Gluten-free Brown Sugar Fudge Square

Gluten-free Brown Sugar Fudge Square
Gluten-free Brown Sugar Fudge Square

If you like brown sugar fudge, you’ll love this Gluten-free Brown Sugar Fudge Square, even if you aren’t gluten-intolerant or on a grain-restrictive diet! With a cake-type base, it’s the fudge icing that makes this square and takes it from plain to yummy. It’s like having cake and candy at the same time!

I use 1-to-1 gluten-free baking flour along with a small amount of coconut flour in this square.  The coconut flour blends well with the shredded coconut in the recipe and gives the square extra flavor.  Super easy square to make.

Gluten-free Brown Sugar Fudge Square
Gluten-free Brown Sugar Fudge Square

The slightly tricky part is making the icing as it will “set up” very fast.  Make sure you have all the ingredients pre-measured and at hand when you start to make the icing.  It’s essential that the icing sugar be sifted to remove any lumps as there won’t be any time to work out any lumps when beating the icing sugar into the hot butter-sugar mixture. Once the icing starts to thicken, work quickly to spread it over the square.

This square freezes beautifully and is great to have on hand when you just need to have something sweet!

Gluten-free Brown Sugar Fudge Square
Gluten-free Brown Sugar Fudge Square

[Printable version of recipe follows at end of posting]

Gluten-free Brown Sugar Fudge Square

Ingredients:

Square
½ cup minus 1 tbsp butter, softened at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1 extra-large egg (at room temperature for 20 minutes)
½ tsp pure vanilla
1 cup 1-to-1 gluten-free baking flour
2 tbsp coconut flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
1/3 cup milk
½ cup shredded coconut

Icing
3 tbsp butter, softened at room temperature
¾ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
3 tbsp cream
1 cup sifted icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Walnut halves for decoration (optional)

Method:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease or, alternatively, line 9” square baking pan with tin foil and spray with cooking oil.

Square:  Cream butter and sugar together.  Add the egg and beat well to combine with butter-sugar mixture.  Beat in vanilla.

Sift the 1-to-1 gluten-free flour, coconut flour, baking powder, and salt together.  Add the dry ingredients and milk to the creamed mixture in three parts (3 parts dry and 2 parts wet) starting and ending with the dry ingredients.  Beat for 1 minute longer on medium speed. Fold in the shredded coconut.  Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.

Bake for 30-32 minutes or until cake tester inserted into center of square comes out clean.  Remove square from oven and place on wire rack to cool completely.

Icing:  When square has cooled, make the icing by combining the butter and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat.  Stir until both have melted/dissolved.  Add the cream.  Bring mixture to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat and, with an electric hand mixer, beat in the icing sugar until mixture starts to thicken.  Immediately stir in the vanilla and, working quickly (as this icing will “set up” very fast), spread the icing evenly over square.  Score cutting lines on square and, if desired, place one walnut half on each individual square. Let icing set completely before cutting squares.

Yield: One 9” pan of squares

Gluten-free Brown Sugar Fudge Square
Gluten-free Brown Sugar Fudge Square

Gluten-free Brown Sugar Fudge Square

Yield: 1 - 9" pan of squares

An old-fashioned fudge square made with gluten-free flour and topped with brown sugar fudge icing.

Ingredients

  • Square
  • ½ cup minus 1 tbsp butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 extra-large egg (at room temperature for 20 minutes)
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla
  • 1 cup 1-to-1 gluten-free baking flour
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • Icing
  • 3 tbsp butter, softened at room temperature
  • ¾ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 3 tbsp cream
  • 1 cup sifted icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Walnut halves for decoration (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease or, alternatively, line 9” square baking pan with tin foil and spray with cooking oil.
  2. Square: Cream butter and sugar together. Add the egg and beat well to combine with butter-sugar mixture. Beat in vanilla.
  3. Sift the 1-to-1 gluten-free flour, coconut flour, baking powder, and salt together. Add the dry ingredients and milk to the creamed mixture in three parts (3 parts dry and 2 parts wet) starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Beat for 1 minute longer on medium speed. Fold in the shredded coconut. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.
  4. Bake for 30-32 minutes or until cake tester inserted into center of square comes out clean. Remove square from oven and place on wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Icing: When square has cooled, make the icing by combining the butter and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until both have melted/dissolved. Add the cream. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and, with an electric hand mixer, beat in the icing sugar until mixture starts to thicken. Immediately stir in the vanilla and, working quickly (as this icing will “set up” very fast), spread the icing evenly over square. Score cutting lines on square and, if desired, place one walnut half on each individual square. Let icing set completely before cutting squares.
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Fudge Squares

Gluten Free Fudge Squares

Turkey Chowder Recipe

Turkey Chowder is the perfect way to use up leftover turkey.  It’s a welcome tummy-warming and tasty chowder for cold winter days and is a real treat after skiing, a long winter walk, snowshoeing, or coasting on the snow-covered hills. Serve with warm rolls or biscuits straight from the oven for an extra special treat.

Homemade Chowder
Turkey Chowder

I make this chowder throughout the year, not just after Christmas or Thanksgiving when I have roasted a turkey.  If you don’t have the leftovers from a turkey, simply buy and roast turkey breasts. Dice up the cooked meat and, voilà, you have the needed turkey for a tasty chowder.

Turkey Chowder
Homemade Turkey Chowder

Apart from the soothing, comfort-food taste, two things I like most about this chowder: First, its simplicity of basic ingredients used and, second, the easy method used to make the chowder.

Like any great soup or chowder, this one starts with the aromatics. The flavor base for this chowder is a basic French Mirepoix. This is nothing more than a combination of three humble vegetables finely chopped and sautéed in butter –  onion, celery, and carrots.  These three veggies alone form the foundational flavor base for many dishes. Ever walk into a home or restaurant and pick up the heady scent of these veggies being sautéed? That’s the French Mirepoix in the making and you just know that something good is going to come from it!  It’s important that the veggies be finely chopped so they will release their flavor and aroma early in the cooking process. It’s also important to allow the necessary time for them to sauté. For example, if all you did was dump all the ingredients for this chowder into a pot all at once, the flavor would be very bland. This is because the onion, celery, and carrots need time to release their flavors and this is what will give the deep, well-rounded flavor in soups or chowders.

