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Sunday, July 25, 2021

Snacks for Santa

Santa has a refined palette this year, so our food writer Libby Kimber is making sure he gets the gourmet goods on Christmas Eve.

Pavlova punch

credit line: This is an edited extract from Punch by Shaun Byrne and Nick Tesar, published by Hardie Grant Books, RRP $24.99, and is available in stores nationally.

  • 6 kiwi fruit
  • 3 passionfruit
  • 1 pack mini meringues, to serve
  • 1.5L (6 cups) strawberry milk
  • 2 egg whites
  • 3 Tbsp malted milk powder

Begin at least 15 minutes before serving. To prep the fruit, slice the kiwi into wedges and halve the passionfruit. Arrange on a plate with teaspoons and mini meringues.

To serve, combine the strawberry milk with the egg whites and malted milk powder. Add the passionfruit pulp and kiwi flesh and blitz using a blender or a hand-held blender to foam up.

Pour into a milk bottle and serve with the meringues.

Make the strawberry milk yourself by combining 500g frozen strawberries with 200g caster sugar and 1.2 litres full-cream milk. Refrigerate for 24 hours before straining.

Star biscuits

star shaped biscuits

Image and text from The Flexible Family Cookbook by Jo Pratt, photography by Malou Burger, Frances Lincoln, RRP $39.99.

  • 140g ground almonds
  • 125gz granulated sugar
  • Finely grated zest of 1/2 orange
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 25g icing (confectioners) sugar
  • 1 egg white

Put the almonds, sugar, orange zest and vanilla in a large bowl. Sift in the cocoa powder and icing sugar and mix together to combine.

Add the egg white and mix well until you have a smooth dough. Turn onto the worktop and knead lightly for a minute until smooth.

Shape into a disk, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge to rest for about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan and line a baking tray with baking parchment.

Once rested, roll the dough between 2 pieces of baking parchment, to about 5mm thick. Use a 4–5cm star cookie cutter, or in fact any shape you fancy, to cut out the dough shapes. Bring together the trimmings, re-roll and continue until all of the dough is used.

Sit the cookies on the lined baking tray. They won’t spread when cooking so you should get them all on the same tray. Bake for 12–14 minutes, until the bases are slightly crisp but the middles remain just a little soft. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. As they cool, they will firm up even more. Store in an airtight container. They should stay crisp for up to 2 weeks.

If Santa has any specific requirements…

Vegan/egg-free: swap the egg white for 1 tablespoon chia seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons cold water. Leave to thicken for 10 minutes before mixing into the dry ingredients. The biscuits will probably need a further 1–2 minutes of cooking time until they are firm on the base with the middle still a little soft. They will firm up more when cooling.

Flavour swap: add 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves to the dry mixture, either with or without the orange zest.

Get ahead: once the dough has been made and wrapped up, it can sit in the fridge for up to 1 week (just check the use-by date on your eggs first). You can also freeze the dough once cut into shapes. If baking from frozen, add on a couple more minutes to the cooking time.

For more recipes:

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