Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Goodies

The Week Before Christmas

The week before Christmas is a time of cleaning and cooking and baking. Everyone comes up with their favourite recipe and we join together to make the Christmas eats. I am a traditionalist at heart and have been making the same items every Christmas, come what may with a few new ones thrown in each year.

This year the Christmas Goodies include the following:

Brandied Fruit Cake (for Ranita)
Macaroons (for Serita)
Kalkals (for Ranita)
Sooji Ladoos (for me)
Beaten Rice Mixture (for all of us)
Masala Cashewnuts (for Nehru)
Masala Groundnuts (for Nehru)
Christmas Brownies (for friends)
Plain Fruit Cake (to give away)

My fruits for the cake are soaked well in advance and the cake made in late November. Visit my blog for the recipe. This year I made my fruit cake in the shape of bells using a tray bought by Ranita.

Cashew macaroons have been a hot favourite with us ever since I got the recipe two decades ago and this year I decided to make a different kind of macaroon as well called Siennese Macaroons.
For Cashew Macaroons view my earlier entry

The recipe for Masala Cashewnuts/Groundnuts is on my blog

Will put up the recipe for kalkals later and for plain fruit cake follow the same recipe as Brandied Fruit Cake omitting the alcohol.

The recipe for mixture can be viewed at

This year I made Siennese Macaroons too. They are tiny delicious morsels of baked marzipan and absolutely irresistible. I found the recipe years ago while browsing through a book at Bristish Council and scribbled it on a scrap of paper.

The Recipe
(Make the day before you want to eat them because you need to dry them out before baking).

1 large egg white; pinch salt; 225 gms. powdered sugar; grated rind of 1 lemon/lime; 1 tsp. almond essence; 250 gms almond meal; 250 gms almond bits;; icing sugar for dusting.

Mix all ingredients in bowl. Add egg, little by little until like dough. Roll out on board dusted with icing sugar to 1/2 inch thickness and cut out desired shapes using icing sugar over your hands if too sticky. Use up all the dough and place on lined tray. Dry overnight or for 8 hours hours. Preheat oven to 140C and bake 20 minutes or till done. This can take more or less time depending on your oven. The macaroons should be pale and slightly cracked. Cool. Dust with icing sugar and hide away because once tasted, will be finished in one sitting.

Mummy's Sooji Ladoos

Another melt in the mouth recipe is the Sooji Ladoos my Mum used to make every Christmas. Loaded with calories and too scrumptious to be passed over, it is one treat we indulge in every year. This is the time to eat, drink, be merry and maintain your weight effectively.

250 gms fine sooji; 250 gms wheat flour; 1/2 cup ghee; 250 gms caster sugar; 5 cardamoms, powdered; 2 tbsp almonds or cashew bits; 2 tbsp black raisins.

Roast sooji & wheat seperately in a non stick pan using 1 tsp ghee for each until crisp and golden brown. Transfer to bpwl. Mix the ghee and sugar and add to the sooji-wheat mixture. Add the cardamon powder and mix well with a wooden spatula. Throw in the raisins and nuts. Mix thoroughly again. If too dry add more ghee. Form into ladoos and store in air tight container. Serve on Christmas Day and expect your guests to ask for another.

May the Spirit of Christmas abide with you throughout the coming year and may you be blessed with health, wealth and happiness.

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