Homemade Turkey Chowder
Turkey Chowder

Once the French Mirepoix is well underway, add the next layer of aromatics – the dried summer savory and the garlic salt.  Summer savory is a very common herb to use as a poultry seasoning here on Prince Edward Island and I always have to have summer savory for my poultry stuffing/dressing.  Add the next layer of aromatics – mushrooms and red pepper.  Now you have the flavor base for the chowder.

Chowders are, by nature, thick consistency.  My recipe calls for a couple of tablespoons of all-purpose flour.  The flour is simply sprinkled over the aromatic mixture in the pot and stirred in. This is followed by the addition of chicken stock (or turkey stock if you have used the turkey carcass to make your own) and cubed potato. Make sure you stir the mixture well to ensure there are no lumps forming from the flour – nobody likes a lumpy chowder. The base for the chowder should be silky smooth.  Very slowly add the milk all the while continuing to stir the mixture to keep it lump-free. Don’t boil the chowder but, instead, allow it to heat slowly before adding the cooked turkey, creamed corn which lends a sweetness to the chowder, and grated Parmesan cheese.  Taste the chowder and add salt and pepper to taste, if desired.  The chowder is done when it is heated through, the Parmesan cheese has melted and been incorporated into the chowder, and the cubes of potato are just fork tender – don’t cook them to mush.

This hearty chowder is perfect served with rolls, biscuits, or your favorite crackers.

Turkey Chowder
Homemade Turkey Chowder

[Printable recipe follows at end of posting]

Turkey Chowder

Ingredients:

2 tbsp butter
¾ cup onion, chopped
½ cup celery, chopped
½ cup carrots, diced
3 oz white button mushrooms, sliced
¼ cup red pepper, chopped
1½ – 2 tsp dried summer savory
¾ tsp garlic salt
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup potato, diced
1¼ cups milk
2 cup cooked turkey, cubed
1 – 10oz can creamed corn
Sprinkle salt and pepper, to taste
3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Method:

Melt butter in large soup pot.  Add onions, celery, and carrots and cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Sprinkle the mixture with summer savory and garlic salt. Increase heat to medium-high and add mushrooms and red pepper and cook 3-4 minutes, continuing to stir vegetables often.

Sprinkle flour over the vegetables and stir for 1-2 minutes.  Add the chicken stock and potato. Bring to a boil, stirring to ensure flour is incorporated and not lumpy.  Reduce heat to medium-low and slowly add the milk while stirring the mixture. Cook, stirring mixture, for approximately 2 minutes.

Add the cooked turkey, creamed corn, salt, pepper, and grated Parmesan.  Heat to melt the cheese and ensure potato is fork tender but do not boil chowder.  Serve hot with rolls, biscuits, or crackers.

Yield: Apx. 4-5 servings

Turkey Chowder Recipe

Yield: Apx. 4-5 servings

A thick, flavorful chowder that uses leftover cooked turkey, aromatic vegetables, creamed corn, and Parmesan cheese, all seasoned with dried summer savory

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ¾ cup onion, chopped
  • ½ cup celery, chopped
  • ½ cup carrots, diced
  • 3 oz white button mushrooms, sliced
  • ¼ cup red pepper, chopped
  • 1½ - 2 tsp dried summer savory
  • ¾ tsp garlic salt
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup potato, diced
  • 1¼ cups milk
  • 2 cup cooked turkey, cubed
  • 1 – 10oz can creamed corn
  • Sprinkle salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Melt butter in large soup pot. Add onions, celery, and carrots and cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Sprinkle the mixture with summer savory and garlic salt. Increase heat to medium-high and add mushrooms and red pepper and cook 3-4 minutes, continuing to stir vegetables often.
  2. Sprinkle flour over the vegetables and stir for 1-2 minutes. Add the chicken stock and potato. Bring to a boil, stirring to ensure flour is incorporated and not lumpy. Reduce heat to medium-low and slowly add the milk while stirring the mixture. Cook, stirring mixture, for approximately 2 minutes.
  3. Add the cooked turkey, creamed corn, salt, pepper, and grated Parmesan. Heat to melt the cheese and ensure potato is fork tender but do not boil chowder. Serve hot with rolls, biscuits, or crackers.
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Turkey Chowder
Turkey Chowder

 

Homemade Turkey Chowder
Turkey Chowder

“Just Hear Those Sleigh Bells Jinglin” Tablesetting

Just hear those sleigh bells jinglin’, ring ting tinglin’, to…..This is the song this tablesetting brings to my mind. Set with 222 Fifth’s Andover pattern, this dinnerware features a horse and sleigh in front of an old log cabin.  This dinnerware evokes a very nostalgic setting that is reminiscent of Christmas past.

The border on the outside of each plate is a rust-red shade with ivory pinecones and holly.  The horse and sleigh design is gray on an ivory background. This design appears only on the supper plate.  The dinner plate has a plain center which allows the food to present well on it.

The cereal/soup bowl features only the log cabin design in the bottom of the bowl.

I used an off-white tablescloth and matching napkins to connect to the background in the dinnerware. Holly-berry napkin rings make napkin preparation very easy and add, what I call, jewelry to the table.

It seemed only fitting that the centerpiece for the table should feature a sleigh.

And, of course, who should be in the sleigh but old St. Nick!

And, here is a look at the table all set for dinner!

I added a few small tree candles to draw in that feature from the dinnerware design.

This is a very pretty set of dishes and, keeping the centerpiece simple, they get to be the stars on the table.

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To view photos of other Holiday tablesettings, click on the links below:

Glitz ‘n Glamour New Year’s Eve Tablesetting
The Warmth of the Christmas Light Tablesetting
Christmas Eve Tablesetting and Dinner
A Tartan Holiday Tablesetting
Pretty Poinsettia Tablesetting
Poinsettia Trio Tablesetting
The Holiday Table
The Pink and Green Holiday Table
Christmas at My Island Bistro Kitchen
Purple Tablesetting for the Holidays
Evergreens and Reindeer Christmas Tablesetting
Cupcake Tablescape
Twas The Night Before Christmas

Gluten-free Melting Moments Cookies

Gluten-free Melting Moments
Gluten-free Melting Moments

These gluten-free melting moments cookies prove that being on a gluten-free diet does not mean one has to compromise on favorite sweet treats!

