Bring some Christmas cheer to snack time!
The decorations are up, the presents are wrapped and there will be some socially distanced celebrations this year with a close circle of friends. Whether you’re hosting your friends or attending a playgroup Christmas party, you’ll no doubt want to dish up some delicious goodies. These Christmas snack recipes are all tried and tested by the Sassy Mama team, easy to make and are sure to please the crowds (albeit thinned down) this festive season.
Read more: Ready, Set Bake!: Christmas Baking 101
If ever there was a time of year to indulge in a slice of shortbread, Christmas is it! These Christmas shortbread biscuits, adapted from BBC Food, are quick and easy to whip up so you can easily get the kids involved. Then, simply bring them along to your next Christmas playdate (if they last that long!) for all to enjoy.
Sassy Mama tip: Sprinkle with cinnamon for that extra hint of Christmassy goodness, or cut little shapes and fill with crushed hard candy to make a stained glass window effect.
½ cup butter
¼ cup caster sugar
1 ½ cups plain flour
½ tsp ground cinnamon
Caster sugar for garnish (you could add a few drops of food colouring for that extra touch)
Crushed coloured hard lollies to use as “windows”
- Preheat oven to 190°C.
- Beat together butter and sugar.
- Stir in flour and cinnamon until a smooth paste is formed. Turn onto the bench and use a rolling pin to roll the dough out until it is 1cm thick.
- Use a cookie cutter or knife to make your favourite Christmas shapes — we love simple stars, Christmas trees and candy canes!
- Sprinkle with caster sugar, some extra cinnamon or make your crushed lolly windows.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden.
Sassy Mama tip: These cookies make a great Christmas Eve Santa treat!
These little tarts are super easy to make and dish up well as a canape, a side dish to your family’s Christmas dinner or as a simple and yummy snack.
1 pack pre-rolled frozen puff pastry (could also make your own but we use store-bought ones for ease)
2 large red onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
½ tablespoon of butter (or vegan alternative), plus extra for greasing
A small handful of walnuts roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 160°C.
- Grease a mini muffin tin with butter.
- Roll out your pastry and cut into circles slightly larger than your muffin holes.
- Line your tin with the pastry circles to make your tart cases.
- Cook your red onions gently in a pan with the butter. Once they are soft add the brown sugar.
- Cook until it just starts to caramelise (be careful not to overcook or you’ll end up with onion toffee!).
- Spoon into your pastry rounds and top with walnuts.
- Bake for 20 minutes, until the pastry is cooked through and the walnuts are slightly toasted.
For a twist, you could also try this recipe which adds in creamy goats’ cheese. Yum!
These little Santas are too cute for words, super easy and a crowd-pleaser with kids and adults alike. Plus, by using nice fresh strawberries you’ll get a serve of fruit in at your Christmas party. There are loads of recipes online, but this one is our go-to.
1 tub good quality fresh strawberries, tops removed
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp icing sugar
Sprinkles/ black sesame seeds/ chocolate chips
- Slice the tip of each strawberry and stand on a plate. Be sure to save the tips as your Santa hats!
- Whip the cream and icing sugar with an electric beater or whisk until soft peaks form.
- Using a piping bag (or a zip-lock bag with the corner cut out) pipe cream onto the top of each strawberry to make your face. Top with the strawberry hat.
- Add a spot on top of the hat as a pom-pom and also on the body as buttons — you could also do this with a toothpick for greater accuracy.
- Use the sprinkles/ sesame seeds or chocolate chips to make eyes and you’re done!
Sassy Mama tip: you could substitute the whipped cream with a cream cheese filling or even ready-made icing.
Read more: Childhood Obesity: How To Help Your Child Eat Healthily
These have long been a staple in our house during the festive season. They keep well in the fridge, look great and taste delicious! Make a big batch at the beginning of December and bring them along to any gatherings throughout the month — just be sure there are a few left to gobble up on Christmas Day!
1 dark and 1 light fruit cake (about 1.5kg total)
500g milk or dark chocolate
200g white chocolate
¼ – ½ cup of brandy or port
Red and green jelly lollies (gummy snakes chopped into pieces work well too)
- Use your hands to crumble fruit cake into a large bowl.
- Add brandy or port gradually so that the crumbs become moist enough to roll into balls.
- Take a heaped teaspoon of the mixture and roll into balls. Refrigerate for at least one hour (or pop into the freezer for 30 minutes).
- Melt your milk or dark chocolate (check out these pro tips).
- Line a large tray or plate with baking paper. Dip each of your fruit cake balls into the melted chocolate and quickly transfer to the tray. Alternatively, you could pipe the melted chocolate over the puddings. Refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes until chocolate has hardened.
- Melt your white chocolate and use a spoon or piping bag to drizzle a small amount on top of each pudding.
- Before the white chocolate sets, top with a few pieces of red and green jelly lollies. I like to arrange these to look like holly!
- Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.
Sassy Mama tips:
- Back in Australia, I would make these using the cheap and cheerful supermarket fruitcakes. In Hong Kong, an affordable substitute has been difficult to track down (it would be almost criminal to buy a beautiful M&S or CitySuper cake only to crumble it!) so you may be best off making your own.
- Substitute brandy or port for orange juice if you’d prefer a for a non-alcoholic option, but note that they won’t keep quite as long.
- Dip your puddings in the chocolate in small batches and get them in the fridge ASAP, so then by the time you finish, you will have some cool enough to start with the white chocolate.
- If you’re looking for more inspiration, check out this recipe from Australia’s Best Recipes.
Over the years we’ve been invited to many a kids’ Christmas party and we’ve always brought a plate of treats along. With all the sweets on offer, a savoury option (that is also a treat!) is often devoured by all. These turkey sandwiches have consistently proved a winner. The colour contrast of the cranberry, squash and baby spinach looks great too!
Prepare your sandwich filling a day in ahead and simply assemble when you need.
1 small roast turkey roll, cooked (I use the M&S roast turkey roll that feeds 2 to 3 people)
1 loaf fresh bread, sliced
1 butternut squash, roasted in pieces (try this recipe, but take out the chilli flakes or substitute for sage or rosemary)
- Arrange all your ingredients so that you can assemble easily.
- Spread half your slices of bread with a thin layer of cranberry sauce.
- Top with roasted turkey and then baby spinach.
- Spread your roasted squash on the remaining slices of bread and top your sandwiches.
- Slice each sandwich in half (or to your preferred size) and serve.
Sassy Mama tips:
- Slightly overcook your butternut squash so that it is nice and soft and spreads easily.
- You can use any type of bread, but a crusty French baguette or white sourdough works a treat!
Read more: Where To Buy Ingredients For Cooking Your Family Christmas Dinner
Featured image courtesy of Getty Images, image 1 courtesy of Sassy Media Group, image 2 courtesy of Entertaining With Beth, image 3 courtesy of Allrecipes, image 4 courtesy of Australia’s Best Recipes, image 5 courtesy of Erin Wang via Pexels.