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Festive recipes to warm up winter: Christmas in July

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Nothing beats a warm, Australian Christmas with pavlova, prawns and trifle, the air-conditioning at full blast and family gathered in the backyard.

Come July, Victorians are rugged up in scarves and beanies, but many choose to celebrate Christmas in July to enjoy a small taste of the northern hemisphere holiday experience made famous through nostalgic movies and carols.

While the air is frosty, Michael Buble implores people to dream of a Winter Wonderland with sleigh bells ringing and slow glistening while whipping up one of these easy traditional Christmas recipes. Why not enjoy a Christmas in July this year – either create it yourself at home, or dine out for a special occasion.

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Christmas Sugar Cookies

Photo: Australia’s Best Recipes

Recipe supplied by Australia’s Best Recipes, bestrecipes.com.au

Ingredients:
125 g butter diced softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 egg extra large
2 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1 tsp mixed spice
1/2 cup fruit mince
80 g macadamias chopped
Icing
1 cup CSR pure icing sugar
25 ml milk

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Place butter and sugars into the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until pale and creamy. Add egg, mixing until well combined.
  2. Fold in combined flour and spice alternately with the fruit mince until well combined. Remove bowl from machine and fold in chopped nuts with a spoon.
  3. Roll tablespoonfuls of mixture into small balls and flatten slightly onto lined oven trays. Bake for 16 minutes until golden. Transfer to a cooling rack.
  4. For icing, whisk together the icing sugar and milk until smooth. Allow to sit for several minutes to thicken slightly if required. Dip a fork into icing and drizzle over the biscuits. Allow to set before packaging into gift boxes, or storing in an airtight container.

Loaded Christmas Sliders

Photo: in rhi’s pantry

A perfect solution for a quick lunch or dinner with left-over meats.

Recipe supplied by in rhi’s pantry, inrhispantry.com

Ingredients:
24 slider buns, halved horizontally
1 cup relish or chutney of your choice (cranberry and caramelised onion are good options)
3 cups roughly chopped cold meat (turkey or ham work well for Christmas in July)
2 cups grated edam or cheddar cheese
250g wheel brie, thinly sliced
50g garlic butter, melted
Grated parmesan and chopped chives, to garnish

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C, fan bake.
  2. Arrange the slider buns in a baking tray, then set the tops aside.
  3. Evenly spread the relish or chutney across the buns, then scatter over your choice of chopped meat.
  4. Sprinkle the grated cheese over the meat, then lay on the brie slices. Season with salt and pepper, then place the slider bun lids back on top. Cover with foil, and bake for 15 minutes.
  5. After 15 minutes, remove the foil, then brush the sliders generously with garlic butter. Return to the oven uncovered, and bake for a final 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Whilst still hot, garnish the sliders with freshly grated parmesan and chopped chives, then serve immediately and enjoy!
    Tip: Assemble the sliders ahead of time, then cover and store in the fridge until ready to bake!

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