Tag Archives: Christmas recipes

3 Fabulous Christmas Treats

Treat your guests to something really scrumptious this Christmas!

These fab recipes are taken from our brand new cookbook, Cook it Slowly! and 2018 Dairy Diary.

But make sure you tell them where you found the recipe!


Apricot & Date Flapjack Squares

Apricot & Date Flapjack Squares

  • Servings: 24
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 180 per portion
Fat 8g (4g sat) per portion
Suitable for vegetarians
Suitable for freezing


  • Dried ready-to-eat apricots 250g (9oz), chopped
  • Dried pitted dates 150g (5oz), chopped
  • Orange 1 large, finely grated zest and juice
  • Fresh orange juice 150–200ml (5–7fl oz)
  • Butter 200g (7oz)
  • Porridge oats 250g (9oz)
  • White spelt flour or plain flour 150g (5oz)
  • Light muscovado sugar 110g (4oz), plus 2 tbsp for sprinkling


  1. Put the apricots, dates and orange zest in a saucepan. Mix the orange juices to make the quantity up to 300ml (½ pint) and pour into the pan. Cook over a medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the fruit has softened and absorbed almost all of the juice. Leave to cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°fan/Gas 4. Line a 27 x 18cm (11 x 7in) traybake tin with baking paper.
  3. Roughly slice the butter into a food processor, add 150g (5oz) of the oats, all of the flour and the sugar. Pulse until the mixture starts to clump together. Take out 225g (8oz) of mixture and set aside for the topping. Pulse the mixture left in the machine until it comes together in bigger clumps. Tip into the tin then spread it out and press into the tin firmly. Bake for 15 minutes.
  4. Remove the tin from the oven and spread the apricot mixture over the base.
  5. Mix the remaining oats into the reserved crumbly mixture and spread over to cover the fruit. Press the topping down using the back of a spoon or your hand. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Bake for 45 minutes.
  6. Cool in the tin, then slide the flapjack out onto a board and cut into squares.

Cook’s tips

You can use fresh dates for this recipe but dried dates are less expensive. If you prefer, make this with more dates than apricots. Add other dried fruits like cranberries or blueberries if you have them. Use apple juice or any other juice you have to hand instead of orange juice for cooking the fruit. To spread the dough in the tin, use the back of a spoon or your fingers, dipped in flour to stop it sticking.

Recipe taken from Cook it Slowly!


Lemon Drizzle Mince Pies

Lemon Drizzle Mince Pies

  • Servings: 34-36
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 112 per portion
Fat 3g (2g sat) per portion
Suitable for freezing


  • Plain flour 225g (8oz)
  • Butter 110g (4oz), cut into chunks
  • Icing sugar 150g (5oz)
  • Egg yolk 1
  • Good mincemeat 650g (1lb 7oz)
  • Lemon 1, finely grated zest and 2 tbsp juice


  1. Put flour, butter and 25g (1oz) icing sugar into a food processor. Whizz to crumbs. Add egg yolk and 2 tablespoons cold water. Whizz until it clumps together. Knead lightly, wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 200°C/180°fan/Gas 6. Roll out half the pastry thinly. Cut out rounds using a 7cm (2¾in) fluted cutter. Line patty tins then re-roll trimmings. Put 1 rounded teaspoon mincemeat into each case and bake for 15 minutes. Cool on a rack. Roll out remaining pastry for more pies.
  3. Sift remaining sugar into a bowl; add lemon juice to make a runny icing. Drizzle over pies and sprinkle with zest. Leave to set.

A Dairy Diary recipe.


Sweet Sherry Cake

Sweet Sherry Cake

  • Servings: 8-12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 200 per portion
Fat 8g (5g sat) per portion
Suitable for vegetarians
Suitable for freezing


  • Unsalted butter 110g (4oz), softened
  • Golden caster sugar 110g (4oz)
  • Eggs 2 medium
  • Self-raising flour 200g (7oz)
  • Vanilla extract 1 tsp
  • Sweet sherry 175ml (6fl oz)
  • Bicarbonate of soda 1 tsp
  • Icing sugar for dusting


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°fan/Gas 4. Butter and base line a 20cm (8in) round spring-form cake tin then dust it with flour.
  2. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding 2 tablespoons of the flour with each egg.
  3. On the slow setting of the mixer, add the vanilla extract and sherry, then the rest of the flour with the bicarbonate of soda. Mix until just combined.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the tin and bake for 40–45 minutes until well risen and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Dust with icing sugar before serving.

