A Wenchly Bakery

George_Dunlop_Leslie_-_Apple_Dumplings
Susan here – presenting, in honor of the holiday season,  Ask-A-Wench: What are we baking? 
You may want to pour a steaming cup of tea or coffee as you sit down to enjoy the scrumptious assortment of baked goodies that the Wenches are about to offer . . . 

Anne here.

I don't usually bake a lot for Christmas these days, but I do like to make sweet treats to give as a little gift to friends. It varies from year to year but I thought I'd talk about a little sweet that apart from being very easy to make, is also historical. It's called a mendiant, and it's a traditional French sweet made of a disk of chocolate, topped with nuts and dried fruit. Traditionally there were four kinds of topping, each representing a monastic order — raisins (for  Augustinian monks), dried fig (Franciscans), Hazelnuts (Carmelites) and almond (Dominicans).

MendiantsNot being attached to any order (unless you call the Word Wenches an order <g>) I please myself with what I use as topping, and usually put two or three pieces of dried fruit and some nuts on top of the chocolate. The process is very easy. First prepare your toppings — I like a range of toppings so I cut up dried fruit (dried figs, crystallized ginger, dried mango) to fit on something the size of a large coin. The nuts I like are almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios and macadamias — but it doesn't matter if you don't use nuts at all.  Carefully melt some good chocolate, drop spoonfuls of it onto foil or parchment paper, then before it sets, arrange your fruit and nut combination on top. Let it set. That's it. Pretty, easy, and delicious — and with a little bit of history. Here are some I made earlier — not a great photo, but they're blobs of dark chocolate, topped with home made cocoa-spiced almonds, a pistachio, preserved ginger, dried fig and a macadamia nut (macadamias are indigenous to Australia.) Package them up nicely and you have a yummy, quite elegant home-made gift.

BrowniesPat here:

I have no historical background for my baking. I like chocolate. I would not have done well in the periods of whiskey-soaked fruit cakes or in an even earlier era when they didn’t have chocolate. (the horror!)

Over the years, while my family was young, I’ve baked tons of cinnamon rolls, coffee cakes, every kind of cookie imaginable, and any kind of pie requested for the holidays. That was all back when we had kids who inhaled everything that crossed the table—and before I bought a house with a gas oven.

Now that the kids are grown, and I’m dealing with an oven that can barely bake canned biscuits without leaving them dough, I keep my baking simple. That’s my excuse anyway. Besides, everyone loves brownies, right? And all they take is top-of-the-line chocolate and removing the pan from the oven before they’re fully baked. Any oven accomplishes that without even trying. Sprinkle some Ghiradelli chips on top before baking, and wow, what else can you ask? If anyone wants pumpkin pie, Costco has a huge one for six bucks, and a giant apple for twelve. Remind me again why I did all that work?

 

Truffles-2970707_960_720Nicola here:

Dare I admit that I haven’t done any baking, Christmas or otherwise, for years? The problem with being married to a man who enjoys cooking and is a great chef is that he is both much better and more keen on baking than I am and why would I object to that? <g!> He has a particularly lovely mince pie recipe which he makes each year; the pastry is light and has just a hint of sweetness about it. I eat the mince pies with cheese, which is a Northern tradition, although if you have them as a pudding rather than a snack they go very nicely with cream or ice cream!

One thing I have helped to make for Christmas is handmade chocolate truffles. They were a lot of fun to make but what my mother-in-law would call a skiddle (Scots word for splashing water about but in her family also meaning a fiddly job.) We had a production line of different bowls for the truffle mixture  – with flavours like orange and vanilla added to the chocolate, and then more bowls at the end to roll the chocolate balls in crushed pistachio nuts and cocoa powder. We got covered in chocolate, it was loads of fun, and we tried not to eat them too quickly once they had chilled! They make gorgeous little presents too and you can add just about any flavouring you like!

Regency dessertAndrea:

For me, the holiday season always brings back wonderful memories of my mother—who didn’t enjoy cooking at all—baking traditional cookies/pastries from her native Switzerland. They were all delicious, but my brothers and I loved the very simple Hasselnuss Stengeli, which is akin to a shortbread, but with eggs adding even more richness. And so, no matter what else I decide to make as holiday treats, I like to whip up a batch. (In the spirit of sharing sweet indulgences, here’s  the recipe)

2 C sugar
4 eggs
½ lb. butter

2 C ground hazelnuts (or walnuts if you prefer)
4 C flour
1 T lemon extract

1. Cream butter. Add sugar and beat until mixture is very light. Unnamed
2. Add eggs and beat well. Add nuts and beat well. Add extract and beat well.
3. Gradually add flour, beating after each addition. 
4. Chill dough for an hour in refrigerator. 
5. Roll out “fingers” of the dough (around 1 inch in diameter) and cut into thumb-sized bars.
6. Place bars on buttered and floured baking sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees.

