Recipe: Christmas Party Punch

Hookery Cookery Home > Christmas Recipes > Christmas Party Punch Makes about 20 wine glasses


This old fashioned recipe certainly packs a punch and is a good talking point for your newly arrived guests. Don’t forget to serve in heat-proof glasses


  • Three and a half pints (2 litre) red wine
  • One and a half pints (825ml) water, boiling
  • 1 wine glass of brandy
  • 1 wine glass of Cointreau
  • 2 cloves
  • 12 cubes sugar
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 x 2 inch (5cm) stick of cinnamon
  • Cooking Instructions:

    1. Gently pour the wine into a saucepan and then add the sugar, cinnamon, cloves and thinly pared rind of one orange
    2. Place the pan over a gentle heat and increase the heat to near boiling point, being careful not to allow the wine to boil
    3. Add the brandy, Cointreau and water then stir well
    4. Strain the liquid into a punch bowl
    5. Ladle the punch into warmed glasses and serve

    Recipe: Kourambiethes (Greek Christmas Sweets)

    Hookery Cookery Home > Christmas Recipes > Kourambiethes (Greek Christmas Sweets)


    These delightful little sugar coated biscuits have a delicious brandy, cinnamon and almond flavour. They are the traditional Christmas sweets in Greece where it is customary to prepare them in every home although they are now to be found in most Greek cakeshops and supermarkets during the festivities


  • 16 fl. oz. (450 ml.) olive oil
  • 4 oz. (125g) sugar
  • 1 whole egg and 1 yolk
  • 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 4 tbsps brandy
  • 4 oz. (125g) almonds, roasted and coarsely ground
  • 1 lb. (450g) flour
  • icing suagar for coating
  • Cooking Instructions:

    1. Pour the olive oil into a large bowl and beat in the sugar
    2. Add the eggs, almonds, cinnamon, almonds and brandy and beat again
    3. Carefully add the flour until the dough is a soft consistency that will not stick to your hands
    4. Divide the dough into pieces the size of a walnut and shape kourambiethes into rounds, oblongs and ovals
    5. Place on an oiled baking sheet and bake in a pre-heated oven at 350F, Gas Mark 4, 180C for 15-20 minutes
    6. Allow to cool a little then sift icing sugar over them, covering them completely

    Recipe: Brandy Truffles

    Hookery Cookery Home > Christmas Recipes > Brandy Truffles Makes about 20


    Delight your guests with this delicious after-dinner sweets


  • 2-3 tbsps. brandy
  • 2 oz. (50g) vermicelli
  • 8 oz. (225g) cake crumbs
  • 1 oz. (25g) ground almonds
  • 2 tbsps. apricot jam
  • Cooking Instructions:

    1. Mix together the cake crumbs and ground almonds
    2. Melt the jam and add to the mixture together with the brandy and mix again to form a stiff mixture
    3. Divide the mixture into about 20 small balls then roll in the chocolate vermicelli

    Recipe: Savoury Cheese Nibbbles

    Hookery Cookery Home > Christmas Recipes > Savoury Cheese Nibbbles


    Scrumptious savoury nibbles that will delight your party guests; hide a few as a treat for when they’ve all gone home


  • 2 oz.(50g) Cheddar cheese, finely grated
  • 4 oz (125g) butter
  • 6 oz.(175g) plain flour
  • salt and pepper
  • milk, for mixing
  • cocktail onions, pineapple , pate etc., for topping
  • Cooking Instructions:

    1. Put the flour in a bowl and rub in the butter
    2. Add the grated cheese, salt and pepper, then mix to a stiff paste by adding a little milk
    3. Roll out to a thickness of about an eighth on an inch on a lightly floured board
    4. Cut into smallish rounds and prick with a fork to prevent rising
    5. Bake in the center of a hot oven, 425F, Gas Mark 7, 220C for 8-10 minutes, or until the biscuits are a light golden brown in colour
    6. Cool on a wire rack
    7. Decorate the tops of the biscuits with a variety of cocktail onions, pate, pineapple cubes or whatever little savouries you fancy

