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Gill Books 12 Feasts of Christmas: Children's Christmas Recipes

21-12-2016 15:05

The Gill Books 12 Feasts of Christmas celebrates the festive season with twelve feasts featuring recipes from our wonderful authors. Recipes that will impress the visitors, sustain you, make the children smile, help you survive after overindulgence, celebrate in style and most importantly, taste delicious. The below recipes will please the most important people at Christmas..the children! As an extra bonus these recipes are all gluten-free as well.


The Extra Virgin Kitchen: Delinquent brownies


When Irish food writer Susan Jane White was advised to stay away from wheat, dairy and refined sugar during a debilitating illness, her food future seemed bleak, bland and boring. So, drawing on her gastronomic background, she created seriously tasty recipes that didn’t compromise her health. The result? Susan Jane’s energy levels went through the roof and her friends and family began to look for her ‘free-from’ recipes whether or not they had intolerances. These The Extra Virgin Kitchen brownies are devilishly good and will please everyone!


These brownies will fool the most ardent of brownie bingers. Not as saccharine as regular cane sugar, coconut blossom sugar offers a burnt toffee kick to everything it caresses. It’s not heavily processed either. The sap of the coconut flower is dehydrated to form honeyed crystals. While coconut sugar can be classified as a palm sugar, it is not to be confused with regular palm sugar, which is no friend to the diabetic. Coconut sugar is thought to have a low glycemic value – good news for hyperactive children, diabetics and bored sedentary workers .I’ve used goat’s butter in response to many requests over the years to include it in my online recipe portal. This won’t suit everyone, but it can be a great alternative for those who react to cow’s milk, like my mother. Goat’s milk and goat’s butter appear to be more alkaline than cow’s milk, appealing to those on a calcium-retention diet or alkalising menus. The ingredients for these brownies need to be measured in grams.


250g 85% dark chocolate
200g goat’s butter
100g ground almonds
2 teaspoons gluten-free
baking powder
4 medium eggs
250g coconut blossom sugar


Makes 16–20


Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F. Line a 30cm x 25cm baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.

Slowly melt most of the chocolate (keep back 30–40g) with the goat’s butter over a bain marie. All this means is a saucepan of 2cm of water simmering away and a shallow bowl fit snugly on top in place of a lid. This is where you’ll melt the butter and choccie. If the bowl gets too hot the chocolate will go lumpy, so take it off the heat as soon as you see the ingredients melding. Sometimes the water can turn from a mannerly simmer to a violent boil when you’re not watching.

Chop the remaining chocolate into mini buttons, throw into a separate bowl and stir through the ground almonds and baking powder. In a very large bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar with an electric whisk until creamy. The mixture will aerate and change colour slightly, so don’t be overly alarmed. Fold in the ground almond mix and the melted chocolate. Swiftly transfer to your prepared tin with a spatula, before all the lovely air bubbles pop.

Bake for 30–35 minutes. Use the chocolate bowl and sticky spatula as currency with your kids – after all, there’s washing up to be done and tired feet to be massaged.

Once the brownies are cooked, remove and let them cool overnight in a locked room. Brownies improve exponentially in the fridge, so try to resist looting the tray until they’ve sufficiently chilled.


My Gluten Free Kitchen: Chicken goujons with homemade tomato ketchup


When chef Gearóid Lynch was diagnosed with coeliac disease, the pleasure of cooking was briefly taken from him. Refusing to let the diagnosis limit his enjoyment of food, he created a variety of delicious, gluten-free adaptations of everyday dishes, which he shares in his first book My Gluten Free Kitchen.


This recipe is quite handy for children’s parties, as the chicken can be prepared in advance. As the goujons are baked in the oven, it also cuts out a lot of mess during the party.


serves 4–6

2 tbsp vegetable, sunflower or rapeseed oil
50g gluten-free plain white flour blend
3 medium eggs, beaten
150g gluten-free breadcrumbs, without the crusts
½ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into even-sized strips
homemade tomato ketchup (below)
to serve fries, to serve salad, to serve

Preheat the oven to 190°C.

