It’s a time-honoured past-time, festive baking for the holidays and especially for Christmas. Whether it’s cookies waiting to be iced, or the smell of mulled drinks which fill the air, the holidays are always tasty!

Here at Larder Pantry and Garden, we love a good baking session. We also love a nice drink to enjoy while we bake. So that’s where this week’s class and blog join each other. We’ll be mixing some classic drinks, and baking up a treat!

For me, Christmas baking has always been about family. My Mum and I would start the season with making the Christmas cake back in July/August – winter time in Australia – so that we had plenty of time to ‘feed’ the cake. If you’ve never done this before, that means giving your fruit cake a healthy drink of alcohol every month, so that by Christmas it’s booze infused!

Closer to the date, we’d also then make biscuits, mull some wine (which was a bit odd in the summer heat, but more when we were making the cake), and generally enjoy the time together as a family. Everyone would decorate their biscuits or cookies, and it was a time of bonding, of laughter, and of course also of eating.

Christmas and Holidays Festive Baking

As always, you won’t need any fancy equipment, or hard to find ingredients. You probably already have at least 90% of both in your kitchen right now! Here’s what you’re going to need.

Ingredients for Festive Cooking:

All the ingredients are really straight forward, and if you don’t have them, they’re easy to find at most supermarkets, grocery stores, or even on Amazon.

 

Equipment for Holiday Cooking:

So, without further ado, here are this week’s recipes:

Ginger-iest Gingerbread Biscuits

This super gingery gingerbread dough makes fantastic biscuits, or can also be used as a dough for making a gingerbread house! It is a strong ginger flavour, this can be tempered by adding more or less ground ginger, as you prefer.
Course Afternoon Tea, Baking, Snack
Cuisine Christmas, Comfort, European
Keyword bake, baking, biscuit, Christmas, cookie, ginger, gingerbread
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Resting 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 12 - 20 Biscuits

Equipment

  • Large saucepan
  • Scales
  • Rolling Pin
  • Chopping board
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Parchment paper
  • Baking tray

Ingredients

  • 70 g Brown soft sugar
  • 50 ml Golden syrup
  • 25 ml Black treacle or Molasses
  • 25 ml Water
  • 5 g Cinnamon ground
  • 15 g Ginger ground
  • pinch Cloves
  • 90 g Butter
  • ½ tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 230 g Plain flour ± a bit for rolling

Instructions

  • Place the sugar, spices, water and syrups in a large saucepan over med-high heat and thoroughly dissolve the sugar.
  • Bring to the boil, and then remove from the heat before adding the bicarbonate of soda - whisk in quickly as it will foam!
  • Whilst warm, stir in the butter, be sure to fully incorporate it all. Then, rest the dough, in the saucepan, for up to 30mins for it to stiffen up.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/375˚F
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 3mm or .16" (about the thickness of corrugated cardboard), cut into shapes and place on a parchment lined baking tray.
  • Bake for 12-15mins, before removing to a cooling wire - they will puff up a little, and then go flat as they cool.
  • Decorate with icing as you like, and store in an air-tight container.

Mulled Wine and Cider

This versatile 'mulling' mix is perfect for either cider or red wine. The key is to NOT boil the beverage once the alcohol has been added. You can add more water if you'd like a less potent drink, or add a splash or rum/brandy/cognac for that extra festive oomph!
Course Drinks
Cuisine Christmas, Comfort, European
Keyword alcohol, Christmas, cider, drink, drinks, festive, holidays, mulled, mulled cider, mulled wine, mulling, wine, Xmas
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Standing 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 8 Portions

Equipment

  • Large saucepan, or Stockpot
  • Measuring cups or jug
  • Stirring spoon
  • Serving mugs/glasses and ladle

Ingredients

  • 150 ml Water per 750ml Wine
  • 125 ml Caster Sugar (half cup)
  • 1 sml Cinnamon stick
  • 2 - Cloves
  • 750 ml Cider OR Red wine, strong Shiraz/Syrah, Pinot Noir, Claret, Burgundy, etc

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients, except the cider/wine, into a saucepan and bring to the boil; simmer for 2 mins. Ensure the sugar has dissolved.
  • Allow to stand for 15 mins then strain. Clean the pan and return the strained syrup, stir in the cider or red wine - heat but DO NOT BOIL.
  • Serve in warmed glasses.