Mary Jo:

Baking for the holidays is a wonderful old tradition for a variety of reasons: to create treats to honor the holiday and to brighten long winter nights.  To work with others in the kitchen because it's fun.  And to make the house smell wonderful! 

I did a lot of baking as a kid, when I had more time and didn't think about calories.  I always loved pies (still do!) and made a lot of them. For Christmas, my sister and I made big batches of thin, crispy sugar cookies (I don't like thick, blodgy cookies), using cookies cutters to cut them into bells and angels and other holiday images. Then we iced them with anise flavored icing.  Delicious! 

RussianTeaCakesWikipedia (1)Another variety I made and loved (and still love) are Russian tea cakes.  Basically it's a simple shortbread recipe with flour, butter, sugar, water, and finely chopped nuts.  (We always used walnuts.)  They're rolled into small balls, baked, then rolled in powdered sugar when hot to create a kind of simple icing. When cooled, roll them in powdered sugar again. Delicious!

I looked them up on Wikipedia (photo from wikipedia by E. McCarthy) and find that they have many names, including Mexican wedding cakes.  Take a look at this link  for more history. Apparently they are related to lots of similar cakes, including a general type called jumbles, which came to the US on the Mayflower. (Really!) 

This may be too busy a time of day to look up the history, but if you find some Russian tea cakes–eat! Enjoy!  Or make your own! Here's a classic recipe from Betty Crocker.

George Bernard O'Neill - Mother's HelpSusan here: 

I don't do as much Christmas baking as I used to do when our kids were all home. And when I was a kid, I especially loved spending time with my grandmothers, baking cookies and pies and cakes at holiday time. My grandmother and great-grandmother (who lived together after they were both widowed) were wonderful bakers, and it was just a joy to be their helper in the kitchen as we mixed, sliced, rolled and decorated cookies and such, and I learned a lot. When I made holiday cookies and gingerbread people and pies with my own three kids, it was just as much fun (though way messier than I remembered!). 
 
Some of the favorite recipes from my grandmothers (one was Canadian and one was French, so some of the cookery I learned was in French!), I continued to make as an adult, and I have a tattered recipe book that belonged to them. We made all sorts of cookies, some mixed and dropped, some rolled and cut, and most were decorated. We made apple pies and strawberry-rhubarb pies (wait, that was in the summer!), and we made cakes. We wrapped platters and plates full of goodies and tied them with bows, and took them to neighbors and relatives. The memories are as wonderful as the baking. 
 

One of my favorites was a lemon pound cake made from scratch. After it came out of the Lemon pound cake
oven, we would poke holes in it and drizzle a mixture of lemon juice and sugar over it. This would soak into the hot cake and crystallize around the edges in crunchy, lemony sweetness. It was divine. Another favorite was my Canadian grandmother's special recipe for sour cream cookies, dropped on the baking sheet, baked to golden brown, and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. And their apple pies, fat
with fruit and heavy on the cinnamon under a buttery woven crust were beyond wonderful. 
TeaAll this makes me want to find the book with their favorite recipes and start baking again for this Christmas! 
 
What are some of your favorite holiday baked treats? And favorite baking memories? We are all ready to pour out a big pot of tea and hand around a few plates of freshly baked goodies to share!  

65 thoughts on “A Wenchly Bakery”

  1. Thank you for sharing your traditions, made my mouth water! My husband is of Italian descent and makes his mother’s pizzelles (anisette waffle cookies) every year for our grandkids at Christmas. He now uses an electric iron but we have his mother’s cast iron that she would use on the gas burners on her stove. Tomorrow is our family celebration so the cookies were made last night and all the tins were packed full. I also make several large batches of pumpkin bread to distribute to family and friends, starting before Thanksgiving, and the house has smellled wonderful for weeks!

    Reply
  2. Thank you for sharing your traditions, made my mouth water! My husband is of Italian descent and makes his mother’s pizzelles (anisette waffle cookies) every year for our grandkids at Christmas. He now uses an electric iron but we have his mother’s cast iron that she would use on the gas burners on her stove. Tomorrow is our family celebration so the cookies were made last night and all the tins were packed full. I also make several large batches of pumpkin bread to distribute to family and friends, starting before Thanksgiving, and the house has smellled wonderful for weeks!

    Reply
  3. Thank you for sharing your traditions, made my mouth water! My husband is of Italian descent and makes his mother’s pizzelles (anisette waffle cookies) every year for our grandkids at Christmas. He now uses an electric iron but we have his mother’s cast iron that she would use on the gas burners on her stove. Tomorrow is our family celebration so the cookies were made last night and all the tins were packed full. I also make several large batches of pumpkin bread to distribute to family and friends, starting before Thanksgiving, and the house has smellled wonderful for weeks!

    Reply
  4. Thank you for sharing your traditions, made my mouth water! My husband is of Italian descent and makes his mother’s pizzelles (anisette waffle cookies) every year for our grandkids at Christmas. He now uses an electric iron but we have his mother’s cast iron that she would use on the gas burners on her stove. Tomorrow is our family celebration so the cookies were made last night and all the tins were packed full. I also make several large batches of pumpkin bread to distribute to family and friends, starting before Thanksgiving, and the house has smellled wonderful for weeks!