Drizzle 1 tablespoon of oil over two large baking trays and place them in the oven. Place the flour in a shallow dish. Place the beaten eggs in a second shallow dish. Mix the breadcrumbs, cayenne pepper (if using) and some salt and pepper in a third shallow dish.

Dip the chicken pieces first in the plain flour, then into the beaten egg and finally coat in the breadcrumbs, shaking off the excess at each stage. Remove the trays from the oven and lay the goujons on the hot trays. Drizzle the goujons all over with the remaining tablespoon of oil.
Bake for 20 minutes, turning once. Remove from the oven when completely cooked through – cut one in the centre to make sure there is no pink. The coating should be golden brown all over. Serve the chicken goujons with homemade ketchup and fries or salad.


Get ahead

To prepare the chicken in advance, place the uncooked breaded chicken on a cold tray, cover with cling film and refrigerate until required.


My Gluten Free Kitchen: Homemade tomato ketchup


This homemade ketchup has the same texture and consistency of a shop-bought ketchup. It’s easy to make, stores well in the fridge and doesn’t contain any unnecessary preservatives.


Get ahead

This ketchup will keep for up to three weeks in the refrigerator.

makes 600ml
100g Demerara or caster sugar
300ml cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
1kg ripe tomatoes, quartered
100g tomato purée
20g gluten-free English mustard
10g sea salt
3 garlic cloves, crushed
3 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 cloves
1 tsp ground coriander
dash of Tabasco



Place the sugar and vinegar in a heavy-based saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add all the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil, stirring to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the saucepan. Once it reaches the boil, reduce the temperature to a simmer, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes. Remove the bay leaves, cinnamon sticks and cloves and blend the remaining mix in a food processor or liquidiser. Push the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to produce a smooth consistency. Taste again to correct the seasoning and pour into a clean jar with a tightfitting lid.


My Gluten Free Kitchen: Cheese croquettes


When it comes to children’s parties, these croquettes are a safe and popular choice, plus the children themselves love to get their hands messy making them. Mozzarella works best in the centre as it has a better melting quality, but Cheddar is good too. If the kids’ taste buds are up to it, you could also add some chilli flakes to the breadcrumb coating.

Serves 4

500g potatoes, peeled and cut into pieces
1 tbsp olive oil salt and freshly ground black pepper
75g mozzarella or Cheddar cheese, cut into 4cm x 1cm pieces
50g gluten-free plain white flour blend
3 eggs, beaten
100g gluten-free breadcrumbs
2 tsp dried chilli flakes (optional)
2 litres sunflower oil, for deep-frying
homemade tomato ketchup to serve

Put the potatoes into a pan of lightly salted water and bring to the boil. Cook for about 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender, then drain and return to the pan. Place the pan back over the heat for a few minutes to dry off any excess moisture from the potatoes, then remove from the heat and mash the potatoes until smooth. Beat in the olive oil, then season with salt and pepper and allow to cool.

Once the potatoes are cool, break off a portion and mould it around the pieces of cheese into an oblong cylinder.

Place the flour in a shallow dish and the beaten eggs in a second shallow dish. Place the breadcrumbs and chilli flakes, if using, in a third shallow dish and mix them together.

Lightly flour each of the croquettes, then dip into the beaten eggs, shaking off any excess, followed by the breadcrumbs, making sure you evenly coat each of the croquettes. You may need to shape them further using a palette knife. Cover and refrigerate the croquettes for at least 20 minutes before cooking.

Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer until it reaches 170°C (or you can shallow fry the croquettes in a frying pan). Fry the croquettes until they are crisp and golden. Once cooked, remove with a slotted spoon onto kitchen paper. These are great served with homemade tomato ketchup.


We hope that you found some inspiration for your children’s Christmas recipes! Happy feasting to you and yours, stay tuned for more fantastically festive recipes. Follow us @GillBooks on Twitter, @gillbooks on Instagram and like us on Facebook for the latest author news.


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