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12 Days of Wild: Easy Vegan Mince Pies and Festive Chocolate Pinecones

Dearbhlá McMenamin shares two easy, festive recipes for Christmas treats with a twist!


Baking is a traditional Christmas pastime - cosy, festive and delicious. Image Credit: Ekaterina Bolovtsova.


Vegan Mince Pies


Note: Dearbhlá used shop-bought mincemeat to make these for convenience. Most mincemeat nowadays is naturally vegan - but you should always confirm, to avoid any nasty surprises.


Ingredients:

  • Coconut Oil (220g) - our substitute for butter!

  • Flour 390g

  • Icing Sugar 60g

  • Orange gin 2 tbsp (or any kind of alcohol…)

  • Zest of an orange

  • Water 1 tbsp


Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C.

  • Begin by adding the coconut oil to the flour and icing sugar. Use your fingertips to rub these together until the mixture reaches a crumb.

  • Add the orange zest, orange gin (or your alternative!) and water. Using your hands bring the mixture together to form a dough.

  • Sprinkle some flour on a clean surface and using a rolling pin, roll out the pastry until it is about 1 cm thick.

  • Use a circular cutter to cut out the pastry bottoms, pressing them into a greased cupcake tin.

  • Leave some pastry to cut out stars or another festive shape for the tops of the mince pies.

  • Spoon a teaspoon of mincemeat into each pastry round.

  • Place the star pastry tops on top of the mincemeat.

  • Brush the tops with a splash of plant milk.

  • Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown.

  • Allow to cool and dust with icing sugar.


From left to right: vegan mince pies that will stir up a storm, and festive chocolate pinecones for your December cravings. Image Credit: Dearbhlá McMenamin.


Chocolate Pinecones


Note: Dearbhlá used a shop-bought chocolate sponge mix to make these, but if you have the time, cooking up your own mix is a fun option to do with friends.


Ingredients:

  • Chocolate sponge

  • Chocolate icing or Nutella

  • Chocolate shell cereal

  • Icing sugar (for dusting)


Method:

  • Break up the chocolate sponge into crumbs using a food processor, a fork or your hands.

  • Gradually add the chocolate icing to the sponge, mixing until you can mould it.

  • Take a small amount of mixture and mould into a cone shape.

  • Once you have all of your cakes moulded, put them into the fridge for 20 minutes to firm up.

  • Remove from the fridge and using the chocolate shell cereal, push the shells into the cake in a circular pattern until it begins to resemble a pinecone.

  • Finally, lightly dust your pinecones with icing sugar, to resemble winter frost.


If you so wish, vegan alternatives can also be found for this recipe, making it the perfect festive treat for everybody!

About the Author: Dearbhlá is a 3rd-year Environmental Science student at The University of York currently on an industrial placement in Northern Ireland. She enjoys getting stuck into crafts, baking and travelling in her free time.

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