    Reply
  5. Thank you for sharing your traditions, made my mouth water! My husband is of Italian descent and makes his mother’s pizzelles (anisette waffle cookies) every year for our grandkids at Christmas. He now uses an electric iron but we have his mother’s cast iron that she would use on the gas burners on her stove. Tomorrow is our family celebration so the cookies were made last night and all the tins were packed full. I also make several large batches of pumpkin bread to distribute to family and friends, starting before Thanksgiving, and the house has smellled wonderful for weeks!

    Reply
  6. Shortbread (butter, sugar, flour), ginger cookies in Christmas shapes and frosted, and chocolate chip cookies; fruitcakes; sometimes a trifle. Used to make Russian tea cakes, but haven’t baked them recently. Maybe it’s time to make them again.

    Reply
  7. Shortbread (butter, sugar, flour), ginger cookies in Christmas shapes and frosted, and chocolate chip cookies; fruitcakes; sometimes a trifle. Used to make Russian tea cakes, but haven’t baked them recently. Maybe it’s time to make them again.

    Reply
  8. Shortbread (butter, sugar, flour), ginger cookies in Christmas shapes and frosted, and chocolate chip cookies; fruitcakes; sometimes a trifle. Used to make Russian tea cakes, but haven’t baked them recently. Maybe it’s time to make them again.

    Reply
  9. Shortbread (butter, sugar, flour), ginger cookies in Christmas shapes and frosted, and chocolate chip cookies; fruitcakes; sometimes a trifle. Used to make Russian tea cakes, but haven’t baked them recently. Maybe it’s time to make them again.

    Reply
  10. Shortbread (butter, sugar, flour), ginger cookies in Christmas shapes and frosted, and chocolate chip cookies; fruitcakes; sometimes a trifle. Used to make Russian tea cakes, but haven’t baked them recently. Maybe it’s time to make them again.

    Reply
  11. The boys are gone so baking is done sparingly as neither I or my husband NEED sweets….wanting sweets is another thing entirely. This year I did make a cranberry nut bread which keeps marvelously and it good for a dessert, snack or breakfast food. My Norwegian grandmother made all of the traditional Scandinavian cookies. Now if I want a fix, there are many local bakeries which stock those. My other grandmother was a lady of the south so I grew up with red velvet cake, pound cakes and various pies and puddings.

    Reply
  12. The boys are gone so baking is done sparingly as neither I or my husband NEED sweets….wanting sweets is another thing entirely. This year I did make a cranberry nut bread which keeps marvelously and it good for a dessert, snack or breakfast food. My Norwegian grandmother made all of the traditional Scandinavian cookies. Now if I want a fix, there are many local bakeries which stock those. My other grandmother was a lady of the south so I grew up with red velvet cake, pound cakes and various pies and puddings.

    Reply
  13. The boys are gone so baking is done sparingly as neither I or my husband NEED sweets….wanting sweets is another thing entirely. This year I did make a cranberry nut bread which keeps marvelously and it good for a dessert, snack or breakfast food. My Norwegian grandmother made all of the traditional Scandinavian cookies. Now if I want a fix, there are many local bakeries which stock those. My other grandmother was a lady of the south so I grew up with red velvet cake, pound cakes and various pies and puddings.

    Reply
  14. The boys are gone so baking is done sparingly as neither I or my husband NEED sweets….wanting sweets is another thing entirely. This year I did make a cranberry nut bread which keeps marvelously and it good for a dessert, snack or breakfast food. My Norwegian grandmother made all of the traditional Scandinavian cookies. Now if I want a fix, there are many local bakeries which stock those. My other grandmother was a lady of the south so I grew up with red velvet cake, pound cakes and various pies and puddings.

    Reply
  15. The boys are gone so baking is done sparingly as neither I or my husband NEED sweets….wanting sweets is another thing entirely. This year I did make a cranberry nut bread which keeps marvelously and it good for a dessert, snack or breakfast food. My Norwegian grandmother made all of the traditional Scandinavian cookies. Now if I want a fix, there are many local bakeries which stock those. My other grandmother was a lady of the south so I grew up with red velvet cake, pound cakes and various pies and puddings.

    Reply
  16. I used to bake everything for Christmas when the kids were small. The cake, mince pies, gingerbread people, the whole shebang! I hardly ever bake now as my daughter is big into it and does it all.
    I have an old cookbook my Mam gave me when I got married and there’s a lovely apple cake in it that I made lots of times. Trouble is I’d eat half of it myself 🙂
    Lovely, delicious post.

