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Christmas Party Recipes

This is probably the one time of year when people who aren't party-givers give parties. Sometimes, this is due to an uncharacteristic but nevertheless welcome burst of bonhomie and seasonal spirit; as often, it's a duty-date, the product of habit, pressure or other presumed or existing obligations. For as many people who feel a blood-rushing joyousness at the prospect of having their home overrun with people out to have a good time, there are perhaps more who are filled rather with dread, and lacerated by the anxiety that a good time will be neither provided nor had.

This may be a strange thing to say, but if it's the cooking that makes you not enjoy giving a party, don't cook. Buy salame, get cheese, put grissini in jars and regular French breadsticks in vases. But know that, sometimes, the act of preparing for a feast, by cooking simple, low-effort food, can make you look forward to the party more.

And, actually, I think that a Christmas party is the best sort to give. For one thing, everyone is predisposed to have a good time. They're out to enjoy themselves: they're not coming to carp at your canapes.

Posted by Nigella      Makes 35 - 40 biscuits

I couldn’t have Christmas without these, or at least, not happily. Rituals are essential to give us meaning, a sense of ceremony,…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Serves 8

There is no doubt about it, anything with chestnuts in it, even if they come vacuum-packed or canned and are perennially available,…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Makes 12-14 slices

This recipe is my own but at the same time a conflation of a couple of Italian Christmas must-haves: the glorious, fruit-studded panettone…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Makes approx. 1 litre/quart

I have made no-churn ice creams ever since How To Eat, but it’s fair to say that the One-Step No-Churn Coffee Ice Cream in Nigellissima…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Makes 18 mini pavs

Because of the fruit - and the cream, for that matter - these are not cheap to make, but I always have a stash of egg whites in my…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Yield 10-14 slices

Most of the time I refer to this as my Cider and 5-Spice Gingerbread, but I changed the name out of concern for those who expect a…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Serves 1

Salted caramel is not just for eating....Read on

Posted by Nigella      Makes 48 small squares

I have written a recipe for panettone stuffing before: the sweet seasonal fruit bread was cubed, toasted and mixed with Italian sausage;…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Makes 16 pieces

This is so temple-achingly sweet that one small marked-out diamond, or maybe two, is enough. But even so, I love its perfumed sugariness…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Serves 8

It is not quite normal to feel as joyous as I do when saying the words “Brussels sprouts”, but this recipe does not merely…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Serves 8

I don’t need to tell you how beautiful this is: you can see. It’s extravagant, certainly, but it’s meant to be.…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Makes 35-40 shortbreads

This is an Italian-inspired recipe that comes to me from Australia via Brazil. To explain: a Brazilian friend, and the best cook I…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Serves 6

You might think that nuts, untampered with, are perfect picking food as they are, and up to a point you'd be right. But try these,…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Serves 30

These bonbons are almost alarmingly easy. I was inspired by a picture I saw in The Australian Women’s Weekly, fell…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Makes about 12 slices

This is a sleight of hand, or a trick of equipment rather than an act of brilliance. True, the cake does look incredibly complicated…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Makes 8-9 glasses

This is probably the most serviceable, all-round Christmas drink: eminently refreshing; satisfyingly quaffable. Think of it as a juicily…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Makes approx. 77 pieces

For some reason this is known in the Antipodes (and I got this recipe from a Kiwi) as Russian Fudge and, although I like this name…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Makes 12

These beauties also make a very good alternative to mince pies. I buy the icing ready made and dyed (which is why it isn’t a…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Serves 10-12 (with leftovers)

Nothing will ever take the place of my Ham in Coca-Cola from Bites – in my heart or on my table – but this slow-baked…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Serves 12

No one is doubting the glory of mashed potatoes, and while they are not difficult to make, they can be quite a faff in large quantities…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Makes 36

This is the way I make my mince pies, and there is no changing me or them: they are small, to be popped straight into the mouth in…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Serves 6

I'm almost embarrassed by how easy these are.  It's true that you do need a processor, though you could just chop well and whisk…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Makes about 10 slices

This is the perfect cut-and-come again cake for any time of the year. It lasts for ages, but has the squidgy fabulousness of something…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Makes 1.2 litres/6 servings

This mulled cider is mellow and fruity and, despite the rum sploshed in as well, mild to the taste and all too drinkable. Just make…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Serves 8

Cool, satiny ice cream with a cranberry syrup so jewel-bright and shiny it could be made of molten lip gloss. My great aunt used to…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Serves 10-16 as part of the feast

Christmas pudding isn’t for everyone and, even though I have faith in my pudding’s ability to convert, there’s no…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Makes 9 x 250ml / 1-cup sealable jars

Chutney is not the most obviously festive, seasonally indulgent, must-have foodstuff, but it is the cornerstone of my Christmas pantry.…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Makes 10-12 slices

There are few more popular ways to end a dinner party than with a fallen chocolate cake – the cakes are so called because they…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Makes about 10-12 slices

I just throw everything into a pan, let the heat from the stove send buttery rum and citrus juices permeating into the currants, sultanas…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Yield 14 slices

I have always avoided making chocolate tarts, not out of laziness (I love a bit of pastry-making, in the right mood), but because…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Makes approx. 20 generous slices

I’ve encountered quite a few versions of chocolate salame in Italy – coming to the conclusion that it’s really an…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Serves 10

For parties or any type of seasonal entertaining, I like a cocktail that gets poured together in a jug rather than mixed up by the…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Yield 50 / 25 sausages

I couldn’t help myself. I can’t have a party without some cocktail sausages and wanted to make them just a little bit…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Makes around 45 stars

This is a new variant of an old and easy party favourite. The dough is mixed up in the processor and rolls out easily.  It may…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Makes 10-12 slices

This is another of my maternal grandmother's recipes. I've changed it a bit, not least substituting dark rum for her juice and zest…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Serves 12

I know it might sound a bit of a faff, but take it from me that stuffing a whole double breast joint is very much easier than stuffing…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Makes about 12 fat slices

I know the recipe looks finicky, and I can’t promise it’s a doddle, but it works easily and you will soon find you are…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Yield 10-12 slices

This cake. It confounds me. It delights me. I never ever thought I would be in raptures about the joyfulness of a – yes –…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Makes 10 fat slices

This is the fruity blonde sister to that brunette temptress, my chocolate fruit cake from Nigella Christmas. It delivers, as promised,…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Makes approx. 24

I love these dark, fat patties of chocolate shortbread exuberantly topped with festive sprinkles. There’s something so cheering…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Serves 4-6

Although I have called this incredible dip roquamole, I think it may be better made with a less illustrious bleu. St Agur out of a…Read on

Posted by Nigella      Makes 24 bars

It’s not that I felt my usual Rocky Road Crunch Bars needed any improvement (though fiddling with recipes is one of life’s…Read on

For even more Christmas inspiration try our Christmas ham recipes.