BLOGMAS DAY 22: Gingerbread Cookies

I mean what is more festive to bake during the final week in the run up to Christmas than GINGERBREAD! This week I was over at one of best friends from university, Lauren and we decided it would be super fun to decorate some gingerbread cookies! Now Lauren is like me in that we both LOVE Christmas so the idea of baking and blasting Christmas/Musical songs was the perfect way to spend the afternoon! We had been looking for a quick & easy recipe for gingerbread dough and came across this recipe that was so easy to make on its own as well as being able to increase or decrease the ingredients depending on preference. This is the recipe that Lauren and I went for!

Gingerbread Biscuit Dough

- 350g plain flour
- 175g light brown sugar
- 125g butter (room temperature)
- 1 egg
- 4 tbsp syrup
- 3 tbsp ground ginger
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp baking powder

1. Firstly pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and lay some greaseproof paper on a baking tray

2. Chuck the plain flour, cinnamon, ground ginger and baking powder into a bowl. At this point you can add more or less ginger depending on your preference. Add in the butter and mix it all together until you have a breadcrumb consistency. 

3. Add in the sugar, whisked egg and syrup and mix it into the breadcrumb mixture until it forms a dough. You can use your hands at this point to make the dough to really ensure that all the mixture is a part of the dough.

4. Place the dough in clingfilm and place in the refrigerator for 15 - 20 minutes. 

5. Take the dough out of the fridge and roll out the dough onto some flour. 

6. Cut in your shapes, whether it be a gingerbread man or if you are attempting a gingerbread house! 

7. Place on greaseproof paper on a baking tray and bake for 12 - 15 minutes until golden brown. 

8. Remove from oven and leave on baking tray for 10 minutes before removing to cooling tray. 

Note: These cookies do expand. And with our remaining dough, we decided to attempt a big gingerbread man!

9. Once cooled, decorate to your fancy! 

I had the best Christmassy afternoon with Lauren, and thank her and her family for letting us make a mess of the kitchen! It was so nice to catch up and sing out hearts out over baking!!! SO SO FESTIVE!

Last night Faye & I went for a pre-Christmas meal with our grandparents, Granny Sue and Grandad Mike. It was so nice just to catch up with them and chat about everything that has been happening since we last saw them back in June! It really is crazy how time flies and how much we have all changed! Lovely to see them!

Christmas Song of the Day: I WISH IT COULD BE CHRISTMAS EVERYDAY - WIZZARD

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BLOGMAS DAY 9: Krispy Christmas Trees

This is honestly one of the quickest, easiest but funnest Christmas recipe I've attempted so far. I've seen different variations of this recipe on Pinterest over the last few weeks so I decided to give it a go myself! The biggest thing for me when looking for festive recipes is both taste and aesthetic. I love preparing a food selection that looks so Christmassy and tastes divine! Of course when i came across this recipe I was instantly attracted to how it looks! These Krispy Christmas Trees are the perfect addition to a dessert table or buffet, or for a quick snack!! 

Ingredients:
- 200g of White Chocolate
- 200g of Rice Krispies
- Green Food Colouring
- Confectioners/Icing Sugar
- Greaseproof/Wax Paper
- Sugar Decorations of your choice. 

1. You'll want to cut out big semi-circle shapes of wax paper and fold them into cones. From the middle point of the straight edge you can begin to make the point of the cone. Use tape to hold the cone in shape.

2. Next you're going to want to take your white chocolate and melt it. You can either quickly zap it in your microwave, or melt it over a pot of hot water. I prefer to use the latter so that it doesn't leave your chocolate tasting like the inside of a microwave! 

3. Add a few drops of food colouring. It is good to at a few too little drops at first so that you don't over do it. If you want your Christmas trees to be a little darker, add more drops. Stir until you have the colour green you want and it is fully integrated into the white chocolate. 

5. Chuck you rice krispies into the melted chocolate and mix until they are completely covered. At first it is going to seem like they will never be fully covered but keep going until they are!

6. Spoon your rice krispies into your cones, making sure to pack them in tight to form a solid shape. It is crucial that you smooth the base of the cone so that the trees are able to stand up once removed from the wax paper.

7. Place the cones, point down in either glassware or tupperware and place in the freezer for one hour. After, remove the wax paper and you will have your trees!

8. Now its time to decorate! You can find seasonal or decorative sugar sprinkles and shapes at your local grocery store. Gino and I found these diamond decorations at target for $1.99! 

9. To get the decorations to stick I simply mixed a tiny bit of water with some icing/confectioners sugar and made a thick and edible paste/glue. You can then go crazy and stick the decorations on like baubles on a Christmas tree!

