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Thread: Holiday baking

  1. #21
    Premium Member canuckinchile's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
    back in "The Big Smoke"

    Re: Holiday baking

    Okay! I'll do it later. The Nanaimo bars are a real Canadian thing. I made them when we were in Peru and every single ex pat Canadian came over for some! The Australians came over to see what the fuss was all about, and although they thought they were good, I could tell they were thinking "So what?" It was just a taste of home for us. The lemon curd is very easy and super good. I gotta run to take my son to school etc., but will see you later

  2. #22
    FORT Fogey Gala62's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
    Hopefully near a spa

    Re: Holiday baking

    My DH and I both like fruitcake also. He actually LOVES it. His sister in Georgia sends one every year and after we eat a couple of slices, we soak the remainder in brandy or rum and wrap in cheesecloth and foil, then let them sit all year. By next Christmas, the cake has started to mellow, so we eat another slice or 2, then re-soak and re-wrap it.

    And of course each year we get a new one so right now we have 8 - the oldest one is from our first year of marriage - so its 8 years old.

    the alcohol preserves it and breaks down the candied fruit (which I don't really care for) and makes everything all nice - not too much alcohol flavor at all surprisingly.

    I had a fruitcake once that had no candied cherries or citron. It was made of dates, pineapple, raisins, pecans. It was to die for, but I can't find a recipe anywhere for it. I may have to start experimenting.
    There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats. A. Schweitzer

  3. #23
    MRD is offline
    FORT Fogey MRD's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
    somewhere resting

    Re: Holiday baking

    My grandmother would make fruitcake about the beginning of Nov. and would soak it in brandy until Christmas. She kept it hidden on a shelf in her closet to keep my dad out of it.
    Que me amat, amet et canem meum
    (Who loves me will love my dog also)

  4. #24
    FORT Fogey veejer's Avatar
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    Sep 2003

    Re: Holiday baking

    Quote Originally Posted by canuckinchile;3220762;
    Okay! I'll do it later. The Nanaimo bars are a real Canadian thing. I made them when we were in Peru and every single ex pat Canadian came over for some! The Australians came over to see what the fuss was all about, and although they thought they were good, I could tell they were thinking "So what?" It was just a taste of home for us. The lemon curd is very easy and super good. I gotta run to take my son to school etc., but will see you later
    I have a lot of relatives in the BC area and Nanaimo bars are traditional at Christmas for us too. And any other time of year as well!! Our Ohio friends just love them.
    "Fish are friends, not food, but everything else is fair game." ~ Pating, Survivor Cagayan Pool

  5. #25
    FORT Fan MMLEsq's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    Weston, FL

    Re: Holiday baking

    There are a couple of recipes for Nanaimo Bars on allrecipes.com. I've copied and pasted one below (for those of us who had never heard of them before!). I'm curious to see how close it is to the recipe that Canuckinchile uses. (Have you moved from Peru to Chile? "Canuck in Chile" )

    Nanaimo Bars

    "These are a totally sinful concoction containing more calories than one would care to count. A decadent dessert! Will satisfy any sweet tooth!"

    Original recipe yields 2 dozen

    1/2 cup butter
    1/4 cup white sugar
    5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    1 egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 cups graham cracker crumbs
    1 cup shredded coconut
    1/2 cup chopped walnuts
    1/4 cup butter
    2 cups confectioners' sugar
    2 tablespoons vanilla custard powder
    3 tablespoons milk
    4 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate, chopped
    1 tablespoon butter

    Mix 1/2 cup butter or margarine, white sugar, cocoa, egg and vanilla in a heavy sauce pan or double boiler. Stir over low heat until mixture is of custard like consistency.
    Combine graham crackers, coconut and walnuts and add to the melted mixture. Mix well and pack into buttered 9 inch square cake pan.
    Cream 1/4 cup butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla custard powder and milk. Beat until creamy and spread over melted base.
    Refrigerate 'til hardened.
    Melt semi-sweet chocolate with 1 tablespoon butter and drizzle over custard icing. Refrigerate. When totally hard cut into square bars.

  6. #26
    Premium Member canuckinchile's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
    back in "The Big Smoke"

    Re: Holiday baking

    I am actually now back in Canada. I picked my screen name impulsively and wished I hadn't given how much we move . We went from Peru to Chile and then back home (for now). Anyways, that is the exact recipe I use for Nanaimo bars except that I use fine unsweetened coconut and 3T. of the vanilla custard powder (and I always use Bird's eye). Some people add Kahlua to the Vanilla custard mix (the middle layer) but my family likes the original version. Thanks for typing that out for me!! Also, since this is such a family favourite, I often line the 9x9 pan with foil (edges hanging over) so that when it is made I can lift it out and freeze it and make the next one This should be kept refrigerated, and take it out for at least 30 minutes before you cut it or it will crack and break. It goes a long way since it is so rich. I'll shut up now and go look for the other recipes

    Sadly, I can't find my recipe for buttertarts, but I have located one that looks almost identical. You can make your own pastry or buy tart shells:

    Award-Winning Butter Tarts Recipe | Recipezaar

    Award-Winning Butter Tarts Recipe #14756

    Butter tarts are a Canadian tradition. Waaaay back in the 1970s, a national contest here in Canada concluded that these butter tarts, originating from Wilkie's Bakery in Orillia, Ontario, were the best. I certainly think so and it's the only recipe I use. Add a sprinkle of toasted walnuts when you add the raisins, if you wish, or use only walnuts if you don't like raisins.
    by Lennie

