Sharing Christmas with Friends
Dickens' Hot Gin PunchSupposedly, this is the gin punch that Dickens describes being made by Mr. Micawber in David Copperfield.
Microwave Peanut Butter FudgeThis is about as simple as it gets when it comes to fudge. 4 ingredients but very, very tasty! Lots of peanute butter flavor.
Baker's Chocolate One Bowl Microwave FudgeFound on the inside of every Baker's Chocolate Semi-sweet box. I make this as part of my Christmas Cookies every year.
Green Gables Lemon BiscuitsI can no longer locate the exact book where we found this recipe, but we have been making it for years. It is one of my wife's favorite cookies. I usually end up making a quadruple batch of these, as the recipe doesn't make very many cookies.
Christmas Morning OatmealThis is an adaptation of Alton Brown's Overnight Oatmeal from his Good Eats show. I put this together every Christmas Eve so that when we are awakened bright and early Christmas Morning by my son, we have something ready to eat while he opens his presents.
Douglas' Christmas ChiliEvery Christmas, for our annual open house, I make a lots of cookies (80-90 doz) but I also make a huge pot of this chili (20 qts in 2009). It was originally designed to feed ourselves during the open house, but now it is as popular, if not more so, than the cookies. This recipe started off as one included with a crock pot I got when heading off to college in 1982 (The crockpot is still in use today!), but I have modified it extensively over the years. I serve this with extra sharp cheddar cheese. Some people like chopped onions on it. I usually eat this by itself the first day, then have it over some sort of pasta the next and then chili dogs after that. It freezes well so make as much as you want and then store it away in meal-sized containers for a quick dinners.
Christmas Cornflake HollyI have never been a big fan of rice cereal treats, but combine marshmallow with the lightness of cornflakes and I am in heaven. The original recipe was entitled Christmas Wreaths, but when you are making 80-90 dozen cookies for a party, time consuming tasks such as shaping the wreaths go out the window. That and the fact that you end up burning your fingers -- a lot -- so I simply spoon these out into cupcake liners, decorate with some cinnamon candies and call it Christmas Cornflake Holly.
Peanut Butter Cookies with Nutella SchmearI have been making these peanut butter cookies for years, but after a recent trip visiting family in Sicily I came up with this wonderful addition -- a Nutella icing that bakes right onto the cookie. I don't know why I hadn't thought of this before, but now I will make a batch of each -- one with and one without the Nutella -- each time.
Pandoro Christmas Tree Cake with Limoncello Whipped CreamI first had this cake on our 2nd trip to Sicily visiting my wife's family. It was the holidays and Pandoro cakes are everywhere. These are less well know here in the US, where most stores stock Panattone fruit cales for Christmas. Our cousins, Serafino and Francesca made this wonderful, dressed-up, Pandoro for a party and I wanted to add it to my repertoire for my Annual Christmas Cookie Party. I usually make it with a commercially available cake, rather than making my own, as it requires a special pan and a bit of talent. I now have a excellent local source of these cakes, so I needn't bother.
Some folks come for a few hours, some stay the whole day and some into the evening. We eat. We talk. We catch up on everything that has happened in the previous year. Oh, and then we eat some more!
Captured in this cookbook are some of my favorite cookies, candies, and food, especially the easy one's that can be made with kids. You'll also get the recipe to my (not so secret) Famous Christmas Chili, which is as popular with the guests as the cookies themselves. Finally, there is Dicken's Hot Gin Punch as described in the pages of David Copperfield.
Share a bit of your holiday with us by making these recipes. I know our house is filled with happiness, food and love and I hope yours will be, too.