The Gleaner
Arts & LifeArts & Life

Christmas Recipes 2022

Christmas Sugar Plums 

This recipe is my mom’s; every year I make it, and it brings me right back to my Christmases as a kid. Now I make it for my own grandkids. These cookies are so red and inviting when mixed with others (A sure “kid” winner, and easy to make; just be careful to not eat the cloves!).

Ingredients

1 tin sweetened condensed milk 

2 packages strawberry flavoured Jell-O 

1½ cups finely shredded coconut  

1 cup fine vanilla wafer crumbs 

1 package strawberry flavoured Jell-O for rolling 

Whole cloves 

Method

Mix first four ingredients together. 

Form mixture into one-inch balls and roll in the additional strawberry flavoured Jell-O. 

Press a whole clove in every second ball.  

Store in refrigerator until ready to use.  

Yield: approximately four dozen. 

Bernice and Kathy Reid

 

Christmas Pudding

Ingredients

2½ cups sifted white flour

¼ teaspoon baking soda

3 tablespoons baking powder 

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¾ cup finely chopped suet or shortening

1 cup cooking molasses

1 cup seeded raisins, floured

1 cup milk

½ cup currants, floured

½ cup citron or mixed peel

Method

Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and spices. 

Mix together suet or shortening, molasses and milk. Combine with dry ingredients, then add fruit, mix together well and pour into a 2-quart greased, covered-top pudding mold. Steam on top of range for 3 hours. Serve with Fluffy Custard Sauce (see below).

Fluffy Custard Sauce

Method

Scald 1 cup milk. Separate 2 eggs, then beat the yolks with a fork and add 2 teaspoons white sugar and a few grains of salt. Gradually add the scalded milk. Place in a double boiler over hot water. Cook, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens, about 8 minutes, then cool. Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff and then fold into the cooled custard with 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Kathleen MacDonald

 

Holiday Chocolate Log

This can be made a week ahead and frozen, wrapped in foil. Let stand at room temperature to thaw for about an hour before serving. Serves 10.

Ingredients – sponge

6 egg whites, room temperature (this may take about an hour if you are taking them from the fridge)

¾ cup sugar

6 egg yolks

⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

A dash of salt [editor’s note: a dash is defined as ⅛ teaspoon]

Icing sugar

Ingredients – filling

1½ cups heavy cream, chilled

½ cup icing sugar

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa

2 teaspoons instant coffee

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Candied cherries, angelica

Method (sponge)

Grease the bottom of a 15½” x 10½” x 1” jelly-roll pan; line with parchment paper; grease lightly. Preheat the oven to 375 F. In a large bowl, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat egg whites at high speed just until soft peaks form when the beater is slowly raised.

Add ¼ cup sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating until stiff peaks form when beater is slowly raised. With the same beaters but in a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks at high speed, adding remaining ½ cup sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time. Beat until the mixture is very thick – about 4 minutes.

At low speed, beat in the cocoa, vanilla and salt, just until smooth. With wire whisk or rubber scraper, using an under-and-over motion, gently fold the cocoa mixture into the beaten egg whites, just until they are blended (no egg white should show).

Spread evenly in pan. Bake 15 minutes, just until surface springs back when gently pressed with fingertip. Sift icing sugar, in a 15-by-10-inch rectangle, on a clean tea towel. Turn the sponge out onto the sugar; lift the pan off and peel the paper off the cake.

Roll the sponge up, jelly-roll fashion, starting with the short end, towel and all. Cool completely on the rack, seam side down, for at least a half hour. 

Method (filling)

Combine ingredients in medium bowl. Beat with electric mixer until thick, and then refrigerate.

Assembly

Unroll the sponge; spread with filling to one inch from the edge; then reroll. Place the rolled sponge, seam side down, on a plate; cover loosely with foil. Refrigerate 1 hour before serving.

To serve: Sprinkle with icing sugar; decorate with angelica and cherries. 

Karen Harrison

 

Pork and Ham Pie 

Ingredients

¼ cup light cream (50 ml)

1 egg

Dash hot pepper sauce (Tabasco style)

1 tablespoon butter (15 ml)

¼ cup chopped shallots (50 ml)

¾ lb ground pork (375 g)

½ teaspoon salt (2 ml)

Pinch nutmeg

Pepper

1 cup finely chopped ham (about ¼ lb/125 g)

½ cup shredded Swiss cheese (125 ml)

1 hard-cooked egg, chopped 

2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (25 ml)

1 lb frozen puff pastry, thawed (500 g)

Method

In a small bowl, combine cream, egg and hot pepper sauce. Set aside 2 tablespoons (25 ml) for glaze.