Festive Eggnog

Light, and velvety in the mouth, this north American classic is infamous around the world, and with this recipe it'll become a family favourite in your home too!
This versions is alcoholic, so it's an adult's drink, but it can be altered for children by replacing the alcohol with the same ratio of milk + 1 egg yolk more.
Course Drinks
Cuisine American, Comfort, European
Keyword alcohol, alcoholic, cream, drink, eggnog, eggplant, milkshake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Rest 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 28 minutes
Servings 6 Portions

Equipment

  • Large saucepan
  • Measuring jug/cups/spoons (2 jugs is ideal)
  • Whisk
  • Stirring spoon
  • Strainer/sieve
  • Serving glasses

Ingredients

  • 250 ml milk
  • 1 whole cloves
  • ¾ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp Cinnamon ground
  • 2 Egg yolks
  • 65 g Caster sugar
  • 180 ml Rum
  • 250 ml Cream Light/pouring
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • Pinch Nutmeg ground

Instructions

  • Gently stir milk, cloves, vanilla, and cinnamon in a saucepan, over a low heat for 5 mins, and then bring to a simmer.
  • Place the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl, and whisk until light and fluffy.
  • Carefully, add 1 cup of hot milk mixture to the eggs, and continue to stir. Then, slowly pour the 'tempered' egg mix into the milk mixture saucepan, stirring all the time.
  • Cook over a low-medium heat for 4mins, or until it thickens. DO NOT allow it to boil! Remove from the heat.
  • Wait 5mins, and add the rum/brandy/cognac, cream, vanilla, and nutmeg.
  • Strain into a clean jug, and allow to cool. OR, place some cold water in a basin or sink, pour into a clean bowl, and immerse the eggnog in the cold water, and stir until cool - do not allow the water into the eggnog!
  • Finally, chill the eggnog in a refrigerator overnight, or for at least 8hrs. (improves the flavour!)
  • Serve in a glass, with whipped cream, and a sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg.

Notes

You can enjoy the eggnog once it's cooled down, but the flavour will improve if left to meld 8hrs/overnight.

Sugar Cookies

These sugar cookies are a great flavour base for a festive biscuit. You can add different flavours, like ginger, cinnamon, mixed spice, nutmeg etc by adding the ground spice into the dry base.
Course Afternoon Tea, Baking, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American, Australian, British, Christmas, Comfort, European, World
Keyword biscuit, biscuits, Christmas, cookie, cookies, decorate, festive, holidays, icing
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 24 Cookies

Equipment

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Sieve
  • Rolling Pin
  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Scales
  • Baking tray
  • Parchment paper

Ingredients

  • 230 g All-purpose/Plain flour 1-⅓cups
  • ½ tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • ¼ tsp Baking powder
  • 125 g Butter, softened ½cup
  • 180 ml Sugar, white caster/granular ¾cup
  • ½ Egg
  • ½ tsp Vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 185˚C/375˚F, and line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and powder.
  • In a larger bowl, beat the butter and sugar until the light and fluffy, add the egg and vanilla.
  • Carefully, add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix thoroughly.
  • Divide the dough evenly into 24 balls, and place on the parchment-lined baking tray.
  • Bake for 8 to 10 mins or until just turning golden.
  • Leave to stand for 3mins, then transfer the cookies to a cooling wire.

Notes

These cookies can be decorated with icing, chou-chous (the little shiny balls), or any other decoration.

Thanks for checking out this week’s post on how to make mulled wine and how to make mulled cider, how to make eggnog, how to make gingerbread, and of course, how to make sugar cookies. I hope you’re able to join me, Chef Kit, online for the Eventbrite Cook-a-Long on Saturday, and if you do, please check back and post a comment. You can also share a photo on your social media accounts with the hashtag: #LarderPantryandGarden. 

Don’t forget, you can also follow LPaG on InstagramFacebookTwitter, and YouTube!

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