I love inviting friends and family over at the drop of a hat - and this seems to happen more at Christmas - but you can then get yourself in a spoon about what to feed everyone in a last minute, plan-free zone.... If you fancy something a bit more exciting than crisps and cheese straws - although I love both - and you want people to stick around long enough not to need to order a takeaway, these are my top numbers that are super quick, tasty and delicious. Sticky Pomegranate Cocktail Sausages A riff on the honey and mustard number I've had a billion times, this tart, sticky glaze is just the right amount of sweet and the crisp jewels of fresh fruit make them look amazing.
heat the oven to gas mark 180
Arrange the sausages in a baking tray. Whisk together the molasses, oil and honey with a fork in a mug until smooth. Pour 2/3 of it over the sausages and toss to coat evenly. Bake in the oven for 10 - 15 minutes until golden. Pout the remaining glaze over, and return to the oven and watch carefully, depending on your sausages until they are sticky and browning but not dark.
Serve in small bowls with sticks I like these bamboo ones, that I re-use: Cocktail sticks Japanese style bamboo sword 10cm X 100 and scatter over the pomegranate seeds.
Brie & Cranberry Puffs
This is cheating but they taste amazing and are a step ahead of twiglets for sure.
Heat the oven to 200. Unroll the pastry, and leave to reach room temp.
Slice the brie into 5 cm thicknesses and then squares of 2x2cm.
Line a baking sheet with paper. With a large, sharp knife, slice the pastry into small even squares, of roughly 2 to 3 inches.
Brush the egg onto he pastry with your brush and place int he oven for 5 minutes. Add the brie squares into the middle of each semi cooked pastry piece, and place a cranberry on top. Return to the oven and cook for another 3-5 minutes until the pastry is golden and puffed and the brie is melted. Best served warm.
TOP TIP for Christmas parties: Chop a piece off the bottom of your tree and use little branches on wooden chopping boards with a few scattered cranberries as the perfect festive base for your canapés.
CHESTNUT CHOCOLATE BROWNIES
From My Book are the perfect easy tray bake to pull out afterwards:
CARAMEL CHOCOLATE TURTLES
Always love a fleet of these:
- 500g cocktail sausages
- 200 ml pomegranate molasses
- 60 ml honey
- 60 ml olive oil
- Seeds from 1/2 pomegranate
- salt and pepper
- 1 pack of rolled puff pastry (gf if needed, they do a good one in most supermarkets)
- 200 g medium brie
- 100g fresh cranberries
- 1 egg, whisked ( you need a Pastry Brush for this)