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.