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Christmas season’s yummies

Yes, it's possibly the tastiest season of the year so while yearning for a scrumptious festive delicacy, try out from these easy-to-bake recipes for your perfect Christmas sweets.

india Updated: Dec 24, 2010 15:56 IST

While yearning for a scrumptious festive delicacy, try out from these easy-to-bake recipes for your perfect Christmas sweets.

Gingerbread Cookies
210 g butter
210 g sugar
150 ml Corn Syrup/ Maple Syrup
100 ml milk
650 g flour
6 g baking soda
10 g cinnamon powder
6 g clove powder
6 g ginger powder

Place butter, sugar, corn syrup and milk in a saucepan. Heat until the butter has melted and sugar has mixed to make a smooth syrup. Do not overheat. Sieve flour, baking soda, cinnamon, clove and ginger together and mix with the syrup in Step 1. Place it on a tray and refrigerate overnight. Roll the dough into small portions of 2 mm thickness and cut in the desired shape. The dough will be sticky but do not be tempted to mix additional flour. The flour used in rolling the dough will be enough. (Too much of flour will make the cookie hard and unpleasant to taste). Bake at 200°C for 8 to 10 mins till golden brown.

(fruit mince)
(Makes about 1 kg mincemeat, Time 40 minutes to make, plus cooling)

1 large apple, peeled, cored and coarsely grated
250g Sunsweet red raisins and cranberries
250g Sunsweet candied papaya, pineapple
100g mixed nuts (pistachios, pinenuts, pecans and hazelnuts
100ml dark rum (optional)
100 ml Monin spice syrup
Finely grated zest of 1 orange, plus the juice of 2
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
4 tsp mixed spices
1 tsp ground ginger
200g dark muscovado sugar
100g Parsi Dairy Farm ghee

Combine all the ingredients except the sugar and ghee in a large saucepan. Place over a low flame and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until the fruit has plumped up and most of the liquid has evaporated but it isn't dry. Set aside to cool, then stir in the muscovado sugar and ghee.

Christmas Stollen
Fruit & Nut Mixture
900g golden raisins
30 g candied lemon peel
12 g candied orange peel
10 ml rum/ orange juice
35 g whole almonds
For the sponge
65g bread flour
40 ml whole milk (Cold)
3 g instant dry yeast
Final Dough
100g sponge (above)
65 g bread flour
70 g butter
10 g Almond (finely chopped)
5 g sugar
3 g salt
2 g lemon zest, grated
A pinch each of ground cloves, ground ginger, allspice,cinnamon and Fruit & Nut mixture

To prepare the fruit & nut mixture, rinse the raisins and lemon and orange peel with warm water and combine with the rum in a plastic container. Cover and let the mixture soak at room temperature for at least 8 to 24 hrs. Just before folding the garnish into the dough in Step 4 add the nuts. To prepare the sponge, mix the flour, milk, and yeast on low speed until blended, about 2 mins. Cover and ferment until the sponge has risen and just begun to recede, 30 – 40 mins at 75°F/ 24°C. To prepare the final dough, mix the sponge, flour, butter, almond, sugar, salt, lemon zest, cloves, ginger, allspice, and cinnamon on medium speed for 3 mins. The dough should be sticky. Ferment the dough for about 55 mins. Very carefully fold in the fruit and nut mixture. Ferment the dough again for about 15mins. Shape the dough like a bread and place on a baking tray. Ferment the dough for 1.5 hrs. Bake at 200°C for 40 mins.

Fruit Cake
100 g golden raisin
100 g dark raisin
200 g candied fruit
40 g candied cherries
40 ml honey
50 ml brandy/orange juice
90 g flour
2 g salt
1 g ginger powder
1 g clove powder
1 g cinnamon powder
60 g sugar
70 g butter
1.5 eggs
35g walnuts
10 g caramel colour

Combine light and dark raisins, candied fruit, cherries, honey, and dry sherry to soak overnight. Coat a loaf pan with a light film of fat, dust with flour and set aside. Sieve the flour, salt, and spices together. Cream together the sugar and the butter until the mixture is smooth and light in color. Add eggs gradually, mixing on low speed until fully incorporated and scraping down the bowl as needed. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the butter mixture, mixing until smooth. Fold in the walnuts and fruit mixture. Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Bake at 275°F or 135°C until a skewer inserted near the centre of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs, 2 to 2.5 hrs. Cool the cakes in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

Courtesy: Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal, Food Consultant, Godrej Nature’s Basket

First Published: Dec 24, 2010 14:08 IST