There are certain foods and drinks without which Christmas just wouldn’t quite be right. For some, that’s a roast dinner with all the trimmings, or a box of Quality Street chocolates. My personal seasonal staples fall into the sweeter variety – homemade mince pies, orange chocolate, mulled wine and Baileys Irish cream.
I have many fond memories of my mum making mince pies from scratch (pastry included!) and us stocking up on bottles of Baileys months in advance, with every intention of saving them until the holidays.
As this is my first Christmas since becoming vegan, I have been investing time and money into making sure I don’t feel left out of the edible elations of the festive period. This meant spending a small fortune in Hotel Chocolat last pay day, hoarding my purchases in the cupboard to save for our trip to Sweden, as well as placing my very first order on Ethical Superstore. However, it has also been a chance for myself and my willing accomplice to roll up our sleeves in the kitchen and try our hand at preparing our own festive vegan treats – two of which I am thrilled to share with you today!
V E G A N M I N C E P I E S
Santa, you’re out of luck – I doubt there’ll be any of these left to leave out for you come the 24th! Following Sarah’s incredibly easy steps, I picked up some Jus-rol pastry (ain’t nobody got time to make the real stuff, sorry cooking gods), a jar of mincemeat and some icing sugar and I was ready to go!
I’ve made these twice now and they are so easy to rustle up that I didn’t even need to refer to the instructions the second time around. If you want to make a couple of trays’ worth, I’d recommend opting for Jus-rol’s 500g pastry block, rather than the pastry sheet which I used for the first lot.
+ Sprinkle your work surface and cupcake tin with flour, to make the pastry easier to work with
+ Use cute cut-out shapes for the tops, like my little stars
+ Don’t overfill the pastry cups, or the mincemeat will bubble over
+ Mince pies aren’t meant to look perfect – the messier, the better!
V E G A N B A I L E Y S I R I S H C R E A M
I literally squealed when I discovered this recipe for dairy-free Baileys on Oh She Glows, and sent it to my boyfriend for review right away. He picked up the essentials, as well as some cinnamon sticks and cardamom pods for added winter spice.
Again, this recipe is super easy to follow and doesn’t involve any weird distilling steps or long periods of inactive cooking. You just mix everything together, let it cool and then pour into your receptacle of choice. We picked up a 1 litre bottle at Clas Ohlson, which was the exact fit for the quantity we made.
+ Don’t over-boil the coconut milk
+ Chill overnight or as long as required – warm Irish Cream is just wrong (unless it’s in coffee or hot chocolate!)
+ Serve over ice and enjoy slowly
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed experimenting in the kitchen this Christmas. Not only does it make me happy to not be relying on shop-bought treats, it is just great to be making something that fits with my dietary choices. As I’m always saying, there’s a vegan alternative to pretty much every animal product, and I’m really pleased with how these ventures turned out.
Will you be concocting any vegan festive treats this year?