Happy Xmas baking

Thumbprint cookies - Wendy Rahamut
Thumbprint cookies - Wendy Rahamut

With only two weeks to Christmas, I know most of you will be in frenzy mode. For me it’s the Christmas baking I like to get done ahead of time, especially my Christmas black cakes and cookies. Christmas cookies make delightful gifts and its one activity you can engage the whole family. I enjoy black cakes and enjoy making them, and I also am very fond of Dundee cakes, rich with fruits and nuts, this year I will be making my traditional black cakes but I’m promising myself a Dundee as well.

Thumbprint cookies

1 cup unsalted butter

⅓ cup brown sugar

⅓ cup granulated sugar

2 egg yolks

1 tsp vanilla extract

2½ cups all-purpose flour

pinch salt

2 egg whites

1 cup finely chopped nuts, (peanuts, hazelnuts or almonds)

1 cup jam or jelly any type

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Butter and flour baking trays.

Cream butter until light. Beat in brown sugar and granulated sugar.

Add egg yolks and vanilla, beat until blended.

Combine flour and salt and add to batter.

Stir until a dough like consistency is formed.

Shape cookies into one-inch balls and place on a trays.

Lightly beat egg whites in a shallow bowl.

Place finely chopped nuts in another shallow dish.

Roll each ball of cookie dough in egg white and then roll lightly in nuts.

Place on prepared trays about one inch apart.

Press centre of each cookie in slightly using your thumb or index finger.

Bake for 9 to 12 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned.

Gently press the indentation again and cool cookies on racks.

When cookies are cooled, spoon a little jam or jelly into the centres.

Makes about 48 cookies

Sugared fruit shortbread

1 cup dried fruit, raisins and currants

2 tsp aromatic bitters

1 cup unsalted butter

⅔ cup icing sugar, sifted

1½ tsp salt

2½ cups all-purpose flour

1 cup coarse-grained golden sugar

Wash and dry fruit, place in a bowl and add bitters, stir.

Let macerate for about one hour.

Chop fruit finely in a food processor.

Cream butter with icing sugar, add salt and flour.

Mix well, add fruit and combine.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Gently knead to a uniform texture.

Divide into 2 pieces. Roll each into a 7-inch log, wrap tightly in plastic wrap.

Chill for about 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Place golden sugar into a plate.

Slice cookies ¼ inch thick; roll in the sugar, covering the ends only.

Place on cookie sheets one inch apart

Bake for 15 minutes. Remove and cool on racks.

Makes 24

Rich West Indian Dundee cake

1 lb butter

½ lb granulated sugar

½ lb brown sugar

8 eggs

Zest of three limes

2 tbs vanilla essence

1 tsp almond essence

1¼ lb all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

2 oz ground almonds

½ cup rum (optional)

1 lb currants

1 lb sultanas

½ lb mixed peel

¼ lb cherries (red & green, cut)

3 ozs chopped Nuts

Pre-heat oven to 325 F.

Grease and line two nine inch by 3 inch cake tins.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add eggs one at a time beating well between additions.

Add the lime zest, almond and vanilla essence.

Sieve flour, baking powder and mix in the ground almonds and fold into the batter with the rum if using.

Toss cherries, currants, sultanas, mixed peel and chopped nuts in some flour, coat evenly, shake off excess flour.

Add to the batter and gently fold in.

Bake for about 1½ hrs or until cake leaves the sides of the tin.

Cool cake in tin before removing.

Makes 2 nine inch cakes.


@wendyrahamut3881 youtube.


"Happy Xmas baking"

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