Quick and easy no-bake recipes to get you into the Christmas spirit, without breaking a sweat!
As an Australian, I’ve spent many Christmases indulging in barbecue dinners with all the trimmings a hot Christmas has to offer, from steak to seafood to salads. After Christmas day, the whole family would head down to the coast where the barbecues continued for another five weeks. We would go to the beach every day, and when I was old enough, I even sipped a chilled tipple or two.
I’ve also spent a number of Christmases in the northern hemisphere where warm roasted turkey and spicy mulled wine are on the menu. I’ve witnessed a magical, snowy white Christmas in Canada, too, which comes as a strong, yet pleasant, contrast the to tropical Decembers of my youth.
So which is best – hot or cold weather on Christmas? I would say each has their merits. I love the festive season in Europe and Canada when the streets and stores are decked out with brilliant displays of holiday décor. But, being a creature of warmer weather, I find Christmas Day in a sunny backyard filled with family a wonderful experience as well.
Many expats find it difficult to feel merry if they aren’t home for the holidays – especially those accustomed to snow this time of year. Christmas in Thailand can be as enjoyable as it is at home with family and friends, no matter what hemisphere you’re from, if you make an effort to get into the spirit. I hope these personal favourite holiday treats will help to make your Christmas as festive as possible.
First up are my Mum’s famous Rum Balls, or as my family calls them, “Rum Bombs,” because their pure deliciousness explodes in your mouth. Next is another no-bake recipe for a White Christmas Slice, which is easy to make and sure to win over anyone with a sweet tooth.
200g packet of Marie Biscuits
200g packet of chocolate Biscuits
388g tin sweetened condensed milk
40mls rum or preferred liqueur
2 tbls cocoa powder, sifted
1 cup desiccated coconut or ground coconut chips
- Crush biscuits into a fine crumb resembling bread crumbs and place in large bowl.
- In the large bowl, combine biscuits and sifted cocoa powder
- Add condensed milk stir through. Add rum. If using a different type of alcohol, add half, taste, and add remaining if desired.
- Create balls approximately 2cm in diameter and roll in coconut for an even coat. Keep hands wet to avoid mixture sticking. If it is too wet, refrigerate for 2 hours and go back to step 4 after the mixture is chilled and less sticky.
- Refrigerate in sealed container for 4 hours before serving.
COOKING TIP: If you cannot find desiccated coconut, grind coconut chips in a food processor instead.
WHITE CHRISTMAS SLICE
500g white chocolate melts
1 ½ cup Rice Bubbles or Rice Krispies
90g desiccated coconut
160g almonds (halved), lightly toasted
1 tsp vanilla extract
- Line the base of a 30cm x 20cm baking tray with baking paper.
- Lighty toast almonds
- Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Don’t let the bowl touch water.
- Fold in the remaining ingredients.
- Pour mixture into the prepared pan, pressing down with a metal spoon
- Refrigerate until set.
- Turn slice onto a chopping board. Use a knife dipped in hot water and cut into squares or bars.
COOKING TIP: When melting chocolate, fill a saucepan one-third full of water and bring it to boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Place chocolate into a heatproof bowl and place over the water to melt slowly. Keep stirring. If you melt chocolate too quickly it will scald. If this happens, add a little warm milk and stir through.
Text & Recipes: Vanessa Cavalieri
Photos: Pattranit Puapongsakorn