Best 16 Christmas Candies, Cakes and Puddings

Cakes Pudding Foodhyme

The attractive candies manufactured by the first-class confectioners may be daintily made by the ordinary housewife, but it requires inventiveness, patience and much experience to make them perfect.

Do not attempt too great variety at first: select a few that do not call for the touch and skill of a professional.

To be successful, first learn to boil the sugar to the correct point. Before beginning select three or four new, small saucepans, holding from a pint to a quart, several measuring-cups, and six small cups for melting fondant (ordinary stoneware coffee-cups will answer the purpose), two or three candytongs, half a dozen candy-dippers, three small wooden paddles, six-inch spatula, a teller knife, a dish-mop, a half-inch paste-brush, a small twenty-five-cent alcohol stove, and, if possible, a marble slab.

Use granulated sugar for the fondant.

Make the fondant one day and the candies the next. Fondant will form the basis of two-thirds of the French candies and the coverings of nuts, fruits, etc.

The way to make and use Fondant

Put one pound of sugar into a granite saucepan, add half a pint of water, and stir over the fire with a wooden paddle until the sugar is dissolved, not an instant longer. With a sponge or piece of soft cheesecloth wipe the crystals from the side of the saucepan; if they are allowed to fall in the syrup they will cause granulation.

The syrup must boil without stirring or without motion until it will form a soft ball when dropped into ice-water. As soon as this stage has been reached pour the syrup on a very lightly-greased marble slab, or a large meat-platter. Watch the syrup carefully; when it is cool enough to bear your finger begin to stir rapidly and constantly with a wooden paddle until a thick, white, creamy mass is formed.

Dust a board with confectioners’ sugar; take the mass in your hands and knead it as you would bread; it will soon become soft and smooth. Put this into a bowl; cover at once with a piece of wet cheesecloth. Do not make more than one pound at a time.

1. Creamed Fruits

Creamed fruits are made by dipping the fruits in melted fondant. Add a little water. drop by drop, until the fondant is sufficiently thin to cover the fruit. Always melt it in a small pan standing in a pan of hot water.

Stir the fondant constantly while it is melting. Oranges, candied cherries, white grapes and nuts make very nice confections when neatly dipped.

2. English Walnut Creams

Work half a pound of fondant until creamy, and add, a little at a time, a teaspoon ful of vanilla extract. Have ready English walnuts shelled and divided in halves ; take a piece of the fondant the size of a marble, roll in the hand, place it between two halves of the walnuts, press together and stand them aside to harden.

Creamed dates are simply dates with the stones removed and the spaces filled with flavored fondant.

3. Peppermint Drops

Boil one pound of sugar and half a pint of water for five minutes; after they begin to boil, add three drops of good oil of peppermint, or a teaspoonful of strong essence of peppermint; take the mixture from the fire, stir rapidly until it begins to have a whitish appearance, then pour it quickly into tiny greased or oiled patty-pan moulds.

The drops will be ready to serve as soon as they are hard. The mixture must be stirred sufficiently long to look white as it goes into the pans.

4. Chocolate Caramels

Put half a pound of grated, unsweetened chocolate, four ounces of butter, one pound of brown sugar, half a cupful of molasses, half a cupful of cream and a teaspoonful of vanilla sugar into a granite saucepan; stir the whole over a slow fire until thoroughly mixed, and then boil slowly until the mixture hardens when dropped into ice-water.

Turn into greased, shallow pans and stand aside to cool. When nearly cold dip a sharp knife in olive oil, mark the caramels in squares; when cold break apart and wrap in waxed paper.

5. Panocha

Have ready shelled a quantity of pecan nuts. Put one pound of dark brown sugar and half a cupful of cream into a saucepan; stir over the fire until it melts and boils, and forms a soft ball when dropped into cold water.

Take from the fire, add half a pint of pecans, stir until the sugar is granulated, and then drop it in little cakes on oiled paper.

6. Mexican Sugar Candy

Shell sufficient pecans to make half a pint of meats. Put a cupful of granulated sugar into an iron saucepan, stir until it melts but do not let it burn. Take from the fire and when slightly cooled add a cupful of milk, another cupful of sugar and stir the whole until, when dropped into cold water, the syrup forms a soft ball.

Take from the fire, add the nuts, stir until it granulates, and turn into a shallow, greased pan. Quickly flatten it out, and when cold break into squares.

7. Chocolate Creams

Put one pound of fondant on the working board; add a teaspoonful of vanilla sugar, half a teaspoonful of vanilla extract, and work the mass until well mixed; form into tiny balls the size of a marble and put them on oiled paper to harden.

Make the covering by putting a quarter of a pound of grated chocolate into a small saucepan, stand this in a pan of boiling water, add half a pound of fondant, a teaspoonful of vanilla extract, and sufficient boiling water to make it the consistency of very thick cream. Put the water in a teaspoonful at a time, keeping the mixture hot and stirring all the while.

Drop in the hardened balls with the left hand, dip them out with the candy-dipper in the right hand and put on oiled paper to harden. A little practice will enable you to shape and drop these chocolate creams neatly and easily.

8. Fine English Plum Pudding

Stone a pound of raisins ; mix with them one pound of currants, half a pound of minced, candied orange peel, three-quarters of a pound of breadcrumbs, one pound of suet that has been shredded and chopped fine, a quarter of a pound of flour, a quarter of a pound of brown sugar, half a nutmeg grated and the grated rind of one lemon.

Beat five eggs without separating the whites from the yolks, and add half a pint of good grape juice; mix this with the dry ingredients, working the whole thoroughly until the mixture is moist but not wet. Pack in greased moulds, or small tin kettles cover, and steam or boil continuously for ten hours.

