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Party-ready bakes for the festive season

Food blogger Lily Lykkes rustles up some goodies for Christmas

With Christmas edging closer (only 16 sleeps!) we’re getting in the mood by celebrating some of our favourite traditions. Next on the list? Over-indulging in some seriously festive food. After all, nothing says Christmas like sweet aromas wafting from the kitchen and an overly filled plate of goodies on tap at all times. So, we’ve recruited food blogger and Nordic know-it-all Lily Lykkes to show us how it’s done with some of her most-loved celebration dishes. Need a last-minute canapé? Or a show-stopping dessert for the big day? We’ve got you covered. 

Festive Sausage Rolls

Everyone marks the beginning of the festive season with their own traditions, whether that’s bubbling up some hot chocolate with a splash of Disaronno or listening to Mariah Carey on repeat. For me, the colder weather and twinkling lights call for even cosier recipes and sweeter treats, which is why mine and my boyfriend’s signature Christmas Sausage Rolls always feel like the perfect way to welcome the season.

It’s fair to say that sausage rolls are a firm favourite throughout the year, but there is something about the extra Christmas spirit (zesty orange, sweet nutmeg and lashings of sage) in these that will have your guests falling in love at first bite. With a sweet sausage mixture made up of festive spices and fruits topped with a mouth-watering pastry, these bite-sized rolls and their glistening egg wash will light up any room.

And, with such a simple recipe, they can be made in advance or frozen – making them a host’s dream. If you’re after that extra festive sparkle for the dining table, pile them high on a plate with some fir, sage and pomegranate to make the perfect Christmas centrepiece.

Serves 4, takes 30-40 minutes 

I N G R E D I E N T S

6 pork sausages
1 pack of pre-made puff pastry
70g walnuts, chopped
A handful of fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
70g apricots
1 orange, and zest
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp nutmeg
2 eggs
Salt and pepper to season

M E T H O D

1.     Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees

2.     Tear the skin on each sausage so you can easily pull out the sausage meat and place into a mixing bowl

3.     To the sausage meat, add the chopped walnuts, sage, apricots, orange zest, honey and seasoning and mix (either with your hands or spoon) until fully combined

4.     Crack one egg into the mixture and mix until combined

5.     Roll out the puff pastry and slice in half lengthways. Spoon the sausage mixture in the middle of both pieces of pastry, leaving a 1cm gap at either end

6.     With the second egg, generously brush egg wash on all four sides of the pastry to prevent the pastry falling apart when baking

7.     Carefully wrap the pastry around the sausage mixture to form two long sausages. Leave in the fridge for 20 minutes

8.     Slice into your preferred sausage roll size and egg wash each one

9.     Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden

Christmas Biscotti

Originating in the Tuscan city of Prato, biscotti is a truly delicious Italian Christmas treat. They require no butter, just flour, eggs, and your chosen festive additions, so this is an ideal recipe for anyone who is dairy intolerant.

Every year I bake biscotti and every year I try to mix up the recipe with new and seasonal flavours. A few years back it was chocolate and orange, last year it was pistachio and white chocolate, and this year they’re jam-packed with festive fruits and dipped in rich dark chocolate to finish – yum!

For my most recent fruity biscotti concoction, I added almonds, cherries, raisins and orange zest. Not only does this give the biscotti a vibrant pop of colour, but it also adds an irresistible chewy texture that makes it impossible to stop at one. 

Serves 20, takes 60-80 minutes 

I N G R E D I E N T S

350g plain flour
2 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 orange, zest
200g caster sugar
3 eggs
70g raisins
70g flaked almonds
10 glacé cherries, chopped
100g dark chocolate

M E T H O D

1.     Preheat oven to 180 degrees

2.    In a bowl, add the flour, baking powder, spices and sugar and mix until combined

3.     Crack each egg into the mixture along with the orange zest and mix

4.     When the mixture comes together, add the raisins, almonds and cherries and work them in until evenly distributed

5.     On a floured surface, gently roll out the dough into one long sausage shape, then slice in half lengthways

6.     Add the dough to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the biscotti cool slightly on a wire rack. Turn down the oven temperature to 140 degrees

7.     Using a bread knife, slice the biscotti on a diagonal into 1cm thickness and lay back onto the baking sheet to bake for a further 30 minutes, remembering to turn each biscuit over half way

To try out more delicious recipes head over to Lily's Instagram.