Christmas cakes from many lands
Every housewife has her favorite recipe for Christmas cakes, but she is also open to conviction when the Christmas spirit in baking takes possession of her. In fact, if there is one time in her life when she is willing to experiment, it is just before the holidays when the household purse strings are loosened.
Every country where Christmas holiday is recognized, and every state in the union, has some particular cake for which it has more than local fame. For instance, there are the Italian pastes, the gay French and German cakes and the English loaf cakes — each in its turn worthy of housewifely attention.
The following recipes have been tried out by many generations of home cooks:
Virginia walnut cake
German Christmas cake
Swiss Christmas cake
English mistletoe cake
English Christmas cake
Southern pound cake
French chocolate cake
Hickory nut wafers
Virginia walnut cake recipe
To one pint of nuts, measured after they are shelled, allow one cup of sugar, half cup of butter, three eggs and a pinch of salt, one-fourth cup of sweet milk, with flour enough to make a dough.
Beat the butter to a cream and mix thoroughly with the sugar. Next add the well-beaten eggs, the milk and the salt with a little of the flour; then the nuts, which have been shelled and passed through the meat chopper, and last the remaining flour. Roll out lightly, cut into shapes, sprinkle with granulated sugar and bake in a moderately hot oven.
German Christmas cake recipe
The fatherland cook boasts of many recipes, but this one is a prime favorite with all classes. These delicious sweets can be cut into as many shapes as the housewife has tin patterns and can also be made to take a variety of colors by dividing the icing in parts, tinting it green, rose or yellow with vegetable dyes and using chocolate for a fourth.
To four eggs, allow one pound of pastry flour, three fourths of a pound of sugar, half a pound of almonds well-blanched, and one-fourth pound of candied orange peel or citron, as preferred; one lemon, one large and juicy orange, half an ounce of ground cinnamon and one-fourth teaspoon of good ground cloves, half a teaspoon of allspice, one teaspoon of baking powder and half a cup of honey. Beat the eggs and sugar to a cream.
Blanch, dry and pass the almonds through a meat chopper. Beat the eggs without ceasing for 20 minutes, then add eggs and sugar and little by little the flour and almonds. Grate the rind of lemon and orange into the mixture, add the strained juice and the honey, then the baking powder. Mix well and if not stiff enough to roll out add more flour. Roll into thin cakes, cut into fancy shapes, bake in a moderate oven.
When cold, spread with boiled icing colored as directed above.
Swiss Christmas cake recipe
The whites only of the eggs are used. For three of these, allow two ounces of sugar, two tablespoons of red and three of white wine, one lemon, and flour to make a paste.
Rub the rind of the lemon with the sugar, then dissolve it in the wine, add the whites of the eggs beaten quite stiff and flour to make paste. Spread over a buttered pan in a thin layer and cook in a rather quick oven.
Immediately on removing from the oven, cut into narrow strips, and while hot wind them quickly around a small stick, and when cold slip them off. At serving time, pile high in a pretty silver dish.
English mistletoe cake recipe
This cake is both ornamental and toothsome, for it shows the genuine Christmas colors. For the layers allow three ounces each of butter and sugar, three eggs, half a pound of flour, one teaspoon of baking powder and one wineglass of orange flower water.
Separate the eggs and beat the whites to a stiff froth, the yolks to a cream. Beat the sugar and butter together, add the yolks of the eggs, the flour sifted with the baking powder, the orange flower water and lastly the whites of the eggs. Bake in three layers.
For the filling: Whip half a pint of cream until stiff, sweeten slightly and divide in two portions. Color one with spinach green anColor one with spinach green and add grated coconut to the other. Spread the green cream over the first layer of the cake, cover with the second, spread over the white cream and place third layer on to. Ice thickly with plain boiled icing and decorate while fresh with bits of candied citron, cut to represent mistletoe leaves, using silver comfits for the berries.
English Christmas cake recipe
Allow one and a half pounds each of butter and sugar, four eggs, one gill of rich cream, five pounds of flour, three pounds of currants, one-fourth pound of sliced citron, one grated nutmeg, one tablespoon of salt and five teaspoons of baking powder.
Rub the butter and sugar to a cream, whip the eggs thoroughly, then mix all together. Sift the flour and mix thoroughly with the fruit and spice. Then add it and the salt to the mixture little by little stirring gently until mixed; add the baking powder and beat until smooth. Bake in a moderate oven for two hours.
Southern pound cake recipe
Beat one pound of butter and one pound of powdered sugar together until they form a cream. Separate the whites from the yolks of one dozen eggs. Whisk the whites to a stiff froth and beat the yolks until thick. Beat the whites into the creamed butter and sugar, then add the yolks and beat all thoroughly together.
Sift the flour and stir in lightly little by little, stirring only enough to mix well and smoothly. Bake in a moderate oven for one hour and a quarter. Be careful not to stir or shake the pan until the cake is well set. The genuine pound cake is always unflavored, but if preferred, the juice and grated rind of a lemon may be added.
French chocolate cake recipe
For the foundation, allow three eggs, four ounces of powdered sugar, one and a half ounces of flour, one ounce of cornstarch and one-fourth teaspoon of vanilla extract. Separate the eggs and beat the yolks to a cream, then add the powdered sugar, the flour and cornstarch little by little and finally the vanilla. Beat all thoroughly, then add the whites of the eggs, which have been whipped to a stiff froth, and whip lightly into the mixture.
Butter lightly a sheet of white paper and spread over an ordinary baking pan. Press the cake mixture through a pastry tube to form rounds about the size of a silver half dollar. Bake in a moderate oven until firm and allow the cakes to become cold.
Cut all of one size with a small round cutter, spread the flat side of half the number of the cakes with peach marmalade and cover with the other half. Put one cup of granulated sugar in a saucepan with one-quarter cup of water and cook until it will spin a thread. Melt an ounce of chocolate over hot water, beat the white of one egg; stiff, then whip in the syrup little by little until thoroughly mixed. Add the chocolate and beat all until thick.
Take as many wooden toothpicks as you have cakes and stick one in each and, holding the toothpick in the hand, dip one cake into the icing, covering it entirely. Turn a flour sieve upside down on a table and place the ends of the sticks in the holes, supporting the cakes thus until quite dry.
Hickory nut wafers recipe
These delicious little dainties hall from Vermont.
For each egg, allow one-fourth cup of butter, one cup of sugar, one cup of chopped hickory nuts.
Beat the butter and sugar to a cream, then add the well-beaten eggs and the flour with a pinch of salt. Lastly, stir in the nuts. Drop in small spoonfuls on buttered paper, flatten a little with the back of a spoon and bake in a moderate oven.