Christmas has a rich history all over the world and the way people celebrate it has changed over the years. After each decade, new practices come and they make the whole Christmas celebration even richer. Christmas is about customs and memories so that we can honor our past.
One beautiful part of the celebration is the Christmas trees. The decoration of Christmas trees started in Germany and then eventually they came in all homes celebrating Christmas. Christmas is all about celebrations, making beautiful Christmas trees and singing Christmas carols, none of these become complete without some good food. There are cakes, cupcakes, and cookies, Apple Cider, Leg of the Lamb, Roasted Turkey, Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkin Pies and Christmas candies.
Christmas is synonymous to treats and parties, the season of Christmas arrives, and people start making dishes and preparations that are tasty as well as attractive. A treat has to be full of all types of foods, like Turkey, Chicken, cookies, cakes and pies. Following is a recipe which will surely be a hit amongst all:
Festive Chocolate Bark
What you will need to make it:
- 1 cup of pistachio nuts
- Semisweet chocolate, 12 ounces
- White chocolate, 8 ounces
- Sweetened cranberries, dried, ¾ cup
How to make it:
- Heat the oven at 350 degrees and toast pistachio nuts on baking sheet. Keep them for 10 minutes and stir occasionally, and then let the nuts cool down.
- Melt the chocolate in a double boiler on simmering water, stir it till the time it becomes smooth. You can also microwave it in a bowl, without covering it, keep it for 2-3 minutes and stir once. Melt white chocolate individually by following same directions.
- Mix the cranberries and nuts and put them in semisweet chocolate. Use the spatula and spread the mixture in ½ inch thick layer over a cookie sheet. Also drop white chocolate over the dark chocolate. Using the tip of butter knife, swirl both chocolates and this will get marbled effect. Also sprinkle the left out berries and nuts.
- Keep the bark in the fridge for 1 hour till it becomes firm. Break it in pieces, then keep the bark in airtight container inside the fridge, it will stay for a month’s time.
The above recipe is perfect and can be consumed as a desert or standalone. It tastes delicious and looks great when packed in a cellophane bag.
We also have a Cake to make because, Christmas is not complete without a Christmas cake, and the cake is dark, rich and moist, made from fruits. We will make the icing from almond paste for the festive touch.
What we will need to make the cake:
- 8 ounces of candied cherries
- 8 ounces of citrus peel, candied
- 2 cups raisin
- 1 cup dried currants
- 1 cup of chopped and pitted dates
- 2 ounces of almonds
- ½ cup of brandy
- ½ cup of flour
- 2 cups of flour
- ½ teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of cloves
- 1 teaspoon of allspice
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 1 cup of butter
- 2 cups of brown sugar
- 6 eggs
- 2/4 cup of molasses
- ¾ cup of apple juice
How to make the cake:
- Mix the cherries, almonds, dates, citrus peel, raisins, currants and dates. Stir them in brandy, let them be there overnight. Dredge the fruit after soaking with ½ cup of flour.
- Preheat the oven at 275 degrees F. Take an 8x8x3 fruit pan and grease it. Line using parchment paper and grease it. In another bowl, mix 2 cups of flour, cloves, cinnamon, baking soda, allspice and salt. Set them aside.
- In another large bowl, cream the butter till it becomes light. Blend with eggs and sugar. Mix with apple juice and molasses. Beat in the mixture of butter alternately along with the flour mixture. Make 3 liquid and 4 dry additions. Fold this in floured fruit. Turn the batter in prepared pan.
- Bake in the oven for 31/2 hours, check using a toothpick if it comes out clean, then the cake is made. Remove this from the pan and lift the paper. Cool the cake and wrap in waxed paper, then store in airtight container.
Christmas treats to make
Christmas without Turkey will be incomplete, we will now make a dish which will be liked and remembered till the next Christmas and will keep you wanting for more.
Maple Roast Turkey and Gravy
This makes the perfect dinner, stuff it with Sausage, Apple Stuffing and Cranberry, add 2 spoons of dried marjoram to make it perfect.
