Christmas is my favorite time of the year. It brings back memories of Christmases past and its a time when you can reminisce about all the things that have happened throughout the year. Its been more than 10 years since I have spent Christmas with my parents. I never get a chance to visit them during the holidays.
The fondest memories I have of my childhood is the time when we would all gather around the kitchen table to help mom make all the Christmas goodies. Santa rarely visited our house back then and it didn’t matter to us. We looked forward to adorning our new clothes and staying awake till we got to the midnight mass on Christmas eve. After coming home from church, mom would have a feast prepared for us. We would all eat, drink and sing Christmas carols.
I try to keep some of the traditions alive, especially where food is concerned 🙂 . I try to make at least some of the traditional sweets that my mom used to make and also include some quick cooking goodies that I have learn over the years. This year I wasn’t sure if I was going to get around to making the Christmas goodies, but somehow I found the time to make some with the help of my dear hubby.
From left: carrot cake, kul kuls, maple pecan cookies, chocolate fudge, milk toffee, donuts, mava cake
I cannot share all the recipes with you in this post. Here are a couple of simple ones. Enjoy!
Chocolate Fudge with Nuts and Fruit
The recipe is derived from the Eagle brand Condensed milk recipe. I find that adding semi sweet chocolate makes the fudge a bit too sweet. Here is my variation..
1 can fat free sweetened condensed milk
2 cup dark chocolate chips
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup unsalted cashews
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup pecans
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup dried sweetened cranberries
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
Prepare a 8×8 or 9×9 square cake pan, by lining the bottom and sides with some parchment paper.
Preheat the oven to 300 F. Place all the nuts on a cookie sheet and toast them in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Cool and coarsely chop the nuts.
In a non stick pan, add the condensed milk and the chocolate. Cook on low heat, stirring constantly until all the chocolate is melted. Take it off the heat and add the chopped nuts, cranberries, raisins, salt and vanilla. Pour the chocolate mixture into the prepared cake pan. Refrigerate for about 4 hours. When the fudge is firm, remove it from the pan and cut into desired size pieces.
Use any nuts and fruits that you like in the fudge.
Maple Pecan Cookies
Ingredients (makes 3 dozen cookies)
1/2 cup butter
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
36 pecan halves
Preheat the oven to 375F.
In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the egg and maple syrup. Mix until combined. In another bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the flour to the wet ingredients a little at a time, while beating it on low speed. When all the flour is mixed in, stir in the chopped pecans.
Drop the dough on parchment lined cookie sheets by rounded teaspoons. Press a pecan half on top of each cookie. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes. Remove on cooling racks and allow to cool.
The recipe for the carrot cake can be found here.