    Reply
  17. I used to bake everything for Christmas when the kids were small. The cake, mince pies, gingerbread people, the whole shebang! I hardly ever bake now as my daughter is big into it and does it all.
    I have an old cookbook my Mam gave me when I got married and there’s a lovely apple cake in it that I made lots of times. Trouble is I’d eat half of it myself 🙂
    Lovely, delicious post.

    Reply
  18. I used to bake everything for Christmas when the kids were small. The cake, mince pies, gingerbread people, the whole shebang! I hardly ever bake now as my daughter is big into it and does it all.
    I have an old cookbook my Mam gave me when I got married and there’s a lovely apple cake in it that I made lots of times. Trouble is I’d eat half of it myself 🙂
    Lovely, delicious post.

    Reply
  19. I used to bake everything for Christmas when the kids were small. The cake, mince pies, gingerbread people, the whole shebang! I hardly ever bake now as my daughter is big into it and does it all.
    I have an old cookbook my Mam gave me when I got married and there’s a lovely apple cake in it that I made lots of times. Trouble is I’d eat half of it myself 🙂
    Lovely, delicious post.

    Reply
  20. I used to bake everything for Christmas when the kids were small. The cake, mince pies, gingerbread people, the whole shebang! I hardly ever bake now as my daughter is big into it and does it all.
    I have an old cookbook my Mam gave me when I got married and there’s a lovely apple cake in it that I made lots of times. Trouble is I’d eat half of it myself 🙂
    Lovely, delicious post.

    Reply
  21. I don’t do much baking anymore. I no longer have the stamina.
    The children and I used to bake pans of cinnamon rolls as Christmas gifts for family and friends.
    And there were two favorite recipes. Pepparkaor (Swedish) and Golden Bars (a recipe that appeared in Good Housekeeping in the 1930s but was by no means a depression recipe.

    Reply
  22. I don’t do much baking anymore. I no longer have the stamina.
    The children and I used to bake pans of cinnamon rolls as Christmas gifts for family and friends.
    And there were two favorite recipes. Pepparkaor (Swedish) and Golden Bars (a recipe that appeared in Good Housekeeping in the 1930s but was by no means a depression recipe.

    Reply
  23. I don’t do much baking anymore. I no longer have the stamina.
    The children and I used to bake pans of cinnamon rolls as Christmas gifts for family and friends.
    And there were two favorite recipes. Pepparkaor (Swedish) and Golden Bars (a recipe that appeared in Good Housekeeping in the 1930s but was by no means a depression recipe.

    Reply
  24. I don’t do much baking anymore. I no longer have the stamina.
    The children and I used to bake pans of cinnamon rolls as Christmas gifts for family and friends.
    And there were two favorite recipes. Pepparkaor (Swedish) and Golden Bars (a recipe that appeared in Good Housekeeping in the 1930s but was by no means a depression recipe.

    Reply
  25. I don’t do much baking anymore. I no longer have the stamina.
    The children and I used to bake pans of cinnamon rolls as Christmas gifts for family and friends.
    And there were two favorite recipes. Pepparkaor (Swedish) and Golden Bars (a recipe that appeared in Good Housekeeping in the 1930s but was by no means a depression recipe.

    Reply
  26. I’ve gotten quite lazy with time and rarely bake (though that doesn’t stop me from inhaling any Christmas goodies that come my way!). I used to make shortbread as well as a Dutch apple tart.

    Reply
  27. I’ve gotten quite lazy with time and rarely bake (though that doesn’t stop me from inhaling any Christmas goodies that come my way!). I used to make shortbread as well as a Dutch apple tart.

    Reply
  28. I’ve gotten quite lazy with time and rarely bake (though that doesn’t stop me from inhaling any Christmas goodies that come my way!). I used to make shortbread as well as a Dutch apple tart.

    Reply
  29. I’ve gotten quite lazy with time and rarely bake (though that doesn’t stop me from inhaling any Christmas goodies that come my way!). I used to make shortbread as well as a Dutch apple tart.

    Reply
  30. I’ve gotten quite lazy with time and rarely bake (though that doesn’t stop me from inhaling any Christmas goodies that come my way!). I used to make shortbread as well as a Dutch apple tart.

    Reply
  31. Baking’s not my kitchen thing, nor was it my mother’s … except at Christmas, when she pulled out all the stops on her delectable fancy cookies. Using cookie cutters that would be snapped up today from any antique store, and gingerbread-man cutters my dad concocted from tin cans and wood cutouts, she rolled them thin and baked them crispy, then iced and decorated them to the nth degree. They were truly works of art. I miss them. (But not enough to spend several days duplicating them, lol.)

    Reply
  32. Baking’s not my kitchen thing, nor was it my mother’s … except at Christmas, when she pulled out all the stops on her delectable fancy cookies. Using cookie cutters that would be snapped up today from any antique store, and gingerbread-man cutters my dad concocted from tin cans and wood cutouts, she rolled them thin and baked them crispy, then iced and decorated them to the nth degree. They were truly works of art. I miss them. (But not enough to spend several days duplicating them, lol.)