    Recipe: Date and Walnut Squares

    Hookery Cookery Home > Christmas Recipes > Date and Walnut Squares


    Delectable little chewy squares full of traditional dates and walnuts


  • 2 oz. (50g) walnuts
  • 2 oz. (50g) dates
  • 2 tbsps. syrup
  • 1 egg
  • half a teaspoon of baking powder
  • 3 oz. (75g) flour
  • 1 oz. (25g) lard
  • 1 oz. margarine
  • milk
  • Cooking Instructions:

    1. Put the margarine, lard and syrup into a bowl and cream together
    2. Add the flour, egg, baking powder, walnuts, dates and enough milk to mix into a stiff mixture
    3. Grease a swiss roll tin and spread the mixture evenly on it
    4. bake in a pre-heated oven at 400F, Gas Mark 6, 200C for 15 minutes
    5. Allow to cool before cutting into squares

    Recipe: Chicken and Mushroom Vol-au-vent

    Hookery Cookery Home > Christmas Recipes > Chicken and Mushroom Vol-au-vent


    An equally delicious supper or party dish you can serve hot or cold; the little extra effort needed in making this dish will more than compensate for it’s vastly superior flavour to the cardboardy tasting ready-made alternative


  • 1 lb. (450g) puff pastry
  • 5lb. (2.25kg) chicken and giblets, washed and cleaned
  • 1 small onion, skinned
  • 1 carrot, peeled
  • 8 oz. (225g) mushroom, washed and sliced
  • quarter pint of single cream
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • half a pint (280ml) milk
  • 2 oz. (50g) butter
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Cooking Instructions:

    1. Put the chicken and giblets into a large saucepan then add bay leaves, salt, pepper, onion and carrots
    2. Add water, cover the saucepan and cook over a gentle heat for one and a half to two hours or until the chicken is tender
    3. Heat the oven to 450F, Gas Mark 8, 240C
    4. On a lightly floured surface roll out the pastry to half to three quarters of an inch (1-1.5cms) thick
    5. Cut out an 11 inch (28cm) round and put on a baking sheet
    6. Cut a 9 inch (23cm) round in the center of the pastry, this time only cutting nearly through the pastry and brush the trop with milk
    7. Cook in the middle of the oven for about 45 minutes, until the pastry is well risen
    8. Allow to cool on a wire rack then cut out the lid
    9. Carefully scoop out the uncooked pastry from the middle
    10. Take the chicken out of the stock and cut the meat into manageable chunks
    11. Save half a pint(285ml) of chicken stock for the filling
    12. Place the butter in a saucepan and heat gently until it melts
    13. Add the flour, stir and cook for about 2 minutes then stir in the chicken stock and milk
    14. Crumble the chicken stock cube, add to the pan and bring to the boil while stirring
    15. Reduce the heat, add the mushrooms and stir for a further 10 minutes before stirring in the chicken and cream
    16. Place the vol-au-vent casing on a serving plate, fill with the chicken and mushroom filling and gently replace the lid

    Recipe: Chocolate and Mint Creams

    Hookery Cookery Home > Christmas Recipes > Chocolate and Mint Creams Makes about 20


    Cute and colourfull mint creams to adorn your Christmas table


  • 8 oz. (225g) cooking chocolate, plain or milk
  • 1 tsp. peppermint essence
  • 1 egg white
  • 8 oz. (225g) icing sugar
  • red and green food colouring
  • Cooking Instructions:

    1. Gradually fold in the egg white into 6 oz. of the icing sugar until stiff
    2. Add the rest of the icing sugar and the peppermint essence then knead to form a stiff paste
    3. Divide the paste into three pieces, adding red colouring to one, green colouring to a second and leaving the third piece plain
    4. Lightly dust a work surface with icing sugar then roll out each piece of paste to a thickness of about a quarter of an inch (5mm)
    5. Cut into one and a half inch (3.5cm) rounds with a round or fluted biscuit cutter
    6. transfer to a sheet of greaseproof paper and leave overnight
    7. Gently melt the cooking chocolate in a bowl over hot water
    8. Carefully dip half of each mint cream in the chocolate then lay on a wire rack to set

