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Christmas Chestnut Caramel Shortbread

shortbread

When I was growing up, I associated certain tastes with times of the year. Chestnuts were the taste of celebrations at Christmas when my mum made a gorgeous frozen pudding similar to a Nesselrode pudding with sweetened chestnut puree and we occasionally had marron glacee at my granny’s house round the open fire. But caramel shortbread was the taste throughout the year. None of this ‘millionaire’s shortbread’ malarkey, caramel shortbread was the traybake of choice in our house.

Weirdly though, I’ve never made it myself. I tend to dip into my less well known Northern Irish repetoire of wee buns and bakes when I’m making anything like this back in London, but everyone has heard of this treat so I’ve neglected it for a while, but a recent conversation gave me a Christmassy craving for caramel and when Zoe and Tim from Brixton Blog gave me a tin of chestnut spread last week, I knew I had to combine the two tastes and this classic a new lease of life.

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Christmas Chestnut Doughnuts

I was invited to a festive soiree this weekend to get some Christmas cards prepared, drink mulled wine and generally get in the seasonal mood. I wanted to bring something Christmassy to this get together, but I couldn’t think what since I loathe mince pies with a passion and find the December obsession with dried fruit in general a bit hard to handle. Walking home from a shopping trip where I had picked up a can of purée de marron because it was such a nice looking tin, I saw a small child eating a doughnut and had a flash of inspiration. What about festive doughnuts stuffed with chestnut puree and sprinkled with nutmeg and cinnamon? Having never met someone who doesn’t like doughnuts, I decided with was a marvellous idea, because even if it went wrong, I would finally find out after 25 odd years of wondering, how they get the filling into a doughnut…

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