What you need to make it:
- 2 cups of apple cider
- 1/3 cup of maple syrup
- 2 spoons of fresh thyme
- 2 spoons of fresh marjoram
- 2 ½ spoons of lemon zest, grated
- ¾ cup of butter
- Black Pepper and salt
- Whole Turkey, 14 pounds
- 2 cups of chopped onions
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 2 cups of chicken stock
- 1 spoon of fresh chopped thyme
- 2 spoons of flour
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 spoons of apple brandy
Preparation time for the recipe is 30 minutes and it will take 4 hours for it to be cooked. The steps for making this real Christmas delight are:
- Boil the apple cider and the maple syrup in a saucepan on medium heat till it gets reduced to ½ a cup. Remove it from heat and mix half of the marjoram and marjoram and all lemon zest. Add butter and beat it till it is melted. Add pepper and salt as per taste, cover this and keep in fridge till it becomes cold.
- Preheat the oven at 375 degrees and place the oven rack in the lowest part of oven. Wash the turkey and dry it, place it in roasting pan. Scrub ½ cup maple butter below the breast skin and stuff the turkey now in case you want to. Rup rest of the 1/3 cup maple butter on outside of turkey. Tie legs of turkey loosely with kitchen string.
- Arrange chopped carrot, chopped celery and chopped onion around turkey in roasting pan. Sprinkle marjoram and thyme on the vegetables, then pour chicken stock in the pan. Roast the turkey for 30 minutes in the oven. Reduce the temperature to 35 degrees F, cover the turkey with foil and continue roasting for 3-4 hours in case unstuffed, or 4-5 hours, in case it is stuffed. Shift the turkey to the platter and cover it with a foil. Keep the pan for gravy, let the turkey be there for 25 minutes and then remove it.
- For the gravy: Put the pan juice in measuring cup, remove fat from the juices, add chicken stock and make it 3 cups. Put the liquid in a saucepan and boil it, in another bowl, mix the maple butter with flour to make a paste, whisk in the broth. Also put the apple brandy, thyme and bay leaf. Boil till the time it is thick, add pepper and salt as per taste.
This recipe will not only be the biggest Christmas treat, but also will make for your guests to praise the preparation. Just try this and you will definitely make it for the next Christmas also.
Christmas treats for kids
When it comes to the kids, they are most excited and happy for Christmas. It is the time for celebration and gifts and they want to make the most of the festival. With a long Christmas break, each day is associated with some activity or celebration. We want to make Christmas special for the kids and to do this, one of the offerings can be a great recipe,
One of the recipes to make is Chocolate Cherry Clusters. It is a non-baked recipe and adults as well as kids will love this. It takes only three ingredients and they are melted chocolate, dried cherries and cornflakes cereal. This desert will be ready to eat in 15 minutes.
- 3 cups of cornflakes
- ½ cup of dried cherries
- 10 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, it should be chopped finely
How to make it
- In a bowl, break the cornflakes in small pieces and add cherries along, toss this.
- Take 2/3 cup of chocolate in heatproof bowl and keep over a pot of hot and simmering water. Stir till chocolate melts, for about 5 minutes. Then remove from heat and mix remaining chocolate and stir till it melts. Pour this on the cornflake mixture, using a rubber spatula, fold till cherries and cereal get coated.
- Drop and then heap tablespoonfuls on parchment covered baking sheets, let it cool and keep in dry place for 1 hour.
Serve the Clusters to children it will sure be a treat for them. Another recipe that we have for the kids is Pretzel Buttons; this is very attractive and will be liked a lot by them. This is a fast and easy recipe, it will need:
- Small Pretzels
- Hershey’s Kisses
How to prepare it:
- Top the pretzels with one Hershey’s Kiss each and put them in a preheated oven at 200ºF, keep them for 10 mins.
- Remove them and then press one m&m each on the top of every kiss. Let them cool and they are ready to eat.
Another recipe which will be liked by the kids is Rolled Sugar Cookies and you will need:
- 2 eggs
- ½ spoon of salt
- ½ cup of butter
- ½ cup of sugar
- ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 2.5 cups of flour
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- Sprinkles, icing and decors
How to make them:
- Preheat the oven at 350 degrees F and line with baking sheets using grease along with cooking spray.
