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Winter Holiday Recipes

Rachel Casey and Mackenzie Grzesik

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The holiday season is upon us, and one of the best ways to celebrate is by joining with family and friends to bake holiday treats. Listed below are a few dessert staples as well as some unique recipes which, once made, are sure to be added to your list of holiday favorites.

One British Christmas staple is Christmas pudding, a dessert typically made by the entire family. Because it needs time to sit before eating, Christmas pudding is traditionally prepared on the Sunday before Advent (the end of November) and then served on Christmas day. Here is a recipe from thespruce.com.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb (450g)  mixed dried fruit
  • 1 oz ((25 g) candied peel (mixed varieties, finely chopped)
  • 1 small apple (cooking apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoon brandy (plus a little extra for soaking at the end)
  • 2 oz (55g) flour (self-raising, sifted)
  • 1  teaspoon mixed spice (level, ground)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (ground)
  • 4 oz. (110g) suet (beef or vegetarian, shredded)
  • 4 oz. (110g) . brown sugar (dark, soft)
  • 4 oz. (110g)  bread crumbs (white, fresh)
  • 1 oz (25g). almonds (whole, shelled, roughly chopped)
  • 2 large eggs (fresh)

Steps:

  1. Lightly butter a 2 ½ pint pudding basin.
  2. Place the dried fruits, candied peel, apple, orange and lemon juice into a large mixing bowl. Add the brandy and stir. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and leave to marinate for a couple of hours or overnight.
  3. Stir in flour, mixed spice, and cinnamon together. Then add the suet, sugar, lemon and orange zest, bread crumbs, nuts and stir again until all the ingredients are well mixed. Finally, add the marinated dried fruits and stir again.
  4. Beat eggs lightly in a small bowl then stir quickly into the dry ingredients. The mixture should have a fairly soft consistency.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the greased pudding basin, gently pressing the mixture down with the back of a spoon. Cover with a double layer of baking parchment, then a layer of aluminum foil and tie securely with string wrapping the string around the basin, then loop over the top and then around the bowl again. This will form a handle which will be useful when removing the pudding from the steamer.
  6. Place the pudding in a steamer set over a saucepan of simmering water and steam the pudding for 7 hours. Make sure you check the water level frequently, so it never boils dry. The pudding should be a dark brown color when cooked. The pudding is not a light cake but instead is a dark, sticky and dense sponge.
  7. Remove the pudding from the steamer, cool completely. Remove the paper, prick the pudding with a skewer and pour in a little extra brandy.
  8. Cover with fresh greaseproof paper and re-tie with string. Store in a cool, dry place.

For a sweet treat this holiday season, chocolate gingerbread cookies from countrycleaver.com are a great option for those traditionalists who also want to keep up with modern trends.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¾ cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking cocoa or Dutch-process cocoa
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 1 cup chocolate mini chips
  • 5 tablespoons Swedish pearl sugar

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or grease lightly.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, spices, salt, and cocoa into a bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the butter with the dark brown sugar until light and creamy. Add molasses and beat until combined.
  4. Beat in dry ingredients and add chocolate chips.
  5. Scoop the dough a tablespoon at a time, and roll the top portion of each dough ball in pearl sugar.
  6. Place the unbaked cookies onto the baking sheets and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the surface begins to crack.
  7. Let cool and enjoy!

Sufganiot, deep-fried jelly doughnuts, are a traditionally Jewish cuisine served during Hanukkah. To get in touch with your Jewish heritage or simply experience a different culture this holiday season, follow this simple recipe from thespruce.com.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 3 cups and 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • ¼ cup margarine, melted
  • Dash of fine kosher or sea salt
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • Jelly or jam (strawberry is recommended)
  • Canola oil for frying
  • Powdered sugar

Steps:

  1. Combine the yeast, 1 tablespoon of flour, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and 1 tablespoon of water. Mix well, cover, and allow to rest until the mixture becomes foamy.
  2. Mix the 3 cups of flour with the melted margarine, salt, remaining sugar, and the egg yolks. Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture. Slowly add water while stirring. When the batter is smooth, cover the bowl with a clean tea towel, and set aside in a warm spot to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  3. After the batter has risen, punch it down and transfer it to a lightly floured surface. Roll out the dough to a 3/4-inch thickness. Use a round cookie cutter or a glass with a 2-1/2 to 3-inch opening to cut circles out of the dough. Place a drop of jelly in the middle of each circle, and then cover with another circle of dough. Make sure that 2 circles attach well to form a closed ball with jelly in the middle. Cover the doughnuts with a clean, slightly damp tea towel and allow to rise until puffed up, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Line a large plate or platter with several layers of paper towels and set aside. Pour 2 inches of oil into a deep, heavy bottomed pot. Heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350° F (180° C). Working in batches, carefully slip the doughnuts into the oil, taking care not to crowd the pan. Fry the doughnuts on both sides until puffed and golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Carefully remove the doughnuts with a slotted spoon and transfer to the towel-lined plates to drain. Cool slightly, sprinkle with powdered sugar, and serve.

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Winter Holiday Recipes