Peppermint creams: The classic edible Christmas gift

A vintage classic and reminiscent of my school days, peppermint creams make the perfect and utterly delicious edible gift! So why not forgo the After Eight mints this Christmas and pass around a plate of homemade peppermint creams? My mini versions are dipped in dark chocolate and cut into bitesize rounds but it is Christmas, so get creative and dig out whatever cookie cutter you have and get stamping!

Bitesize peppermint creams
Bitesize peppermint creams

Bitesize peppermint creams
Makes 20-30 mini rounds / Hands on time 20 mins / Total time 40 mins + setting time / V Gf
You’ll need: Baking paper, rolling pin and a small round cookie cutter
300g icing sugar (plus extra for dusting)
¼ tsp peppermint flavouring
1 egg (the white separate from the yolk)
1 tsp of lemon juice
90g Green and Black’s Organic 70% dark chocolate

1. Separate the egg yolk from the egg white in a small bowl and discard the egg yolk. In a large mixing bowl, sieve the icing sugar before adding half the egg white along with a ¼ tsp of peppermint flavouring and a tsp of lemon juice.
2. Mix slowly with a wooden spoon to avoid the icing sugar flying everywhere. The mix will seem very dry but keep mixing until the icing sugar comes together to form a firm dough. If you need more liquid add more egg white.
3. Once the dough has formed, remove the spoon from the bowl and knead the dough with your hands – like you would a bread dough. If the dough is too sticky you may need to add more icing sugar.
4. Line a large chopping board with a piece of baking paper and sprinkle with icing sugar, put to one side. Cut out another large piece of baking paper and place on a clean dry surface. Sprinkle with icing sugar and turn the dough out onto it before sprinkling with more icing sugar. Roll out the mixture with a rolling pin to roughly 1 centimetre thick.
5. Insert the cookie cutter into the dough, give it a twist and extract a little round of dough. Place the round onto the lined chopping board and repeat (gathering up and rolling out the dough if necessary). Cover the peppermint creams loosely with cling film and leave to set for at least 3 hours or preferable over-night.
6. Once set, it’s time to melt the chocolate. Fill a small saucepan halfway with water and bring to the boil. Once boiling, take off the heat and place a small heat-proof bowl over it. Break in the pieces of chocolate and wait for it to melt (try not to stir it until nearly all the chocolate has melted). Meanwhile, line a baking tray or cooling rack with baking paper sprinkled with icing sugar.
7. Once melted, tilt the bowl slightly to the side to allow a deeper pool of chocolate for you to dip your peppermint creams into. One by one, dip each peppermint cream into the chocolate, wait for the drips to stop and place on your newly lined cooling rack. Repeat until all of your peppermint creams are coated.
8. Leave in a cool dry place for the chocolate to set. Once set, carefully peel the peppermint creams off the baking paper before boxing up and gifting to a lucky family member or friend.

Bitesize peppermint creams
Bitesize peppermint creams

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Cheese and mushroom parcels

Mushroom Gruyère Parcels
Mushroom Gruyère Parcels

It’s not even Christmas and my jeans are already a bit on the snug side but who cares, because this year, I’m full of Christmas cheer, merriment and mince pies. I’ve been eating and drinking my way through the season with the dedication you would expect to see from an Olympic athlete. Naturally I look and feel like utter shit but I’m determined to stick to only the most important food groups; chocolate, cheese, wine and butter – I can unclog my arteries in January.
Right so, as usual nut roast is NOT on the menu (whoever thought mushing nuts and baking them would taste nice was clearly a lunatic). So, if you’re looking for a great vegetarian option this Christmas day for yourself or a guest, look no further. This is my mums recipe and she’s cooked it for me and my family every Christmas as long as I can remember. However, as she’s currently recovering from chemotherapy, it’s up to me to have a go at cooking them this year. Wish me luck and have yourself a merry little Christmas.

