It’s Christmas time! 🙂 I absolutely LOVE this time of year! The run-up is almost more enjoyable than the actually day….seeing the Coco Cola advert on TV, watching the Late Late Toy Show (it’s an Irish thing 😉 ), wandering through the Saturday market stocking up on goodies, carol singers, the Christmas lights in the city, mulled wine, mince pies and decorating the house! 🙂
We’re going to put our tree up tomorrow evening, so I’ve been busy making lots of treats for a Christmassy evening decorating the house. I plan on making a few batches of mince pies this evening, recipe to follow. There’s nothing like the smell of freshly baked mince pies to get you into the Christmas spirit.
I spent a year in Germany a couple years back. Absolutely loved my time there. My favourite time of the year was the Weihnachsmarkt in the run up to Christmas. Mulled wine and crepes. And Mandeln. Mandeln are roasted sugared almonds and are so delicious and addictive – as well as easy to make.
1 cup whole almonds
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Butter a roasting pan and set aside.
Place the almonds, sugar and butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the almonds are toasted. This process should take about 10 minutes.
Once the mixture starts to become sticky and caramelized stir in the vanilla extract. Immediately pour the mixture onto your buttered baking sheet. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt for extra flavour. Leave to cool for approximately half an hour.
I’ll be baking my mince pies this evening so I’ll share a couple more recipes over the next couple days…..as we countdown to Christmas! 🙂