Little hacks for Christmas by DaddyCooksFood

05 December 2018 | Daddy Cooks

Matt, aka popular parenting influencer DaddyCooksFood, has been creating delicious, kid-friendly recipes for 3 years for his growing fan base who love his simple and creative takes on family favourites. This Christmas, Matt has used some of his favourite Schwartz herbs and spices in a collection of recipes helping other parents make Christmas food even more exciting. The whole family will enjoy his specially created festive favourites with a twist.
 

Butternut Squash Soup with Cinnamon Cream:

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DaddyCooksFood’s first recipe for Butternut Squash Soup with a fragrant Cinnamon Cream is sure to warm you up.

- 175ml (6fl oz) double cream
- ¼ tsp Schwartz Ground Cinnamon 
- 750g (1.7lb) butternut squash
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 red onion, sliced relatively thinly
- 50ml (2fl oz) sunflower oil
- 800ml (1¼ pint) chicken stock
- 50g (2oz) butter
- 1 tsp Schwartz Ground Nutmeg
- ½ tsp Schwartz Ground Ginger
- Schwartz Sea Salt and Black Pepper to season

Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC, 350ºF, Gas Mark 4.

Whisk 145ml of the double cream until it forms soft peaks, stir in the Schwartz Cinnamon and leave to chill in the fridge.

Peel and cube the squash and put it on a tray in the oven with the garlic, red onion and oil. Season and jumble together with your hands so everything is coated. Roast for about half an hour.

Warm the stock until it is simmering gently, ready for when the vegetables are roasted. Carefully tip the squash, onion and garlic in to the stock. Add the butter, remaining 2 tbs of cream, and the Ginger and Nutmeg to the pan, then use a hand-held blender to make a smooth-ish puree. Season to taste.

Pour in to bowls, then use two dessert spoons to scoop out quenelles of the Cinnamon cream and place them in the centre of the soup. Serve with a crusty roll.

 

Chocolate Orange Tear and Share Snowflake Pastry Party Centrepiece

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This next recipe may be designed to be shared, but nobody will blame you if you hide it from the kids and eat the whole thing in one go, as it’s a true masterpiece.

- 2 large sheets of puff pastry 
- 175g (6oz) icing sugar, (25g or 1oz for dusting) 
- 1/4 tsp vanilla essence
- 1/4 tsp Schwartz Allspice
- ¼ tsp Schwartz Cinnamon
- 25ml (1fl oz) mandarin/orange juice, plus 1 tbs to loosen icing
- Handful of chocolate chips
- 50ml (2fl oz) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tbs caster sugar mixed with 1/4 tsp of Schwartz Ground Nutmeg and ¼ tsp of Schwartz Ground Ginger

Pre-heat the oven to 175ºC fan, 400ºF, Gas Mark 6.

Lay out one sheet of puff pastry and prick it quite thoroughly with a fork to prevent it rising too much. 

Put the icing sugar in to a bowl and mix in the spices and essence. Slowly pour in the orange juice, a bit at a time, until it forms quite a firm icing - you don’t want it to be able to dribble out of the pastry. You may not need all the juice.

Place a round ramekin or similar in the middle of the pricked pastry sheet, then spread a very thin layer of the icing mixture over the sheet, adding a few chocolate chips. Pick up the ramekin, lay the other sheet of pastry on top of the first and replace the ramekin. Cut out 12 spokes from the circle outside the ramekin and then crimp each edge with the prongs of a fork. Lift each spoke and twist it over twice to form a sort of rudimentary plait.

You can also bake the triangles that you remove. Simply use a fork to seal their edges and prepare them in the same way as the main snowflake and serve on the side for extra pastry to dip.

Remove the central ramekin and prick the circle underneath to prevent it from rising. 

Brush the finished pastry snowflake with the melted butter and sprinkle evenly with the caster sugar and spices.

Bake for 12-14 minutes until golden and slightly caramelised. Allow to cool.

Loosen the remainder of the icing mixture with a tbsp of orange juice and drizzle it freely over the pastry snowflake. Dust the whole thing with extra icing sugar.

If you wish, melt some chocolate into the ramekin and place in the centre of the snowflake for dipping and serve.

 

Festive Themed (Stars) Winter Vegetables with Honey (and optional whiskey for the adults)

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With a fragrant twist to classic roasted vegetables these are veg that even the kids will really love (although hold back the whiskey from theirs!).

- 2 sweet potatoes
- 2 medium parsnips
- 2 carrots
- 2 Maris Piper potatoes of a good size
- 1 butternut squash
- 2 red onions, sliced in to substantial half moons
(You can omit or include your own favourites as you want)
- 1 tsp Schwartz Nutmeg
- ½ tsp Schwartz Mixed Spice
- 3 tbs olive oil
- 2 tbs honey

Optional for adults…
- ½ tsp of Schwartz Crushed Chillies
- 25ml (1fl oz) Bourbon whiskey
- Schwartz Sea Salt and Black Pepper to season 

Pre-heat the oven to 175ºC fan, 400ºF, Gas Mark 6.