Take the puddings from the water, remove the lids and cool in the moulds. Next morning replace the lids and put the puddings aside for two, three or four weeks, until needed. The longer they stand the better. But do not overlook the important point that they should be kept in a cool place.

9. Christmas Fruit Pudding

Put a quart of milk into a double boiler; beat the yolks of four eggs with one cupful of sugar until very light; add a little hot milk, return the mixture to the boiler and cook until you have a thick, soft custard. Take from the fire and add a teaspoonful of vanilla extract. When cold turn the mixture into a freezing-can, pack, and turn until it is slightly frozen.

Add a quarter of a pound of chopped, candied cherries, a cupful of sultanas, a quarter of a pound of candied pineapple, chopped rather fine, and, if you have them, three or four grated macaroons.

Fold in this one pint of cream whipped to a stiff froth, cover the can, repack, stand it aside for one hour, and the pudding will be ready to serve.

10. Marlborough Pudding

Core five good-sized tart apples, cut them in thin slices, put them into a saucepan with half a cupful of water, cover the saucepan, cook quickly until the apples are soft; press them through a sieve.

While they are hot add four tablespoonfuls of butter. Beat the yolks of six eggs with two cupfuls of granulated sugar; add a quart of milk, a teaspoonful of vanilla extract and the apples; pour the mixture into a baking-dish and bake in a quick oven for thirty-five minutes. Beat the whites of the eggs until fairly stiff, add six tablespoonfuls of powdered sugar, and beat until fine and dry.

Spread this over the top of the pudding, dust thickly with powdered sugar, and put the pudding back in the oven for just a moment to brown nicely. Serve it cold. A pudding made of the quantity of materials given here will be sufficient for ten persons.

11. Queen MAB Pudding

Cover half a box of gelatine with half a cupful of cold water and let stand for half an hour. Whip one pint of cream to a stiff froth. Put a pint of milk into a double boiler; when hot add the gelatine.

Beat the yolks of four eggs and two-thirds of a cupful of sugar together until light; add the hot milk, gradually; return to the farina-boiler; cook for about two minutes, take from the fire; add a teaspoonful of vanilla extract; strain into a bowl, stand this in a pan of cracked ice, and stir constantly until the mixture just begins to thicken. At this stage fold in quickly the whipped cream, pour into a mould, and stand away to harden.

Serve with candied or preserved cherries and plain whipped cream.

12. A Plain Christmas Pudding

Shred and chop half a pound of suet; pick over and stone half a pound of raisins. Put the suet in a bowl, add one cupful of New Orleans molasses, one cupful of milk, half a teaspoonful of soda dissolved in a tablespoonful of water, a tablespoonful of cinnamon, and then stir in three cupfuls of flour that have been sifted with two teaspoonfuls of baking powder.

Beat vigorously, then add the raisins that have been slightly dusted with a little extra flour; pour into a greased pudding-mould, or pudding-bag; boil continuously for three hours.

Serve this pudding hot with either liquid or hard sauce.

13. Dried Fruit Cake

Soak three cupfuls of dried apples or any dried fruit in sufficient cold water to cover, for twelve hours; drain, and chop rather fine. Cover with two cupfuls of molasses, simmer gently over a slow fire for two hours, and stand aside to cool.

Beat one cupful of sugar and two eggs together until very light; add three-quarters of a cupful of butter that has been washed and softened; add the apples, a cupful of milk, a teaspoonful of cinnamon, half a teaspoonful of cloves, half a nutmeg grated, and a level teaspoonful of soda dissolved in a tablespoonful of warm water. Sift one pound of pastry flour and stir it into the mixture gradually.

Bake the cake in a round, greased pan in a moderate oven for two hours.

14. Hickory-Nut Cake

Beat half a cupful of butter to a cream; add one cupful and a half of sugar, beating all the while. Measure three-quarters of a cupful of water; sift two cupfuls of flour with three level teaspoonfuls of baking powder.

Chop sufficient hickory-nut kernels to make one cupful. Add first a little of the water to the butter and sugar, then more water and flour until both are used; beat thoroughly for three minutes.

Beat the whites of four eggs to a stiff froth, add one-half to the mixture, then add the nuts, and last the remaining whites of eggs. Bake in square or round pans in a moderate oven for forty-five minutes. Ice with soft icing and decorate with halves of nuts.

15. Cup Sunshine Cakes

Beat the whites of eleven eggs until they are fairly stiff; then add a level teaspoonful of cream of tartar and beat until fine and dry. Add the yolks of four eggs beaten to a froth; sift one cupful and a half of granulated sugar, add to the whites carefully, and add a teaspoonful of vanilla extract.

When thoroughly mixed fold in gently one cupful of flour that has been sifted four or five times. Turn into greased custard-cups and bake in a moderate oven for twenty minutes. When these cakes are cold they should be iced with orange icing.

16. Grandmother’s English Plum Cake

Beat one pound of butter to a cream; add gradually one pound of granulated sugar, and when very light add four eggs well beaten. Dissolve a teaspoonful of bicarbonate of soda in two tablespoonfuls of warm water, add it to one cupful of molasses, and then add the molasses to the butter, sugar and eggs.

Stir in half a pint of lukewarm, strong, black coffee, three cupfuls of flour, a level teaspoonful of allspice, half a teaspoonful of cloves, two teaspoonfuls of cinnamon and one nutmeg, grated. Beat thoroughly.

Mix half a pound of shredded citron, two pounds of stoned raisins and one pound of currants; flour them with a cupful of pastry flour, stir them in carefully, and finally bake in fruit cakepans in a slow oven for two hours and a half.

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