Well that’s crept up on us, hasn’t it? I’m not ready. Well all the necessary stuff is done but the pretty, enjoyable stuff, not so much. I am dedicating proper time to doing nice crafty things from now until the big day.
If you want to join me in these endeavours then may I recommend this little recipe for chocolate men, which can happily be strung up and added to the tree. Just don’t be surprised to come back and find big bites removed from these little fellas.
Two years ago: Mince pie brownies and Pulled jerk turkey sliders and Christmas pudding crackers and Fail safe mince pies and Boxing day pie and Christmas pudding flapjack and Last minute tropical trashy Christmas cake and Sausage,onion and apple sesame plait and Cherry eccles cakes and Cinnamon apple pie and Mushroom, leek and Stilton soup and Firecracker
Two years ago: Two minute marinade for chicken and Melted snowman biscuits and Egg nog truffles and Chocolate biscuit Christmas pudding and Drunken Amaretto mince pies and Cheese concertina loaf and Hot chocolate on a stick and Sausage, sage and squash lasagne and Chocolate hazelnut granola and Orange and cranberry loaf and Chocolate ganache tart.
Chocolate men garland
Makes 2 garlands, length dependant on size of cutters used
· 65g salted butter
· 50g soft dark brown sugar
· 30g golden syrup
· 190g plain flour
· 10g cocoa
· ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Preheat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas mark 6. Line two baking trays with non stick baking paper. Melt the butter, sugar and syrup in a pan over a low heat, being careful not to let the mixture boil. Mix the flour, cocoa and bicarbonate in a large bowl, then use a wooden spoon to stir in the butter mixture to make a stiff dough. If you find the mixture is too crumbly add 1 or 2 tbsp cold water to bring it together. Using your hands can make this easier.
Roll your warm dough out to about ½ cm thick, between two pieces of non-stick baking paper, then cut out chocolate men using cutters. Transfer the men to the lined baking trays at least 2cm apart. Re-roll the scraps and cut more chocolate men. Place on the trays and use a straw to push holes into the men, two in each ‘chest’. by lifting the greaseproof paper. Bake for 6 minutes for smaller men (about 4cm) and 10 minutes for larger men (about 8cm) until hard then leave to cool on the tray. Once they have cooled for 2 minutes use a skewer to push through the holes you poked with a straw as they may have closed slightly whilst baking.
Once completely cool use festive ribbon or twine to thread through the men and make a garland.
Photography by Scott Choucino
Board by Woodrow Studios
This recipe first appeared in Back to School magazine.
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