These festive recipes are not always made with locally sourced ingredients, but as long as the exotic ones are purchased from local shops we will allow ourselves a little indulgence at this special time of year.
The following recipes were mentioned and /or tasted at the Christmas Meeting at Fernhill House Hotel December 6, 2011.
200g ground almonds
80g icing sugar
a few drops of pure vanilla essence
Cream butter and sugar and combine with beaten egg and rest of ingredients. Make into slim rolls about the size of 2 pencils. Cut into 2cm long pieces and bend into a moon shape.
Bake for 14 mins at 190C/Gas 5. Gently roll in icing sugar as soon as they come out of the oven.
Dark Rich Gingerbread Cookies
115g soft brown sugar
Few drops of pure vanilla essence
175g wholemeal flour
15g sifted cocoa
2 tsp ground ginger
a little milk
Heat oven to 190C/gas 5.
Cream butter and sugar. Add in the rest and knead until well blended.
Roll out to 5mm thick on a floured surface or an unfloured silicone sheet. Stamp out shapes. Bake10-15mins at 190 C. Leave to cool on a rack.
Mix icing sugar and milk to a smooth stiff cream to ice.
1/2 lb butter (I use the regular kind. Butter needs to sit at room temperature for a while to be soft enough- not oily though.)
3/4 cup caster sugar
2 and 1/2 ounces cornflour
10 ounces of plain flour (it should not contain any raising agent, so check the bag)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until creamy and then add in remaining ingredients.
Mix well. You may need to knead the dough to get it to stick together into a thick non-sticky lump.
Turn out onto a long strip of greaseproof paper. Using the paper to help, shape into a long rectangular log about 2 inches by 1 inch and cut with a sharp knife into 40 pieces (about 1/4 inch deep). Alternatively roll out 1/4 inch thick between sheets of cling film, or on a silicone sheet, and cut into small shapes with fancy cutters (check cooking time after 15 mins if you choose to do this).
Place on a greased oven tray. As these cookies have no eggs or raising agents they spread only a small amount.
Bake in a cool oven (160 C) for approximately 20 minutes until golden. They should not be brown, but a pale creamy – gold colour, but crisp right through the centre when cool. (They brown up more after they are removed, so be careful.)
Cool on a wire rack.
Source: Original recipe from New Zealand Anchor or Fernleaf butter wrapper circa 1970.
I used to make these in the early 2000’s for the Clonakilty Market and Inchydoney Hotel.
These link to family recipes from various sources that are all tried and tested. Enjoy!
Easy Mix, No Crumble, Christmas cake recipe: click here
Gingerbread for Gingerbread Men and Christmas Decorations recipe: click here
Russian Fudge recipe: click here
Other Christmas Cake Recipes
Christmas Cake- Grandma’s click here. A delicious medium fruit cake which has been used on numerous occasions from the 1940′s to the present, as a wedding cake.
Ginger Ale Fruit Cake click here. A smaller very moist fruit cake.
Traditional rich and fruity pudding: click here.
A ‘faux’ quick and easy “Christmas pudding” that takes just 30 minutes from start of preparation to eating. Click here.
Non traditional Puddings
Chocolate log: click here.
Recipes for Christmas Gifts
Afghan biscuits: click here
Iced spice biscuits: click here
Shortcrust for mince pies etc.: click here
Speculaas: click here
Yoyo biscuits: click here
Home made play dough for children: click here
Beetroot Pickle: click here
Cashmere Chutney: click here
Gingerbread House Instructions
Here is the template for cutting out the house after it is cooked.
Click on the underlined words to get a .pdf of shapes and measurements. Make sure that you look at this and read the whole recipe before you start cooking. Gingerbread House Template-1
Melt these ingredients in a large saucepan, boil until the sugar is dissolved, then add:
4 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice – mixture will bubble up a lot – beware!!
Cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, mix together in a bowl:
1 kg 100gm plain flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 ½ teaspoons ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
Beat 1/3 of the flour mixture into the lemon/honey/sugar mix. Then beat in:
3 egg yolks (reserve the whites for the icing).
Transfer mixture to a large bowl, knead in the rest of the flour. Add extra flour as needed until mixture is soft but not too sticky.
Heat oven to 350 degrees Celsius.
Butter and then coat with flour 2 baking trays. You will need one base approx 25cm x 30cm and another approx 45cm x 30cm to cut out all the house shapes
Divide dough depending on tray size and roll out to approximately 1cm thick. Keep flouring work surface to avoid dough sticking. Place on buttered and floured trays. Press into shape. Cook for 35 mins or until dark golden brown. Pieces will harden as they cool, so cut out house templates as soon as possible after taking out of the oven. Carefully lift pieces to a wire rack and lay flat to cool completely.
Royal Icing Ingredients:
4 egg whites
Approx 1 kg Pure Icing sugar (check no maize or potato starch)
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
Beat egg whites until frothy, add sifted pure icing sugar ½ cup at a time, beat after each addition. Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Beat icing until stiff. Adjust thickness with more icing sugar or lemon juice. Too thin and it will not glue the house together sufficiently and too stiff it will be harder to form icicles. Can be piped or freehand.