Peel all the vegetables and then slice them until they are in ‘rounds’ about 2.5 cm/1-inch-thick, with the carrots slightly thinner - about 1 cm thick.

Use metal cookie cutters to cut them in to different sized stars. You can place the pieces of veg that you do not use in a freezer bag. They would be perfect for soups etc at a later date.

Put the shapes, along with the onion, in to a baking dish. Pour over the olive oil, sprinkle over the spices (and Crushed Chillies, if using), season well and mix it all together with your hands.

Drizzle over the honey (and the whiskey if using), then put it in the oven for 55 minutes.

 

Cranberry and White Chocolate Cookies

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DaddyCooksFood’s delicious White Chocolate and Cranberry Cookies will ensure that your family have one hand inside the cookie jar all winter. 

- 275g (10oz) unsalted butter
- 175g (6oz) golden caster sugar
- 175g (6oz) soft light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 375g (13oz) plain flour
- 1 tsp Schwartz Sea Salt 
- 1½ tsp Schwartz Ground Cinnamon
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 200g (7oz) dried cranberries
- 100g (4oz) white chocolate chips
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla essence

Pre-heat the oven to 170ºC, 325ºC in a fan oven, 338ºF, Gas Mark 3.

Prepare 4 non-stick baking trays by greasing or using baking paper. You could use 2 trays and reuse them.

Cream the butter and both types of sugar together in a stand mixer/with an electric whisk. Break in the eggs, add the vanilla essence and mix thoroughly.

In a separate bowl, add the flour, Salt, Cinnamon and bicarbonate of soda. Sift the dry mixture into the wet mixture, a little at a time, until all has been incorporated and a dough begins to form. Lastly, add the cranberries and chocolate chips.

Divide the dough into 20 equal balls of around 2 tablespoons each. Place 5 balls on each tray, leaving ample space for them to spread.

Place the first batch in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cookies are a light golden on top. After ten minutes, remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Meanwhile, bake the second batch of cookies.

Once cool, you can wrap the cookies and give them as gifts. Stack 4-5 cookies on tip of each other. Tie with festive ribbon and place in a small box (decorated by children if you would like!).

 

Pear and Caramel Trifle Decorated with handmade Jazzies (the children can help to make these)

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This recipe for a delicious Pear and Caramel Trifle is DaddyCooksFood’s take on a classic dish – one that the whole family can make and enjoy eating together. 

For the Jazzies –
- 1 large bar of white chocolate
- Edible glitter
- Range of Christmas sprinkles

Prepare a large baking tray with baking paper. Arrange the glitter and sprinkles in generous patches all over the paper.

Meanwhile melt half the chocolate in a Bain Marie. Once it had melted, remove from the heat and add the rest of the chocolate, chopped. Stir until all the chocolate has melted, created tempered melted chocolate.

Now for the fun bit! Fill a piping bag with the chocolate and pipe into shapes, all over the prepared glitter and sprinkles. You can make circles and stars. Children can also sprinkle extra decorations on top. Once you have covered the tray in shapes, leave to set in a cool place until set. When your trifle is ready to decorate the children can help to arrange them on the top.

For the trifle – 
- One large-ish madeira cake
- Two tins of pear halves in syrup
- 2 tbs amaretto
- 1 tsp Schwartz Ground Cinnamon
- 2 tsp Schwartz Mixed Spice 
- Two 500ml cartons double cream
- ½ tsp vanilla essence 
- 375ml tin of caramel

Cut the cake in to small pieces and layer them in the bottom of your trifle dish.

Drain the syrup from the tinned pears in to a bowl and mix in the Cinnamon and amaretto. Drizzle this all over the cake so it soaks it up and becomes good and moist.

Layer the pear halves over the sponge layer, and dust over half the Mixed Spice.

Pour the cream in to a large bowl and add the seeds from the vanilla essence and the rest of the Mixed Spice. Use an electric whisk to whip the cream until it is firm, but not solid.

Pour the caramel very slowly in to the cream, folding gently as you do. You are seeking a sort of ‘caramel ripple’ effect, rather than mixing the two together.

Gently spatula the cream and caramel swirl on to the pear layer.

Depending on the dimensions of your trifle dish, you may need two pear or sponge layers.

Decorate the top with your Jazzies.

DaddyCooksFood’s recipes are the perfect excuse to get in the kitchen and whip up some delicious treats this Christmas that bring the whole family together. With Schwartz by your side the entire time you can make this season even more special and ensure your friends and family have the best festive foodie experience. If you are looking for some quick ways to make an impression, look no further than DaddyCooksFood recipes with a Schwartz twist.