    1 hours | 45 min prep

    SERVES 16

    * pie pastry (enough to fill 16 muffin cups, your own or from a mix)
    * 1/2 cup raisins
    * 1/4 cup soft butter
    * 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
    * 1 pinch salt
    * 1/2 cup corn syrup
    * 1 egg, lightly beaten
    * 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

    1. Prepare muffin pans by rolling out pie dough and cutting 4-inch (approx) circles; fit dough circles into muffin cups; set aside in fridge until ready to fill.
    2. In a small bowl, place raisins and cover with hot tap water; let stand on the counter for 30 minutes.
    3. In a large bowl, using a wooden spoon, mix together the soft butter, brown sugar, salt and corn syrup; stir well until sugar is dissolved and butter is creamed.
    4. Add egg and vanilla and mix well.
    5. Drain raisins.
    6. Retrieve tart shells and divide raisins equally into all shells; then divide butter mixture into all tarts.
    7. Bake at 400F for 15-20 minutes; filling will be lightly browned but still bubbling.
    8. Canadians fall into two camps about butter tarts and are quite loyal to their favourite type: runny or firm.
    9. I like runny-- the type that dribbles when you bite into one; if you like firm, bake them for the full 20 minutes, even adding another minute or two if you wish.
    10. Let cooked butter tarts cool in pans for 10 minutes after removing from oven; then remove and place on racks until completely cool.
    Because we couldn't get Corn Syrup in South America (and I always use the light corn syrup for butter tarts by the way) we made these butter tart squares for an international fair and the Canadian booth sold out and these were requested year after year.

    Butter Tart Squares

    2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
    1 cup cold butter, cubed
    2 T. granulated sugar

    3 eggs
    3/4 cup butter, melted
    1 1/2 tsp vanilla
    1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
    2 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
    1 T. white vinegar
    1 1/2 cup of raisins

    Heat oven to 350F.

    In a bowl, stir together flour and sugar. Cut in butter. Press into a 13x9 inch pan. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until set. Set aside.

    For filling: In bowl, whisk together eggs and brown sugar. Add melted butter, vinegar and vanilla. Stir in raisins (I would prepare the raisins as in the above recipe. It makes them nice and plump) and nuts if using. Pour over base and bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown and slightly firm when touched. (May have to shield edges of pastry with tin foil to avoid burning.) Let cool in pan on rack. Chill well in fridge. To cut, set in freezer for about an hour. Remove from freezer and cut using hot knife. After each cut, rinse knife well with hot water.
    And finally, the Lemon Curd. My mom gave me this recipe and it came from a British great aunt. It is ridiculously easy and is always the first thing on a plate of Christmas goodies to get eaten. It is addictive. Again, you can make your own pastry tarts or have frozen ones on hand to cook when you you have unexpected company. A few teaspoons (or tablespoons ) of this lemon filling with a dollop of whipping cream is really good. This keeps in the fridge for about 6 weeks, and I put it in a sterilized jar (ie. one washed in the dishwasher). Also, if you are using a jar with a metal lid, I put wax paper under the lid. There are probably a million variations of this recipe on the internet but for as long as I can remember this is what I watched my mom make while perched on one of those old formica chairs in our 70's orange kitchen

    Lemon Curd

    1 c. butter
    2 c. granulated sugar
    juice of 2 large lemons
    1 tsp. chopped lemon rind (zest)
    4 large eggs, well beaten

    In a double boiler:

    Bring water to a boil. In the double boiler combine the butter and sugar and reduce the heat to medium. Add the lemon juice, rind, and eggs. Stir for 7-10 minutes until it thickens (it will thicken more in the fridge). Don't skimp on the stirring
    Okay. This could possibly be my longest post ever
    Last edited by canuckinchile; 10-21-2008 at 09:03 PM. Reason: ETA: other recipes

  7. #27
    Wild thang Rattus's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
    In the trees

    Re: Holiday baking

    Thank you, canuck, I will be making those butter tarts. I don't believe there is a tart I like better.
    And so it begins, the end of times..

  8. #28
    FORT Fogey CantGetNuf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003

    Re: Holiday baking

    I still have the email from myrosiedog with all the cookie recipes if anyone wants it. I clicked the link for Disgustingly Rich Brownies but it didn't work. That's a shame since my in laws usually have me make the brownies.
    "You better watch your mouth sunshine."-Daryl Dixon

  9. #29
    Little Thing SR5Rfan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    In the Inland Empire, CA

    Re: Holiday baking

    Canuck - thank you for the butter tart recipe! I have been considering trying out my mom's old recipe (which is actually just a list of ingredients without temps or cooking times) and this will really help! There are a few differences though - she didn't have corn syrup written down, but has milk instead. And she always added coconut ... I think the syrup sounds more logical than milk. I just might HAVE to try making these now!

    Oh - and a couple years ago my son ordered them from a Canadian company called Dee's, and they were pretty good. Unfortunately, between the minimum order and the shipping charges they were kind of pricey.
    I never met a piece of chocolate I didn't like.

  10. #30
    FORT Newbie
    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    Re: Holiday baking

    Quote Originally Posted by MamaC;3219263;
    I think Kelly did call them Mexican Wedding Cakes too, and I just goofed.

    While I was making dinner tonight, I looked through my recipe box and found my original recipe for the Russian Tea Balls.....written in my 4th grade handwriting!
    Mexican Wedding Cakes, Russian Tea Cakes, Pecan Sandies....

    My grandmother called them Snowdrop cookies and it's my favorite holiday cookie and the only one I ALWAYS bake. I even manage to give a few away. Heh! I like the name Butterballs. Truth in advertising!

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