    Reply
  33. Baking’s not my kitchen thing, nor was it my mother’s … except at Christmas, when she pulled out all the stops on her delectable fancy cookies. Using cookie cutters that would be snapped up today from any antique store, and gingerbread-man cutters my dad concocted from tin cans and wood cutouts, she rolled them thin and baked them crispy, then iced and decorated them to the nth degree. They were truly works of art. I miss them. (But not enough to spend several days duplicating them, lol.)

    Reply
  34. Baking’s not my kitchen thing, nor was it my mother’s … except at Christmas, when she pulled out all the stops on her delectable fancy cookies. Using cookie cutters that would be snapped up today from any antique store, and gingerbread-man cutters my dad concocted from tin cans and wood cutouts, she rolled them thin and baked them crispy, then iced and decorated them to the nth degree. They were truly works of art. I miss them. (But not enough to spend several days duplicating them, lol.)

    Reply
  35. Baking’s not my kitchen thing, nor was it my mother’s … except at Christmas, when she pulled out all the stops on her delectable fancy cookies. Using cookie cutters that would be snapped up today from any antique store, and gingerbread-man cutters my dad concocted from tin cans and wood cutouts, she rolled them thin and baked them crispy, then iced and decorated them to the nth degree. They were truly works of art. I miss them. (But not enough to spend several days duplicating them, lol.)

    Reply
  36. I confess–I actually love fruitcake. We just got back from London, where I bought a package of three small varied fruitcakes from Harrods, and I ate them all, all by myself in much less than a week. I still have their jar of brandy butter and deluxe Christmas pudding to tackle with my husband after Christmas dinner.
    As for baking, my mother didn’t. I used to when the kids were little and they could “help,” but now it’s much easier to go across the Atlantic to Harrods, LOL.

    Reply
  37. I confess–I actually love fruitcake. We just got back from London, where I bought a package of three small varied fruitcakes from Harrods, and I ate them all, all by myself in much less than a week. I still have their jar of brandy butter and deluxe Christmas pudding to tackle with my husband after Christmas dinner.
    As for baking, my mother didn’t. I used to when the kids were little and they could “help,” but now it’s much easier to go across the Atlantic to Harrods, LOL.

    Reply
  38. I confess–I actually love fruitcake. We just got back from London, where I bought a package of three small varied fruitcakes from Harrods, and I ate them all, all by myself in much less than a week. I still have their jar of brandy butter and deluxe Christmas pudding to tackle with my husband after Christmas dinner.
    As for baking, my mother didn’t. I used to when the kids were little and they could “help,” but now it’s much easier to go across the Atlantic to Harrods, LOL.

    Reply
  39. I confess–I actually love fruitcake. We just got back from London, where I bought a package of three small varied fruitcakes from Harrods, and I ate them all, all by myself in much less than a week. I still have their jar of brandy butter and deluxe Christmas pudding to tackle with my husband after Christmas dinner.
    As for baking, my mother didn’t. I used to when the kids were little and they could “help,” but now it’s much easier to go across the Atlantic to Harrods, LOL.

    Reply
  40. I confess–I actually love fruitcake. We just got back from London, where I bought a package of three small varied fruitcakes from Harrods, and I ate them all, all by myself in much less than a week. I still have their jar of brandy butter and deluxe Christmas pudding to tackle with my husband after Christmas dinner.
    As for baking, my mother didn’t. I used to when the kids were little and they could “help,” but now it’s much easier to go across the Atlantic to Harrods, LOL.

    Reply
  41. Susan – Great column! Your lemon pound cake reminds me of my mother’s glazed orange cake. It was made in a tube pan. After it came out of the oven, holes were poked in the cake, and a mix of orange juice and sugar (boiled prior) was poured over the cake before it cooled. Once the cake was cool it was sliced. And the top of the cake and the edges were deliciously crunchy. Happy baking and happy holidays to all!

    Reply
  42. Susan – Great column! Your lemon pound cake reminds me of my mother’s glazed orange cake. It was made in a tube pan. After it came out of the oven, holes were poked in the cake, and a mix of orange juice and sugar (boiled prior) was poured over the cake before it cooled. Once the cake was cool it was sliced. And the top of the cake and the edges were deliciously crunchy. Happy baking and happy holidays to all!

    Reply
  43. Susan – Great column! Your lemon pound cake reminds me of my mother’s glazed orange cake. It was made in a tube pan. After it came out of the oven, holes were poked in the cake, and a mix of orange juice and sugar (boiled prior) was poured over the cake before it cooled. Once the cake was cool it was sliced. And the top of the cake and the edges were deliciously crunchy. Happy baking and happy holidays to all!

    Reply
  44. Susan – Great column! Your lemon pound cake reminds me of my mother’s glazed orange cake. It was made in a tube pan. After it came out of the oven, holes were poked in the cake, and a mix of orange juice and sugar (boiled prior) was poured over the cake before it cooled. Once the cake was cool it was sliced. And the top of the cake and the edges were deliciously crunchy. Happy baking and happy holidays to all!

