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Delicious Christmas treats
December 17, 2016, 4:17 pm
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The season of Christmas is most enjoyable when you are relishing delectable treats in mesmerizing colors. To help you enjoy your celebration with a sweet tooth, these delicious holiday delicacies are creative and easy to prepare. Adding to that, they also make great decorations that can be used to dress up your Christmas table. Find below some of the most popular Christmas recipes.

Gingerbread men cookies

3 cups flour

2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp cinnamon, ground

1 tsp baking soda

¼ tsp nutmeg, ground

¼ tsp salt

¾ cup softened butter

¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar

½ cup molasses

1 egg

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preparation:

Mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt in large bowl, and set aside.

In another large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add molasses, egg and vanilla, and mix well. Gradually beat in the flour mixture on low speed until well mixed.

Once done, press the dough into a thick flat disk. Wrap in a plastic wrap and refrigerate for four hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 176 degrees Celsius. Roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thickness on lightly floured work surface. Cut into gingerbread men shapes with 5-inch cookie cutter. Place them one inch apart on ungreased baking sheets.

Bake until edges of cookies are set (8 to 10 minutes) and just begin to brown. Cool on baking sheet for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks and let it cool completely. Decorate as desired and store in airtight container.

Candy canes:

1 teaspoon butter

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

1 cup light corn syrup

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 teaspoon peppermint or spearmint extract

6 drops red or green food coloring

Preparation:

Grease two baking sheets with butter and set aside. In a large saucepan, bring the sugar, water, corn syrup and cream of tartar to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 137 degrees Celsius (soft-crack stage).

Remove from the heat and stir in the extract and food coloring. Immediately pour onto prepared pans in eight 8-inch strips. Let stand just until cool enough to handle (1-2 minutes).

Working quickly, roll each strip into a 10-inch log. Cut each into two 5-inch lengths. Curve the top of each to form the handle of a cane. Cool completely and store in an airtight container. 

Bûche de Noël

2 cups heavy cream

½ cup confectioners’ sugar

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

6 egg yolks

½ cup white sugar

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

6 egg whites

¼ cup white sugar

Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Preparation: Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Line a 10x15 inch jellyroll pan with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whip cream, 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa, and 1 tsp vanilla until thick and stiff. Refrigerate.

In another bowl, use an electric mixer to beat egg yolks with 1/2 cup sugar until thick and pale. Blend in 1/3 cup cocoa, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, and salt.

In a separate large glass bowl, using clean beaters, whip egg whites to soft peaks. Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar, and beat until whites form stiff peaks. Immediately fold the yolk mixture into the whites. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the cake springs back when lightly touched. Dust a clean dishtowel with confectioners' sugar. Run a knife around the edge of the pan, and turn the warm cake out onto the towel. Remove and discard the parchment paper. Starting at the short edge of the cake, roll the cake up with the towel. Cool for 30 minutes.

Unroll the cake, and spread the filling to within 1 inch of the edge. Roll the cake up with the filling inside. Place seam side down onto a serving plate, and refrigerate until serving. Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving.

Christmas pudding:

¾ cup refined flour

A pinch of spices

¾ cup bread crumbs

4 tbsp butter

½ tsp cinnamon powder

½ tsp nutmeg powder

½ tsp mace powder

½ tsp lemon rind

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup raisins

½ cup sultanas

¼ cup cherries

¼ cup finely chopped candied lemon

¼ cup almonds blanched, peeled and chopped

½ cup carrot peeled and finely chopped

3 eggs beaten

½ cup orange juice

Preparation: Sieve flour and salt together. Mix in breadcrumbs with the flour, and then rub in some butter. Add spice powders, lemon rind, sugar, dried fruits, candied peels and nuts. Add carrot, lightly beaten eggs and orange juice.

Leave the batter covered overnight and next day transfer into two moulds, cover with greaseproof paper and foil. Steam in a double boiler countinuously for seven hours at a steady temperature.

