Posts tagged #holiday

Christmas Mincemeat Bread

From "Our Daily Bread" by Stella Standard (pub c 1970)

If you have some mincemeat left-over (how would that happen???) this is a great way to use it up. If you don't have any left-over, it's worth picking up (or making) some more!


  • 1 cup mincemeat
  • 2 or 3 Tbsp dark rum
  • 1/2 cup 100% bran crumbles cereal
  • 2 cups soft whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/4 to 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder


  1. If you are using homemade mincemeat, then just add the rum. If it is commercial, use a scant cup of it and add 5 or 6 sliced dates and 2 spoons of apricot jam or orange marmalade, and the rum.
  2. Mix with the dry ingredients and the beaten egg.
  3. Mix the buttermilk, sugar and baking powder and add to the flour mixture (use a large bowl as it may foam up a bit)
  4. The batter should be soft and moist but not thin.
  5. Bake bread in a greased bread pan 1 hour at 350F.
  6. Slice after it has cooled.

This is nice to have during the holidays for tea.

Posted on December 13, 2015 and filed under desserts & sweets.

Norwegian Citron Bread

From "Our Daily Bread" by Stella Standard (pub c 1970)

Tastes like Christmas...


  • 1/2 cup sweet butter (if unavailable, use salted butter but omit salt below)
  • 1  1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 4 cups sifted flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 cup raisins 
  • 1 cup moist glazed citron, chopped or sliced (if quite dry, splash with a bit of something boozy)
  • 1  1/2 cups milk


  1. Cream the butter and sugar until smooth, then add the beaten eggs
  2. Soak the currants in whiskey for an hour or more, if you please.
  3. Sift the flour with the dry ingredients; toss the raisins and citron through them
  4. Add the dry ingredients and the milk, alternately, to the creamed mixture
  5. Bake in 3 little oiled loaf pans or 1 large one, 1 hour at 350F for the large one and 35 to 40 minutes for the little ones 
Posted on December 13, 2015 and filed under desserts & sweets.

Parkin Spice Cake

Presented in “Joy of Cooking” as a not-too-sweet Guy Fawkes Day cake. It needs no icing, although a warm, tangy lemon dessert sauce goes nicely. It’s a treat for breakfast with no more sweetening than the average packaged breakfast cereal.


Heat in a double boiler (or very gently in saucepan or microwave):

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup treacle (or molasses, if need be)

Mix in a bowl:

  • 2/3 cup quick-cooking rolled oats (not instant)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp soda
  • 1 tsp grated lemon rind


  1. Add 2/3 cup milk to the dry ingredients, alternating with the butter-mixture.
  2. Combine until dry ingredients are just moist. The batter will be thin.
  3. Bake in a greased 8 inch square pan for about 30-35 minutes, or until the cake begins to pull from the sides of the pan.
  4. Let cool.
  5. Eat and enjoy anytime—not just during November.

About Guy Fawkes: In 1605, Guy Fawkes and a group of co-conspirators attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament.

On the night of November 5, throughout Britain, bonfires are set alight, effigies are burned and fireworks are set off to commemorate Britain’s most notorious traitor

To find out more, read Antonia Fraser’s Faith and Treason, or check out .

Posted on November 2, 2015 and filed under desserts & sweets.

Margaret's Everyday Fruitcake

An easy fruitcake that you can eat and enjoy right away.


  • 5 oz butter (2/3 cup)
  • 5 oz sugar (3/4 cup)
  • 12 oz mixed fruit (1 3/4 cup)
  • 2/3 cup water
  • Boil all together in pan and simmer for 10 minutes. Let cool.


  • 8 oz self-raising flour (1 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • Bake in loaf pan at 300 degrees farenheit for 1 1/4 hours.
  • Let cool.
  • Eat and enjoy.
Posted on September 9, 2015 and filed under desserts & sweets.

Retro Viennese Crescents

From the Collection of Marg Dye

Melt-in-your-mouth almondy!