    Reply
  45. Susan – Great column! Your lemon pound cake reminds me of my mother’s glazed orange cake. It was made in a tube pan. After it came out of the oven, holes were poked in the cake, and a mix of orange juice and sugar (boiled prior) was poured over the cake before it cooled. Once the cake was cool it was sliced. And the top of the cake and the edges were deliciously crunchy. Happy baking and happy holidays to all!

    Reply
  46. My mother did a lot of baking for Christmas. She used to make lots of fruitcakes, baked in metal coffee cans, and gave them as gifts. She also made spritz cookies, which was a simple butter cookie dough, but you would put it through a cookie press to make all kinds of shapes. She made two kinds of hazelnut meringues, one using egg yolks, and the other using egg whites(no flour in either recipe). And because she was Viennese, she always made Viennese almond crescents, aka vanilla kipferl, rolled in powdered vanilla sugar. There were more, which I can’t remember at the moment, but I can find her recipes by looking for the most stained pages in her cookbook, which I still have!
    This post has really inspired me to do some baking this week!

    Reply
  47. My mother did a lot of baking for Christmas. She used to make lots of fruitcakes, baked in metal coffee cans, and gave them as gifts. She also made spritz cookies, which was a simple butter cookie dough, but you would put it through a cookie press to make all kinds of shapes. She made two kinds of hazelnut meringues, one using egg yolks, and the other using egg whites(no flour in either recipe). And because she was Viennese, she always made Viennese almond crescents, aka vanilla kipferl, rolled in powdered vanilla sugar. There were more, which I can’t remember at the moment, but I can find her recipes by looking for the most stained pages in her cookbook, which I still have!
    This post has really inspired me to do some baking this week!

    Reply
  48. My mother did a lot of baking for Christmas. She used to make lots of fruitcakes, baked in metal coffee cans, and gave them as gifts. She also made spritz cookies, which was a simple butter cookie dough, but you would put it through a cookie press to make all kinds of shapes. She made two kinds of hazelnut meringues, one using egg yolks, and the other using egg whites(no flour in either recipe). And because she was Viennese, she always made Viennese almond crescents, aka vanilla kipferl, rolled in powdered vanilla sugar. There were more, which I can’t remember at the moment, but I can find her recipes by looking for the most stained pages in her cookbook, which I still have!
    This post has really inspired me to do some baking this week!

    Reply
  49. My mother did a lot of baking for Christmas. She used to make lots of fruitcakes, baked in metal coffee cans, and gave them as gifts. She also made spritz cookies, which was a simple butter cookie dough, but you would put it through a cookie press to make all kinds of shapes. She made two kinds of hazelnut meringues, one using egg yolks, and the other using egg whites(no flour in either recipe). And because she was Viennese, she always made Viennese almond crescents, aka vanilla kipferl, rolled in powdered vanilla sugar. There were more, which I can’t remember at the moment, but I can find her recipes by looking for the most stained pages in her cookbook, which I still have!
    This post has really inspired me to do some baking this week!

    Reply
  50. My mother did a lot of baking for Christmas. She used to make lots of fruitcakes, baked in metal coffee cans, and gave them as gifts. She also made spritz cookies, which was a simple butter cookie dough, but you would put it through a cookie press to make all kinds of shapes. She made two kinds of hazelnut meringues, one using egg yolks, and the other using egg whites(no flour in either recipe). And because she was Viennese, she always made Viennese almond crescents, aka vanilla kipferl, rolled in powdered vanilla sugar. There were more, which I can’t remember at the moment, but I can find her recipes by looking for the most stained pages in her cookbook, which I still have!
    This post has really inspired me to do some baking this week!

    Reply
  51. Cranberry bread…..I started making it before I graduated HS (42 years ago) and now it is a tradition that I make full size loaves for my parents, 4 sisters and for Christmas morning.
    Then the nieces and nephews came along and left home. They tried to talk me into making them full size loaves. Nope…they get the mini, mini loaves. I also give some as presents since usually everyone likes it.
    I also make sugar cookies for my Dad and this year I’m making vanilla-orange cranberry cookies. They aren’t over poweringly sweet so they make a nice addition to our Christmas Eve Feast which features another 20 plus cookies and candies from my sisters, mom, nieces & nephews. (We do have non-sweets to fill half our tummies with!)
    The traditional cookies are Christmas Jewels (basically a sugar cookie dough with candied fruit and nuts mixed in). Those are soooo delicious. Nut Butter Balls (similar to Russian Tea Cookies but more nuts, less flour, more butter). Meringue Cookies (egg whites, dates, pecans). Depending on the year…Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars, Chocolate Delight Bars, Magic Cookie Bars, Ginger Spice Cookies, Sparkling Cranberry Gems, so on and so forth.
    Plus of course divinity, fudge (3 different kinds), spiced nuts, etc, etc… Sugar coma definitely!
    We all helped my mom make cookies. Chopping, mixing, putting on the pans. Dozens and dozens of them. Days and days of cooking. But before all that began we had to crack and shells pounds and pounds of pecans that we had picked up that fall. Fun times!
    Definitely a fun post. It is always interesting to read what other people traditionally fix for holidays.