    Recipe: Party Sausage Rolls

    Hookery Cookery Home > Christmas Recipes > Party Sausage Rolls Makes 24


    Don’t forget to serve these tasty nibbles at your party; it’s just not Christmas without the trusty sausage roll lurking somewhere amongst the festive fancies


  • 1 lb. (450g) pork sausagemeat
  • half a tsp. dried sage
  • half a tsp. thyme
  • 1 tbsp. chopped parsley
  • 12 oz. (350g) self-raising flour
  • 2 oz. (50g) lard
  • 2-3 tbsp. water
  • 4 oz. (100g) margarine
  • salt and pepper
  • beaten egg for glazing
  • Cooking Instructions:

    1. Add the herbs to the sausagemeat and mix together
    2. Divide into 4 quarters and roll each quarter into a thin sausage shape on a lightly floured board
    3. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl, add the salt and pepper, then rub in the lard and margarine
    4. Add sufficient water to knead into a firm dough, then divide into two portions
    5. On a lightly floured board, roll each half of the pastry into oblongs 12 inch (30cm)x 8 inch (20cm) oblongs
    6. Cut each piece in half lengthwise
    7. Place a roll of sausagemeat along the center of each piece of pastry
    8. Damp one edge of the pastry and fold the other over and seal
    9. Divide each roll into 2 inch (5cm) pieces
    10. Place the sausage rolls on a baking sheet and glaze with the beaten egg
    11. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 375F, Gas Mark 5, 190C for about 20 minutes
    12. Cool on a wire rack before serving

    Recipe: Brandy Snaps

    Hookery Cookery Home > Christmas Recipes > Brandy Snaps Makes 20-24


    Crispy toffee coloured snaps with a brandy cream filling


  • 4 tbsps. golden syrup
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp brandy
  • 4 tbsps. flour
  • 4 tbsps. brown sugar
  • grated rind of half a lemon
  • 4 oz. (125g) butter
  • nutmeg
  • Cooking Instructions:

    1. Warm together the sugar and syrup until melted then remove from heat
    2. Blend in the flour, nutmeg, ginger and lemon then add the brandy
    3. Beat well together then drop teaspoonfuls of the mixture, well spaced apart on to greased baking sheets
    4. Bake at 350F, Gas Mark 4, 180C for about 8-10 minutes or until golden brown
    5. Lift each snap off the baking sheet with a palette knife and roll them up over the handle of a greased wooden spoon
    6. Slip off and allow to cool
    7. Fill with whipped cream flavoured with a small ammount of brandy

    Recipe: Festive Omelette with Brandy and Mincemeat

    Hookery Cookery Home > Christmas Recipes > Festive Omelette with Brandy and Mincemeat Serves 2


    Set alight this delicious omelette for a scintillating climax to a festive candlelight dinner; you’ll find it’s much more romantic than plum pudding!


  • 3 eggs, large
  • 1 tbsp. milk
  • one and a half ounces (40g) butter
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of caster sugar
  • 1 tsp. rum
  • 3-4 ozs. mincemeat
  • 2 tbsps brandy
  • Cooking Instructions:

    1. Break the eggs into a mixing bowl then add the salt and rum
    2. Beat lightly with a fork until the eggs and yolks are mixed and just a little froth beginning to appear
    3. Stir in the milk
    4. Put the butter in a 6-7 inch (15-17cms) heavy based frying or omelette pan and heat until it begins to ‘haze’
    5. Pour the egg mixture into the center of the pan and keep shaking the pan while stirring the eggs with a fork as in making a scrambled egg mixture
    6. When the center of the omelette looks scrambled, leave the pan stationary for five to six seconds for the bottom to brown slightly
    7. Carefully fold the omelette in two and slip off the pan onto a plate
    8. Stuff the pancake with warmed mincemeat, pour over the brandy and set alight as it comes to the table