I’m discovering that I often use my own blog as a reference when looking for recipes we’ve enjoyed in the past. So this seems as sensible a way to archive our favourite Christmas treat recipes as any. We do a double batch of everything. Hard candies, which store well and hence get made early, get stored in a cool dry place. Baked goods go in the freezer for up to a month.

Pfeffernuesse

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
3 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cardamom
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. ground cloves

Cream together butter and sugar. Mix in egg and molasses.

In a separate bowl combine flour and remaining ingredients. Mix into butter mixture. Wrap and chill for an hour in fridge. Roll out tablespoonfuls and place on baking parchment. Bake in 350F oven for 12-14 minutes. Dust with icing sugar if desired.

Sesame Snaps

1/4 cup liquid honey
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 tsp. lemon juice
pinch of salt
1 1/3 cups toasted sesame seeds

Line a jelly roll pan with foil and brush lightly with oil. Set aside.

Combine honey, sugar, water and lemon juice in a large heavy saucepan. Heat gradually until sugar is dissolved. Bring to boil. Boil without stirring for about 20 minutes, until candy thermometer shows 150C or 300F (hard crack stage — syrup will be amber). Remove from heat. Stir in salt and sesame seeds. Pour onto prepared pan. Use a greased spatula to spread mixture to edges.

Allow to cool just slightly, then score with greased knife.

Allow to cool completely and snap apart pieces.

Cashew Brittle

2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup water
2 1/2 cups lightly toasted cashews

Line a jelly roll pan with foil and brush lightly with oil. Set aside.

Heat sugars, syrup and water until sugar dissolves. Boil without stirring for about 20 minutes, until candy thermometer reaches 139C.

Remove from heat immediately. Stir in cashews. Pour onto prepared pan. Spread gently with greased spatula. Leave to cool completely. Break into pieces and store in an airtight container in a cool dark place.

Christmas Baking