Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Christmas A to Z Letter J

Welcome Back to Christmas A to Z
J …is for Jingle Bells, Jam Cookies and Jelly Cake
Jingle Bells
One of the most popular songs heard during the Christmas season began not for that holiday, but as a winter song with the title, "The One Horse Open Sleigh”.
Some historical sites tell us that "Jingle Bells" was written by Medford, Massachusetts resident James Pierpont in 1850, inspired by the annual one-horse open-sleigh races on Salem and Pleasant Streets between Medford Square and Malden Square. Pierpont penned the racy little ditty in Simpson's Tavern, a boardinghouse that had only one piano in town
I am not sure just how accurate some of this information is, but it does seem to fit the song. I have often wondered what it would be like to ride in a “One Horse Open Sleigh. Watching older movies with people riding in these sleigh’s is very enjoyable.
Jam Cookies
At Christmas time I always see cookies with jam. Thumbprint cookies and various stained glass looking cookies. They can be very delicious. I found this recipe at the Haute Canada website http://hautecanada.com/2015/01/05/swiss-jam-cookies-spitzbuben/
They look so beautiful and would look lovely on a Christmas cookie exchange table.
Raspberry Jam Cookies
What you need:. 3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup + 1 tbsp. butter (room temperature)
. 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar.
1 1/2 cups ground hazelnuts.
1 egg.
1 packet of dr. oetker vanilla sugar**.
Raspberry jam
**One pouch of Dr. Oetker Vanilla Sugar is equivalent to 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.
What to do:* this is the old way, but you can totally follow the usual method of creaming the butter with a mixer, adding the sugar, the egg....you know what I mean right?
Combine your vanilla sugar packet and powdered sugar together. Then the hazelnuts. . Place the flour on your counter and make a whole in the middle of it (like a volcano) and add the rest of the ingredients. . Mix using your hands until well combined.
Roll the dough and cut out your cookies using a cookie cutter (don't forget to add flour to the surface!) Place them on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for approx 10 min or until slightly golden at the edges (don't let them bronze). . Let cool and spread jam on one cookie, topping it with another one to make a sandwich.
Linzer Torte Jelly Cake
Jelly Cake or Linzer Torte
When I was a small child my Mother would always make “Jelly Cake” during the Christmas Season. It was so delicious! Even though I knew it as “Jelly Cake” it can also be known as Linzer Torte. Here is an old Betty Crocker Recipe I found.

1 cup Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup ground walnuts
½ cup butter or margarine, softened
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup red raspberry preserves…
or any flavor will do)
Heat oven to 375ºF. Mix all ingredients except preserves with spoon until crumbly. Press two-thirds of crumbly mixture on bottom of un-greased square pan, 9 x 9 x 2 inches. Spread with preserves. Sprinkle with remaining crumbly mixture; press gently into preserves.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely, about 1 hour. For 48 bars, cut into 8 rows by 6 rows bars. Or cut into squares or triangles.

I hope you will join me again tomorrow for more of the Christmas Celebration
Carolyn and the Bears

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