- Food and Cooking
Christmas Special Recipes
Oh, how we all wait for this time of the year… winter, New Year and Christmas!!! Marry Christmas all you Friends. Family, friends and fantastic food!! One of the most celebrated holidays in the world, Christmas comes with valued traditions, fond memories, warm reunions and a heartfelt celebration of our personal space with family and close friends.
Come Christmas and it is time to pull out all the fancy cookbooks collected over the years and frantically calling aunts, moms and grandmas for secret traditional family recipes. Many families have their own special traditions and festive rituals too. There’s an age – old ritual of stirring the Christmas pudding mixture and making a wish while doing so. For many, roast turkey is necessary at the dinner table on Christmas Eve followed by traditional Christmas cake for dessert.
Even for experienced cooks, cooking for Christmas presents a unique challenge. Many folks start cooking a month in advance to prepare edible gifts for their near and dear ones. Between shopping and practicing carols, kids get active baking tree decorations such as gingerbread cookies and candy canes with their mothers. Christmas pantries and kitchens groan under the load of splendid ingredients for amazing goodies. Brandy, rum and wine are pulled out from the cellar and used in rich tradition dishes.
The best part about Christmas is the abundance of homemade food gifts to give away at Christmas or take to parties. So here are some lovely recipes for exquisite gifts. Many of these can be prepared with kids. Have a wonderful Christmas and share a heritage of fabulous edible gifts with your family and friends.
- 3 ½ cups Plain flour
- ½ cup Brown Sugar
- ¾ cup Molasses
- 1/3 cup Cold water
- 1/6 cup shortening
- 1 tsp Ground ginger
- 1 tsp Baking soda
- ½ tsp all spice powder
- ½ tsp Cinnamon powder
- A pinch of Salt
- In a large bowl, beat sugar, molasses, shortening and water with the help of an electric mixer on medium speed, or with a spoon.
- Stir in the remaining ingredients. Mix and cover. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours until firm.
- Heat the oven up to 177∙C.
- Lightly grease the cookie sheet with shortening.
- Roll ¼ of the dough at a time, ¼ inch thick on the floured surface. Cut into desired shapes.
- Place about 2 inches apart on the cookies sheet and bake for 12 minutes.
- Cool completely and decorate the cookies with frosting.
- 1 cup Castor sugar
- 1 tbsp Milk
- ½ tsp Vanilla essence
- Food color (optional)
In a small bowl. Mix all the frosting ingredients with a spoon until smooth and spreadable.
Peppermint Candy Thins
Makes: 2 dozen
- 2 cups plus 2 tbsps Confectioner’s sugar
- 2 tbsp Softened unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp Shortening
- 1 cup Semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 tsp Peppermint extract
- ½ tsp Vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp Heavy cream
- 24 Thin chocolate wafer cookies
- In a large bowl, mix the sugar, butter, cream and both extracts. Mix at low speed in an electric mixer, eventually moving to a medium speed for 2 minutes until the mixture is well blended.
- Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
- Scoop up 1 tablespoon of dough; roll the dough between your palms.
- Place the dough ball on the flat side of the water, press down with your fingers and cover the cookie completely.
- Refrigerate the cookies for 30 minutes.
- Melt the chocolate separately.
- Allow to cool. Then dip the cookies in the melted chocolate so that they are completely immersed
- Again refrigerate the cookies until firm.
Pomegranate Christmas Cocktail
- 2 tbsps Fresh pomegranate=ate seeds 8 ounces Champagne or sparkling wine
- 2 ounces Pear juice
- 2 ounces Pomegranate juice
- Place 2 Champagne flutes inside the freezer to chill for 10 minutes.
- Remove and add to each glass: 1 tablespoon of pomegranate seeds, 4 ounces of Champagne, 1 ounce of pear and pomegranate juice each.
Christmas Ham with ginger Glaze
- 1(2.5 kg) Uncooked ham
- 1 small onion, peeled and thicky sliced
- 3 cloves
- 1 inch piece Ginger, sliced
- 1 small bunch, Thyme leaves
- Bay leaves, for garnish
- Ginger Glaze Ingredients:
- 85 g sugar
- 1 inch piece ginger, sliced
- ½ tsp Ground ginger
- 2 pieces Preserved stem ginger in syrup, cut into strips
- 8 Cloves
- 5 Kumquats, sliced
- Preheat oven up to 180°C.
- Weigh the ham and calculate the cooking time (25 minutes per 500 g).
- Scatter the onion, cloves, thyme and ginger into the roasting pan. Add ham and water (1 inch deep). Cover with foil and bake until done.
- Lower the heat to 160°C, remove and allow to cool.
- Heat 50 ml of water with sugar and add the ginger slices.
- Simmer and then add kumquats and cook for 3 minutes. Remove ginger and add stem ginger. Remove and reserve kumquats. Reduce by half.
- Unwrap the ham and remove the skin.
- Rub the ginger powder and coat it with the glaze.
- Drizzle the remaining glaze and stud with cloves.
- Add the kumquats and roast for 15 minutes at 220°C.
- Garnish with bay leaves and serve.