I use a 1-to-1 gluten-free baking flour, such as Bob’s Red Mills brand, for these cookies.  I also add a small amount of very finely ground almonds to the batter as this lends a tenderness to the cookie crumb which justifies the name of the cookies because they do melt in the mouth!

Gluten-free Melting Moments
Gluten-free Melting Moments

These cookies are very easy to make. Mix up the dough. Pinch off small amounts of the dough and form into small balls. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets and flatten with the tines of a fork. Bake. It’s really no more complicated than that!

Gluten-free Melting Moment Cookie
Gluten-free Melting Moment Cookie

[Printable recipe follows at end of posting]

Gluten-Free Melting Moments

Ingredients:
½ cup butter, softened at room temperature
¼ cup icing sugar (aka confectioner’s sugar or powdered sugar)
¼ tsp pure vanilla
½ cup 1-to-1 gluten-free baking flour
¼ cup finely ground almonds
¼ cup cornstarch

Method:

Preheat oven to 325°F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cream butter.  Add the icing sugar and cream well with the butter.  Mix in vanilla.

In separate bowl, whisk the flour, ground almonds, and cornstarch together. Add to the creamed mixture and blend until well incorporated.

Form dough into small round balls (apx. 5/8 oz dough per ball).  Place balls on prepared baking sheets, about 2“ apart, and flatten each ball with the tines of a fork.  Decorate with small bits of maraschino cherries, if desired.

Bake for approximately 15-18 minutes, just until edges of cookies start to tint a golden tan color. Don’t over-bake. Let cool on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes then transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely.

Yield:  Apx. 1½ dozen cookies

Gluten-free Melting Moments
Gluten-free Melting Moments

Gluten-free Melting Moments Cookies

Yield: Apx. 1 1/2 dozen

These melt-in-your-mouth gluten-free melting moments cookies have a tender crumb and delicate butter and almond flavor.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup butter, softened at room temperature
  • ¼ cup icing sugar (aka confectioner’s sugar or powdered sugar)
  • ¼ tsp pure vanilla
  • ½ cup 1-to-1 gluten-free baking flour
  • ¼ cup finely ground almonds
  • ¼ cup cornstarch

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper
  2. Cream butter. Add the icing sugar and cream well with the butter. Mix in vanilla.
  3. In separate bowl, whisk the flour, ground almonds, and cornstarch together. Add to the creamed mixture and blend until well incorporated.
  4. Form dough into small round balls (apx. 5/8 oz dough per ball). Place balls on prepared baking sheets, about 2“ apart, and flatten each ball with the tines of a fork. Decorate with small bits of maraschino cherries, if desired.
  5. Bake for approximately 15-18 minutes, just until edges of cookies start to tint a golden tan color. Don’t over-bake. Let cool on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes then transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely.
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Gluten Free Melting Moments
Gluten Free Melting Moments
Gluten-free Melting Moments
Gluten-free Melting Moments

For other tasty gluten-free cookie recipes, click on the links below:

Gluten Free Lemon-Filled Thumbprint Cookies
Gluten Free Snickerdoodles
Gluten-free Earl Grey Cranberry-Orange Shortbread

Gluten-Free Earl Grey Cranberry-Orange Shortbread

Gluten-Free Shortbread
Gluten-Free Earl Grey Cranberry-Orange Shortbread

These easy-to-make gluten-free Earl Grey Cranberry-Orange Shortbread cookies are brimming with flavor. The ground Earl Grey tea leaves lend a subtle hint of tea flavor as well as add wonderful specks of interest in the cookies.  The addition of the dried cranberries and grated orange rind make these very flavorful and tasty cookies.

Gluten-free Shortbread
Gluten-Free Earl Grey Cranberry-Orange Shortbread

I have been having very good success using 1-to-1 gluten-free baking flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill, for my gluten-free baking.  The addition of finely ground almonds adds both flavor and a layer of tenderness to the shortbread crumb.

Gluten-Free Shortbread
Gluten-Free Earl Grey Cranberry-Orange Shortbread

I use my old coffee grinder to grind the loose tea leaves very finely. This releases their essence which, in turn, infuses the dough with the tea aromatic. Use dried, not fresh or frozen, cranberries for these cookies and make sure they are chopped quite finely.

The dough will be quite soft so form it into a round log shape, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or waxed paper, and refrigerate it for 2-3 hours before slicing and baking. Refrigerating the dough helps to firm it up enough so that, when sliced with a sharp knife, the slices cut cleanly. Empty cardboard paper towel rolls make great cylinder “sleeves” in which to chill the cookie dough because they help to keep the round shape. Simply slit open the paper towel roll, place the wrapped cookie log inside the “sleeve”, draw the edges of the cylinder together, and secure with tape. Rotate the cookie dough log a couple of times during the chilling process to distribute its weight and help to keep the round shape.

These cookies are a great addition to the menu of anyone on a gluten-free diet. In fact, anyone can enjoy these cookies, regardless whether they have a sensitivity or intolerance to gluten or not – I’ll bet you’d never guess they’re made with gluten-free flour!

Gluten-free Shortbread
Gluten-Free Earl Grey Cranberry-Orange Shortbread

[Printable recipe follows at end of posting]

Gluten-Free Earl Grey Cranberry-Orange Shortbread

Ingredients:

½ cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
½ cup sifted icing sugar (aka confectioner’s or powdered sugar)
¾ tsp finely grated orange rind
1/2 tsp pure vanilla
1/8 tsp almond flavoring

¾ cup 1-to-1 gluten-free baking flour
¼ cup finely-ground almonds
1½ tbsp cornstarch
¼ tsp salt
¾ tsp finely ground Earl Grey tea leaves

¼ cup finely chopped dried cranberries

Method:

Cream butter and sugar together until smooth.  Beat in orange rind, vanilla, and almond flavoring.

Whisk flour, ground almonds, cornstarch, salt and ground tea leaves together.  Blend dry ingredients into creamed mixture until just combined.  Stir in cranberries.

Form dough into log approximately 1½” in diameter.  Wrap tightly in wax paper or plastic wrap. Slit open an empty paper towel cardboard cylinder and place cookie log in cylinder.  Draw cylinder sides together and secure with masking tape.  Refrigerate cookie log for 2-3 hours, turning roll every hour or so to distribute the weight of the log and to keep the shape round. (Unbaked cookie logs may be stored for 2-3 days in the refrigerator before baking, provided they are stored in sealed plastic bags or airtight containers.)

