5 festive treats to try with friends
Winter is a season of decadent dishes laced with the rich flavours of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cranberry and orange. So if you’re studying abroad in the UK or US, make sure you don’t miss out on the amazing festive treats on offer.
INTO’s Kate Standing talks you through some lip-licking favourites…
Believe it or not, there are benefits to cold, dark, wintry weather. For instance, there’s nothing better than inviting friends round for a night of stomach warming refreshments. The Danish even have a word for this, “hyggelig”, which loosely translates as “the pleasant and cosy atmosphere of being in a warm place with your friends and family while enjoying good food”.
So why not get together with your classmates to try some of these seasonal treats?:
1. Mulled wine (alcoholic or non-alcoholic)
A classic festive drink made from red wine, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, sugar and oranges. You can buy it in pubs or pre-prepared in supermarkets but it’s also really easy to make at home. Here’s a nice easy recipe for mulled wine. Remember that you can create a non-alcoholic version by replacing the wine with orange, apple and cranberry juice.
2. Minced pies
Just to be clear, these pies don’t contain any meat! Minced pies are sweet pastries filled with “mincemeat”, a mixture of chopped dried fruit, distilled spirits and spices (you can also make a non-alcoholic version by leaving out the spirits). Mince pies taste delicious heated and served with mulled wine or freshly brewed coffee. How to make minced pies.
3. Hot chocolate
Hot chocolate can be made in various ways – with cocoa, powder mix or, if you want to be truly decadent, real melted chocolate mixed with warm milk. For variety, try adding cinnamon, nutmeg or peppermint syrup. Top with whipped cream and marshmallows but whatever you do, don’t think about calories! Classic hot chocolate recipe.
This is a Danish Christmas speciality – the word translates as “brown biscuits”. Easy to make and share, these little cookies contain cinnamon and ginger so taste deliciously festive. Try them with a pot of hot spiced tea. Recipe for brunkager.
5. Gingerbread house
Want to take something special to a Christmas party? Get together with friends to create this German treat based on the famous fairytale, Hansel & Gretel. Decorate your “house” with sweets and chocolate, and remember to sprinkle with icing sugar to create the effect of snow (tip: cut shapes out of the windows before you cook and fill the gaps with jelly sweets. The sweets will melt in the oven and make edible stained-glass windows!). How to make a gingerbread house.
Make sure to try at least one of the winter classics listed above – after all, tasting traditional foods is all part of the study abroad experience!