Lemon Shortbread Cookies Hogmanayis a Scottish holiday tocelebrate the new year. Itstarts on the early evening ofDecember 31st and atmidnight it is celebratedwith bells ringing and thepeople singing a folk songcalled “Auld Lang Syne.”Activities include singing,torch light parades, theswinging of ﬁreballs andLoony Dook. During thisactivity, people dressed in arange of costumes jump intothe river, Forth.To bring symbolic good luckto the house, shortbread andwhiskey is usually given.Cookies:2 1/2 cups all-purpose ﬂour!1/2 tsp salt1 cup butter, softened3/4 cup sugarzest from two lemons1 tsp vanilla extract4 large eggsIn a large bowl, beat butter, sugar, zest, and vanilla with an electricmixer, on medium speed, until light and ﬂuffy. Add egg yolks andstir until blended. Set AsideMix ﬂour and salt together, then add to butter mixture and mixuntil blended.Divide dough in half and roll into cylinders (about 12 in). Place inrefrigerator for 2 hours or up to 2 days.When the dough is ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350ºF.Remove dough from refrigerator and unwrap (It’d be best to onlytake one out at a time). Cut slices about 1/4 inch thick and place ona parchment-lined baking sheet.Bake for 15-18 minutes or until cookies are starting to turn goldenbrown around the edges.Remove cookies from oven immediately and place on wire racks tocool completely.Lemon Glaze:1 1/4 cups powdered sugar2 tbsp fresh lemon juiceOnce the cookies are completely cooled, mixpowdered sugar and lemon juice.Spread or drizzle on top of cookies and allow toset.January
Chocolate Truffles3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk1 tablespoon vanilla extractFinely chopped nuts or candy decorations, ifdesiredIn a large saucepan, melt chocolate chips withsweetened condensed milk.Once it’s well mixed, remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla.Transfer the mixture into a medium bowl. Cover and chill 2 to 3 hours oruntil ﬁrm.Once ﬁrm, shape the mixture into 1 inch balls, using a spoon.Roll in desired covering and/or decorate them.Refrigerate in a tightly covered dish.Note: To make coverings adhere better to trufﬂes, roll trufﬂes in covering right after they have beenformed.jFebruarySt. Valentine’s DayDuring Valentine’s Day in the United States,cards, fresh ﬂowers, chocolates and othercandies are exchanged. Chocolate containsa chemical called phenylethylamine. Thischemical gives someone the feeling ofbeing in love and, therefore, it wasnicknamed the “love drug.”
Crempog with Gingerbread SyrupCrempog4 1/4 cups + 6 tbsp ﬂour, sifted1 1/2 cups buttermilk3 eggs (beaten)1/2 tsp sea salt2 tsp baking soda1/4 cup butter (softened)3 tbsp corn syrup3 tbsp sugarSt. David’s Dayis a holiday celebrated on March1st in Wales to honor St. David,or Dewi Sant. He was formallyrecognized as a saint in 1120 andin 1398, it was ordered that everychurch in the Province ofCanterbury, which consists of 30churches in Britain and Wales,held a feast day to commemoratehim. This came to an end in the16th century, but his birthdaybecame a national holiday in the18th century. Today this iscelebrated on March 1stthroughout Wales. People usuallywear a leek or daﬀodil, two of thenational emblems.In the 18th century, Englandwould make gingerbreadWelshmen called taﬃes. Thesecookies resembled Welshmenriding goats, though theirmessage was not positive in theleast.# Combine the baking soda andbuttermilk. Add the sifted ﬂour and the beaten eggs and mix.Then add corn syrup, sugar, salt and butter. ## Note: Crempog mixture is supposed to be thicker thanpancake batter, so if too wet, add more ﬂour. If the mixture istoo dry (it cannot be easily scooped), add more buttermilk, stirin between additions.# Refrigerate mixture for one to two hours. Once removedfrom the refrigerator, stir well.# Heat a frying pan and add enough butter to coat thebottom once it is melted. Drop large tablespoons of the crempogbatter onto the pan. Leave enough space for expansion. Fry bothsides until golden brown.# Top with syrup and butter (shown in pictures).Gingerbread Syrup1 cup sugar1 cup corn syrup1 cup water1 tsp vanilla extract2 1/2 tsp ground ginger1/2 tsp ground cinnamon# Boil all the ingredients together. Then, cook on medium-low heat for 3 minutes.# Bottle and store in refrigerator.March