Psst… Christmas just came early. Want a variety of delicious extra virgin olive oils delivered direct to your door all year round? Well now’s your chance. For a limited time only, I’m offering you an exclusive 25% off your first quarter when you adopt an olive tree with Pomora. Just enter the discount code CRFXMAS25 at the check out and you’ll receive a quarterly shipment of 3x250ml tins of oil from your tree, alternating between plain and flavoured oils from one of our award winning growers, so what are you waiting for? Treat yourself or someone you love this Christmas with Pomora.

Cheese and mushroom parcels
Makes 4 Parcels / Hands on time 40 mins / Total time 1 hr 20 mins  /
Knob of unsalted butter
1 medium white onion, peeled and finely chopped
250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbs plain flour
75ml semi-skimmed milk
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Small handful freshly chopped parsley
Few sprigs of thyme, leaves picked
60g vegetarian Emmental or *Gruyere cheese, grated
1 egg yolk
320g ready rolled puff pastry, I use Jus-Rol

TIP: Make in advance and freeze before cooking to save yourself Christmas day stress. Wrap each parcel individually in a few layers of cling film before freezing. Defrost thoroughly before cooking.

1. In a large saucepan or pot on a medium heat, sweat down the chopped onion in a generous knob of butter for about 10 minutes or until soft and slightly translucent. Add the chopped garlic and the sliced mushrooms and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes.
2. Add a tablespoon of plain flour and mix well before adding the milk gradually, stirring continuously for a couple of minutes until thickened. Take off the heat before adding the mustard, herbs and the egg yolk. Mix well until combined and season with salt and pepper before covering and leaving to cool for 20 minutes. Now is a good time to pre-heat your oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/gas mark 6.
3. Roll out your sheet of puff pastry onto a clean surface and divide into 4 even-ish squares (I use ready rolled pastry which comes in an oblong shape so I simply cut a couple of inches off one end).
4. Place your pastry squares on a couple of lined baking trays before you start assembling them. Once your mixture has cooled, spoon a couple of tablespoons of the mushroom mixture into the centre of one of your pastry squares before carefully folding the corners of the pastry in on itself. This will create a kind of envelope shape. Try and prevent the mixture from spilling out the gaps but don’t worry if it does a bit. Repeat until you have 4 pastry parcels. Put both trays in the fridge and allow to chill for a further 20 minutes. Once chilled you now have the option of freezing them if you’re making them in advance. Simply wrap each individual parcel in a few layers of clingfilm and freeze. (Allow to defrost fully before cooking).
5. Brush each parcel with milk and top with a good sprinkling of cheese. Season with salt and pepper and pop in the oven for 25 minutes. Serve immediately as part of a Christmas lunch with all the trimmings. Merry Christmas.

Mushroom Gruyère Parcels

If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.

*Gruyére is a cheese of protected status originating from Switzerland. The production and maturation is defined in Swiss law and all Swiss Gruyère producers must follow these rules, however this doesn’t specify the use of animal rennet. Therefore it could or could not be vegetarian. Use an alternative if you are vegetarian.
 The parcels are suitable for home freezing once assembled for up to 3 months. Defrost thoroughly before cooking.
 The mushroom mixture is also suitable for home freezing for up to 3 months.

**BLACK FRIDAY TREAT** 25% OFF Pomora Olive Oil

Psst… Christmas just came early. Want a variety of delicious extra virgin olive oils delivered direct to your door all year round? Well now’s your chance! For a limited time only, I’m offering you an exclusive 25% off your first quarter when you adopt an olive tree with Pomora. Just enter the discount code CRFXMAS25 at the check out and you’ll receive a quarterly shipment of 3x250ml tins of oil from your tree, alternating between plain and flavoured oils from one of our award winning growers, so what are you waiting for? Treat yourself or one of your foodie pals this Christmas with Pomora

Christmas leftover hash

Christmas Leftover Hash
Christmas Leftover Hash
Christmas Leftover Hash

Wait! Don’t bin those Christmas leftovers, have them for breakfast! Unlike turkey, I find a roast potato has no business being in a sandwich, neither does a parsnip or a sprout for that matter. It’s for this reason that I find veggie leftovers a bit tricky – I always tend to just eat them cold, slathered in brown sauce.
But this Boxing Day, I wasn’t hung over (for once), so bounced out of bed and straight into the wall… Just joking. I bounced out of bed and straight into the kitchen, where I mashed, mixed and fried, until I created the ultimate boxing day brekkie. Try him, you’ll like him – and by ‘him’ I mean ‘the hash’.