  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup soft butter or margarine
  • 1 cup ground almonds or hazelnuts, unblanched or blanched
  • 1/2 cup sifted icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract


  1. In large bowl, combine all ingredients. With hands, mix until thoroughly blended.
  2. Refrigerate, covered, 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Shape cookies; form dough into 1 inch balls, then with palms of hands roll each ball into a roll 3 inches long, smaller at ends.
  4. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets; curve each to make crescent. 
  5. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until set but not brown.
  6. Let stand 1 minute before removing.
  7. With spatula, place hot cookies in vanilla sugar, turn gently to coat both sides.
  8. Cool completely.


  1. In electric blender combine one 3 inch piece vanilla bean, cut up, with 1/4 cup icing sugar.
  2. Blend at high speed for about 8 seconds.
  3. Combine with 1 3/4 cups icing sugar on large sheet of foil. (Or if desired just use icing sugar alone)
Posted on September 9, 2015 and filed under cookies & bars.

Apricot Shortbread

From Hot Off the Griddle #22, December 1993.

This is a fun variation on shortbread. 


  • 1/3 cup soft butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 cup sifted all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup dried apricots
  • 1 tsp grated lemon peel
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In medium bowl beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. At low speed, beat in flour.
  4. Pat mixture evenly into bottom of an 8” x 8” x 2” pan.
  5. Bake 12 minutes, or until light golden in colour.
  6. Let cool completely in pan on wire rack.


... Meanwhile make apricot filling.

  1. Place apricots in small saucepan; add just enough water to cover; bring to boiling.
  2. Reduce heat, and simmer, covered, 15 minutes.
  3. Drain apricots, reserving 3 tbsp. cooking liquid.
  4. Chop apricots fine.
  5. Combine in small saucepan with reserved liquid, lemon peel, sugar, cornstarch.
  6. Bring to boiling, stirring; boil 1 minute.
  7. Let filling cool 10 minutes.

Spread evenly over shortbread crust. Sprinkle with walnuts. Bake 20 minutes.  Let cool completely in pan on wire rack before cutting into bars.

Makes 20.

Posted on September 9, 2015 and filed under cookies & bars.

Bob's Favourite Christmas Shortbread

From the Collection of Marg Dye

Also known as Marg's Famous Shortbread, this is substantial shortbread - not the melt-in-your-mouth kind.


  • 2 cups butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour


  1. Cream butter and sugar together.
  2. Add egg yolk and stir well.
  3. Then add flour a little at a time, until dough is the consistency of putty.
  4. Roll out to 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch thickness.
  5. Prick with a fork and cut into shapes.
  6. Bake in 325 F oven until firm and golden brown (about 30 minutes).
Posted on September 9, 2015 and filed under cookies & bars.

Carrot Christmas Pudding

Five Roses Cookbook circa 1950 - From the Collection of Marg Dye

In some homes (like ours :) it will always be steamed carrot pudding at Christmastime—a tradition reminiscent of hard times, when carrot pudding was more economical than a prize plum pudding. For all its modern glamour, the Christmas season does seem a fitting time to commemorate humble origins.


  • 1 cup grated raw carrot
  • 1 cup grated raw potato (divided into 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup seeded (Thompson) raisins
  • 1/2 cup currants
  • dusting of flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp soda


  1. Grate carrot and potato.
  2. Measure and set aside.
  3. Cream butter, add sugar and blend well.
  4. Add grated carrot and 1/2 cup of grated potato, and mix well.
  5. Sprinkle raisins and currants with a dusting of flour and add to first mixture.
  6. Sift together the flour and spices, and stir in.
  7. Dissolve the soda in the remaining 1/2 cup of potato and add it last.
  8. Mix lightly together; pour into buttered stoneware bowls.
  9. Cover well with redoubled cheesecloth tied down with kitchen string.

Steam for 3 hours (ask your mom or gran—they’ll know how to do this).

Posted on September 9, 2015 and filed under desserts & sweets.

Cinnamon Spice Nut Mix

Borrowed directly from the pages of the magnificent cookbook “Nuts: Sweet and Savory Recipes… from Diamond of California”

Make a batch of these easy candied nuts, and you’ll find all kinds of ways to serve them. You can set them out by the bowlful at a party, use them to top a salad containing apples and goat cheese, or sprinkle them over ice cream. And what could be sweeter as a home-made hostess gift?

