Quick and Easy Christmas Baking

28 November 2016 | Schwartz

As well as parties and presents, it's the food that so many of us look forward to each Christmas, and not just because it provides the perfect excuse to bake and eat tasty, comforting dishes. To take the stress out of the season, we've come up with five quick and easy recipes to make your Christmas delicious, along with a few handy hints and tips to make things go even smoother.

1. Christmas Macaroons

Crunchy on the outside and delightfully gooey in the middle, macaroons are sumptuously sweet morsels, and their light texture makes them an ideal post-turkey treat. We've given them a festive twist with warming cinnamon, a classic Christmas spice which reminds so many of us of the holiday season. Even better, they only take five minutes to prepare – which leaves plenty of time for merrymaking with friends and family.

Top tip: The mixture may spread in the oven, so for a perfect bake, be sure to leave enough space between each macaroon.

2. Quick and easy Christmas pudding

The pièce de résistance to every festive lunch, is there anything as Christmassy as gathering round the table to fire up the figgy pudding? This bake only takes 10 minutes to prepare, and your home will be filled with the appetising smells of nutmeg and cinnamon while it cooks in the oven.

Top tip: Once baked, this dish can be stored for up to three days in the fridge, and six months in the freezer. Make ahead so it's one less thing to worry about.

3. Light fruit cake

Few things can transport you to Christmases past quite like the magical smell of festive baking. With aromatic mixed spice and ground ginger, this sweet fruit cake recipe is also quick to whip up, going from mixing bowl to oven in 15 minutes.

Top tip: Pierce with a toothpick to check if the recipe is done – if it comes out clean, it's ready to take out of the oven.

4. Gingerbread men

The ultimate recipe to get you in the Christmas baking spirit, these ginger spiced biscuits are a great way to indulge in some family fun, decorating your own designs with fancy icing. As well as being the perfect stocking filler, a plate of these by the door makes for a wonderful welcome to visiting guests.

Top tip: Measure out all the ingredients before you start for an easy bake.

5. Chocolate and cinnamon brownies

Christmas is a time of indulgence, and there's no Yuletide treat quite like sweet chocolate and warming cinnamon. With a fuss-free prep time of 20 minutes, these brownie squares are ready in next to no time!

Top tip: While it can be tempting to take a peek, keep your oven door closed during the first two thirds of baking time to ensure an even bake throughout.