In a skillet, melt the butter over medium heat; add shallots and cook for about 1 minute, or until softened.

Add pork to skillet and cook, stirring to break up meat, for 6 to 8 minutes or until no longer pink. Drain off excess fat. Add salt and nutmeg, season with pepper to taste. Stir in cream mixture and ham; let cool completely. Add cheese, hard-cooked egg, and parsley.

Divide pastry in half. On lightly floured surface, roll out one portion until large enough to cut out 9-inch (23 cm) circle. Place on ungreased baking sheet and prick all over with a fork.

Mound cooled filling evenly in the center of the circle, leaving a one-inch (2.5 cm) border of pastry. Brush border with a little of the reserved egg glaze. 

Roll out the remaining pastry as above. Place over filling, stretching to match edges; press together to seal. Cut out a steam vent in the centre and score the top of the pastry decoratively. Brush the top with remaining egg glaze. With the back of a knife, make indentations around edge about 1½ inches apart. 

Cover lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 12 hours. Bake in 450 F (230 C) oven for 15 minutes; then reduce the temperature to 400 F (200 C) and bake for 20 to 30 minutes longer or until pastry is golden brown and filling is hot. (If browning too quickly, tent loosely with foil.) Let stand for 5 minutes. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

I have had good luck freezing this, just wrap well in foil.

Sandra Seguin

Scotch Shortbread

Ingredients

1 lb butter, softened

1 cup brown sugar, packed

4 good cups of all-purpose flour

Method

Cream butter and add sugar gradually.

Blend in the flour. Roll out gently, small amounts at a time.

Cut with a cookie cutter.

Bake in a slow oven – 300 F for about 25 minutes. Should be hardly brown when done.

Enjoy!

Doreen Gruer

 

Sarah’s Pecan Balls

These melt in your mouth; enjoy!

Ingredients

2 cups ground pecans

2 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup butter

2 cups flour

4 tablespoon brown sugar

icing sugar

Method

Blend ingredients in order given; refrigerate 1 hour. Roll into tablespoon size balls. 

Bake at 300 F for 45 minutes on ungreased cookie sheet. Cool just to point of being able to handle and transfer to cooling rack. Dust heavily with icing sugar and repeat at time of serving. 

“Judy”

 

Lemon Bauble Cookies

Ingredients (cookies)

½ cup sugar

1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind

⅔ cup unsalted butter, softened

2 tablespoons cornstarch

¼ teaspoon salt

1⅓ cup flour

⅓ cup coarse sugar

Yellow food colouring 

Ingredients (filling)

1 cup icing sugar

¼ cup unsalted butter

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind

Yellow food colouring

Method (cookies)

Preheat oven to 325 F. In a large bowl, rub granulated sugar with lemon rind, beat in butter until light and fluffy, beat in cornstarch and salt, then stir in flour to make dough.

In small bowl tint coarse sugar with food colouring to desired yellow. Scoop a teaspoon-worth of dough at a time and roll into balls. Coat in coloured sugar.

Bake 1 inch apart on parchment-paper-lined baking sheets until firm and golden on bottoms, about 12 minutes. Let cool on pans for 5 minutes, then transfer to racks and let cool completely.

Method (filling)

In a bowl, beat together icing sugar, butter, lemon juice, and lemon rind. Tint to desired yellow. Pipe about ½ tsp on bottom of half of the cookies, then sandwich with remaining cookies.

Sandra Seguin

 

Cranberry Cheese Ball

This appetizer was introduced to our family by my daughter Jessica and her husband Shane a number of years ago and has become a holiday favourite! It is also very good on Christmas morning bagels.

Ingredients

1 8-oz package of cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons concentrated orange juice, slightly thawed

⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon granulated sugar 

Zest of one orange

¼ cup finely chopped pecans, plus a bit more for covering cheese ball

¼ cup finely chopped cranberries

Crackers for serving

Method

In the food processor or mixer, combine cream cheese, orange juice concentrate, cinnamon, and sugar until smooth and creamy. Fold in orange zest, ¼ cup of pecans and cranberries. Spoon the mixture into the centre of a piece of plastic wrap and mold into a ball. Refrigerate. In a food processor, finely grind the remaining pecans and transfer into a bowl. Unwrap the cheese ball and sprinkle the ground pecans on and around it. Using the plastic wrap (to keep your hands clean) roll the ball in the nuts to coat. Chill until ready to serve. Bon appetit!

