Festive Feasts

‘Tis this season to be jolly, ‘tis also the season to be feasting on some scrumptious bites. Kate Cunich whips up some Pinterest-inspired Christmas treats perfect for party food and playdates for the festive season ahead.


Christmas Tree Cupcakes

Makes 4

Decorating time: 15 minutes

You will need

4 cupcakes

1 batch of green buttercream icing

Multi coloured sprinkles

Mini candy stars

Piping bag

Wilton piping tip #2D or #1M, or any large open star piping tip


Method

Fill your piping bag with the green icing, taking care to shake out any air bubbles before you begin your trees.

Starting from the centre of the cupcake, pipe a swirl which overlaps three times to form the shape of a tree, just like the Santa hats!

Sprinkle straight away with multi coloured sprinkles, I used two different types. You could also use silver or colourful balls if you prefer. I also added some gold edible glitter to mine.

For the star, you can either buy candy stars in most baking shops or you can use fondant and a mini star cookie cutter to create a similar effect.


Cornflake Wreaths

Makes 18 wreaths

Prep: 5 minutes , Cook: 5 minutes

You will need

115g unsalted butter

30 large marshmallows

1 tbsp green food colouring

1 tsp vanilla extract

100g cornflakes

Silver balls for decoration

Cooking spray






Method

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat.

Add the marshmallows to the melted butter and keep stirring with a wooden spoon until the mixture is smooth.

Add the vanilla extract and the green food colouring, stir to combine.

Add the cornflakes and stir the mixture constantly until the cornflakes are evenly coated.

Place a large piece of baking paper on your work space and spray it lightly with cooking spray.

Remove the saucepan from the stove and quickly form the mixture into wreath shapes on the parchment, be careful because they will be quite hot! You can use clean washing up gloves to protect your hands if you like.

While the wreaths are still warm and sticky, place the silver balls on top of the wreaths, you can use any colour balls for these if you don’t have silver.


Frozen Banana Penguins

Makes two banana penguins

Decorating time: 15 minutes, Freeze: 2 hours

You will need

2 bananas

100g dark chocolate

3 orange M&Ms

4 edible eyes


Method

Start by melting the chocolate. Place it in a microwave-safe bowl and put it in the microwave on high for 1 minute and then stir, if it isn’t completely melted just put it back in the microwave for another 10 seconds and stir again. Repeat until completely melted.

Peel the bananas and dip them in the chocolate until the top and sides are covered.

Cut the M&Ms in half and stick them on as feet and noses while the chocolate is still runny and also stick the eyes on. If you can’t get your hands on edible eyes, you can use white confetti sprinkles – as I have - and use a toothpick to create the pupil with some melted chocolate.

You can then either put them on BBQ skewers to put in the freezer or you can spray a baking sheet with oil so they can come off easily once frozen. Freeze for at least two hours.

Cupcakes

Use your favourite cupcake recipe as a base for these easy-peasy Christmas-inspired decorations. I like to use Hummingbird Bakery’s chocolate cupcake recipe and the vanilla buttercream recipe for the icing! I made 12 cupcakes and decorated four for each theme.


Santa Hat Cupcakes

Makes 4

Decorating time: 15 minutes

You will need

4 cupcakes

1 batch of red buttercream icing

½ batch of white buttercream icing

Piping bag

Wilton piping tip #1A, or any large open star piping tip

4 Mini marshmallows









Method

Fill your piping bag with the red icing, make sure you shake out any air bubbles before you start piping.

Starting from the centre of the cupcake, pipe a swirl which overlaps three times to form the shape of Santa’s hat. Repeat this on each cupcake.

Fill another piping bag with the white icing, using the same piping tip. Neatly pipe small stars around the base of the hat and then place a mini marshmallow on top.


Snowman Cupcakes

Snowman Cupcakes

Makes 4

Decorating time: 30 minutes

You will need

4 cupcakes

1 batch of white buttercream icing

Black gel food colouring

4 long orange sprinkles

4 marshmallows

Silver balls for buttons

Pocky for arms


Method

Cover the top of the cupcakes with a generous amount of white buttercream icing, leaving a very small amount for the facial features. Try to make the surface as smooth as possible. At this point, I sprinkled the icing with some white edible glitter but this is optional.

Now it’s time to draw the faces on the snowmen! Colour the left-over icing with the black food colouring. Take a marshmallow and use a toothpick to draw the features on – black dots for mouth and eyes.

Using a clean toothpick, poke a hole in the middle of the face for the nose and stick a long orange sprinkle inside for the nose.

Place the marshmallow head on top of the cupcake, it doesn’t have to be very neat as the snowman is supposed to be half melted!

Then, use three silver balls to make the snowman’s buttons. Repeat this process for all the cupcakes.

Finally, take the Pocky sticks and break them up into short pieces (no more than 4cm) and stick them into the sides of the cupcakes for the arms.


Strawberry Santa Hats

Makes 20 Santa Hats

Decorating time: 20 minutes

You will need

20 strawberries, preferably of similar sizes

60g white chocolate

1tsp canola oil

25g fine desiccated coconut

20 mini marshmallows


Method

Cut off the top of each strawberry to create a flat base. Put the coconut in a bowl and line a tray with baking paper.

Break up chocolate and place into microwavable bowl. The bowl shouldn’t be too big because you want the melted chocolate to be about 1cm deep to dip the strawberries into.

Melt the chocolate on high for 1 minute and then stir, if it isn’t completely melted just put it back in the microwave for another 10 seconds and stir again. Repeat this until completely melted.

Add the oil and mix through the melted chocolate well to make it thinner and easier to dip the strawberries into. This step isn’t necessary, if you don’t have canola oil you can just put the chocolate back in the microwave for 10 seconds if it gets too thick.

Dip the flat end of the strawberry into the chocolate so that about half a cm is covered. Then, sprinkle the coconut onto the chocolate with a spoon before it solidifies.

Place on the tray and then repeat this process for every strawberry.

To finish them off, put a small amount of melted chocolate onto the tip of the strawberries then stick the mini marshmallows on.


BIO - Kate Cunich is founder of Kate’s Sweet Treats


This article appeared in Playtimes December Issue 2017.



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