Christmas Logs

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This recipe is from Charlie’s blog called Hotly Spiced. I’ve been saving it for a year or so, and finally decided to make these sweets, originally called Mum’s Christmas Whiskey Logs. And if you haven’t become a fan of Australian Charlie and her blog, you need to. She’s very funny, and a great storyteller. She also somehow gets away with telling stories about her kids on her blog!

So on Christmas eve, just days ago, I realized I didn’t have any plans for a dessert – a cake, pie, or some kind of sweet treat. We’re not a serious sweets family, so I tend to forget about such things. Instead I had about 30 pounds of cheese in my refrigerator.

I did post on Nigella’s Christmas Rocky Road bars recently, but that was a re-post from last year. So these quick and easy Christmas logs from Charlie were a perfect choice!

The recipe for the base of the logs is very similar to my ginger spice truffle balls – butter and gingerbread cookie crumbs mixed with goodies and chilled. In fact, the recipe for this “dough” could be made into balls as well. But Charlie’s mum coats the logs in chocolate, which is a lovely addition, and the log slices quite pretty and festive.

The only change I made is the whiskey. None of us is a huge whiskey fan in our family, except for my son-in-law. We’ve tried, mind you. We even visited the famous distilleries in Scotland and Ireland. But it’s hard for me to even smell the stuff. So, I opted for spiced rum. No huge change.

So thank you, Charlie’s mum, for this recipe. I love that it can be changed up with various fruits and chocolates, crystallized ginger, and even nuts, if desired. I’ve typed the recipe as it is on her blog. Cheers!

Mum’s Christmas Whiskey Logs
from Hotly Spiced

400 grams plain biscuits (I used shortbread cookies)
125 grams butter, softened
1 cup icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar or powdered sugar)
1 large egg
1/2 cup whiskey, I used spiced rum
200 grams dried fruit, I used 150 grams of dried cranberries
100 grams chocolate chips* (I used 150 grams chocolate chips)
100 grams glaceed cherries, halved
200 grams dark chocolate**, I could only find semi-sweet

Crush biscuits and set aside. I used a food processor for this step.

Beat butter and sugar until pale and creamy.
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Add the egg and beat until smooth.

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Add the whiskey/rum and beat slightly.
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Then add the chocolate and fruit mixture.
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Then add the processed cookies.
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Using a wooden spoon, mix everything together.
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Get out 6 pieces of plastic wrap or waxed paper.

Place approximately 1/6 of the batter onto a piece of plastic wrap.
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Work it, using both sides of the plastic wrap, until a log shape is formed, and roll up, sealing the ends.
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Continue with the rest of the batter, and refrigerate the logs overnight, or at least for four hours. They should be cold and firm before continuing with the recipe. You should have 6 logs, each approximately 6″ long.

This is what the logs looked like before I coated them with chocolate.

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Place chocolate in a double boiler, and slowly melt it. I remember reading in a cookbook once, perhaps one by Alice Medrich, that you’re not trying to cook the chocolate, simply melt it. Words to live by.

Then however is easiest for you, somehow spread the melted chocolate on the logs. Charlie suggests that it’s best to do one “side” of the logs, refrigerate them for a bit, then do the other side.

Now, Charlie and her Mum must be chocolatiers, because I had a horrible time doing this. You can tell in the following photo.

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And also, I would recommend twice the amount of chocolate for this last part. There were two logs that I wasn’t able to coat in chocolate at all.

Once the logs are refrigerated well, remove them from the fridge, trim the ends, unless yours look nice, and make slices, approximately 1/4″ wide, for serving.
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The chocolate kept breaking off in pieces as well when I was slicing the logs.

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But I have to say, they were very popular.

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The next time I might turn the “dough” into balls, and dip them in chocolate, because the chocolate really does add something to these treats!

*Mini chocolate chips might be smarter; they would aid in neater slicing of the logs.
**Unless you’re really good working with chocolate, I would suggest 400 grams of chocolate.

34 thoughts on “Christmas Logs

  1. I used to loathe whiskey too then my daughter taught me how to drink it without suffering the hot spiritous burn in the nose or on the palate, I have a wee dram before bed each night now. The temperature of both the whiskey and the glass is important. I think your idea of rolling the mixture into ball and dipping them is sensible, or alternatively rolling them in unsweetened cocoa powder would work well too.

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    • Very interesting. You should write a post on it! Regarding the cocoa, that’s what I do with my rum balls, for the lack of a better name. But the good chocolate and little crunch it provides is really nice, too.

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  2. I also got close to Christmas with no dessert planned so I went all out with a Buche de Noel, a traditional Christmas log of the rolled up variety, with a cream cheese and pecan praline in the center. Am still eating the leftovers but well worth the effort. Yours sounds intriguing – any dessert with booze in it has my vote.

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  3. This looks and sounds delicious Mimi & I’d probably go ahead and use the whiskey. But I’m curious – the egg is missing from the ingredient list but you clearly used an egg. I’m always a bit nervous about uncooked eggs. Makes me wonder if they’d hang together just fine without the raw egg in them? Maybe I’ll make a small egg-free batch and see how I go. And I love the idea of using crystallized ginger.

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  4. Hi Mimi, I’m having a lot of trouble commenting. It tells me I need to be ‘logged in’ but I definitely am logged in. Trying again! Thank you so much for your kind words and yes, I do often wonder for how long I’ll be able to write about my kids. I’m so glad you tried this recipe that was a definite favourite around our neighbourhood as my mother delivered these on Christmas Eve. I know it’s tricky getting the chocolate around the entire log but mum would rest them on baking paper then coat all the bits she could see. Then when that had set, turn them over and to the underside and then the edges. You did a great job and I’m glad you liked the end result xx

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    • Well, I can see your comment, so I have no idea if it’s a WordPress glitch or not. I’ve had similar problems on other blogs. Sometimes my comments disappear. But anyway, these logs are wonderful. I thought about maybe dipping the logs, about 2/3 of the way lengthwise next time, chilling them, then dipping the remaining ends…..

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