Christmas? You have got to be kidding, it was Father’s Day just last week!
So Father’s Day has come and gone and within a week the shops are priming us for the Christmas Season (really it’s only September when they start). It is now the very beginning of November, and yes it is time for me to start thinking about what homemade treats I will make for our visitors on Christmas Day breakfast
Many years ago we started our own family tradition- we, our immediate family, have Christmas breakfast at home with some of our friends. Some of these friends have been enjoying this tradition with us for over 20 years.
Each year I bake a box of sweet treats or make jars of pickle, relish or lemon curd as a small gift for each person that joins us at 7AM on Christmas morning for bacon, eggs, pancakes, freshly squeezed juice, fruit, champagne and (importantly) coffee.
When Amy asked me to author this blog, I did a quick impromptu family survey of everyone’s favourite Christmas homemade goodie and what was the first thing that came to mind when I said old fashioned homemade Christmas goodie….
There were various answers:
- Gingerbread House – I have made many, but strangely not for our family …. maybe this year)
- Fruit Mince Pies – YES, definitely! Only Nanna’s are best. No bought ones allowed!Plum Pudding – A winner every year! Although time consuming (as I do make it in the cloth and you can never be sure whether the flour seal has worked), it is my Dad’s FAVOURITE.
- Rum Balls – Another strange answer as never have they been on our Christmas table! They seem to go hand in hand with Christmas (must be the alcohol).
- Shortbread – A sugary sweetness to dip in a relaxing cup of tea.
- Roast Turkey – And yet it is too hot in Queensland most Christmas’ for hot cooked meat!
Why not start your own ‘family tradition’ this Christmas? We did, while it was hard in the early years it has become something that our extended family & friends have come to expect & look forward to!
To get you started on your Christmas baking, below are two recipes for go-to old fashioned Christmas treats.
Wishing you & yours a blessed Christmas,
(aka The Baking Monkey)
250grams butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup castor sugar
¼ cup rice flour OR ground rice
2 ¼ cups plain flour
1. Cream butter and sugar until light and creamy in a mix master at high speed.
2. Remove from mix master and stir in sifted flours in two batches; when mixture becomes too stiff to stir, use hand to combine ingredients
3. Turn on to a lightly floured surface, and knead lightly until smooth
THIS SHORTBREAD CAN BE SHAPED IN THREE WAYS
1. Press mixture evenly into a greased 28cm x 18cm lamination tin,,
mark into squares or rectangles, prick with a fork, bake in a slow oven
(150c) for 45 minutes, recut into previous shape, stand for 10
minutes in the tin. Cool on wire rack
2. Divide mixture between two greased 18cm round tins, cut each into 8
wedges (Petti-tails), prick with fork, bake in slow oven (150c) for 45
minutes, cut again into wedges, stand 10 minutes, remove from tin to
wire rack to cool.
3. Mixture can be pressed into wooden shortbread moulds, which have
been well rubbed with fingers dusted with cornflour, shake out
excess cornflour, cut away excess dough with a sharp knife, tap
mould sharply on greased oven tray, shortbread shape will fall out
easily onto tray.
TRADITIONAL AUSSIE RUM BALLS
8 weet-bix biscuits
½ cup desiccated coconut
1 tin condensed milk (390-400gm)
1 cup sultanas
2 tablespoons cocoa
2 tablespoons rum
1. In a bowl, place the sultanas and the rum, cover with cling wrap and let
it marinate for a day or two
2. Crush the weet-bix into a bowl and add the sifted cocoa, coconut and
the marinated sultanas
3. Pour in the condensed milk and stir well to combine.
4. Roll heaped teaspoons of mixture into balls and then roll in extra
HINT- Use damp hands, frequently rinse hands of excess mixture.