Christmas 2020: a baking extravaganza

“This year, I’m giving everyone homemade biscuits for Christmas!” I declared back in November, to nobody in particular. “Under lockdown 2.0 if I’m going to be a prisoner stuck between these four walls, I will emerge from this lockdown a prisoner who at least knows how to make biscuits!”

And so December became a baking extravaganza in the Salford Kitchen. Mr Salford Kitchen wisely steered a wide berth as I baked my way through all the reserves of sugar and flour and filled the fridge with lemons shorn of their zest, churning out multiple batches of ricciarelli, shortbread, petticoat tails, cranberry, oat and white chocolate biscuits, two stollen loaves and mince pies. I also took my first foray into making homemade marzipan and working with royal icing with the Christmas cake that I nursed over several weeks and gifted to my family.

This year it was nice to take the time to make and give homemade gifts to everyone. I won’t lie though – on Boxing Day I hung up my apron with a huge sigh of relief. Even though I have given most of it away (apart from sampling the odd test biscuit here and there to make sure that standards were up to scratch), I feel that I’ve consumed a mountain of sugar by osmosis. Roll on the January detox – no more biscuits for us in 2021!

A full Saturday of baking…from front to back: stollen, shortbread, cranberry, oat and white chocolate biscuits, petticoat tails, ricciarelli
(and a batch of bread in the background because, well, why not?)
Ricciarelli, Italian almond biscuits
Mince pies, with homemade shortcrust pastry
Gift bags of sweet treats, ready to be boxed up and sent to family and friends
First time making homemade marzipan
Finished Christmas cake, decorated with royal icing

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