I’m all for making life easy, so here are two excellent make ahead Xmas canapes that you can freeze. The first, Cream Cheese & Mango Doughballs, is a Mary Berry recipe (always reliable) and as ready made dough balls are available in supermarkets, this is super easy. The second, for Parma Ham Swizzle Sticks is from Good Housekeeping and, as we all know, they try every recipe three times to make sure it works.
Cream Cheese & Mango Doughballs
These freeze well, without the mango chutney on top, for up to a month. Alternatively, you can make them up to 12 hours ahead and keep in the fridge.
Ingredients makes 32
16 ready-to-cook dough balls
75g/2½oz full-fat cream cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tbsp chopped fresh chives
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
3 tbsp mango chutney
How to prepare
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6 and line a baking tray with non-stick paper or foil.
Slice each dough ball in half horizontally. On the baking trays, arrange the half dough balls up on the rounded part with the cut side up. You may need to slice a small sliver off the rounded base so they sit flat on the tray without toppling over.
Mix the cream cheese with salt, pepper, chives and parsley and spread the cheese mixture over the flat side of each ball, spreading right to the edges. Spoon a small blob of mango chutney on top.
Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until golden brown and hot. Arrange on a flat platter and serve warm.
Parma Ham Swizzle Sticks
Make these then cool and put into a container. Freeze for up to a month. Defrost at room temperature, then heat in the oven for 5min at 200°C (180°C fan) mark 6.
Ingredients makes 12
250 g (9oz) strong white flour, plus extra to dust
½ x 7 g sachet fast-action dried yeast
200 ml (7fl oz) milk
2tbsp olive oil, plus extra for oiling
50 g (2oz) pitted black olives, halved
Leaves from 2 rosemary sprigs, finely chopped
6 slices Parma ham, halved lengthways
Fresh pesto to serve
Mix the flour, yeast and ¼tsp salt in a bowl. Heat the milk and oil in a pan until lukewarm. Stir enough of the milk mix into the flour to make a soft dough. Knead on a floured work surface for 5min. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise somewhere warm but not hot for 30min.
Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan) mark 6. Line two baking sheets with baking parchment. Lightly knead the olives and rosemary into the dough, then divide into 12 balls. Roll each into an 18cm (7in) strip, then wind a strip of ham along the length and twist together. Transfer to a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake for 12-15min until golden. Serve warm with fresh pesto for dipping.
Like to see more of our canape recipes? You’ll find them here