- Use sugar and butter, blend till it becomes fluffy. Add egg and vanilla extract, mix well.
- Stir the flour, salt, baking powder and add to the wet ingredients. Stir using wooden spoon and dough will be formed. Wrap in plastic and chill this for 30 minutes.
- Divide the dough in 4 parts and roll over floured surface to make it ¼ inch thick. Cut using a cookie cutter and place over the prepared sheets.
- Bake this for 10-15 minutes and see that it becomes puffy. Cool it over the baking sheets for 3 minutes and place on the racks so that it cools down. Decorate this using sprinkles and icings.
Easy Christmas treats
There are some easy recipes which can be made with very less hard work and they will taste great. One of these recipes is called Glazed Ham, Coriander and Fennel
What it takes to make:
- 1 fully cooked ham of 7 pounds
- 2 tbsp. fennel seeds
- 2 tbsp. coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 cup preserved apricot
How to Prepare:
- Heat the oven at 375 degrees F
- Place Ham cut in a side down manner and place on rack in roasting pan. Cover this with foil and then bake for 40 mins.
- Using a pan, crush coriander, peppercorns and fennel. Mix them all with the apricot to make a coat.
- Put this coat over the Ham and then bake this. Do not cover and cook this for 20 minutes. Take another ¼ cup and put over the ham, bake till the ham gets heated and this will be for 20 mins. Approx. Slice thinly and serve with the remaining glaze.
Another Easy recipe to make this Christmas is called Lamb in Spices
What it takes to make the Recipe:
- 2 finely chopped onions
- 4 cloves of sliced cloves
- Ginger, 5 cm, shredded
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1.5 kg of lamb neck pieces, cut them in chunks
- 2 sticks of cinnamon
- 8 cloves
- 6 cardamom shells
- Saffron 1 pinch
- 2 pieces of bay leaves
- 2 tbsp. coriander, ground
- 3 tbsp. almonds, grounded
- 850 ml of beef stock
- 250 gm of dried apricots
How to prepare the dish:
- Fry onions, garlic and ginger in oil for 15 mins. Add lamb and fry till it becomes light brown. Add spices; cook till the spices release their flavor. Add almonds and then pour the stock, season as per taste.
- Cover pan and then simmer for 45 mins, stir occasionally. Add apricot; simmer for 15 mins till lamb turns tender. Put some water in the sauce to make it thinner.
- To freeze this, cool it down and then pack in a container in to the freezer. This will stay for 3 hours and then we can thaw it for 6 hours, and then reheat it in pan.
Healthy Christmas treats
Salad makes for the healthiest recipe in Christmas. The coleslaw salad looks pretty with ribbons of colored cabbage. It should be mixed with mustard dressing and it makes for the most popular salad.
What it takes to make this Salad:
- 500 gm of green cabbage
- 350 gm of red or purple cabbage
- 1 grated cabbage
For the mustard dressing:
- 1 spoon of wholegrain mustard
- 2 spoons of white vinegar
- 4 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. sea salt
- 1 tbsp. black pepper, ground
How to make this Salad:
- Slice the cabbage and place in salad bowl. Add the carrot.
- For the dressing, mix the ingredients in a glass jar, screw the lid and shake it well.
- Toss the dressing and put over the salad, then serve the salad.
Another Healthy recipe for Christmas is:
Green Beans and Crunchy almonds
You will need:
- 500 gm of green beans
- ½ cup of almonds
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 lemon rind, finely grated
How to make it:
- Heat oil in frying pan on medium heat
- Add almonds and fry them till they become golden brown
- Boil water in a saucepan, add beans, cook for 8 mins till they become tender
- Drain water from the beans and toss olive oil and the toasted almonds. Place this in serving dish, then top using lemon zest. Serve the healthy dish.
Gluten free Christmas treats
It may also be a case that you want to make something which is gluten free on the occasion of Christmas. Following is such a recipe.
