximately)
- 350 g of cake flour.
- 40 g of ground raw almond.
- 80 g of icing sugar.
- More icing sugar to decorate.
- 110 g of lard.
- A little anise.
- ¼ tablespoon of cinnamon.
Instructions: Homemade polvorones
– Roast the flour and almonds: the day before place the flour and ground almonds in an oven tray.
– Preheat the oven to 130ºC with heat at the top and bottom and put the tray in for 30 minutes.
– The mixture will get a slight toasty colour. Let it rest until the next day.
– Prepare the almond dough of the polvorones by making a hole in the centre of the flour and pouring all the other ingredients inside. Mix well until you get a smooth dough. Place the dough in the fridge wrapped in plastic for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
– Take the dough out of the fridge and flatten it slightly with the palm of your hand. After, softly flatten the surface with a rolling pin. You can use a glass to cut and shape the polvorones.
– Let them rest for 1 hour.
– Preheat the oven to 200ºC (just on grilling mode) and place the polvorones in the oven for 15 minutes. Keep an eye on them so they don’t get burnt.
– When they have cooled down, sprinkle plenty of icing sugar on top.