    Reply
  52. Cranberry bread…..I started making it before I graduated HS (42 years ago) and now it is a tradition that I make full size loaves for my parents, 4 sisters and for Christmas morning.
    Then the nieces and nephews came along and left home. They tried to talk me into making them full size loaves. Nope…they get the mini, mini loaves. I also give some as presents since usually everyone likes it.
    I also make sugar cookies for my Dad and this year I’m making vanilla-orange cranberry cookies. They aren’t over poweringly sweet so they make a nice addition to our Christmas Eve Feast which features another 20 plus cookies and candies from my sisters, mom, nieces & nephews. (We do have non-sweets to fill half our tummies with!)
    The traditional cookies are Christmas Jewels (basically a sugar cookie dough with candied fruit and nuts mixed in). Those are soooo delicious. Nut Butter Balls (similar to Russian Tea Cookies but more nuts, less flour, more butter). Meringue Cookies (egg whites, dates, pecans). Depending on the year…Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars, Chocolate Delight Bars, Magic Cookie Bars, Ginger Spice Cookies, Sparkling Cranberry Gems, so on and so forth.
    Plus of course divinity, fudge (3 different kinds), spiced nuts, etc, etc… Sugar coma definitely!
    We all helped my mom make cookies. Chopping, mixing, putting on the pans. Dozens and dozens of them. Days and days of cooking. But before all that began we had to crack and shells pounds and pounds of pecans that we had picked up that fall. Fun times!
    Definitely a fun post. It is always interesting to read what other people traditionally fix for holidays.

    Reply
  53. Cranberry bread…..I started making it before I graduated HS (42 years ago) and now it is a tradition that I make full size loaves for my parents, 4 sisters and for Christmas morning.
    Then the nieces and nephews came along and left home. They tried to talk me into making them full size loaves. Nope…they get the mini, mini loaves. I also give some as presents since usually everyone likes it.
    I also make sugar cookies for my Dad and this year I’m making vanilla-orange cranberry cookies. They aren’t over poweringly sweet so they make a nice addition to our Christmas Eve Feast which features another 20 plus cookies and candies from my sisters, mom, nieces & nephews. (We do have non-sweets to fill half our tummies with!)
    The traditional cookies are Christmas Jewels (basically a sugar cookie dough with candied fruit and nuts mixed in). Those are soooo delicious. Nut Butter Balls (similar to Russian Tea Cookies but more nuts, less flour, more butter). Meringue Cookies (egg whites, dates, pecans). Depending on the year…Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars, Chocolate Delight Bars, Magic Cookie Bars, Ginger Spice Cookies, Sparkling Cranberry Gems, so on and so forth.
    Plus of course divinity, fudge (3 different kinds), spiced nuts, etc, etc… Sugar coma definitely!
    We all helped my mom make cookies. Chopping, mixing, putting on the pans. Dozens and dozens of them. Days and days of cooking. But before all that began we had to crack and shells pounds and pounds of pecans that we had picked up that fall. Fun times!
    Definitely a fun post. It is always interesting to read what other people traditionally fix for holidays.

    Reply
  54. Cranberry bread…..I started making it before I graduated HS (42 years ago) and now it is a tradition that I make full size loaves for my parents, 4 sisters and for Christmas morning.
    Then the nieces and nephews came along and left home. They tried to talk me into making them full size loaves. Nope…they get the mini, mini loaves. I also give some as presents since usually everyone likes it.
    I also make sugar cookies for my Dad and this year I’m making vanilla-orange cranberry cookies. They aren’t over poweringly sweet so they make a nice addition to our Christmas Eve Feast which features another 20 plus cookies and candies from my sisters, mom, nieces & nephews. (We do have non-sweets to fill half our tummies with!)
    The traditional cookies are Christmas Jewels (basically a sugar cookie dough with candied fruit and nuts mixed in). Those are soooo delicious. Nut Butter Balls (similar to Russian Tea Cookies but more nuts, less flour, more butter). Meringue Cookies (egg whites, dates, pecans). Depending on the year…Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars, Chocolate Delight Bars, Magic Cookie Bars, Ginger Spice Cookies, Sparkling Cranberry Gems, so on and so forth.
    Plus of course divinity, fudge (3 different kinds), spiced nuts, etc, etc… Sugar coma definitely!
    We all helped my mom make cookies. Chopping, mixing, putting on the pans. Dozens and dozens of them. Days and days of cooking. But before all that began we had to crack and shells pounds and pounds of pecans that we had picked up that fall. Fun times!
    Definitely a fun post. It is always interesting to read what other people traditionally fix for holidays.