Mint Cake2 1/2 cups cake ﬂour3 teaspoons baking powder1/4 teaspoon salt3/4 cups unsalted butter, slightly softened1 1/2 cups granulated sugar5 egg whites1 cup milk1/2 teaspoon mint extractPreheat oven to 350ºF. Layer cupcake trays withcupcake cups or lightly coat cake pan with cookingspray.Combine ﬂour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.In a large bowl, beat butter and granulated sugar at medium speed until light and ﬂuffy. Add egg whites, one at a time, and beat well after each addition. Turn mixer to low and add ﬂour and milk alternatively, beginning and ending with the ﬂour.Turn mixer to medium speed and beat in mint extract.Pour mix into cupcake tray or cake pan and bake for 23-25 minutes or until an insertedtoothpick comes out clean.Cupcakes: Let cool on wire racks Cake: Let cool in cake pan on wire rack for 10 minutes,then remove from pan and place back on rack to ﬁnish coolingOnce cooled, sprinkle cakes with powdered sugar.Songkranis a festival in Thailand tocelebrate the new year.This festival lasts fromApril 13th to the 15th.During these days, familieshave picnics and throwwater on each other.Theyalso have small bowls ﬁlledwith talc.This talc is mixedwith water and menthol,then smeared on the facesof others as a New Year’sblessing.April
Raspberry Cupcakes2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder1 1/4 teaspoons salt1 1/4 cups whole milk1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract2 sticks and 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature2 1/4 cups sugar6 large eggs2 containers (6 ounces each) pureed raspberriesPreheat oven to 350ºF. Line two 12-cup muffin tins withbaking cups.Whisk together flours, baking powder, and salt in a mediumbowl. Stir together milk and vanilla in a small bowl. Beat butterwith a mixer on medium speed until fluffy (about 3 minutes).Add sugar in a slow, steady stream and beat until pale andfluffy (also about 3 minutes). Beat in eggs, one at a time;beating well after each addition.Reduce mixer speed to low and add flour mixture in 3 additions,alternating with the milk; beginning and ending with flour. Foldin the pureed raspberries .Fill each baking cup about 3/4 full. Bake until an insertedtoothpick comes out clean (about 20 minutes). Let cool in tinson wire racks for 15 minutes. Then remove cupcakes and allowthem to cool completely.Decorating suggestions: Use edible easter grass and edible glitter or pastel sugar sprinklesto simulate a magical field effect.bMidsummer’s Evedates back to Pagan times.According to an old belief, witches,fairies and elves were tempted bythe short night to tease people orto show them their futures;Midsummer is linked to magic.Even today it is popular for younggirls to pick flowers onMidsummer’s night and place themunder their pillows, hoping thattheir husbands will be revealed intheir dreams.With Midsummer usually comesthe season for the arrival oflocally grown fruits andvegetables, which are sold andconsumed in abundance; thisincludes raspberries.ewrwdwjwkwcwvwmJune
Vanilla MousseMarshmallow FluffUsing a double boiler, mix 16marshmallows (or 160 minimarshmallows) with 2 tsp ofcorn syrup. Mix until smooth.7.5 ounces (about 1 cup) ofmarshmallow ﬂuff1 cup heavy whipping cream1 tsp vanilla extractIn a mixing bowl, combine the ﬂuffwith 1/4 cup of the whippingcream and the vanilla.In another bowl, beat theremaining whipping cream untilthick, but not stiff. Fold into theﬂuff mixture.Freeze until ﬁrm, about 1 hour.JulyBastille Daywas ﬁrst celebratedin 1790; one yearafter the storming ofthe Bastille. In the1800s, however, theannual celebrationsbegan.Today, on themorning of July14th, there is aparade. During theparade French ﬂagsare displayedeverywhere. In theafternoon, familiesfeast by having lightlunches and picnics;concluded by adessert.
