Don't worry, I've recovered from my bout of Christmas-itis. The pohutukawas are coming out, the sun is shining and the realisation that there's only a week more of work (that is, the work I get paid for) before December 25 has improved my outlook remarkably.
The other thing that's cheered me up is nibbling on this Christmas mazurka. I've got no idea why it's named after a Polish folk dance, but it does put a spring in your step. If you've yet to get any festive baking underway, this could be your saviour. One batch yields about 10-12 long bars, which you can wrap appropriately and give out as the mood strikes you. Or you can just stash it in a tin and eat it all yourself, which is what we've been doing.
This is a slightly fiddled-with version of something from an advertising supplement. If you haven't made your Christmas cake yet (there is absolutely NO shame in that, it's very hip this year), then you could always make this instead. Just a thought...
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup chopped crystallised ginger
1/2 cup mixed peel
1 cup chopped dried papaya or pineapple (or dried apricots)
1 1/2 cups roasted almonds, roughly chopped
200g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup (125ml) runny honey (if you don't have liquid honey, warm it over gentle heat)
Heat the oven to 150C. Grease and line a brownie tin with baking paper.
Put all the fruit, nuts and chocolate into a large bowl. Sift in the dry ingredients and stir well to combine.
Mix the eggs and honey together as best you can, then pour this mixture over the fruit and nuts. Mix well - it's easiest to do this with clean hands - then press into the prepared tin.
Bake for 45 minutes, until the slice is firm in the middle. Let cool completely before turning out of the tin. Slice into bars or squares and store in an airtight tin. Keeps well.
The other great thing about this slice is that it fits neatly with the theme for December's We Should Cocoa, which mixes cinnamon with chocolate. Be sure to visit Choclette's blog at the end of the month (if not before) for more cinnamon-infused chocolate goodness.
Have a great weekend everyone. Hope your Christmas plans are under control... x