Tag Archives: christmas recipes

Cookie Christmas Tree

By far, the easiest Christmas tree cake decoration to make. Ginger cookies or molasses cookies are good for this.
Make a stiff cookie dough that can be cut with a knife into star-shaped cookies of ascending sizes (from largest cookie on bottom to smallest on top). Recipe follows.

Ginger Cookie Recipe:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar (Rapadura) or honey
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 375º and lightly grease cookie sheets. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves until well blended. In a large bowl beat butter, brown sugar, and egg on medium speed until well blended. Add molasses and vanilla and continue to mix until well blended. Gradually stir in dry ingredients until blended and smooth.

Divide dough in half and wrap each half in plastic and let stand for at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours. If longer than 2 hours, refrigerate. On a floured surface, roll dough to a scant 1/4-inch thick. Cut our cookies into ascending star shapes and space at least an inch apart on prepared cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes until crunchy so when you build your tree the cookies are not so soft they collapse. Frost and stack in order from largest to smallest and top with candy stars.

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Rum Pie

Makes one 9 inch pie.

This pie makes a beautiful Christmas dessert.
You can make this as an alcohol or non-alcohol version. Typically rum pie uses highly processed gelatin. Some people are worried that unsafe manufacturing practices might lead to contamination of gelatin products with diseased animal tissues including those that might transmit mad cow disease. This risk is probably low, but why take the chance, and besides, gelatin still goes through processing and packaging in plastics.

This is a bit of a time-consuming pie, but so worth it. It’s also a beautiful dessert for Christmas dinner and is light.

1 – 9” graham cracker crust

1/4 cup organic (non-gmo) cornstarch

1/3 cup honey, or 2/3 cup evaporated cane juice or sugar,
or 3/4 tsp stevia

3 eggs, separated

1 1/4 cup almond milk

1 cup heavy organic cream

3 Tbsp rum liquor or 1 Tbsp rum extract

1/4 cup chopped maraschino cherries or fresh cherries.

Mix cornstarch, 1/2 of the sweetener and salt in top of a double boiler. Beat egg yolks, milk, cream and add to cornstarch mix. Cook in double boiler, stirring often, until thick. Remove from heat, stir in flavoring. Chill until cool but has not set up yet.

Beat egg whites until stiff. Gradually add small amounts of the remaining half of the sweetener, beating well after each addition. Fold this into the chilled mix. Pour into shell, garnish with cheeries and whipping cream and keep refrigerated until ready to eat.

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Homemade Chocolate Covered Cherries

Makes about 40.

dipping-cherriesHomemade chocolate covered cherries make an excellent gift for  Christmas and people will be so impressed when you tell them you made them from non-processed ingredients. Unlike the store-bought, highly processed version.

20 ounces or 40 maraschino cherries or sweet cherries with the stems on.

About 15 ounces of Fondant (or make your own, recipe follows)

6 ounces milk chocolate chips or a chocolate candy bar

1/2 tablespoon butter

Clean cherries if using fresh sweet ones. Drain them or maraschino cherries very well. Dry them on paper towels. Line a baking sheet with wax paper, foil or parchment paper

If using pre-packaged fondant, wrap the fondant around the cherries and allow a few minutes for it to dry. They need to be dry to the touch. Or dip them in your homemade fondant from the recipe below and let them dry.

Meanwhile melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler over warm water or in a saucepan over very low heat. Let cool to room temp or it will melt your fondant coating. Taking the fondant cherries by the stems, dip in chocolate, let drip over the bowl and place on wax paper. Let stand till the coating is firm. Stored in the refrigerator they will keep for up to 1 month. The longer you keep them the more the mixture around the cherries will soften and liquefy.

Tips: If you use pre-packaged fondant to wrap the cherries, take about ¾ teaspoon of fondant, flatten it with your fingers till thin enough to wrap around the cherry. Just wrap it up making sure that you are around the stem if using long stemmed cherries. Then they have to dry till the fondant is dry to the touch. This only takes a few minutes with fondant.

fondantHomemade Fondant:
Makes 1 pound.

2 cups Sucant or Rapadura evaporated cane juice.

1/8 tsp salt

2 Tbsp honey

1 1/4 cups water

Combine cane juice or Stevia, honey and water in a heavy saucepan. Heat, stirring constantly until sweeteners dissolve and mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook without stirring to 240º on a candy thermometer or soft ball stage.

Pour syrup onto a large platter dampened with water. Do not scrape the pan because you don’t want the crystals that form on the sides. Cool to 110º or until lukewarm to the touch.

Beat mixture with a broad bladed butter knife or spatula until it is white and creamy by scraping and lifting the mixture with the knife or spatula from the edge toward the center to fold it back on itself occasionally.
Knead fondant this way until it softens and is smooth but do not over-knead it.

Refrigerate for 2 days to ripen. (Now you know why most people buy the prepackaged fondant. It’s a lot less work, but usually made with refined white sugars and packaged in plastic.)

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