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. With a sharp knife, slice cookie log into ¼” thick slices.  Place cookies on prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies about 1½” apart.  Bake for 20-21 minutes, or until edges of cookies start to tint golden brown, rotating baking sheet half way through the baking.  Let cookies cool on sheets for 3-4 minutes and then transfer to wire rack to finish cooling completely.

Store in airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks or freeze for longer storage.

Yield:  Approximately 24 cookies

Gluten-Free Earl Grey Cranberry-Orange Shortbread

Yield: Apx. 24 cookies

A flavorful gluten-free shortbread cookie infused with a hint of Earl Grey tea and flavored with grated orange rind and dried cranberries.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • ½ cup sifted icing sugar (aka confectioner’s or powdered sugar)
  • ¾ tsp finely grated orange rind
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp almond flavoring
  • ¾ cup 1-to-1 gluten-free baking flour
  • ¼ cup finely-ground almonds
  • 1½ tbsp cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp finely ground Earl Grey tea leaves
  • ¼ cup finely chopped dried cranberries

Instructions

  1. Cream butter and sugar together until smooth. Beat in orange rind, vanilla, and almond flavoring.
  2. Whisk flour, ground almonds, cornstarch, salt and ground tea leaves together. Blend dry ingredients into creamed mixture until just combined. Stir in cranberries.
  3. Form dough into log approximately 1½” in diameter. Wrap tightly in wax paper or plastic wrap. Slit open an empty paper towel cardboard cylinder and place cookie log in cylinder. Draw cylinder sides together and secure with masking tape. Refrigerate cookie log for 2-3 hours, turning roll every hour or so to distribute the weight of the log and to keep the shape round. (Unbaked cookie logs may be stored for 2-3 days in the refrigerator before baking, provided they are stored in sealed plastic bags or airtight containers.)
  4. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. With a sharp knife, slice cookie log into ¼” thick slices. Place cookies on prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies about 1½” apart. Bake for 20-21 minutes, or until edges of cookies start to tint golden brown, rotating baking sheet half way through the baking. Let cookies cool on sheets for 3-4 minutes and then transfer to wire rack to finish cooling completely.
  5. Store in airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks or freeze for longer storage.
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Gluten Free Earl Grey Cranberry-Orange Shortbread
Gluten Free Earl Grey Cranberry-Orange Shortbread

 

 

 

 

 

Gluten-Free Shortbread
Gluten-Free Earl Grey Cranberry-Orange Shortbread

Looking for more great gluten-free cookie recipes?  Check out these from My Island Bistro Kitchen:

Melting Moments
Snickerdoodles
Lemon-Filled Thumbprint Cookies

Christmas Icebox Cookies Recipe

Icebox Cookies
Christmas Icebox Cookies

Christmas Icebox Cookies are a tradition in my household.  There are many varieties of cookies that beg to be made, shared, and eaten over the holiday period and these are always a perennial favorite.

The richness of the butter and sugar combined with the slight chewiness of the mixed glazed fruit and currants results in a tasty and flavorful cookie. Use finely chopped fruit and the small currants for these delicate cookies.

Christmas Cookies
Christmas Icebox Cookies

Icebox cookies are very easy to make and don’t take any unusual or difficult-to-find ingredients. The dough gets divided into thirds and then each third is formed into a round log shape, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or waxed paper and refrigerated for at least 3-4 hours before slicing and baking. This is because the dough needs time to firm up enough to be able to cut clean-edge slices.

Plan ahead and save three empty paper towel cardboard cylinders.  Slit up the length of the cylinders, these make great “sleeves” for the cookie logs and help to keep the shape of the logs round, or reasonably so. Secure the cylinders closed with tape.

Make sure to rotate the cylinders every hour or so during the 3-4 hours of dough chilling as this will help to distribute the weight of the dough and aid in keeping the cookie log round. When ready to bake the cookies, simply unwrap the chilled logs and, with a sharp flat-bladed knife, cut the logs into 1/4″ slices, place on parchment-lined baking sheets, and bake for 8-10 minutes. These cookie logs can be made two to three days in advance of baking and kept in the refrigerator so they are a great make-ahead cookie dough.

Icebox Cookies
Christmas Cookies

One of the great things about icebox cookies is that they can be made ahead and frozen, either before or after baking. Store the unbaked cookie logs in sealed bags in the freezer until they are needed. Simply let the dough sit at room temperature for approximately 30 minutes or so before slicing and baking.  They’re also great to have on hand if unexpected guests drop by – you can pop a pan of the cookies in the oven and have your house smell tantalizing while your guests await fresh-from-the-oven cookies!

These make great host/hostess gifts, too, either baked or unbaked. A festive tin filled with these delectable cookies will be a sure hit with anyone.

Icebox Cookies
Christmas Tin of Icebox Cookies

They’re also fun to package in cute little bags. Who doesn’t love to get a bag with homemade cookies inside!

If you wish to let the host/hostess bake the cookies when they so desire, simply wrap a chilled or frozen cookie log decoratively and include the baking instructions.

Christmas Cookies

Sometimes, I’ll enclose a small log of unbaked cookies in a little decorative bag and add a few of the baked cookies just to whet the recipient’s appetite!

Christmas Cookies
Icebox Cookies

These are easy-to-make, flavorful cookies that are very versatile – they look great on sweet trays, are easy to package in boxes, tins, or bags for gifts, and they are also wonderful treats in lunch bags, too!

[Printable recipe follows at end of posting.]

Christmas Icebox Cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup butter, softened at room temperature
1 2/3 cups brown sugar, lightly packed
2 extra large eggs
1 tsp vanilla

3¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt

1 cup mixed glazed fruit
½ cup currants

Method:

Cream butter and sugar until smooth.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Stir in vanilla.

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.  Beat into creamed mixture until dry ingredients are combined.  Stir in cherries and currants until blended into dough.