  • 4 c assorted whole nuts (such as walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, almonds, and macadamias)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 c sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

(You can omit this step if not using hazelnuts: If using hazelnuts, preheat oven to 350F. Spread hazelnuts in a single layer on a baking sheet or pan. Bake, shaking the pan once or twice, until nuts are lightly browned and fragrant, 10 to 12 minutes. Wrap warm hazelnuts in a clean dish towel and let cool 10 minutes. With the towel, rub off as much of the papery skins as possible. Add to bowl with other assorted nuts.)

Reduce oven temperature ot 225F. Line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, coat with vegetable oil spray.

In a large bowl, whisk egg whites until foamy. Add nuts, tossing to coat well.

In another large bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg. Blend well. Add nuts, tossing until evenly coated with sugar mixture.

Spread nuts in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet, separating with a fork. Bake until coating is dry and crunchy, about 2 hours. Let cool.

Store airtight at room temperature up to 1 week.

Yields 4 cups.

Deborah Palmer of A Movable Feast tested this recipe and suggests an alternative, quicker cooking method: Bake at 350F for about 12 minutes, stirring often. She also prepared the recipe with walnuts only – to rave reviews…

Posted on September 9, 2015 and filed under appetizers & snacks.

Cranberry Mincemeat Pie

From Hot Off the Griddle #21, November 1993.



  • 24 oz. container mincemeat
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten


  1. Prepare pastry shell for 2-crust pie: Roll out half of dough and fit into 9” pie plate. Trim edge even with pie plate.
  2. Combine mincemeat, cranberries, pecans and lemon juice.
  3. Mix well; spread evenly in shell.
  4. Roll out remaining pastry dough. Cut into 1/2” strips. Arrange in lattice fashion over filling.
  5. Tuck strips under bottom crust. Seal and flute edge.
  6. Brush top with beaten yolk.
  7. Bake on lower oven rack in a preheated 425 F oven for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350F for 25 or 30 minutes or until crust is golden.

Serve warm or cooled.
Serves 6-8.

Posted on September 9, 2015 and filed under desserts & sweets.

Fireside Fruit Bars

From Hot Off the Griddle #34, December 1994.


  1. Sift together 2 cups sifted enriched all purpose flour, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg.
  2. Cream 2/3 cup shortening.
  3. Add gradually 1/2 cup sugar and cream until light and fluffy.
  4. Blend in 1 tsp grated orange rind.
  5. Combine 1/2 cup undiluted evaporated milk, 1/4 cup orange juice.
  6. Add 2/3 cup chopped, mixed candied fruit, 1/4 cup chopped nuts.
  7. Spread in greased and floured 15 × 10 inch shallow pan.
  8. Bake in 350 degree oven 15 to 20 minutes.

Cool. Frost with orange frosting. Cut into bars with sharp knife.


  1. Combine 3 cups sifted icing sugar and 1/2 tsp grated orange rind.
  2. Blend in 2 tbsp orange juice and 2 to 3 tbsp evaporated milk.
  3. Beat until smooth.

Spread on cooled bars.

Posted on September 9, 2015 and filed under cookies & bars.

Festive Brazil Loaf

From Hot Off the Griddle #21, November 1993.


  • 3/4 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups shelled whole brazil nuts
  • 1 lb. pitted dates, chopped
  • 1 cup well-drained maraschino cherries (whole)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  1. Grease a 9 × 5 loaf pan. Line with greased brown paper or parchment.
  2. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  3. Add whole nuts, chopped dates and cherries.
  4. Mix until fruit is well coated with flour mixture.
  5. Beat eggs until foamy; add vanilla.
  6. Stir into fruit mixture. (There is no butter or shortening in this recipe).
  7. Spoon batter into prepared pan.
  8. Bake about 2 hours at 300 F – until toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Let cool 15 minutes.
  10. Remove from pan. Peel off paper.

When cool, wrap in brandy or rum soaked cheesecloth, then overwrap in foil. Store in air-tight container.
Note: When you fill the pan take an egg lifter and press down the batter, or the nuts may sit up out of the top of the cake.

Posted on September 9, 2015 and filed under breads, muffins & scones.