10. Dust off your masterpieces with some confectioners sugar to replicate a light sprinkling of snow. And there you have it!

I loved doing this recipe and thought it worked really well without taking too long to perfect! Give it a go and be sure to tag your pictures with NevNYC on Twitter and Instagram so I can see them!

HAPPY BLOGMAS DAY!

Nev x

Christmas Song of the Day: SANTA CLAUS IS COMIN' TO TOWN - JACKSON 5

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BLOGMAS DAY 5: White Chocolate & Cranberry Christmas Scones

Okay so I reaaaaaallly wanted to do a little baking recipe with White Chocolate & Cranberries, something about that ingredient combination screamed of my childhood Christmases. Lets just say what I set out to do with this recipe, was not at all how it turned out. HOWEVER, I ended up making these goddamn tasty scones that everyone in the apartment loved! Isn't that the point/beauty of homebaking?! #getmeonthegreatbritishbakeoff.

WHITE CHOCOLATE & CRANBERRY CHRISTMAS SCONES:

(MAKES 8)
Ingredients:

2 Eggs
1 Cup of Margarine
3 Cups of All-Purpose Flour
1 3/4 Cups of Light Brown  
1 tbsp of Baking Soda
1 1/2 Cups of White Chocolate Chips
1 Cup of Dried Cranberries
Confectioners Sugar/Icing Sugar for Dusting

1. Preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit, and grease a baking tray.

2. Mix together the Margarine, Light Brown Sugar and both eggs. It should be quite a runny, light brown consistency. 

3. Stir in the flour, 1 cup at a time until all the flour is fully stirred into the mixture. 

4. Add in the cranberries and white chocolate chips until it is a stiff, doughy mixture! 

5. Divide your mixture onto your greased baking tray.

6. Bake in the over for 10 - 15 minutes until golden brown!

7. Dust off your scones for a sweet little finish!!!!

I hope you have as much fun making these festive little treats as much as I did! If you make them be sure to tag NevNYC on Instagram and Twitter!!

MERRY BLOGMAS EVERYONE!

Christmas Song of the Day: SANTA BABY! - EARTHA KITT


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BLOGMAS DAY 2: Making Your Home Smell Like Christmas

Now if you haven't noticed from my incessant festive posting on Social Media, Christmas is my absolute favourite time of year. And as soon as I start seeing festive decorations or festivities in retail I INSTANTLY am overcome with festive feelings. One of the biggest things I associate with the festive season and really helps me get into the Christmassy feeling is SMELL. I love festive candles, I love festive foods and I love festive cooking, all things that smell incredible. When crawling through Pinterest this year as I began to build my Christmas 2017 Pinterest Board I found so many inspiring blog posts or recipes of ways to get your house smelling like Christmas. Now whilst on a budget I was really looking for a way to get the my apartment and Gino's Apartments to smell like Christmas without spending hundreds of dollars on candles. I saw a few recipes containing the core ingredients of smells that really make that "Christmas Scent" varying from brewing them in slow cookers, crock pots and even in ovens. I decided to grab a couple of ingredients that I associated with Christmas, add them to water and see how it goes. And oh my goodness, when I tell you it smelt like Christmas, it SMELT LIKE CHRISTMAS. The best part is this is super cheap, and super easy to make so here is what I used to make our apartments smell like Christmas! 

Ingredients:
- Handful of cinnamon sticks
- 2 teaspoons Ground Cloves
- 2 teaspoons Anise Seeds
- 3 Tangerines
- Ginger
- 1 Cup of Cranberries
- 1 Cup of Apple Juice

The recipe could not be simpler, all you need to do is add all the ingredients to the pot, and fill with water till the pan is around 3/4 full. Then all you need to do is to bring the mixture to the boil then take it down to a low heat and let it simmer. After around 30 minutes the scent will really start to carry itself around your home. There are a number of ways you can prolong the smell, you could:

- Add pine leaves, this stronger smell only adds to the scent.
- Let the mixture simmer for 4 hours, leave to cool over night, then heat again the following day.
- Add more Anise Seeds or Cloves, these two core scents are really strong and you can really change the way the scent smells by adding a little more or a little less of each of these. 

The best thing about this is it has your house smelling of Christmas for days and you really have the freedom to create the scent you associate with Christmas! I picked up the ingredients from a small  European grocery store by Gino's apartment and cost me around $10! The best part is I had key ingredients like cranberries, cinnoman and aniseed for further Christmas baking!! It was so nice to create a little home scent away from home! 

If you have any alternative ways to get your house smelling like Christmas please let me know in the comments below! I'd love to hear all about it!

Christmas Song of the Day: ITS BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS - MICHAEL BUBLE

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