Christmas Bakes

Valentine’s Day Chocolate Bark …..

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While Valentine’s Day is geared towards couples, it’s also a fun holiday for the kids too . My younger Son loves hearts and sprinkles & couldn’t be happier about it . He loved making this chocolate bark and decorating it too .

This Chocolate bark is one of the easiest treats you can make along with your children. I have a Layer of crackers on the bottom of a baking sheet,then melted Chocolate and spread chocolate on top and decorate with candy of his choice And Done !!!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 43 minutes
Yield: serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:

Graham crackers ( I used 7 whole Graham crackers )
2 bars of chocolate (I used Hershey’s Special Dark )
sprinkles and candies for decoration

Method:

Layer graham crackers in a 9″ x 13″ baking sheet.
Melt chocolate in a double boiler or a microwave .
Spread over the crackers
Add sprinkles & candies of your choice
Let set in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Brake into pieces…

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Bringing these Chocolate barks to Fiesta Friday #54 which is being cohosted by my dear friend Sonal and Josette ….

Christmas Fruit Cake with Rum ….

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“Through the window I see snowflakes
My Mama’s making fruitcakes
Our tree all lit up makes us feel love and cheer
So kiss me beneath the mistletoe ’cause Christmas is here”

On the 12th day & Grand Finale of my Bakes and Treats I bring to you Classic Christmas Fruit Cake ..
Have You Made Your Christmas Cake Yet ???

This Fruit cake is full of fruit and nuts soaked in rum for more then a month. I especially love this fruit cake for its wonderful combination of nuts and dried fruits with barely enough cake batter to hold it all together.
This fruit cake is full of raisins, currants, dried cranberries, dried apricots, and candied fruits and peels…
This cake can be frozen so it might be a good idea to make two and then you can freeze one for later in the year.

For Soaking the Fruits

Dry fruits – 3 cups (I used Golden raisins,Black Currants,Prunes,Glazed Cherries ,Pineapple, Apricot, Cashews,orange peels & lemon peels )
RUM ( I Used dark Rum) it should completely cover all the dry fruits ..

Caramel Syrup (to be used in the Cake)

Sugar – 1½ cups
Water – 1 tbslp
Hot Water – ¾ cup

Spice mix for the cake

Cinnamon powder – ½ tsp
Clove powder – ½ tsp
Cardamom powder – ½ tsp
Nutmeg powder – ½ tsp
Dried ginger powder – ½ tsp

Ingredients for the cake

For Fruit Cake

Butter – 1 cup or 2 sticks (at room temperature)
Powdered OR confectioners sugar 2 ½ cups (OR 1 cup of dark brown sugar )
Eggs 3

All purpose flour – 2 ½ cups
Baking powder – 2 tsp
Baking soda – 1 tsp
Salt – 1/4 tsp
All the above mentioned Spice mix
Small pieces of walnuts and Almonds – 1 cup ( or nuts of your choice)

All of the Rum soaked fruits

Directions:

For Soaking the fruits

I soak my dry fruits at least 1 month in advance .
Chop all the dry fruits and place them in an airtight container, soaking them in required amount of Rum. Make sure that all the dried fruits are completely covered with rum ..

For Caramel Syrup

Mix 1.5 cups of sugar with 1 tblsp water on medium heat in a deep bottomed saucepan. Keep on stirring until the caramel syrup looks almost dark brown or black in color.
Take it off the stove and add hot water . Stir well ..

To Bake the Fruit Cake

1. Preheat Oven to 350F and
2. Grease your Cake pan/ bunt pan (I used a non-stick Bundt cake pan)
2. Sift all the dry ingredients at least twice to get rid of all the lumps – (Flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and Spices.)
3.Add the nuts ( almonds & walnuts ) mix well and keep aside.
4. Beat the butter with powdered sugar until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time until well incorporated.
5.Add in the dry ingredients slowly and mix until combined.
6. Add the Vanilla essence and Caramel syrup and combine everything together.
7.Strain the rum soaked dry fruits saving the rum to be used later , and coat them with sall-purpose flour so that the fruits don’t sink to the bottom of cake
8. Add the fruits into the cake batter , Using wooden spoon to mix the fruits into the cake evenly.
9. Pour the cake batter into your prepared cake pan bake for an hour.
10. I did a cake test at 55 mins by inserting a chopstick into the cake center.
If the chopstick comes clean, the cake is ready.