Divide dough into thirds and shape each portion of dough into three separate logs, each approximately 2” in diameter.  Wrap tightly in wax paper or plastic wrap. Slit open 3 empty paper towel cardboard cylinders and place one cookie log in each cylinder.  Draw cylinder sides together and secure the cylinders with masking tape.  Refrigerate cookie logs for 3-4 hours, turning rolls every hour or so to distribute the weight of the logs and to keep the shape round. (Unbaked cookie logs may be stored for 2-3 days in the refrigerator before baking, provided they are stored in sealed plastic bags or airtight containers.)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. With a sharp knife, slice cookie logs into ¼” thick slices.  Place cookies on prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies about 1½” apart.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned.  Let cookies cool on sheets for 3-4 minutes and then transfer to wire rack to finish cooling completely.

Store in airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks or freeze for longer storage.

Unbaked cookie logs may be frozen in tightly sealed bags or containers for up to 2 months.  Remove logs from freezer and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes or so before slicing and baking as above.

Yield:  Approximately 5½ dozen cookies

Christmas Icebox Cookies Recipe

Yield: Apx. 5 1/2 dozen

Traditional buttery-rich Christmas icebox cookies filled with mixed glazed fruit and currants.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cups brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup mixed glazed fruit
  • ½ cup currants

Instructions

  1. Cream butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla.
  2. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Beat into creamed mixture until dry ingredients are combined. Stir in cherries and currants until blended into dough.
  3. Divide dough into thirds and shape each portion of dough into three separate logs, each approximately 2” in diameter. Wrap tightly in wax paper or plastic wrap. Slit open 3 empty paper towel cardboard cylinders and place one cookie log in each cylinder. Draw cylinder sides together and secure the cylinders with masking tape. Refrigerate cookie logs for 3-4 hours, turning rolls every hour or so to distribute the weight of the logs and to keep the shape round. (Unbaked cookie logs may be stored for 2-3 days in the refrigerator before baking, provided they are stored in sealed plastic bags or airtight containers.)
  4. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. With a sharp knife, slice cookie logs into ¼” thick slices. Place cookies on prepared baking sheets, spacing the cookies about 1½” apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned. Let cookies cool on sheets for 3-4 minutes and then transfer to wire rack to finish cooling completely.
  5. Store in airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks or freeze for longer storage.
  6. Unbaked cookie logs may be frozen in tightly sealed bags or containers for up to 2 months. Remove logs from freezer and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes or so before slicing and baking as above.
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For more great Christmas cookie recipes, click on the links below:

Marvelous Melting Moments
Molasses Spice Cookies

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Icebox Cookies
Christmas Icebox Cookies
Christmas Icebox Cookies

The Christmas Greens Holiday Tablesetting

I’m going with a green theme for this seasonal Christmas Greens Holiday Tablesetting, drawing the color scheme from the green leaves in my Royal Albert “Lavender Rose” china.

I often like to use a three-piece floral centerpiece featuring one larger arrangement flanked by two smaller satellites.

There is no need to completely replicate the smaller satellites to match the main arrangement entirely. However, the satellites should draw one or more colors and flowers from the central arrangement so that the three arrangements all connect and tie together.

During the Christmas season, I keep buckets of various types of greenery in my garage and then use them in arrangements.  I like to limit the selection of flowers to two to three colors but use different kinds of flowers in the same colors. Here I have used two different kinds of white flowers and two different green flowers.

Floral centerpieces need not cost a lot. I often buy packages of supermarket flowers and use them to build the centerpieces.  Economical containers can often be found in dollar stores.

I also like to use different shapes and textures of greenery, flowers, and berries. They add interest and depth to arrangements.

Adding a pine cone or two always adds interest to Christmas arrangements.

One of the advantages of this style of centerpiece is that various juxtapositions can be used with them on the table – the arrangements can be placed in a straight line, at angles to each other, close together to make it look like one large centerpiece, or spaced apart for distinctly unique pieces.

I’m letting the wood in my table shine in this tablesetting as opposed to covering it with a tablecloth.  I am using a white placemat for each setting. The gold charger plates pick up the gold rim of the china and add an air of elegance to the table.

I like the shape and colors in this china pattern. The shades of pink, lavender, and green in the pattern lend themselves to a wide variety of color options for the tablesetting.

Royal Albert “Lavender Rose” China

A simple pointed pocket fold for the napkin provides a nest for the forks.  This type of fold works particularly well for napkins that, like these, have a motif on one corner.

One sure way to add sparkle to any table is to use glassware with lots of cuts. Sometimes, I mix and match my glassware but, since I am using my formal china in this setting, I decided to use all the same pattern of glassware.

This is the look when all the elements of the tablesetting are put together.  The other great thing about the trio of floral arrangements is that, if the table is larger, there can be more than one larger centerpiece and/or more satellites to extend down the length of the table. It’s the type of centerpiece that is scaleable to the size of the table.

I hope you have enjoyed viewing my Christmas Greens holiday tablesetting.

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Christmas Greens Tablesetting

For more holiday tablescape inspiration, click on the links below:

Glitz ‘n Glamour New Year’s Eve Tablesetting
The Warmth of the Christmas Light Tablesetting
Christmas Eve Tablesetting and Dinner
A Tartan Holiday Tablesetting
Pretty Poinsettia Tablesetting
Poinsettia Trio Tablesetting
The Holiday Table
The Pink and Green Holiday Table
Christmas at My Island Bistro Kitchen
Purple Tablesetting for the Holidays
Evergreens and Reindeer Christmas Tablesetting
Cupcake Tablescape
Twas The Night Before Christmas

Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur Recipe

Irish Cream Liqueur
Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur

Making homemade Irish Cream Liqueur is very easy – it’s a matter of simply combining all the ingredients in a blender and blending on high for 25-30 seconds.  Easy-peasy.

This liqueur will keep, tightly sealed in a sterilized bottle, in the refrigerator for the length of time the fresh cream used in the recipe will stay fresh as noted on the cream carton or bottle.

It’s important to shake the liqueur well before using . This liqueur serves well over ice or mixed with eggnog (1 part liqueur to 2 parts eggnog).  Of course, it can also be used in a multitude of other ways as well, such as a flavorful coffee creamer.

Irish Cream
Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur

Presented in decorative bottles, this makes a wonderful host or hostess gift.

