Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Visions of Sugar Plums

One of my favorite things about the holidays are the abundance of sweets that are around! A great activity to do with your children on this Christmas Eve is make sweets for Santa. Below you will find two of my favorite recipes for Sugar Plums and Fresh Ginger Cookies, two very seasonal and delicious treats that the man in the red suit will be sure to enjoy!

Sugar plums

Making sugar plums is a perfect holiday project for kids: It takes a bit of time, the work’s a trifle sticky, and it requires neither cooking nor sharp utensils. Sugar plums can be stored in an airtight container with wax paper between the layers, or they can be wrapped in aluminum foil, then brightly colored tissue paper.

1 (24-ounce) container pitted prunes
4 ounces whole blanched almonds
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut (4 ounces)
1/4 cup of sugar

Stuff each prune with an almond, molding fruit around nut into a nice plum shape. In a small bowl, toss coconut and sugar. Roll stuffed prunes in mixture. Store in an airtight container or wrap some or all individually.

Fresh Ginger Cookies

Prep: 5 minutes

Chill: 1 hour

Bake: 8 to 10 minutes

Makes: about 60

1.5 sticks (6 ounces) butter, softened
1 cup sugar1 cup unsulphured molasses
2 eggs
4.5 cups flour
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons baking soda
1.5 teaspoons cinnamon1 teaspoon salt

1. In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in molasses. Add eggs on at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, stirring until well combined. Cover and refrigerate one hour.

2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease cookie sheets. Roll dough into 1.5 inch balls and place 1 inch apart on cookie sheets. Flatten balls slightly with bottom of glass or palm of your hand.

3. Bake 8-10 minutes. Remove racks and let cool.

What is your favorite Christmas Cookie recipe? Please leave a comment!