Over the next four weeks we will be faced daily with treats and temptations with every step we take, on the run up to Christmas Day. Then between Christmas and New Year, we are faced with even more delicious morsels that threaten to expand our waistlines with every bite. Now is the time to enjoy, then come the 1st January we can get back to the healthy eating (and the gym).
Here at My Cupcake Toppers we have put together a list of our top 10 treats of Christmas - the goodies our families enjoy over the festive period.
1. Gingerbread men are not only extremely tasty but are great fun to make as well. You can go with the traditional decorations of currents or raisins for buttons etc. or you can jazz them up with coloured icing, sweeties - anything you and your kids want to use.
2. Mince Pies are an absolute must around Christmas and with the shops stocking them from late October, now we don't have to wait. Nothing beats a homemade mince pie though in my opinion and I don't think Santa would pay our house a visit if there wasn't one waiting by the fire place on Christmas Eve!
3. Back in September I made my Christmas cakes for this year - 8 in total! One for my own family, then one each for Ruth and Joyce here at My Cupcake Toppers, three more for friends/family and the last two are gifts for our local school Christmas raffle and also another raffle for our local hospice.
Since then, I have been feeding them brandy every second Sunday religiously and next week I have the job of covering them with marzipan and icing, finally adding the decorations the week before Christmas.
Whilst my mum always used to create some kind of festive snow scene when I was a child, I find it much easier to use one of our Christmas cake toppers and then add a few extra touches with icing.
4. If you like getting in the kitchen at this time of year, Christmas cookies are a quick and easy treat you can make. There are so many different cookie cutters on the market these days, along with glitter, sprinkles, icing tubes ready to pipe onto your creations - you really could make a different batch every day!
5. We don't need to buy in much chocolate for the holidays as the girls are given selection boxes at School, Church, Brownies, Dancing, Swimming club... and the list goes on. Thankfully they all seem to be of the Cadburys variety, which is my chocolate of choice - "if mum's happy, everyones happy".
6. There is only so much dessert you can eat after a big Christmas dinner, however I would not be thanked by my husband if I didn't make him a big trifle.
7. Whether you put them on a cake, hang them on your Christmas tree or simply eat them straight away, the sweet peppermint taste of a candy cane is a welcome relief from all the chocolate consumed at this time of year.
8. Not everyone likes Christmas pudding in our house (hence the trifle) but I would not be without it. Especially topped with lots of hot rum sauce - plenty of rum!
9. From the 20p truffles sold at the school Christmas Fayre to the £20 luxury truffles sold at Fortnum and Mason, they are all delicious. Buy them or make them yourself, the variety of flavours that can go into these tasty bite size delights are too many to count.
10. The ultimate treat - Christmas may be the only time for many people to justify spending the price of a small car on what really is just a sweet confection. The amazing colours and flavours are incredible though - a real thing of beauty.
I hope you like our round up of sweet Christmas treats. I know there are lots of other things out there that we have not mentioned - we would love to hear about your favourites at this time of year. Please feel free to leave us a comment.