How is everyone’s Christmas preparation going? I’m going to sound like a weirdo but I’m a little bit freaked out that I’m actually organised. Yesterday I wrapped the last of the presents (even the edible gifts) and placed them under the tree and have actually packed away the wrapping paper and my Christmas props.
All I have left to do for Christmas is a little bit of last minute baking/food preparation on Christmas Eve and to set the table for Christmas morning. I’m going to make a choc-raspberry version of last year’s cherry pudding for Christmas Eve dessert so fingers crossed it’s delicious and more successful than Nigella’s pudding I made a few weeks ago.
This is the last Christmas recipe I’ve got for you for the year, actually the last recipe for the year, but this one actually makes a tasty treat at any time of the year and a lovely little gift packaged up. I like to give my grandma a present at our early Christmas as well as one on Christmas Day so this is what she got first up.
These bite-sized rum praline shortbread are soft and buttery like shortbread but have a lovely hint of crunch through them from the praline.
If you’re worried about teeth breaking on praline (something I have to consider with my grandma’s nearly 96-year-old chompers), don’t be. It’s blitzed up nice and fine so it’s more adding a hint of texture rather than big crunch.
When I saw that the recipe said it made 140 rum praline shortbread I thought my eyes must have been playing tricks on me. Then I read it again and saw that each little bite was just 1 inch square.
I made some a bit bigger and some teeny tiny like instructed. It made the package look a little more exciting than having them all the same size. Enjoy! Or give them to someone else to enjoy!
What about you? How are your Christmas preparations going? Even if you are crazy busy it’s still fun busy right?
- 1 cup pecan halves (I used walnuts instead)
- 1/4 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
- 2 tbsp whipping cream
- 2 1/4 cups plain (AP) flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2/3 cup icing (confectioners) sugar
- 1 tbsp dark rum
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp raw sugar
- Pre-heat the oven to 160C (350F) fan-forced.
- Line a shallow, square baking tin with baking paper so it extends over the side (doesn't need to be neat or buttered - it's more so you don't have to clean the tin afterwards.
- In a bowl, combine the pecans, brown sugar and cream.
- Spread the nut mixture over the pan so it is flat and in one layer.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the coating on the nuts is dry and crystallises (stir once halfway through the baking time).
- Lift the sheet of baking paper out of the tray and place it on the bench for the nuts to cool completely.
- Place the cooled nuts and 1/4 of a cup of the flour in the bowl of a food processor and blitz until the nuts are finely ground then set them aside.
- Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl and set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter for 30 seconds then add the icing sugar and beat until smooth.
- Add the rum and vanilla and beat them through then beat in the flour mixture just until combined.
- Take the bowl off the stand and stir in the nut mix.
- Form it into a ball, shape in a disc and wrap in plastic wrap then refrigerate for 4 hours.
- Pre-heat the oven to 150C fan-forced (325F) and line two baking trays with baking paper.
- Roll the dough out between two sheets of baking paper until it is 27x35cm (11x13").
- Sprinkle the top with raw sugar.
- Use a pizza roller cutter or sharp knife to cut it into 2cm (1") squares. I eye-balled it but you can use a ruler.
- Place the squares 1cm (1/2") apart on the trays then use the blunt end of a skewer to poke 4 holes into each square. You may need to do to batches.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until light golden.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.