Five Wonderful Ways with Shortbread

From the Collection of Marg Dye This selection was originally published in Hot Off the Griddle – November 1992.

These have all been tried and tested for more than 75 years! We really can’t think of any better way than that to assure you of their excellence.



  • 2 cups butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • Yolk of 1 egg
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour

Cream butter and sugar together.
Add egg yolk and stir well.
Add flour a little at a time until of a consistency of putty.
Roll out to 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick.
Prick with a fork and cut into shapes.

Bake at 325F until firm or golden brown, about 30 minutes.


  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup berry or fruit sugar
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1 cup butter

Rub butter into sugar.
Gradually work in flour and rice flour with hands.
Knead until the dough is free from cracks.
Place in rounds on lightly-greased pan.

Bake in slow oven, 300F for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.


  • 2 cups butter
  • 1 cup sugar (icing or brown)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 cups sifted all-purpose flour

Cream butter, add sugar and blend thoroughly.
Add vanilla.
Add flour in four portions and mix well after each addition.
Turn out onto mixing board and knead until all cracks have disappeared.
Spread in an ungreased pan and prick deeply with fork.

Bake at 350F for 20 to 30 minutes or until light brown.


  • 1 cup soft butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

In large bowl beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
With wooden spoon, stir in flour until smooth and well mixed.
Refrigerate dough, covered, several hours.
On lightly floured surface, roll out dough, one part at a time 1/3 inch thick.
Cut out with 1 1/2 or 2 inch cookie cutters; place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake for 25 minutes or until light brown in 300F oven.
Remove to wire rack, cool. Makes about 5 dozen.


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 pound butter or part margarine

Cream butter and add sugar and work together thoroughly until creamy.
Sift the flour and cornstarch and add.
Whip together until fluffy and until mixture breaks.
Either drop from tablespoon or add a little more flour and knead until it can be rolled.

Bake in a 325F oven until light brown.

Posted on September 9, 2015 and filed under cookies & bars.

Mincemeat Brownies

From Hot Off the Griddle #22, December 1993.


  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup soft butter or margarine
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup drained prepared mincemeat
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • Icing sugar to decorate


  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Lightly grease an 8” x 8” x 2” pan.
  3. Sift flour with baking powder and salt; set aside.
  4. In large bowl, with wooden spoon or portable electric mixer at medium speed, beat butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until light and fluffy.
  5. Stir in mincemeat.
  6. Add flour mixture, stirring until well combined.
  7. Stir in nuts.
  8. Spread evenly in prepared pan; bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until surface springs back when gently pressed with fingertip.
  9. Cool slightly.
  10. Cut into squares while still warm.
  11. Sprinkle lightly with icing sugar.

Makes 16 squares.

Posted on September 9, 2015 and filed under cookies & bars.

Christmas Pudding

From Marion Kane’s column in the Toronto Star.


  • 2 1/2 cups fresh soft breadcrumbs
  • 2 cups currants
  • 2 cups sultana raisins
  • 1 1/2 cups Thompson raisins
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup mixed candied peel
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp each: cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup brandy or whiskey
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • Grated rind and juice of one orange


In a large bowl, combine breadcrumbs, currants, sultana raisins, Thompson raisins, flour, sugar, peel, baking powder, and spices.

In a very large bowl, whisk together eggs, butter, brandy, milk and orange rind and juice.
Stir flour mixture into egg mixture; mix thoroughly.

Pack into large (10 cup) or two small pudding molds or bowls; cover surface with waxed paper cut to fit.
Cover mold with foil; tie tightly under rim with string.
Place on rack in deep pot; add boiling water to come two-thirds up sides of mold.
Bring to boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer, adding boiling water if necessary to maintain level, 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours – depending on shape of mold – or until tester inserted in centre comes out clean. (Steam smaller molds in separate pots for 2 to 3 hours.)

Remove from water; cool completely in mold.
Remove from mold, wrap and store in cool place or fridge 4 to 6 weeks, or freeze.

Bring to room temperature before steaming in original mold for 1 to 2 hours or until heated through.
Serve with a festive sauce.

Makes about 12 servings.

Posted on September 9, 2015 and filed under desserts & sweets.

Spiced Fruit Compote

From E. Wilson. First printed in Hot Off the Griddle #45, November 1995.


