It’s the final countdown to Christmas and as usual my girls and I have been busy creating a whole array of edible gifts. We’ve made pretty bottles of sloe syrup (with sloes we picked and froze back in the autumn), candied orange slices and all kinds of chocolates and truffles.
We actually made these dinky marzipan piggies as presents for family and friends last year, and they were a huge hit. They are of course inspired by the classic pigs in blankets, one of the best bits of the traditional British Christmas dinner, where little chipolatas are wrapped in bacon and roast around the turkey.
But we reckon our marzipan versions are so much cuter and guaranteed to raise a smile. What’s more, they’re super easy to make, so definitely presents the whole family can take part in making.
You can if you like buy pink marzipan, but I found the ready-coloured ones were just a tad too lurid. So we bought white marzipan and coloured it ourselves. You might also like to knit your own mini blankets. We weren’t organised enough for that, so picked up some cheap fat quarters from our local fabric shop.
Marzipan pigs in blankets
Makes around 10 sets of three piggies
500g marzipan, at room temperature
pink food colouring
icing sugar for dusting
scraps of fabric for blankets
Start by kneading the marzipan in your hands, until it is soft and workable. Using a toothpick, dot small amounts of the pink food colouring onto the marzipan and knead it in. Keep going until you get an appropriately piggy shade of pink.
Sprinkle icing sugar on your work surface to prevent the marzipan from sticking. It also helps if you dust your hands too.
Cut off a small amount of marzipan and shape to make the largest pig’s body, measuring about 5cm high. Use tiny pieces of marzipan to make slightly pointed ears and a round flat disc for a snout.
Simply press the ears and snout into place, and use a clean toothpick to make tiny indents for the eyes and nostrils. Job done!
Now’s it’s just a case of making around 29 more, of varying sizes to form little piggy families. Gather together in trios and tuck up in their fabric blankets. Place on a piece of stiff card, wrap in clear cellophane and tie with a festive ribbon.