When done, cover and keep it overnight in a cool place. Reheat for at least two hours before serving.

Cupcake Christmas tree:

For cupcakes:

200g butter, softened

200g golden caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

200g self-rising flour

2 tbsp milk

For the icing:

 300g butter

525g icing sugar

3 tsp vanilla extract

Green food coloring

Sweets, to decorate

Large white chocolate star, to decorate

Edible gold spray

You will need:

 24-hole mini muffin tin

48 green mini-muffin cases

Small plant pot or mini bucket (roughly 13cm across the top)

12cm foam cone (measured across base)

Cocktail sticks

Green paint

Preparation: Heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line the muffin tin with muffin cases. Put half the butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl, and beat until pale and fluffy.

Add one egg and mix well. Add half the flour and milk, and mix with a spatula until combined. Use 2 teaspoons to distribute the cake mixture evenly among the cases and bake for 12 minutes until risen and golden, and a skewer inserted to the center comes out clean.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Repeat to make another batch of 24 mini cakes. While the cakes are cooling, make the icing. Put the butter and icing sugar in a bowl and beat until smooth. A dd the vanilla and food coloring, and blend again until evenly colored.

Transfer the icing to a piping bag fitted with a small star nozzle.Once the cakes have cooled, use a skewer to make a small hole in the base of each cake.

To decorate the cakes, pipe blobs of green icing over the surface of each one. Now you are ready to start assembling your Christmas tree. Paint the foam cone all over with green paint and leave to dry. Push the cone into the pot. To build the tree, push a cocktail stick into the base of each cake and press it into the cone.

Continue until the cone is covered in cakes, trying to keep them as close together as possible. You may have some left over, which you can serve alongside the tree. Spray the chocolate star gold and put on top of the tree, then decorate the rest of the tree with sweets. The cakes will last for three days.

Roast turkey with stuffing

Bread Stuffing

¼ cup butter or margarine

1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)

2 medium stalks celery, chopped

8 cups dry bread cubes (about 11 slices of bread)

2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley, if desired

2 tbsp poultry seasoning or dried sage leaves

1 teaspoon salt

¼ tsp pepper

½ cup chicken broth or water

Turkey

6 to 8 Kilogram whole turkey, thawed if frozen

½ tsp salt

3 tbsp butter or margarine, melted

 
Preparation: Move oven rack to lowest position. Heat oven to 162 degrees Celsius. In a 10-inch skillet, melt 1/4 cup butter over medium-high heat. Add onion and celery; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender. In a large bowl, mix bread cubes, parsley, poultry seasoning, 1 tsp salt and pepper. Add broth and butter-onion mixture, stirring until desired moistness (stuffing will become a little more moist during roasting because it absorbs juices from turkey). Set aside.
Remove and discard the neck and giblets from turkey. Rinse inside out with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle ½ tsp salt on the cavity of the turkey.
 
Spoon stuffing loosely into the neck cavity; turn wings back to hold neck skin in place, or fasten the neck skin to the back with skewers. Spoon stuffing into body cavity and refasten drumsticks with metal piece or tuck under skin at tail.
 
After stuffing the turkey, place any remaining stuffing in 1- or 2-quart casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray. Cover and refrigerate. Bake the stuffing in a casserole dish with the turkey at 162 degrees Celsius for last 35 to 40 minutes of roasting time or until thoroughly heated. Place turkey, breast side up, in roasting pan. Insert ovenproof meat thermometer so the tip is in thickest part of the inside thigh and does not touch the bone. Brush 3 tbsp of melted butter over turkey. Do not add water or cover the turkey.
 
Roast uncovered for 4 hours or until thermometer reads 73 degrees Celsius and drumsticks move easily when lifted or twisted. If necessary, cover the turkey breast with tent of heavy-duty foil during last 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours of baking to prevent excessive browning. Let it stand for 15 to 20 minutes for easier carving. Remove skewers and stuffing and place in a serving bowl.

 

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