Sweets for Santa: Christmas Parcels
Father Christmas comes down the chimney: fact. Well at least that’s what I believed when I was four years old. I was devastated the year we moved house and I realised there was no chimney. That was also the year that I learnt that Father Christmas is very resourceful. Apparently there is absolutely nothing to worry about if you don’t have a chimney, because Father Christmas is magical he can get in through the back door. He is able to make himself small enough to fit through the key hole, thus enabling him to still deliver the presents.
This does lead to other problems though. The Christmas tree was always positioned near to the fireplace so he didn’t have far to go. When you have to enter via the back door, you not only get presents delivered under your tree, but also snowy footprints from the back door to the tree.
And then there is the problem of where do you leave the ginger ale, carrot and mince pie? If my memory serves me well, I think the protocol is to leave your snack for Father Christmas just near the entree point so that he can refuel himself and the reindeer’s before leaving the gifts. This gives him enough energy to continue on his momentous journey around the globe.
The snacks for Father Christmas were always purchased as a child; we weren’t a baking family. And strangely enough they would only ever be half eaten. I guess Father Christmas has a lot of places to stop and if he ate all of the offerings along the way he would never be finished in time. As we got older we did start to show some interest in cooking, and as my regular readers are fully aware my Mum was not a cook or a baker. Any thing we made had to be simple, assembly type dishes (like the infamous sweetie cakes). One Christmas I picked up a recipe card from a well known UK supermarket; the recipe was so simple I was able to make it myself.
I guess this recipe is a cheats mince pie. It is my offering for this months Sweet Adventures Blog Hop. Christina from The Hungry Australian is our host, and she has challenged to share the treats we would leave out for Santa. I can hardly tell the world to buy mince pies, it kind of defeats the purpose of the blog hop, so I’m sharing the recipe for Christmas Parcels that were a favourite Christmas dish for my teenage years. This is also what I would leave out for Father Christmas this year if we were spending Christmas at home. And yes, I would have to place it by the back door, as yet again I live in a house with no chimney.
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Start by melting the butter in a small bowl. Lay 5 sheets of Filo pastry on top of each on a clean work surface and cut into 6 equal squares. Lay the pieces you are not using under a damp cloth so they don’t dry out.
Place a square on the work surface, brush with the melted butter, then lay another square on top, at an angle. Brush with melted butter then place a third square of pastry on top, again at an angle, so you have a twelve point star. Brush the top layer with butter too.
Place a generous, heaped teaspoon of the fruit mince in the centre of the pastry. I would say a tablespoon, but it’s difficult to get a tablespoon into the small jars. Taking four sides of the pastry bring them together and scrunch the pastry to make a parcel that looks a bit like Father Christmas’s sack. Pinch the pastry firmly so it stays together while it cooks.
Place the parcels on a greased baking tray (I used some of the left over melted butter) and brush the outside of the parcels with the remaining butter. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until crisp and golden.