We wanted to do something a bit different with mince pies this year and also introduce something Christmassy into our in-store Bakery range, so we came up with the idea of a Mince Pie Cookie.
There were some challenges putting mincemeat into a cookie rather than a pie and balancing all the different flavours. It's a soft cookie that works well with the mincemeat and we've been working with a new supplier for nearly a year to perfect the recipe.
If you don't like pastry but you love cookies these are a great option. They're baked fresh in store each day and they're easy to carry around and eat on the go. They've already been a big hit on social media and I've loved seeing some of the fantastic comments – including "These actually taste amazing. Especially warmed up", "Can't wait to try these. All my friends keep tagging me in a pic of them on Facebook cos they know I love mince pies" and "Oh my word! My mouth is watering at the thought of these".
And we've also added new flavours to our more traditional Extra Special range of mince pies, including a Nut-topped Mince Pie for the first time which is lovely. We tried different kinds of nuts and found hazelnuts and walnuts are a winning combination with the mincemeat. They're nutty but not too overpowering so you can still taste the mincemeat and christmas spices underneath.
All our Extra Special mince pies are made with all-butter pastry. Last year our classic Extra Special filled mince pies were completely covered with a crimped pastry lid. We've listened to our customers and reduced the amount of pastry we use to improve the overall eat. Instead of crimping the pastry onto the pie we've shaped the lid and left a slight gap so customers can see the mincemeat underneath. Our Extra Special Luxury Mince Pie won a Highly Commended by British Baker this year.
Gin is a huge trend at the moment and people want to see it in different forms and different products at Christmas. Our new Extra Special Sloe Gin Mince Pie is one of my favourite Christmas products. From the moment we developed this I knew it was a winner.
At first we tried adding normal gin to the mincemeat filling instead of the usual brandy flavouring but it didn't combine well. It was only when we tried adding sloe gin that we knew we had a winner. I'm so pleased with how well it's worked. The sloe gin brings out the fruitiness of the mincemeat and combines really well with the creaminess of the butter pastry. Try serving them with our new Pink Gin Cream, made from sweetened double cream, Pink Gin and mulled fruit – delicious!
Our Extra Special Brandy Buttercream Mince Pies are back again this year because they're so popular and so are our Extra Special Luxury Mini Mince Pies which come in a pack of 12 and are ideal for buffets.
All our Extra Special mince pies are made from all-butter pastry. The deep mince pies in our core Asda range are suitable for vegans and people following a dairy-free diet.