When I was growing up the Christmas baking started before Halloween to ensure there was enough to get us through from Christmas Eve to after New Years.
My mum had a set of metal Christmas themed cookie cutters – Christmas tree, bell, holly leave and Santa with his bag of toys on his back.
Mum’s shortbread recipe:
1 cup soft butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes. Makes about 3 dozen.
Once these were out of the oven and cooled, they were put in special cookie tins that were only used this time of year.
Another treat that was made for Christmas was chocolate fudge.
My mum used the Carnation 5 minute fudge recipe. Easy to make and did it ever taste good!
I loved being home when this was made because I got to lick the wooden spoon that was used in the making of it and have the scrapings from the pot.
The fudge was stored in a waxed-paper lined tin with sheets of the paper between the layers of candy to keep them from sticking to each other.
Mum also made mincemeat and cranberry tarts which she froze. Now we didn’t have a big freezer and the tiny one in the top corner of our fridge was barely big enough for a brick of ice cream. Being the resourceful person she was, all the tarts were individually wrapped in foil and placed in one of her large roast pans and buried in the snow outside the backdoor.
They were brought in as and when needed and warmed in the oven.
I always knew when I came home from school at lunch time and my grandmother was perched on the stool at the end of the counter that it was fruitcake making day. She always came to help.
During the Christmas baking season our house always smelled so good with the aromas of the various holiday treats. Thinking back to these days, I’m getting hungry.
What seasonal treats did you have when you were young?