10 sweet ways to transform Christmas leftovers

Christmas carnage blondies.
Christmas carnage blondies. Photo: Katrina Meynink

Make the most of those leftover choccies and treats. Note the quantities in many of the recipes below are a guide only – use what you have – most recipes are forgiving rather than exacting.

1. Blondies with Christmas carnage

Combine 230 grams butter, 2 cups dark brown sugar, 2 large eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla bean extract, a generous pinch of salt and 2 cups of plain flour in a bowl. Stir vigorously to combine – the batter will be thick but should start to come away from the sides. Stir through all the leftover Christmas confectionary, about 2 cups' worth. Turn into a 22cm x 25cm baking tin lined with baking paper and bake in a 175C oven for 20-25 minutes.

2. Sundaes with smashed Christmas pud and panettone crumble

Layer chunks of Christmas pud between scoops of vanilla bean ice-cream in sundae glasses. Pour over any leftover caramel or brandy sauce. Toast some sliced panettone then break up with your hands and crumble over ice-cream. Serve.

3. Candy cane truffles

Melt about 2½ cups dark chocolate or leftover Christmas chocolate with 1 cup cream. Stir through half a teaspoon of peppermint essence (optional). Place in fridge until set, about 2 hours. Using a spoon, scoop out mixture and roll into balls about the size of half a golf ball. Crush candy canes until you have about ½ cup of shards. Roll the chocolate balls in the candy cane pieces, dust with cocoa powder and place in fridge to set again. Bring to room temp for about 10 minutes before serving.

4. Campari, sorbet, glace orange

Combine Campari, a scoop of fruit sorbet and a slice of glace orange for the perfect apertivo or nightcap.

Leftover layered ice-cream cake. Christmas leftovers recipes for Good Food, December 2019. Images and recipes by Katrina Meynink. Good Food use only.

A festive take on Neapolitan ice-cream. Photo: Katrina Meynink

5. Leftover ice-cream cake

For the ultimate layered ice-cream cake of leftover dreams in separate bowls combine 1 litre vanilla ice-cream with 2 cups chopped fruit mince tarts; 1 litre chocolate gelato with 2 cups chopped rocky road; 1 litre caramel ice-cream with 300 grams of Christmas pudding, cut into bite-sized chunks. Bring each type of ice-cream to a soft, malleable consistency, stir through the leftovers and then freeze, one layer at a time in a 4 litre capacity mould lined with clingwrap (high-sided bread baking tins work well). When ready to serve, turn out from the mould and slice generously.

6. Xmas rocky road

Find all your leftover bits and bobs – shortbread, glace fruits, fruit mince tart, nuts, nougats etc. Roughly chop about 2 cups' worth and add to a large bowl. Cover with melted Christmas chocolate, stirring to combine and coat in chocolate. Turn into a high sided tray lined with baking paper or cling film and place in the fridge to set.

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7. The log of leftovers

There isn't much in this world that can't be improved by chocolate ice-cream. Add chunks of nougat to a bowl with some softened dark chocolate gelato or ice-cream (the darker and slightly bitter, the better). Line a loaf tin with clingwrap, ensuring there is plenty of overhang on the sides. Transfer the nougat gelato to the tin, cover the top with clingwrap and place in the freezer until solid. Turn out onto a serving platter and top with leftover Christmas chocolate and glace fruits.

8. Christmas unicorn popsicles

Combine 1 litre of softened ice-cream in a bowl with all the leftover Christmas treats. Scoop into ice-cream moulds and return to the freezer to set. Remove from moulds, roll in whatever cake-decorating sprinkles are lurking in your cupboards and serve.

Guy Grossi's panettone  sandwich, with ice cream and custard using Christmas leftovers.

Panettone sandwiched with ice-cream and berries. Photo: Simon Schluter

9. Panettone ice-cream sandwiches

Toast leftover slices of panettone. Smear with caramel sauce (optional). Sandwich a scoop of your favourite ice-cream in between and call dessert done.

10. Christmas pudding bliss balls

Melt about 2½ cups dark chocolate or leftover Christmas chocolate with 1 cup cream in a bowl. Chop up leftover Christmas pud (about 1 cup) and add to the bowl. Place in the fridge to set, about 2 hours, or until a scooping consistency. Roll into balls, place on a tray lined with baking paper and allow to firm up in the fridge for about an hour. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge until the moment for a 'sweet something' calls.