Vegan advent calendar 4th Dec – Christmas tree spiced shortbread

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Christmas shortbread

Om nom nom shortbread. You know, I haven’t made shortbread since I was a child, so making a vegan version is definitely going to be a challenge for me.  Luckily, the recipe in my Mum’s cookbook (read about that here) didn’t require eggs like some recipes I’ve seen. So the only substitution was to use vegan margarine instead of butter. I also upped the quantity of marg, as I just wasn’t getting a dough, and I added spices to give it a more festive feeling.

shorttray

Ingredients

6 oz vegan marg

6 oz flour

2 oz caster sugar

1 teaspoon mixed spice

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions

Sieve the flour into a bowl. Add the margin,spices, sugar and knead into a dough.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface till about 1/4 inch thick (quick tip: an inch is roughly the length from the tip of your thumb to it’s first knuckle, use that as a guide).

Cut into Christmas tree shapes (you can buy biscuit cutters in most supermarkets) and place onto an oiled baking tray.

If you want to hang your Christmas tree shortbread biscuits on your Christmas tree, then make a little hole in the dough at the top, by using a sharp knife.

Bake in the oven at 150 degrees Celsius for 20-25 minutes.

Decorate however you want. Getting children to help with this is a fun task. Try sprinkling sugar, edible glitter, edible gold. Ice them with icing sugar tinsel and baubles. Go crazy with colour. It’s Christmas after all!

shorthang

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Vegan advent calendar 2nd Dec – Home-made mincemeat

No, not the meaty kind of mincemeat. The kind to make  mince pies with, of course! The perfect thing to get you in the mood for Christmas, if you weren’t already (I refuse to start being Christmassy until December!). Home-made mincemeat can be put in cute little jars to make an adorable present, if you’re not planning on turning into mince pies, obviously 😛

The recipe below is based on a recipe from  a cookbook my Mum was given in the late 60s/early 70s, when she was first married. It has lots of amazing traditional recipe in it, I’m absolutely loving the challenge of turning the recipe into vegan versions. The book is by Marguerite Patten and is nearly falling apart, it’s seen so much use!

mincegift

Seriously, how cute are these?

It is very easy to substitute ingredients in the recipe, depending on what you have in the cupboard. For example, the original recipe calls for mixed peels, but I had none, so I used chopped candied ginger instead. Feel free to swap and change any ingredients you please and don’t forget to let me know the results of any experiments 🙂

ginger

Chopped ginger

Ingredients – makes roughly 4 jars

125g Vegan suet or margarine  (I would recommend suet if you are giving it as a gift, margarine does not make the most attractive mince. I used marg in this vesion, so I apologise for the photos!)

1 grated apple

125g sultanas, raisins etc.

125g brown sugar

125g nuts (I used chopped almonds)

75g chopped candied ginger

Zest and juice of one orange

1 teaspoon mixed spice

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

4 tablespoons of amaretto (or alcohol of choice)

mincemix

Mince is very easy to make, just as simple as combining all ingredients and putting them in jars. If you are planning to keep the mince for a longer amount of time, make sure to sterilise your jars and seal them with wax discs and cellophane. The alcohol in this recipe also helps with preserving, but the book says you can substitute it for orange or lemon juice, but your mince won’t keep as long.

I have a theory that people who say they don’t like mince pies have only tried supermarket mince pies, not home made mince pies! Or said they didn’t like them as a child because the filling was brown and/or had fruit in. Please give mince pies a chance, they such a yummy British tradition. What’s your opinion on mince pies/my theory? 🙂

The Vegan Kind – 1st box review

vk8

Some of you lovely people may remember when I posted about The Vegan Kind last month. Well, I did subscribe and their first box arrived at my door a few days ago. Yay! For those that don’t remember, The Vegan Kind is a monthly vegan lifestyle subscription box, that sends you lots of different vegan goodies to sample.

Moving on to the box. This month I was sent some lovely sweets from Goodygoodstuff, QI tea sample, soap nut samples, miso bouillon, a recipe for vegan leek and potato soup by Vegan Vox, The Vegg vegan egg replacer, Salt of the earth vegan deodorant and a cute badge  by Koolbadges.

 

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Bonfire Night recipes – roundup

vegan bonfire night

So in the run up to Bonfire Night (TUESDAY!!) I’ve been lurking around blogs on wordpress looking for perfect recipes to complement the best night of the year. Oh yes, I dare to say it.  Unfortunately, it looks like I’m not going to be able have have a Bonfire party this year, but that doesn’t stop me from looking, longingly, at what others are creating this autumn.  I’ve seen some absolutely delicious looking recipes! Here are some some of my favourites, so if you are hosting your very own vegan bonfire night bash, take a gander at the links below.

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