  • 1 1/2 cups pitted dried prunes
  • 1 1/2 cups dried apricot halves
  • 1/2 cup pitted dates
  • 3 slices lemon
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 inch cinnamon stick
  • dash allspice


  1. In a 2 quart saucepan, combine all ingredients with 2 1/2 cups water.
  2. Bring to boiling; reduce heat; simmer uncovered 15 minutes.

Serve warm.


Posted on September 9, 2015 and filed under desserts & sweets.

Walnut Brittle

Originally published in Hot Off the Griddle – December 1995.

We all know how good walnuts are for us! The sugar and butter perhaps a little less so… but enjoy in moderation. At least it’s a confection with a redeeming feature – and so delicious. 


  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups walnut halves
  • 3 cups light brown (or golden yellow) sugar
  • 2 cups molasses
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 Tbsp cider vinegar


  1. Generously butter an 8 × 8 in. pan.
  2. Sprinkle nuts evenly on bottom.
  3. Place remaining ingredients in a saucepan and boil over moderate heat until brittle ball is formed in cold water; (on candy thermometer 260-265 F or 121-130 C).
  4. Immediately pour over nuts as evenly as possible and do not scrape saucepan.
  5. Let cool on a rack and break into pieces to serve.

Makes 16-18 pieces. Keep in a cool dry place, well hidden (only kidding) until ready to serve

Posted on September 8, 2015 and filed under desserts & sweets.

Whipped Shortbread

First published in Hot Off the Griddle #21, November 1993. From the Collection of Marg Dye

Yet another shortbread recipe. There can never be too many!


  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar


  1. Combine all ingredients and beat for 10 minutes. (A food processor works well and takes no time at all).
  2. Drop by teaspoon (do not press down) onto cookie sheet.
  3. Decorate with maraschino cherry pieces if you wish.
  4. Bake at 350F approximately 17 minutes or just until bottoms are lightly browned.

Makes approximately 3 dozen small cookies.

Posted on September 8, 2015 and filed under cookies & bars.

White Fruitcake

From Hot Off the Griddle #33.


  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 eggs, well beaten
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups almonds, blanched and halved
  • 1 cup finely chopped candied citron
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped candied orange peel
  • 1 cup finely chopped candied lemon peel
  • 1 cup dried apricots, cut in thin strips
  • 1 cup glacé red or green cherries, halved
  • 2 pounds seedless white Australian raisins
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped shredded coconut
  • 1 1/4 cups undrained crushed pineapple
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 2/3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt


Preheat oven to 275 deg. F. Grease four loaf pans (approx 9 × 5 × 3 inches); line with two layers heavy brown paper, greasing top layer well.

Cream butter until fluffy; gradually cream in sugar.
When fluffy and well-blended, add well-beaten eggs, a little at a time, along with three tablespoons flour.
Beat thoroughly after each addition.

Combine one-third cup flour, halved almonds, citron, candied orange and lemon peel, apricots, halved cherries, raisins and coconut, tossing so fruit is coated with flour.

Combine crushed pineapple, lemon rind and juice.

Sift together 1-2/3 cups flour, baking powder and salt.
Blend floured fruit into creamed mixture.
Gradually add pineapple mixture, then sifted dry ingredients, stirring just enough to sufficiently blend ingredients.
Spoon batter into prepared pans.

Bake in preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours.
Then increase oven heat to 300F and continue baking another 1 3/4 hours.
Keep a shallow pan of water on bottom of oven during baking period; check periodically as water will evaporate.

Baked cakes, once removed from oven, should be allowed to stand in pans, on wire racks for several hours to cool thoroughly and set. If a beverage of any kind (hmmmmm.... brandy, anyone?) is poured over the cakes, they should not be removed from pans for at least 24 hours. When thoroughly cool, invert pan on wire racks; remove paper.

To store cakes, wrap in cheese cloth that has been dipped in brandy, sauterne, dry sherry or apple juice; then overwrap in heavy waxed paper or aluminum foil; store in cool place.

Makes four 1 1/2 lb. cakes. Will keep at least 3 months.

Posted on September 8, 2015 and filed under desserts & sweets.