[Printable recipe follows at end of posting]

Irish Cream Liqueur

Ingredients:

1 cup 18% fresh cream
1 – 300ml can condensed milk
1½ cups whiskey
2½ tbsp chocolate syrup
2 tbsp cold strong brewed coffee
2 tsp pure vanilla
¾ tsp almond flavoring

Method:
Combine all ingredients in blender and blend on high for apx. 25-30 seconds, just until ingredients are blended.  Transfer liqueur to sterilized decorative bottle.  Seal tightly.

Store in refrigerator for the length of time the fresh cream used in the recipe is “best before”.  Shake liqueur well before serving.

To serve, pour liqueur into glass and add ice.

Yield:  Apx. 1 litre

Serving Suggestion:  Pour 1 part liqueur into glass and top with 2 parts eggnog.  Add ice and serve.

Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur Recipe

Yield: Apx. 1 litre

Ingredients

  • 1 cup 18% fresh cream
  • 1 – 300ml can condensed milk
  • 1½ cups whiskey
  • 2½ tbsp chocolate syrup
  • 2 tbsp cold strong brewed coffee
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla
  • ¾ tsp almond flavoring

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in blender and blend on high for apx. 25-30 seconds, just until ingredients are blended. Transfer liqueur to sterilized decorative bottle. Seal tightly.
  2. Store in refrigerator for the length of time the fresh cream used in the recipe is “best before”. Shake liqueur well before serving.
  3. To serve, pour liqueur into glass and add ice.
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Click on this link for my recipe for Irish Cream French Toast.

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Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur
Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur

 

Irish Cream
Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur

Steamed Carrot Pudding Recipe

This Carrot Pudding is an old-fashioned steamed pudding made with very plain, simple ingredients – it doesn’t get much more plain than grated carrots and shredded potato!

Christmas Pudding

This pudding is less rich and sweet than a traditional plum pudding.  The blend of spices gives this pudding its flavor. Well, that and rum-soaked raisins!

Steamed Pudding
Steamed Carrot Pudding

Steamed puddings are not difficult to make but they do take a little time since they steam slowly in a pot of hot water for several hours. They can be made in a decorative mould such as I have used for the pudding in these photographs or a simple tin can can be used.  The benefit of a special mould is that it has a cover that locks on to the top of the base of the mould to hold in the steam as the pudding cooks.  However, a double layer of tin foil secured with string can do the same trick with puddings made in cans.

For this recipe, I grate the carrots and shred the potatoes.  As a frame of reference, this is the size of shredder I use for the potatoes.

Shredded Potato
Shredded Potato

And, for the carrots, I use a finer grater to achieve this degree of coarseness of grated carrots.

Grated Carrot
Grated Carrot

This pudding is easily made gluten-free.  Simply replace the 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour with an equal amount of Gluten-Free 1-to-1 baking flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill brand.

Carrot Pudding
Steamed Carrot Pudding

Add a dusting of confectioner’s sugar (aka icing sugar or powdered sugar) at time of serving, if desired.

Steamed Pudding
Steamed Carrot Pudding with a Dusting of Confectioner’s Sugar

Serve this pudding warm with brown sugar sauce or eggnog sauce.

Christmas Pudding
Steamed Carrot Pudding with Brown Sugar Sauce

You can find my recipe for the brown sugar sauce in the link at the end of this posting for traditional plum pudding. And, the recipe for the eggnog sauce, can be found in the link for my steamed cranberry pudding.

Steamed Pudding
Steamed Carrot Pudding Served with Brown Sugar Sauce

[Printable recipe follows at end of posting]

Steamed Carrot Pudding

Ingredients:
1 cup sultana raisins
2 tbsp rum

1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp allspice
1/8 tsp nutmeg
Pinch cloves

½ cup butter, softened at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 large egg

1 cup peeled and grated raw carrots
1 cup peeled and shredded raw potatoes

Method:
In small bowl, sprinkle the rum over the raisins.  Set aside.

Sift dry ingredients together.  Set aside.

In large bowl of stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar.  Beat in the vanilla and egg.  Stir in the grated carrots and shredded potatoes.  Mix well to combine.  Stir in dry ingredients and then the raisins.

Spoon batter into greased 6-cup pudding mould.  Cover with lid.

Place pudding mould on wire rack in a large stock pot.  Add boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the mould.  Cover steamer pot with lid and bring the water to a full boil then immediately reduce the heat to a gentle boil.  Steam the pudding over medium-low heat for approximately 3½ – 4 hours or until pudding is firm to the touch and cake tester inserted into centre of pudding comes out clean. (NOTE:  Add more water to pot as necessary to maintain the water level at about the half-way point on the pudding mould during the entire steaming process.)

Remove mould from water bath and place on wire rack and let rest for 20 minutes then turn pudding out onto serving dish and serve warm with brown sugar sauce or eggnog sauce.

Yield:  Apx. 10-12 servings

Steamed Carrot Pudding Recipe

Yield: Apx. 10-12 servings

Rum-soaked raisins combine with grated carrots and shredded potatoes and spices to make a flavorful steamed pudding that is perfect with brown sugar sauce or eggnog sauce.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sultana raisins
  • 2 tbsp rum
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • Pinch cloves
  • ½ cup butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup peeled and grated raw carrots
  • 1 cup peeled and shredded raw potatoes

Instructions

  1. In small bowl, sprinkle the rum over the raisins. Set aside.
  2. Sift dry ingredients together. Set aside.
  3. In large bowl of stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the vanilla and egg. Stir in the grated carrots and shredded potatoes. Mix well to combine. Stir in dry ingredients and then the raisins.
  4. Spoon batter into greased 6-cup pudding mould. Cover with lid.
  5. Place pudding mould on wire rack in a large stock pot. Add boiling water to come halfway up the sides of the mould. Cover steamer pot with lid and bring the water to a full boil then immediately reduce the heat to a gentle boil. Steam the pudding over medium-low heat for approximately 3 ½ - 4 hours or until pudding is firm to the touch and cake tester inserted into centre of pudding comes out clean. (NOTE: Add more water to pot as necessary to maintain the water level at about the half-way point on the pudding mould during the entire steaming process.) Remove mould from water bath and place on wire rack and let rest for 20 minutes then turn pudding out onto serving dish and serve warm with brown sugar sauce or eggnog sauce.
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For other recipes of steamed puddings and for the brown sugar and eggnog sauce recipes, follow these links:

Traditional Plum Pudding with Brown Sugar Sauce

Steamed Cranberry Pudding with Eggnog Sauce

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Steamed Carrot Pudding
Steamed Carrot Pudding
Carrot Pudding
Steamed Carrot Pudding

Marvelous Melting Moments Recipe

Melting Moments
Marvelous Melting Moments

How can a cookie with only 6 simple ingredients taste this good!!!  Well, they’re not called Melting Moments without good reason.  One bite of these sweet temptations and, from the rich, tender crumb of the cookie, you’ll find they quickly melt in your mouth.

