Easy Christmas Baking Classics
I have fond memories of the cakes and biscuits my grandmother used to whip up as Christmas loomed, promising excitement at the end of each year. Wearing a crisp cotton apron, my grandmother could be found beating eggs, sifting flour and opening jars of aromatic spices like: cinnamon, ginger and cloves and filling the house with tantalising sweet, and appetising aromas.
Most of us, don't have the time to take to the kitchen and bake with such fervour and zeal as our grandmothers, but most of us can find the time to make these easy, home-made treats, which are tasty, simple, and yet classic and which may become an important part of your own family Christmas traditions.
Olive Oil Fruit Cake
750g (26.4oz) dried mixed fruit
2/3 cup of olive oil
1 1/4 cups of brown sugar
1 1/2 cups of plain flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
150 ml sweet sherry
2 tablespoons of treacle
- Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C (302 degrees F) and grease and flour a square cake tin (18cm /7 inch).
- In a saucepan heat the olive oil and 1/2 cup of sherry for 5 minutes over medium heat.
- Add the dried fruit and stir for a few more minutes.
- Put the mixture into a bowl and add sugar. Then leave aside for 15-20 minutes to cool.
- Add eggs to the mixture, mixing well.
- Add cinnamon, baking powder and sifted flour and mix to combine.
- Bake for approximately 1 1/2 hours in greased pan.
- In another saucepan add the rest of the sherry and treacle and cook until hot. Pour syrup on top of cooled cake.
Fancy Florentine Cookies
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup of condensed milk
3/4 cup raw peanuts
2 cups cornflakes
1/2 cup glacé cherries
85 grams or 3oz of dark chocolate
- Add all the ingredients except the chocolate to a mixing bowl and stir in well.
- Grease a non-stick baking tray and place desert-spoons full of mixture on to the tray.
- Cook for 15-20 minutes in a moderate oven.
- Cool on a rack.
If your oven is fan forced then moderate maybe 160°C ( 320°F), if not fan forced around 180°C (350°F)
- Place the chocolate in to a microwave save bowl.
- Microwave on medium for 90 seconds and turn over. microwave again for 30 seconds and stir. Repeat until just soft enough. (time will depend on your microwave and chocolate)
When the cookies are cool, spread one side with the melted chocolate.
Coconut Drop Biscuits
1 1/2 cups of self-raising flour
1 cup of sugar
1 eggs lightly beaten
125g ( 4 1/2 oz ) butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups desiccated coconut
couple drops of almond essence
pinch of salt
- Sift flour and salt into a bowl and stir in sugar.
- Add remaining ingredients except coconut and combine.
- Form mixture into balls, about the size of a marble and roll in coconut.
- Place on to a greased baking tray spaced well apart.
- Bake in a moderate oven (180 degrees C/356 F) for approx 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
Pecan Fudge Slice
125g (4 1/2 oz) butter
1/2 cup caster sugar
3 eggs, separated
few drops vanilla essence
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup pecan nuts
- Cream butter and the caster sugar until fluffy and light.
- Mix in egg yolk and vanilla.
- Fold in sifted flour carefully.
- Spread this mixture on to a greased and lined baking tray.
- Beat egg whites until stiff, add brown sugar and continue beating until blended.
- Fold in chopped pecans.
- Spread mixture over the base.
- Bake in a moderate oven for 25-30 minutes.
- Cool in the tin before cutting into rectangles or squares.
Jam Drop Cookies
100g butter (3.5 oz)
1/2 cup of sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 egg lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups of sifted self-raising flour
1/2 cup of raspberry jam
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (350°F).
- Line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Mix eggs, butter, vanilla essence and sugar in a bowl.
- Add the flour and mix with a spoon, until only just combined.
- Allow to rest in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- Roll into small balls and place on to the trays spread well apart.
- Flatten slightly with a fork and make a small indent in each cookie (use the end of wooden spoon)
- Add 1/4 teaspoon of jam to each indent.
- Cook each tray for 10-15 minutes separately.
- Cool on a wire rack.
“Hallo! Whoop! How are you! Merry Christmas!”
Ebenezer Scrooge in
Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ (1843)
Amazon Price: $14.00 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 14, 2013)
Amazon Price: $13.00 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 14, 2013)