Christmas leftover hash
Serves 2 / hands on time 20 mins / total time 20 mins /
V Df Gf 
2 tsp cooking oil (I use rapeseed)
2-3 leftover roast potatoes
Handful of roasted veg and sprouts
1 egg
½ tsp of cumin
¼ tsp of smoked paprika
¼ tsp mustard seeds
Pinch of chilli flakes
½ sliced avocado and 2 poached eggs to serve (optional)

1. In a bowl, roughly mash the cold roast potatoes with a fork and dice any leftover veg you want to use up such as roast carrots, parsnips and brussels.
2. Add the spices, a good pinch of salt and pepper and give it a good mix (you can use any spices you like or you can leave them out entirely). Beat in the egg and mix well until combined.
3. Heat up a large non-stick frying pan over a medium to high heat and add the oil. Move the oil around the pan until the bottom is well coated. Once hot, spoon the mixture carefully into the pan into 2 messy patties. Cook on one side for a few minutes before flipping (don’t panic if they break and fall apart – this is part of the charm).
4. Cook for another couple of minutes and then serve topped with poached or fried eggs, sliced avocado and a sprinkle of chilli flakes.

Christmas Leftover Hash
Christmas Leftover Hash

If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.

 V– Vegetarian    Gf– Gluten free    Df– Dairy free


Easy peasy festive cupcakes

Easy Peasy Festive Cupcakes

Need an excuse to stock up on Curly Wurlys? These festive treats are it. Put your baking colleagues to shame by whipping out one of these bad boys. Ha!

Vanilla cupcakes
Makes 12
250g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
190g caster sugar
Pinch of salt
115g unsalted butter
2 large eggs
120ml full fat milk
1tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas4 and line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases.
2. Put the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar in a bowl and give
it a good stir. Add the butter (preferably at room temperature) and blend with an electric mixer until combined. If you don’t have an electric mixer, a wooden spoon and a bit of elbow grease should do it. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until combined.
3. Add the vanilla extract to the milk, then add to the cake mix a bit at a time.
4. Spoon the batter evenly into the cake cases and bake for 15 mins.

Vanilla Icing
60g unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp double cream
350g icing sugar
4 tbsp full fat milk. Beat the butter until smooth, then mix in the milk, cream and vanilla extract. Beat in the sugar bit by bit until you get a firm glossy frosting.

Chocolate Icing
60g unsalted butter
3 tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder l 1/2 tsp salt l 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
250g icing sugar
2tbsp full-fat milk
2tbsp double cream. Beat the butter and cocoa together until smooth. Mix in the salt, vanilla, milk and cream until combined. Beat in the sugar bit by bit until the frosting is thick. And now to decorate…

The Snowman:  1 rolo for the hat, Sainsbury’s black icing to cover hat & for eyes, a dried apricot cut into a tiny triangle for nose, a chocolate button for hat, 2 coconut sweets for snowman body, a cocktail stick to hold coconut sweets together and dessicated coconut for sprinkling

The Reindeer: 1 red smartie for the tip of the nose, a curly wurly cut into antlers, Sainsbury’s designer icing for eyes, 2 white chocolate buttons for eyes, one large chocolate button for the base of the nose and silver balls for eyeballs

The Santa: 1 strawberry – remove the stalk and cut in half. Turn upside down and squirt whipped cream on base of the strawberry. Top with the other half and finish with a small squirt of cream. Whipped cream and Sainsbury’s black designer icing for eyes & buttons

heat magazine
heat magazine

If you have a taste for the good, the bad and the unmissable, check out the brand spanking new heat magazine where this recipe was featured.