Cook’s tip

Pedro Ximénez, a dark, syrupy-sweet sherry, is perfect for this recipe, but oloroso or your favourite sweet or medium sherry will be fine.

Recipe taken from Cook it Slowly!


Dairy Diaries are available now!

Dairy Diary 2018


I’m really sorry but Cook it Slowly has proved SO popular that we’re currently out of stock.

We ARE reprinting right now and they should be in our warehouse ready for you to order next week.






Chilled-Out Party Planning | Free delivery in time for Christmas

Part planning with Dairy Diary


Chilled-Out Party Planning

My other half will tell you that I’m a bit (or a lot!) of a perfectionist. That comes in pretty handy as a Managing Editor but is not quite so helpful at home.

This Christmas, however, I aim
to be a vision of calm and
tranquillity, even if everything
is going pear-shaped!

We are hosting a couple of parties, but instead of running around trying to cook 500 different foods whilst entertaining and topping up drinks. I am going to plan it so that everything can be made in advance and I can actually socialise and enjoy myself.

The easiest option is a buffet – no pressure to keep everything hot and no washing up! I have asked everyone to bring along a plate of goodies – anything goes – and I am going to make some mulled wine, a few nibbles and a couple of dishes that can be prepared in advance. I’ve also ordered some gorgeous festive disposable plates and napkins online so everything will still look pretty!

Here’s my selection from Dairy Diary. They might come in handy for your Christmas do too.

Mulled Wine

Mulled Wine

Serves 12
Time 5 mins, plus infusing time
Calories 131 per glass
Fat 0g of which 0g is saturated
Suitable for vegetarians

Whole cloves 4
Oranges 2, cut into wedges
Lemon 1, cut into wedges
Red wine 2 x 75cl bottles
Orange juice 600ml (1 pint)
Water 900ml (1½ pints)
Clear honey 4 tbsp or to taste
Ground ginger 2 tsp
Cinnamon stick 5cm (2in) piece, plus extra sticks to serve, optional

1 Press 1 clove into 4 of the orange and lemon wedges.

2 Place all ingredients in a large pan and bring to a simmer, not a rapid boil. Leave to infuse at the lowest heat for 30 minutes.

3 Reheat as and when ready to serve. 4 Ladle into heatproof glasses or mugs and add a piece of cinnamon stick to each as a stirrer, if using.

Cook’s tip To make a non-alcoholic version, use cranberry juice in place of the wine.

A Dairy Diary recipe

Forestier PâtéForestier Pâté

Serves 6
Time 20 mins, plus chilling time
Calories 332 per portion
Fat 27g of which 16g is saturated

Butter 150g (5oz)
Onion 1 small, peeled and finely chopped
Garlic 1 clove, peeled and crushed
Chicken livers 450g (1lb), trimmed and chopped
Mushrooms 150g (5oz), chopped
Bay leaves 2, plus extra to garnish
Dried thyme ½ tsp, plus extra to garnish
Brandy 2 tbsp
Double cream 75ml (2½fl oz)
French bread and salad leaves to serve

1 Melt 25g (1oz) butter and gently fry onion and garlic. Add livers, mushrooms, bay leaves and thyme and season. Cover and simmer gently for about 10 minutes or until livers are tender. Remove bay leaves, then add brandy.

2 Cool slightly, transfer to a blender and whizz until smooth. Stir in cream and check seasoning.

3 Melt rest of butter and scoop off white sediment. Pour pâté into a large serving dish or 6 small pots. Pour over butter, add extra bay leaves and thyme and chill for 2–3 hours. Serve with slices of French bread toast and salad leaves.

A Dairy Diary recipe

Raspberry Trifle

Raspberry Trifle recipe

Serves 8
Time 20 mins
Calories 339 per portion
Fat 24g of which
13.4g is saturated
Suitable for vegetarians

Trifle sponges 4
Raspberry jam 2 tbsp
Sherry 4 tbsp
Amaretti biscuits 25g (1oz), crumbled
Raspberries 150g (5oz), plus extra to decorate
Double cream 300ml (½ pint)
Custard 425g can
Amaretto liqueur 2 tbsp, optional

1 Halve trifle sponges and sandwich together with jam. Cut into quarters and arrange in a trifle dish.

2 Pour sherry over sponges and sprinkle with amaretti. Reserving a few raspberries for decoration, place remainder in dish.

3 Stir 3 tbsp cream into custard, then pour over fruit, cover and chill.

4 Whip remaining cream with liqueur, if using, until soft peaks form. Spread over custard and decorate with reserved raspberries.

