One way of firing up that Christmas spirit is by turning on some festive music, heading to the kitchen and creating some Christmas favourites. Whether you are a sweet or savoury lover, we have some devine Christmas recipes for you this festive weekend.
No holiday treat platter would be complete without gingerbread cookies! This is a tried-and-true recipe that is guaranteed to get everyone in the Christmas spirit.
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- Frosting of choice
- Cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Beat in molasses, egg and water. In another bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients minus frosting; gradually beat into creamed mixture. Divide dough in half. Shape each into a disk; cover. Refrigerate until easy to handle, about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180°. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion of dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 4-in. gingerbread man cookie cutter. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets.
- Bake until the edges are firm, 8-10 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely. Frost as desired.
Finnish Mulled Wine
This Gluhwein inspired Finnish recipe is perfect for those cold winter nights. Store tightly bottled in the fridge for up to two weeks. The perfect recipe to get the festivities started.
- 2/3 cup vodka
- 2/3 cup port wine
- 15 whole cloves
- 3 cinnamon sticks (3 inches)
- 2 orange zest strips (1 to 3 inches)
- 1 orange slice
- 1 lemon zest strip (1 to 3 inches)
- 1 lemon slice
- 1 piece fresh ginger root (about 2 inches), peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon cardamom pods
- 3 cups dry red wine
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- Blanched almonds and raisins, optional
- In a large bowl, combine the first 10 ingredients. Refrigerate, covered, overnight.
- Transfer to a large saucepan; stir in red wine and brown sugar. Bring just to a simmer (do not boil). Reduce heat; simmer gently, uncovered, until flavours are blended, about 30 minutes, stirring to dissolve sugar. Strain.
- Serve warm over blanched almonds and raisins, if desired.
Santa deviled eggs
Get the kids involved in the kitchen this festive season, with this fun and creative recipe. These little Santa’s are easier to make than they look, and everyone raves over them at Christmas.
● 12 hard-boiled large eggs
● Hot water
● 2 teaspoons red food colouring
● 1/2 cup mayonnaise
● 4-1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
● 1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
● 1/4 teaspoon paprika
● 1 tablespoon horseradish sauce, optional
● 1 tablespoon capers, drained
● 1 to 2 ounces thick sliced deli ham, cut into 24 pieces
● 1/2 roasted sweet red pepper strips, cut into 24 thin pieces
● 1/3 cup cream cheese, softened
- Peel and cut eggs lengthwise in half. Remove yolks and place in a small bowl. Fill a mug 1/3 full with hot water. Stir in food colouring. Dip the narrow end of each egg into the red water and hold for 10-15 seconds. Drain eggs on paper towels, cut side up.
- In a small bowl, mash yolks. Stir in mayonnaise, mustard, pickle relish, paprika and, if desired, horseradish sauce. Spoon or pipe into each egg white. Attach capers for eyes, a ham piece for a nose and a pepper piece for a mouth.
- Cut a small hole in the tip of a pastry bag or in a corner of a food-safe plastic bag; insert #16 star pastry tip. Fill the bag with cream cheese. Pipe eyebrows, moustache and beard on face; pipe pom-pom and trim on hat. Refrigerate, covered, until serving.
Bacon and cheese dip
This smoky bacon and parmesan spread is perfect for parties and holiday get-togethers. For a pretty yuletide presentation, decorate the cream cheese wreath with green parsley and red pimientos.
- 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup sliced green onions, optional
- 10 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
- Optional: Italian parsley sprigs and diced pimientos
- Assorted crackers
- In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese and, if desired, onions. Stir in bacon. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
- Invert a small bowl in the centre of a serving platter. Drop cream cheese mixture by rounded tablespoonfuls around the edge of the bowl. Remove bowl. Smooth cream cheese mixture, forming a wreath. Garnish with parsley and pimientos if desired. Serve with crackers.
Mocha Log Cake
This eye-catching dessert is guaranteed to delight holiday dinner guests. Chocolate lovers will lick their lips over the delicious cocoa cake, mocha filling and frosting. For a festive touch, garnish the log with marzipan holly leaves and berries.
- 5 large eggs, separated
- 1/2 cup cake flour
- 1/4 cup baking cocoa
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sugar, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1-1/2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1/3 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1/3 cup baking cocoa
- 1 tablespoon brewed coffee, cooled
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 to 3 tablespoons 2% milk
- Place egg whites in a small bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°. Line bottom of a greased 15x10x1-in. pan with parchment; grease parchment. Sift flour, cocoa and salt together twice. In a large bowl, beat egg yolks until slightly thickened. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar, beating on high speed until thick and lemon-coloured. Fold in flour mixture.
- Add cream of tartar to egg whites; with clean beaters, beat on medium until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high after each addition until sugar is dissolved. Continue beating until soft glossy peaks form. Fold a fourth of the whites into batter, then fold in remaining whites. Transfer to prepared pan, spreading evenly.
- Bake until the top springs back when lightly touched, 12-15 minutes (do not overbake). Cool for 5 minutes. Invert onto a tea towel dusted lightly with cocoa. Gently peel off parchment. Roll up the cake in the towel jelly-roll style, starting with a short side. Cool completely on a wire rack.
- For filling, in a bowl, dissolve coffee granules in cream; beat until it begins to thicken. Add sugar; beat until stiff peaks form. Unroll cake; spread filling over cake to within 1/2 in. of edges. Roll up again, without towel; trim ends. Transfer to a platter, seam side down. Refrigerate, covered, until cold.
- For frosting, beat all ingredients until smooth. Spread over the cake. Using a fork, make lines in frosting to resemble tree bark. Refrigerate until serving.