Made only with butter (absolutely no substitutions on this one), icing sugar (aka powdered sugar or confectioner’s sugar), vanilla, flour, cornstarch, and salt, they’re easy to make and delightful to eat! And, they make wonderful gifts, too, and are also a special addition to any holiday sweet tray.

Melting Moments
Melting Moments

My mother always comments on how “short” these cookies are.  “Shortness” in a cookie is characterized by the amount of fat and sugar present and the high ratio of butter to flour in the recipe. To get the high degree of tenderness that is the hallmark of a “short” cookie, a lot of butter is used in the dough and, the more fat content, the more tender and rich the cookie crumb will be.

Melting Moments
Melting Moments

It’s important that these cookies not be over-handled or over-mixed as they will become tough. Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth then incorporate the dry ingredients. This cookie dough is too tender to roll out because it won’t hold together to cut shapes from so simply pinch off pieces of the dough and quickly form them into small balls. Don’t over-work them as the dough will become warm and, subsequently, sticky. As a mark of reference, I use about 5/8 oz of dough per ball.  Now, I don’t stop and weigh the dough for each cookie because, from experience, I can “eyeball” how much dough is needed per cookie but it’s good to have a frame of reference as to the size of the cookie ball. Place the cookie balls on parchment-lined baking sheets. Use the tines of a fork to flatten the cookies and decorate each with a tiny bit of maraschino cherry, if desired.

These cookies freeze very well so they can be made well ahead and frozen until they are needed. They are the perfect Christmas or anytime cookie!

Melting Moments
Melting Moments

[Printable recipe follows at end of posting]

Melting Moments

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter
½ cup sifted icing sugar (aka powdered sugar or confectioner’s sugar)
1 tsp pure vanilla
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt

Maraschino cherries for decorations (if desired)

Method:

Preheat oven to 300°F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper
Cream butter.  Add the icing sugar and cream well with the butter.  Mix in vanilla.

In separate bowl, whisk the flour, cornstarch, and salt together. Add to the creamed mixture and blend until well incorporated.

Form dough into small round balls (apx. 5/8 oz dough per ball).  Place balls on prepared baking sheets and flatten each ball with the tines of a fork.  Decorate with small bits of maraschino cherries, if desired.

Bake for approximately 18-20 minutes. Don’t over-bake cookies. Let cool on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes then transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely.

Yield:  Apx. 2½ dozen

Marvelous Melting Moments Recipe

Yield: Apx. 2 1/2 dozen

A delightful melt-in-your mouth shortbread-type cookie with a rich and tender crumb.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • ½ cup sifted icing sugar (aka powdered sugar or confectioner’s sugar)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • Maraschino cherries for decorations (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Cream butter. Add the icing sugar and cream well with the butter. Mix in vanilla.
  3. In separate bowl, whisk the flour, cornstarch, and salt together. Add to the creamed mixture and blend until well incorporated.
  4. Form dough into small round balls (apx. 5/8 oz dough per ball). Place balls on prepared baking sheets and flatten each ball with the tines of a fork. Decorate with small bits of maraschino cherries, if desired.
  5. Bake for approximately 18-20 minutes. Don’t over-bake cookies. Let cool on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes then transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely.
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Melting Moments
Marvelous Melting Moments

 

For another great Christmas cookie recipe, try my Molasses Spice Cookies

Festive Light Fruitcake Recipe

One of my favorite foods to make is the traditional fruitcake – both dark and light versions.  And, I adore the scent in my home as the cakes bake.  As I write this post, this is my 40th year making fruitcakes – where does the time go!  I don’t make both dark and light every year. Rather, I make a dark cake one year then, the following year, make a light cake.

Christmas Cake
Light Fruitcake

My Christmas season begins in early November when the first thing done to prepare for the holidays is to make the fruitcake.  Fruitcakes do well with some “ageing” before they are cut – about 3 weeks is the minimum they should age. This period allows the flavors to blend well and the cake to moisten which, of course, is always aided by a brushing of a weekly “nightcap” of whatever liquor is used in the cake.  I tend to put rum in my dark cakes and brandy in the light fruitcakes.  This libation not only helps to keep the cake moist but it also infuses flavor into the cake as it ages.

Christmas Cake
Light Fruitcake

Apart from their lighter color, light fruitcakes tend to be less rich and not quite as sweet as their dark counterparts.  The wonderful thing about light fruitcakes is that the light-colored batter allows the jewel-toned glazed fruit to show well.  Light fruitcake is both a flavorful and colorful addition to any holiday sweet tray.

Fruitcake
Light Fruitcake

When I posted my recipe awhile back for my dark fruit cake, I offered several tips and hints on how to make fruitcakes.  You can access that information by clicking here. The same tips and hints apply to light fruitcakes.

My version of a light fruitcake is nut-free. I find nuts can sometimes go rancid and can interfere with the nice soft texture of the fruitcake so I have long since dispensed with them in my cakes. As well, for any one with an allergy to nuts, a fruitcake with nuts would be off limits.

Christmas Cake
Jewel-toned Light Fruitcake

[Printable version of recipe follows at end of posting]

Light Fruit Cake

Ingredients:
1 lb golden sultana raisins
6 oz green glazed cherries
6 oz red glazed cherries
4 oz glazed pineapple rings, chopped
¾ lb mixed glazed fruit
¼ lb citron
½ cup brandy
¾ cup flaked coconut
2 tsp finely grated lemon rind
2 tsp finely grated orange rind

1 cup butter, softened at room temperature
1½ cup white sugar
5 large eggs, separated
1 tsp pure vanilla
1 tsp almond flavoring
1 tsp lemon flavoring
½ cup crushed pineapple, drained very well (reserve ¼ cup of the juice)

3¾ cups all-purpose flour (set aside 1 cup of the flour to flour the fruit mixture)
1½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt

¼ cup orange juice
¼ cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup pineapple juice (from the drained crushed pineapple)

Extra brandy for brushing on cake as it ages and for soaking cheesecloth in which to wrap the cake

Method:
In large bowl, combine the raisins, cherries, glazed pineapple, mixed glazed fruit, and citron. Mix well.  Stir in the brandy to coat the fruit.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let stand for about 24 hours to macerate the fruit, stirring occasionally. When ready to mix up the cake, add the coconut and lemon and orange rind.  Stir well.