    Reply
  55. Cranberry bread…..I started making it before I graduated HS (42 years ago) and now it is a tradition that I make full size loaves for my parents, 4 sisters and for Christmas morning.
    Then the nieces and nephews came along and left home. They tried to talk me into making them full size loaves. Nope…they get the mini, mini loaves. I also give some as presents since usually everyone likes it.
    I also make sugar cookies for my Dad and this year I’m making vanilla-orange cranberry cookies. They aren’t over poweringly sweet so they make a nice addition to our Christmas Eve Feast which features another 20 plus cookies and candies from my sisters, mom, nieces & nephews. (We do have non-sweets to fill half our tummies with!)
    The traditional cookies are Christmas Jewels (basically a sugar cookie dough with candied fruit and nuts mixed in). Those are soooo delicious. Nut Butter Balls (similar to Russian Tea Cookies but more nuts, less flour, more butter). Meringue Cookies (egg whites, dates, pecans). Depending on the year…Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars, Chocolate Delight Bars, Magic Cookie Bars, Ginger Spice Cookies, Sparkling Cranberry Gems, so on and so forth.
    Plus of course divinity, fudge (3 different kinds), spiced nuts, etc, etc… Sugar coma definitely!
    We all helped my mom make cookies. Chopping, mixing, putting on the pans. Dozens and dozens of them. Days and days of cooking. But before all that began we had to crack and shells pounds and pounds of pecans that we had picked up that fall. Fun times!
    Definitely a fun post. It is always interesting to read what other people traditionally fix for holidays.

    Reply
  56. The cookies I remember most were rolled ginger cookies that were cut out by running a knife around cardboard stencils, then marking them with toothpicks before baking. They were then iced with colored 7 minute icing according to the markings. We had princess, prince, elephant, horse, gingerbread house, chapel, tree, star to name a few. Once the icing was hardened, we hung them on the Christmas tree. It was fun to have visitors choose one, take it down and eat it. They were very popular and delicious.

    Reply
  57. The cookies I remember most were rolled ginger cookies that were cut out by running a knife around cardboard stencils, then marking them with toothpicks before baking. They were then iced with colored 7 minute icing according to the markings. We had princess, prince, elephant, horse, gingerbread house, chapel, tree, star to name a few. Once the icing was hardened, we hung them on the Christmas tree. It was fun to have visitors choose one, take it down and eat it. They were very popular and delicious.

    Reply
  58. The cookies I remember most were rolled ginger cookies that were cut out by running a knife around cardboard stencils, then marking them with toothpicks before baking. They were then iced with colored 7 minute icing according to the markings. We had princess, prince, elephant, horse, gingerbread house, chapel, tree, star to name a few. Once the icing was hardened, we hung them on the Christmas tree. It was fun to have visitors choose one, take it down and eat it. They were very popular and delicious.

    Reply
  59. The cookies I remember most were rolled ginger cookies that were cut out by running a knife around cardboard stencils, then marking them with toothpicks before baking. They were then iced with colored 7 minute icing according to the markings. We had princess, prince, elephant, horse, gingerbread house, chapel, tree, star to name a few. Once the icing was hardened, we hung them on the Christmas tree. It was fun to have visitors choose one, take it down and eat it. They were very popular and delicious.

    Reply
  60. The cookies I remember most were rolled ginger cookies that were cut out by running a knife around cardboard stencils, then marking them with toothpicks before baking. They were then iced with colored 7 minute icing according to the markings. We had princess, prince, elephant, horse, gingerbread house, chapel, tree, star to name a few. Once the icing was hardened, we hung them on the Christmas tree. It was fun to have visitors choose one, take it down and eat it. They were very popular and delicious.

    Reply
  61. I’m planning my baking for this week as I’ve had oral surgery and I’ve been on a liquid diet. What was the point…? 😁 So this week it’s chocolate gingerbread and shortbread cookies. Both are rolled and cookie cutters are employed. Nice and simple though.

    Reply
  62. I’m planning my baking for this week as I’ve had oral surgery and I’ve been on a liquid diet. What was the point…? 😁 So this week it’s chocolate gingerbread and shortbread cookies. Both are rolled and cookie cutters are employed. Nice and simple though.

    Reply
  63. I’m planning my baking for this week as I’ve had oral surgery and I’ve been on a liquid diet. What was the point…? 😁 So this week it’s chocolate gingerbread and shortbread cookies. Both are rolled and cookie cutters are employed. Nice and simple though.

    Reply
  64. I’m planning my baking for this week as I’ve had oral surgery and I’ve been on a liquid diet. What was the point…? 😁 So this week it’s chocolate gingerbread and shortbread cookies. Both are rolled and cookie cutters are employed. Nice and simple though.

    Reply
  65. I’m planning my baking for this week as I’ve had oral surgery and I’ve been on a liquid diet. What was the point…? 😁 So this week it’s chocolate gingerbread and shortbread cookies. Both are rolled and cookie cutters are employed. Nice and simple though.

    Reply

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