Monday, 28 November 2011

Christmas Swirls

Is it too early to mention the C word yet? No? Okay phew! Aveen - I know you have been waiting patiently for these!

This year I am trying to be organised and have already started squirrelling things away in the freezer for Christmas meals. As someone who does shift work, and will be working throughout the festive season getting ahead now will hopefully mean calm in the future, and more importantly less washing up on the big day itself! As well as a batch of these lovely little swirls, ready for Christmas snacking, I’ve already made up a batch of carrot and swede mash, and two batches of pork, cranberry and apple stuffing mixes!

The inspiration for these lovely, festive little swirls came from having a spare block of puff pastry that needed using up, and a recipe from the latest Tesco instore magazine (please tell me I am not the only magpie who picks up every freebie recipe card/ magazine/ newspaper?) Plus I’ve also always wanted to make Danish pastries and finally seized my chance on a treasured day off this week!

I adapted the original recipe to what I had in the various boxes I moved house with and adjusted quantities as to what felt right! These little puffs are rather good and are great with a nice cup of coffee or tea! They are easy and fun to make and will be very popular, judging by how quickly mine vanished!

Makes 30 swirls - Keep half, freeze half. Or all. Depends if you can wait till Christmas!


500g block puff pastry
plain flour and icing sugar for dusting
200g good quality mincemeat – I used Sainsburys Taste the Difference
2 tsp runny honey
1 tsp orange extract (I love Sainsburys TTD Valencian orange extract)
50g + 10g flaked almonds, roughly crushed in your hand
40g + 20g dried and sweetened sour cherries, roughly chopped
Small chunk of Angelica, sliced into little bits


In a bowl mix together the mincemeat, orange extract, honey, 50g of the almonds and 40g of the cherries. Christmas Swirls 11
Cut the pastry block in half, roll one block out on a floured surface into a rectangle shape, about 1/4cm thick or so. I laid mine at this stage onto cling film – makes the next stages easier! Spread over half the mincemeat mixture in a thin layer, right to the edges.
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Now use the cling wrap to help roll it really tightly, like a swiss roll, wrap tightly in flim and freeze for 15 minutes
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For the second batch, assuming you are going to freeze them, repeat the above stage

Pre-heat oven to 200 fan

Line a baking tray(s) with baking/ parchment paper

Carefully remove your rolls from the freezer. Using a sharp knife cut the first roll into 1cm strips and lay flat on the baking tray, leaving space for them to expand a little. Press over the little bits of angelicaChristmas Swirls 18

Bake for 15 minutes or until golden and your kitchen smells a little like heaven. Whilst still hot, sprinkle with remaining almonds and cherries and dust with icing sugar. Allow to cool on the paper, then transfer to a wire rack. They will be a little sticky underneath so just nudge now and again to loosen.

With the remaining roll, also cut into 1cm rounds but transfer onto baking / parchment paper, in small layers and transfer to a suitable container for freezing. Freeze until Santa is on his way.

*Note the 10/g20g almond/ cherry mix is only for 15 freshly baked swirls You will need more for when the frozen friends come out to play*
Christmas Swirls 4

I've sent my Christmas Swirls over to Sweets for a Saturday #45- a fabulous blog full of naughty but nice treats! 


  1. They look delcious and very quick and easy to make.

  2. These Christmas Swirls look so good!


  3. These look great, very christmassy indeed :)

  4. Anne, they look so delicious and nice and easy to make too, always a bonus!

  5. These look great, I tried something similar last year and it was a bit disastrous. Since I don't like mincemeat I've never felt like trying again, I'm such a selfish baker! It's not just you - I will pick up every free supermarket magazine / recipe card I can see, have found some great things that way! I've just tagged you for Food Bloggers Unplugged, if you'd like to take part, see here:

  6. This looks great. I have very similar recipe and I know that it has a nice taste.

  7. These look lovely and would make a nice change from mince pies or offered as well as mince pies for a lighter alternative. Getting them all ready and then freezing is also a great tip.

  8. YES! Can't believe it's taken me this long to catch up with Google Reader and see this post but I have been chomping at the bit for this recipe! Thanks for posting it. Thinking I'll have to try it with some of Nick Malgieri's danish pastry that I like so much.


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