After Baking

1. Use a skewer to poke a few holes almost all the way through the cake immediately after getting it out of the oven . & pour 3 Tbs of the saved rum over the cake
2.Allow the cake to cool and then flip the onto a wire-rack.
3. Once the cake is released from the pan brush it all over with reserved rum .

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I hear sleigh bells are ringing
My whole family singing
We know Santa’s bringing
Special presents this year
So kiss me beneath the mistletoe ’cause Christmas is here

Brazilian Nut Fruitcake…..

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On the 11th Day of my Christmas Bakes & Treats I bring to you yet another version of Orange Juice fully loaded fruits and Nuts christmas Cake..

This cake is more of a confection than a cake. It makes a beautiful, festive presentation. This recipe was shared by a friend . The most important thing to remember is to leave all the fruits and nuts whole. & slice the cake thin.

INGREDIENTS:

4 eggs
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 pound red candied cherries
1 pound green candied cherries
1 pound Brazil nuts
1 pound walnut halves
1 pound pecan halves

DIRECTIONS:

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 2 – 9 inch bunt pans and line them with parchment or waxed paper.

2.Beat eggs, salt and vanilla together until very light in color. Stir in sugar, 1 cup flour and baking powder.

3.Place cherries, nuts, and dates into a large bowl. Dust with the remaining 1/2 cup flour. Then stir in sugar mixture. There is very little batter which makes this a very stiff mixture. Mix with hands.

4.Press batter into prepared loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour.

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Christmas Fruit Cake with Orange Juice …

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On the 10Th day of my Christmas Bakes and treats I bring to you another one of my kids favorite Fruit cake … This fruit and nuts cake is full of citrusy flavors
I have been making this fruit cake at Christmas time for my kids and friends who do not like traditional rum Christmas Cake . My whole family loves this cake especially for its citrusy Flavor …

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 cup candied pineapple chunks
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup candied cherries
2 tablespoons dried currants
1/4 cup candied orange peel
1/4 cup candied citron / lemon peel
1/2 cup orange juice
1/3 cup butter
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
1egg
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup chopped mixed nuts
1cup sifted all-purpose flour

DIRECTIONS:

Chop pineapple, raisins, and cherries. Combine chopped fruit with currants, orange peel, and citron peel .

Soak in orange juice overnight.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F .

Line small loaf pan with parchment or waxed paper.

In a large bowl, cream butter and confectioner’s sugar.

Stir in beaten egg .fruit, juice, and nuts . Mix in sifted flour with baking powder .

Bake for 45 mins to an hour until golden brown and toothpick comes out clean when inserted.

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Pinwheel cookies Eggless…

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Pinwheel cookies Eggless…

On the 8th day of Christmas bakes and treats I have for you Pinwheel Vanilla & Chocolate Cookies …
For these cookies , chocolate and vanilla dough are layered, rolled, and sliced .
These festive looking pinwheel cookies are perfect holiday gifts

To bake these festive batch of Pinwheels we will need ….

3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
1 cup confectioners/ powder sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tbs vanilla extract

Method :

For Vanilla dough

Using a spatula cream the butter until smooth . Stir in the both sugars and vanilla extract until they’re evenly blended.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder.
Add all the dry ingredients EXCEPT COCOA POWDER to the butter sugar mixture one third at a time, stirring properly , until the dough is evenly blended.
Divid the dough into two equal parts

Set aside half of the cookie dough. This will be our Vanilla dough.

For Chocolate dough

Add the cocoa powder to the remaining dough and stir until it is fully incorporated.
Divide the chocolate dough in half. Place each half on a large piece of plastic wrap, pat it into a 1/2-inch-thick square, and then wrap it in the plastic.
Repeat the process for the vanilla dough.
Refrigerate the 4 squares until firm, about 1 to 2 hours or up to a day.

TO MAKE PINWHEEL COOKIES

Roll both the doughs separately into 12″ squares between 2 pieces of parchment paper.
Remove the top sheet of parchment paper from both squares.
Flip over chocolate square onto the vanilla sqaure.
Lightly roll over with a rolling pin to make the 2 layers stick together.
Taking one edge of the square, gently but firmly roll it into a log. Refrigerate for 1 hour or over night .
Preheat oven to 180 C/ 350 F .
Grease or line a baking sheet with a parchment paper .
Slice the prepared log into 1/4″ thick cookies and bake them for 10 -12 minutes OR until slightly brown .

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