Jane Edwards

 

Three Nut Butter Tarts

Ingredients

1 envelope Robin Hood Flaky Pie Crust Mix

⅔ cup mixed nuts

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 cup golden corn syrup

½ cup brown sugar, packed

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

Method

Preheat the oven to 425 F (220 C). Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin pan.

Prepare the pie crust according to package directions. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to ⅛” (3 mm) thickness.

Using 4” (10 cm) round cookie cutter, cut out circles, re-rolling scraps if necessary. Fit circles into muffin cups.

Divide nuts equally among pastry shells.

Whisk butter, corn syrup, sugar, eggs and vanilla in large bowl. Spoon 3 tbsp (45 mL) of filling into each tart shell, to make each about three-quarters full.

Bake in the centre of preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until the filling is puffed and set and the pastry is golden. Let cool in pans for 2 minutes. Remove and transfer carefully to racks to finish cooling – the filling will be very hot.

Suzie Ovans

 

Carrot Pudding

8-10 servings.

Ingredients

½ cup flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

1½ teaspoon cinnamon

1½ teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon cloves

½ teaspoon salt

Sift all the above.

½ cup butter, softened.

1 cup brown sugar, packed

3 eggs, separated

½ cup fresh breadcrumbs

1½ cup raisins

1½ cup walnuts

grated rind of 1 lemon

1½ cup grated raw carrot

1½ cup grated raw potato

Method

Grease well an 8-cup pudding mold or 8-cup Pyrex measuring cup.

Cream butter in a large bowl. Add sugar, mix, then add egg yolks and mix well. Stir in crumbs, walnuts, raisins, lemon rind, carrots, potato and flour mixture. Mix well.

Beat egg whites until stiff, not dry; fold into mixture and mix well.

Turn into prepared bowl and place a piece of greased foil, pleated in middle over the bowl and twist edges under and around bowl to secure.

Set up for steaming in a large pot with water halfway up the bowl. Cover pot and steam for 3 hours, adding more water as needed to keep water level halfway up.

After 3 hours, remove bowl from the pot and cool a little. Pudding may be stored in the bowl, in plastic wrap, and frozen.

To serve, thaw ahead of time and re-steam till heated through. Serve with hard sauce (see below)

Hard Sauce

Ingredients

1 cup icing sugar

⅓ cup butter, softened at room temperature

2 tablespoon brandy

Method

Set butter to stand at room temp. until easy to work, then cream thoroughly, and gradually beat in sugar with electric beater. Continue beating until smooth and fluffy. Add brandy drop by drop to keep from separating. Smooth into a nice bowl, top with a little ground nutmeg, and a sprig of something green, and serve beside your pudding.

Lynne Stockwell

 

Chocolate Pepper Cookies

Ingredients

1½ cups flour

¾ cup butter

¾ cup unsweetened cocoa

1 cup sugar

¼ teaspoon fine black pepper 1 large egg

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1½ teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon espresso powder (or 1 ½ tbsp instant coffee)

Coarse sugar for rolling

Method

Cream butter and sugar; blend in egg and vanilla. Add sifted dry ingredients until just combined. Roll into a log; wrap in wax paper; refrigerate for 1 hour. Let soften slightly, roll in coarse sugar. Cut in slices. Place on parchment lined cookie sheet, sprinkle with  black pepper. Bake in 350 F oven for 10 minutes.

“Judy”

 

Ginger Snaps (addictive)

Ingredients

1½ cups butter

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

½ cup molasses

4 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda 

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground cloves

2 teaspoons ground ginger

(Optional) ½ cup chopped candied ginger (more or less to taste)

Method

Cream the butter and sugar together. Beat in eggs, add molasses, and then sifted dry ingredients. Roll into 1” balls and dip in granulated sugar to cover. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet 2” apart and bake at 375 F for about 8 minutes. Slide paper off tray with cookies and allow to cool, repeat…

It pays to double this recipe as they disappear quickly.

Sandra Seguin

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