Chinese Sponge CakeWLine a muffin/cupcake pan with baking cups and preheat oven to350ºF.Melt the butter and heat the milk using a double boiler and setaside. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites.Beat the yolks, milk and butter mixture, vanilla extract and 1/4cup of sugarWhisk until thick and creamy (usually the mixture turnsfrom yellow to milky color.Sift flour into mixture and mix throughly.Set aside.Add cream of tartar and other 1/4 cup ofsugar to the egg whites. Beat mixture, using anelectric mixer increasing speed from low tohigh, until the mixture is stiff and white.In 4 additions, fold the egg white mixtureinto the egg yolk mixture. Make sure to blendwell.Pour/spoon batter into the baking cups, 3/4full) Bake for 22 minutes or until golden brown.Cool cakes for 1-2 in the pan, then transferto wire rack to cool completely.August5 eggs2/3 cups cake flour1/2 cups sugar6 tbsp butter4 tbsp milk1/4 tsp vanilla extract1/4 tsp cream of tartarThe Qixi Festivalis also known as the Night ofSevens. It is celebrated inChina during the 7th day ofthe 7th lunar month. Thisyear (2013) it falls on the13th of August. It is based ona story about two lover’s thatare on the opposite ends ofthe Milky Way.Today it is also known as“Daughter’s Day,” or“Begging for Skills Festival.”Some women conduct aceremony to beg Zhinu, thewoman in the story, forwisdom and a satisfyingmarriage in the future. Otherwomen offer fruit and pastriesto pray for a bright mind.However, the ceremoniesvary by region.
Black Tea Cookieswith honey glaze and orange peelCookies1/2 cup butter, softened1/2 c brown sugar1/4 c brewed black teapinch of salt1 1/2 c flour1/2 tsp baking powderBrew a single serving of black tea with 1-3 teabags and about a cup of boilingwater; use only 1 tea bag for subtle flavor and 2-3 for a stronger flavor. Let the teaseep for about 5-10 minutes, then allow to cool.Mix together brown sugar and softened butter so that sugar is coated. Add 1/4cup of the cooled black tea to the mixture.In a separate bowl, mix flour and baking powder, then slowly add flour mixtureto the butter, brown sugar and tea mixture. Stick the dough in the refrigerator for atleast 15 minutes.Preheat oven to 375ºF.To set up a place to roll out the cookies, sprinkle and spread a little flour onto acutting board or another flat surface. For baking, cover a large cookie sheet with foilor parchment paper.Once dough is set, roll out half of the dough to about 1/4 inch and use a cookiecutter to cut the cookies into the desired shape. Repeat with the other half of the doughand the trimmings (the dough can be kneaded back together and refrigerated over andover again).Bake the cookies for 7-9 minutes or until the edges are toasty brown. Thecookies can be laid relatively close together on the baking sheet; they do not spreadmuch. When they are finished, let rest for 1 minute on the pan, then for at least 10minutes on the cooling rack. Once cooled, dip one half of the cookie into the honeyglaze and sprinkle dried orange peel onto the glaze.Honey Glaze2 tbsp butter1 tbsp honey1 tbsp waterMelt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the honey and water and whiskuntil blended.Septemberi
Popcorn BallsOctober1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine40 regular sized marshmallows (or 4 cups mini-marshmallows)1/2 tsp vanilla1/4 tsp salt12 cups (3 qt.) popped popcorn! Melt butter in a large saucepan on low heat.! Add marshmallows, vanilla, and salt. Stirringconstantly, cook until marshmallows are completely meltedand mixture is well blended.! Place popcorn in a large bowl. Add the marshmallowmixture, mix lightly and coat the popcorn completely withthe mixture.! With lightly greased hands, shape the balls and placeon sheets of wax paper. Let stand until ﬁrm.Tips:When mixing the marshmallow, it would be best to use awooden spoon. The mixture would stick to a metal spoonmore than it would to a wooden spoon.To grease hands, use a cooking spray.afghjkZDis adapted from theCeltic festival Samhain,which was celebratedto commemorate theend of the Summer.They had believed thatduring this day, thespirits of those thathad died were released.The Celts would wearoutlandish costumesand make loud noisesto scare them away.Fairies were alsobelieved to roam theland and those thatgave food to themwere rewarded, whilethose that did not werepunished.Today, it is celebratedwith sweets, costumesand “trick-or-treating.”