Name of this recipe is Spiced Roast Beef and red wine gravy
What you will need to make this:
- 2 tbsp. of peppercorns
- 2tbsp. mustard seeds, black
- 2 tbsp. seeds of fennel
- 11/2 kg of beef
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. English mustard
- 3 onions, sliced in rounds
- Thyme leaves (to serve)
For the Gravy
- 400 ml of red wine
- 2 tbsp. of olive oil
- 2 tbsp. of corn flour
- 2 gluten free cubes of beef-stock
- 3 tbsp. of redcurrant jelly
Steps to make the dish
- Crush the peppercorns and the seeds. Brush mustard over the beef fillet, roll the peppercorn mix and make a coating. Cover this and then chill.
- Before cooking, take out the beef from fridge and bring it to room temperature.
- Heat the oven at 200 degrees Celsius. Then heat oil in pan, make the beef brown, season with salt. In the roasting tin, onions have to be spread for the beef to sit on. Roast for 30 mins and the beef will be done.
- Take the beef and keep on platter, cover it with foil so that it remains hot. This should be kept for 30 minutes. Tin should be set having onions and roasting juices on the hob, stir this in oil, stock cubes and corn flour. Mix the jelly and stir with wine as well as 400 ml of water. Simmer this for 15 mins till it gets reduced. Season and sieve in a pan, remove the onions. Slice beef and serve with gravy.
Another Gluten free recipe will be Pomegranate, Prawn and Grapefruit Salad:
What you will need:
- 2 tbsp. of olive oil
- 2 tbsp. of chopped chilies
- 300gm peeled, cooked prawns
- 2 handfuls of rocket
- 2 grapefruits
- 1 tbsp. of caster sugar
- 1 tbsp. of red vinegar
- 2 tbsp. of chopped dill
- ½ cucumber, diced
- 2 finely chopped shallots
- 2 handfuls of frisée, should be torn
- 100 gm pomegranate seeds
Steps for making the recipe:
- Whisk the dill, sugar, grapefruit zest, oil and vinegar to prepare a dressing. Mix half of this with prawns and marinate for 10 minutes.
- Toss the cucumber, rocket, shallots and frisée with rest of the dressing. Add this over 6 plates; add the prawns now and the grapefruit segments. Scatter pomegranate seeds and serve the dish.
After all the above different recipes, it is time for some different recipes.
Cute Christmas Treats
These are the ones which will attract kids especially as they have been prepared creatively and are liked by all. One of such a recipe is Fig, Chocolate and Oatmeal Cookies
What it takes to make
- 1 cup of dried figs, cut thinly
- 2 sticks of softened butter
- ¾ cup of brown sugar
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup of applesauce
- 1 tbsp. of vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cup of white flour
- 1 tbsp. of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- ½ tbsp. of sea salt
- 3 cups of oats
- 1 cup of chocolate chips
Preheat the oven at 375 degrees and pour ½ cup of boiling water on the figs. Cover and keep on a side to plump, after 15 minutes, drain it. Beat the butter and the sugars in a bowl of electric mixer and it should become fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla and applesauce and beat the mixture.
In another bowl, stir the applesauce, cinnamon, baking soda and flour. Stir to make dough. Also, stir the chocolate pieces, plumped figs and oats using a wooden spoon.
Scoop the dough in sized portions using the tablespoon, arrange on the cookie sheets so that there is space between cookies. Bake till they are cooked and become golden brown, this should be for 10 minutes. Serve them warm.
Another recipe which is sweet and will be liked by all is:
Christmas Hamm Cupcake
What it takes to make:
- Pink frosting
- Chocolate chips
- Glue dots
- Baked Cupcakes
- Pink candy
- Kitchen scissors
- Green or red ribbon
- Sprinkles, brown and red
- Jelly beans
How to prepare it:
- Fill the shells with whipped cream.
- For the nose of the Hamm, use pink Candy, turn them down. Make nostril grooves using a toothpick into the wafer and press gently red sprinkle in each of the grooves.
- Press pair of chocolate chips as eyes and also chocolate sprinkle the eyebrows on nose of each of the cupcakes.
- For the ears, use the jelly bean lengthwise in halves. Press ears in the frosting over the eyes.
- Tie pieces of ribbons as bows and use glue dots to attach these to the cupcake liner.