A Dairy Diary recipe

Parmesan Crisp Canapes

Parmesan Crisp Canapes

Click here to view the recipe on the Dairy Diary website.

There is a great choice of sample recipes from Dairy Diary 2014 and Clever One Pot cookbook. Plus we have a huge selection for every occasion in the Recipe Library.

Where would I be without the Dairy Diary for all these ideas?

I’ll let you into a little secret…..
postage is free for the next week*.

So get your orders in for friends and family now – guaranteed delivery delivery before Christmas. You can buy the Dairy Diary Set for just an extra couple of pounds and get a pocket diary, notes organiser and a pen too. Bargaintastic and a beautiful gift!

Free delivery on everything at Dairy Diary!

* Free delivery on all UK orders placed before 18 December 2013.






Great ideas for party food and drinks

Dairy Diary Favourite Festive Recipes collection


Great ideas for party food and drinks

If you’re entertaining over the festive break you will want to make the preparation as easy and hassle free as possible.

We have put together a super collection of our favourite Dairy Diary and Dairy Cookbooks festive recipes so that you can plan ahead to ensure that you enjoy the party too!

  • Starters
  • Mains
  • Puddings and bakes
  • Party food and drinks

The Dairy Diary Festive Recipes collection is available FREE at

Dairy Diary Favourite Festive Recipes collectionFestive Recipes has been formatted for mobile devices and PCs, so you can easily read the ingredients when shopping and follow the recipes in the kitchen or print from your computer.

Take a look now http://www.dairydiary.co.uk/festive-recipes



2013 diary | How to start your Christmas Day menu in style

Starters for Christmas Day


How to start your Christmas Day menu in style

Roast turkey may well be our favourite choice for the Christmas Day main dish, but how can you ensure that this important meal starts with something special?

We have a selection of inspirational recipes
for Christmas and the New Year festivities
including these four impressive starters
that are easy to prepare but will add style
to any dinner menu.

Smoked salmon is a traditional starter but we have added a delicious twist with our Egg & Smoked Salmon Timbales. The Forestier Pâté recipe will please pâté lovers everywhere and yet requires just 20 minutes of your time. The Salmon Swirls look impressive, taste fabulous and are remarkably easy to prepare and if you are preparing a vegetarian starter then our seasonal Chestnut Soup can be prepared in advance, frozen and reheated on the day.

Dairy Diary Favourite Festive Recipes collectionJust four inspirational recipes from Dairy Diary Favourite Festive Recipes – formatted for mobile devices as well as your PC so you can easily read the ingredients list when shopping and use the recipe on your phone or tablet in the kitchen – or you can print the recipe if you prefer.

In addition to these starters you will find an inspirational choice of recipes for the whole festive break including main courses, puddings, party food and drinks.

And it’s FREE, so why not check it out now?

2013 diary | Free Festive Recipes collection from Dairy Diary 2013

Free Festive Recipes Dairy Diary 2013

Free Festive Recipes collection from
Dairy Diary 2013

This Calypso Pudding will liven up any dinner table over the Christmas break.

It is just one of the fabulous recipes featured in the Dairy Diary Favourite Festive Recipes collection available FREE at http://www.dairydiary.co.uk/festive-recipes

Dairy Diary Favourite Festive Recipes collectionFestive Recipes has been formatted for mobile devices and PCs, so you can easily read the ingredients when shopping and follow the recipes in the kitchen or print from your computer.

Take a look now http://www.dairydiary.co.uk/festive-recipes

Christmas delivery

There still time to order the
Dairy Diary 2013 and
Take a Box of Eggs cookbook
for delivery before Christmas.

Christmas ordering

Order your Dairy Diary and Dairy Book of Home Cookery in time for Christmas

There’s still time to order the Dairy Diary and Dairy Book of Home Cookery for delivery before Christmas

Order by Friday 16 December and you can have your Dairy Diary and Dairy Book of Home Cookery delivered in time for Christmas!

  • The Dairy Diary is 30 years young and still the best-selling home diary. The 2012 edition is the best ever!
  • We have a new edition of the much loved Dairy Book of Home Cookery totally updated for 2012.

Take a closer look at both books at www.dairydiary.co.uk where you can also sample a selection of yummy recipes.

The Dairy Diary makes the perfect
Christmas gifts for family and friends. 

The Dairy Diary Set has already sold out, so order today to ensure you don’t miss out on the Dairy Diary!

Managing Editor


P.S. Don’t miss our blog on Monday. 

It will feature a selection of essential Christmas Day recipes to ensure a truly scrumptious, yet stress-free day.


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