Mint CandyNovember4 oz cream cheese1 tbsp softened butter1 tbsp light corn syrup1/2 tsp mint extract4 cups powdered sugarfood coloring (optional)granulated sugar or colored sprinkles# Line a baking sheet with foil or wax paper.# Beat cream cheese, butter, corn syrup, and mintextract in a large bowl.# With the mixer on low, gradually add thepowdered sugar and mix until well-combined. Then adjust theﬂavor to your liking. If diﬀerent colored mint are desired, separatethe mixture into several bowls and color with food coloring.# Roll the candy into ball, then roll the balls in granulatedsugar or colored sprinkles.# Place the candy on the baking sheet and press ﬂat using thepalm of your hand, the bottom of a glass or cup, or with a fork tocreate a crosshatch pattern.# Store the candy in an airtight container in the refrigeratorfor up to 2 weeks.# The candy is good to eat at room temperature or straightfrom the refrigerator.If the mixture is too soft to roll into balls:# Put a good amount of sugar or sprinkles in the bottom of abowl; the sugar/sprinkles should cover the bottom of the bowl atleast.# Using a fork or spoon, scoop a small amount of the candyinto the bowl; enough to make a single mint.# Move the bowl in a circle motion to make the candy rollaround the bowl. This should help make the candy circular. Oncethe candy is coated with the sugar, it will be easier to handle andcan be formed.Independence Dayin Moroccois celebrated onNovember 18th.During the holiday, agrand reception isheld at the imperialpalace with colorfulparades and streetvendors sellingtraditional foods.Tea was introducedin the 19th century,but despite this, it isknown as Morocco’snational drink. Tea isserved during varioustimes of the day andafter meals. It isalways ﬂavored withmint.
Cookies:1/2 cup granulated sugar1/2 cup packed brown sugar1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened1 egg1 1/2 cups all-purpose ﬂour1 tbsp instant coffee granules or instant expresso coffee (dry)1 tsp baking soda1/4 tsp salt1/3 bag (2/3 cups) semisweet chocolate chunks or chipsHeat oven to 350ºF. In a large bowl, beat granulated sugar,brown sugar, butter and egg with an electric mixer on mediumspeed, or with a spoon, until creamy.Stir in ﬂour gradually. Add coffee granules, baking soda and stir. Mix in chocolatechunks.For each cookie, roll about 2 tbsp of dough and press gently until ﬂat on a large,un-greased cookie sheet. Each cookie should be 2 inches apart.Bake for 12-15 minutes until the cookies are golden brown. Cool 4 minutes, thenremove cookies from the cookie sheet and put them on a wire rack. Coolcompletely.Coffee Drizzle:1/2 tsp instant coffee granules or instantexpresso coffee (dry)1 tbsp water1/2 cup powdered sugarIn a small bowl, dissolve 1/2 tsp coffeegranules in water.Stir in powdered sugar until smooth and thinenough to drizzle.Drizzle onto cooled cookies.Note: Chocolate syrup could also be drizzled onto the cookies.Coffee Cookieswith coffee drizzleDecemberMother’s Dayin Panamais celebrated onDecember 8th; the sameday as the Feast ofImmaculateConception.The datewas suggested by thewife of Panama’sPresident in 1930 andwas passed that sameyear. During this day, asin the United States,people honor theirmothers and give thempresents and cook themmeals.
Hot Chocolate Cupcakeswith Marshmallow Buttercream FrostingHot Chocolate Cupcake:1 3/4 cups all-purpose ﬂour2 cups granulated sugar1/4 cup powdered hot cocoa mix1/2 cup baking cocoa1/2 teaspoon salt2 teaspoons baking soda1 teaspoon baking powder1/2 cup vegetable oil1 cup buttermilk2 eggs1 teaspoon vanilla1 cup prepared hot cocoa1 stick unsalted butter, softenedPreheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare pan by lining with cupcake liners. Combine ﬂour, hot cocoa mix, baking cocoa, salt, baking soda and baking powder togetherin a bowl. Set aside. Cream together granulated sugar and vegetable oil with a mixer. Add eggs, mixing well. Add vanilla. Stir in prepared hot cocoa. Alternate adding the ﬂour mixture and buttermilk to the sugar mixture, beginning and ending withﬂour. When mixture in well-combined, ﬁll cupcake liners about 2/3 full. Depending on what size cupcakes or cake you are making, the cake will bake anywhere from 15-30minutes. Remove from oven and place on wire racks to cool.Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting:2 cups powdered sugar1 teaspoon vanilla1 cup marshmallow creammini marshmallowsWith an electric mixer, whip together unsalted butter andmarshmallow cream. Add vanilla, and mix until combined. Add powdered sugar and beat until the mixture is ﬂuffy and thedesired consistency.Spread frosting on cooled cupcakes and garnish with a mini marshmallow.|December Origins ofHot ChocolateHot Chocolate wasthe traditional drinkof the Aztec peoplein Mexico. Cocoabeans were also usedas money. Only theupper class and theemperor. The Aztecswould grind upcocoa beans andadd water, vanillaand chili peppers.During the Spanishcolonization, theSpanish armydeemed the drinktoo bitter andupdated the recipeby adding sugar,spices and milk.