Prepare 8-inch square fruitcake pan that is 3 inches deep and has a removable bottom:  Lightly spray the bottom and sides of the pan with cooking spray.  Line the pan (bottom and sides), with brown paper or double thickness of parchment paper.  Lightly spray the paper.

Preheat oven to 275°F.

In large bowl of stand mixer and using the paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamy.  Gradually add the sugar and beat until mixture is light and creamy.  Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula to ensure ingredients are all incorporated. Beat 1 additional minute. Beat in the vanilla, almond, and lemon flavorings.  Stir in the drained crushed pineapple.

Sift together 2¾ cups of the flour, baking powder, and salt.
In measuring cup or small bowl, combine the orange and lemon juices along with the reserved ¼ cup of pineapple juice.

Add the dry and wet ingredients to the beaten butter and sugar mixture in three additions, starting and ending with the flour mixture.  Transfer batter to a very large bowl.

Sprinkle reserved cup of flour over the macerated fruit and toss ingredients lightly and quickly.  Gently fold the fruit mixture into the batter.

In clean bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Gently fold the whipped egg whites into the batter.

Transfer batter by large spoonfuls into the prepared baking pan.  Use a knife to evenly spread the batter in the pan, smoothing the top.  Add a few cherries as decorations to the top of the cake, if desired.

Place small pan of hot water on the lower rack in the oven.  Place fruitcake in center of middle rack and bake for approximately 5 – 5¼ hours or until cake is firm to the touch and cake tester inserted into centre of cake comes out clean. After about an hour or so of baking, loosely tent cake with tin foil to prevent it from browning too much. Remove cake from oven and place on rack.  Let cake cool in pan for about 40 minutes before carefully removing from pan by inverting it on a tea towel and removing the paper.  Carefully turn the cake top side up on to a wire cooling rack.

Let cake cool completely before brushing well with brandy and wrapping in brandy-soaked cheesecloth, followed by plastic wrap and tin foil. Store in a sealed plastic bag in a cool, dry area.  Remove wrapping and brush cake top and sides with brandy once a week for 2-3 weeks as the cake “ages” before cutting and serving.

Yield:  1 – 6 lb, 6½ oz cake

Light Fruitcake

Yield: 1 – 6 lb, 6½ oz cake

A wonderful jewel-toned light fruitcake full of flavor and mixed fruit. (Cake is nut-free)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb golden sultana raisins
  • 6 oz green glazed cherries
  • 6 oz red glazed cherries
  • 4 oz glazed pineapple rings, chopped
  • ¾ lb mixed glazed fruit
  • ¼ lb citron
  • ½ cup brandy
  • ¾ cup flaked coconut
  • 2 tsp finely grated lemon rind
  • 2 tsp finely grated orange rind
  • 1 cup butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1½ cup white sugar
  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • 1 tsp almond flavoring
  • 1 tsp lemon flavoring
  • ½ cup crushed pineapple, drained very well (reserve ¼ cup of the juice)
  • 3¾ cups all-purpose flour (set aside 1 cup of the flour to flour the fruit mixture)
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ cup pineapple juice (from the drained crushed pineapple)
  • Extra brandy for brushing on cake as it ages and for soaking cheesecloth in which to wrap the cake

Instructions

  1. In large bowl, combine the raisins, cherries, glazed pineapple, mixed glazed fruit, and citron. Mix well. Stir in the brandy to coat the fruit. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let stand for about 24 hours to macerate the fruit, stirring occasionally. When ready to mix up the cake, add the coconut and lemon and orange rind. Stir well.
  2. Prepare 8-inch square fruitcake pan that is 3 inches deep and has a removable bottom: Lightly spray the bottom and sides of the pan with cooking spray. Line the pan (bottom and sides), with brown paper or double thickness of parchment paper. Lightly spray the paper.
  3. Preheat oven to 275°F.
  4. In large bowl of stand mixer and using the paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamy. Gradually add the sugar and beat until mixture is light and creamy. Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula to ensure ingredients are all incorporated. Beat 1 additional minute. Beat in the vanilla, almond, and lemon flavorings. Stir in the drained crushed pineapple.
  5. Sift together 2¾ cups of the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  6. In measuring cup or small bowl, combine the orange and lemon juices along with the reserved ¼ cup of pineapple juice.
  7. Add the dry and wet ingredients to the beaten butter and sugar mixture in three additions, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Transfer batter to a very large bowl.
  8. Sprinkle reserved cup of flour over the macerated fruit and toss ingredients lightly and quickly. Gently fold the fruit mixture into the batter.
  9. In clean bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Gently fold the whipped egg whites into the batter.
  10. Transfer batter by large spoonfuls into the prepared baking pan. Use a knife to evenly spread the batter in the pan, smoothing the top. Add a few cherries as decorations to the top of the cake, if desired.
  11. Place small pan of hot water on the lower rack in the oven. Place fruitcake in center of middle rack and bake for approximately 5 – 5¼ hours or until cake is firm to the touch and cake tester inserted into centre of cake comes out clean. After about an hour or so of baking, loosely tent cake with tin foil to prevent it from browning too much. Remove cake from oven and place on rack. Let cake cool in pan for about 40 minutes before carefully removing from pan by inverting it on a tea towel and removing the paper. Carefully turn the cake top side up on to a wire cooling rack.
  12. Let cake cool completely before brushing well with brandy and wrapping in brandy-soaked cheesecloth, followed by plastic wrap and tin foil. Store in a sealed plastic bag in a cool, dry area. Remove wrapping and brush cake top and sides with brandy once a week for 2-3 weeks as the cake “ages” before cutting and serving.
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Fruitcake
Festive Light Fruitcake

 

 

Christmas Cake
Light Fruitcake