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Christmas 2012 is sneaking up on us ……

Christmas 2012 is sneaking up on us …… Help!

Where has the year gone?  One minute it was summer (well, sort of) and the Olympics took us all by suprise, sprinkling us in the fairy dust of euphoria, re-kindling our good and bad memories of school athletics and re-charging our pride in our country.  But suddenly October nights are closing in and log-burners are being lit, warming our chilly evenings, and the spirit of Christmas is entering my thoughts.

Guess what I have been up to?  Me, who’s supposed to be de-cluttering and packing up the house and getting ready to move.  I made a big mistake …… I picked up the new Lakeland catalogue with all the Christmas bakeware and decorations, sat on the squashy leather chair in our bay window and drooled at all the new cookware and baking tins.  I just want them all!  So I thought I would share some of my new favourites with you.  Just click on the coloured words to find out more and to purchase an item.

This Lakeland Giant Tree Cutter is 19 x 18 cm(7 1/2″ x 7″) and could lead to a lot of fun for the family. Have a decorating competition and bring out the creative juices of children and adults alike.  No two Giant Tree cookies should look the same.  Think of all the colour variations, plus shimmer dust and lustre sprinkles. This could lead to a future Turner Prize winner in the making!

The Giant Tree Cutter is only £6.99.

Some years ago, when I was lucky enough to have my own cookshop, Kitchen Emporium, I was obsessed with cookies cutters.  The shop sold almost every type of cookie cutter that existed, and I remember displaying them in those 3-tier copper vegetable baskets, hanging from a ‘Chef de Batterie’ in the middle of my shop.  The shop is no more, but my obsession with cookie cutters still haunts me.  Just love them.  I’ve added a recipe for my favourite Spicy Christmas Biscuits – If you would like it just click on the recipe name.

This fabulous cutter is the Giant Bauble Cutter and is 16 x 20 cm (6 1/2″ x 8″).  This would make a wonderful Christmas Tree decoration.  All you do is make you cookie dough, and when you have cut out your shapes, gently wiggle a skewer or cocktail stick through at the top of the cookie to make a decent hole. As soon as you bring your baked cookies out of the oven, check that the hole hasn’t closed up – if it has, wiggle your stick through again, and  twist it gently so the hole stays open, then let the cookie harden. Let your creative juices flow, then choose a ribbon that compliments your icing colours.   Next, when the icing is set, thread the ribbon through and hang from your Christmas Tree.

The Giant Bauble Cutter is only £6.99.

The next cutters are actually a set of Speech Bubble Cutters – 4 cutters all with different shapes that you can write a message in the middle.  Imagine them hanging from your Christmas Tree with lots of different Christmas messages to make you smile. What a great idea – not just for Christmas but for any time of the year, or for any occasion.  There are these two shapes above, and a rectanglular one and a heart-shaped cutter, so something to suit, whatever message you want to put across.

>The set of 4 Speech Bubble Cutters is £4.99.

Do you throw it on the beach?  Hang is as a mobile? No!  You make some Vanilla cookie dough, separate this amazing set of 3D Christmas Cookie Cutters, cut two of each size, bake in your oven then stack them up. Sounds easy? But what are they transformed into?

Into this beautiful Vanilla cookie Christmas Tree.  Simple!  It is a set of 10 special cutters up to 20cm (8″) in diameter, and comes with 3 disposable icing bags and 2 icing nozzles.  Lakeland have shared their recipe for Vanilla Cookie Dough with you, as well.  Seriously value for money!

All that is left to do is to decorate it, scatter fairy dust or lustre sprinkles over then wait for the sighs of admiration.  I will confess that I have just done a double-take on the price of this 3D Christmas Cookie Cutter Set.

 This 3D Christmas Cookie Cutter Set is an unbelievable £4.99.  Incredible value.

Now, for those of you interested in having a go at chocolate making, Lakeland have introduced some great equipment at very reasonable prices.  Take, for instance, The Chocolate Maker’s Funnel. “Place your chocolate in the graduated jug, melt in the microwave then squeeze the handle to control the flow of chocolate as required.” So no messy spills or wastage!  No kitchen countertop covered in drippy chocolate!  Amazing!!

This Chocolate Maker’s Funnel is £11.99

To go with the Funnel, Lakeland have come up with some brilliant Chocaltier Moulds.  These are super tough, with precise details so that your chocolates will turn out as if made by a professional.  Fill using your Funnel, set in the fridge, then put them in the freezer for only a few minutes.  After that just tap them gently and they will drop easily out of the mould, and you’ll be amazed at the superb Artisan detail. Sounds so easy I’ve just got to have a go.

These Choclatier Moulds come in 3 shapes.  Bars Mould makes seven bars, just like our old favourite chocolate bars.  Bottles Mould make 18 bottles, and Seashells Moulds makes 24 seashell shaped chocolates.  Each mould is £14.99.

There are lots of other Chocolate Moulds in the catalogue, some at £4.99, so just click on any of the coloured words to take you straight through to the many pages of fabulous bakeware.

The next chocolate item that got me really excited, for serving food as well as tasting the chocolate was the Silicone Chocolate Spoons Mould.  Very easy to use. Just imagine using these spoons at a Christmas buffet party, for serving dainty servings of Chocolate and Chilli Mousse, or tiny spoonfulls of crushed meringue mixed with thick cream and raspberries or strawberries.  Maybe just thick cream with grated chocolate and some chocolate-coffee beans.  Or, as seen in the picture, for stirring into your espresso coffee and tasting that delicious rush of warm, melted chocolate.  Making myself hungry now!  See for yourself.

 

This Silicone Chocolate Spoons Mould makes 6 on one flexible, bright pink mould and is a great stocking filler for creative cooks.  It is priced at only £2.99.

Time for me to have another look at more bakeware in my Lakeland catalogue.  Christmas 2012 is sneaking up on us, but I’m going to enjoy planning ahead with all these culinary toys. Hope you do too.

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