Baker’s Solstice Countdown: December 18: Christmas Cake (Joulukakku)

Here is an unassuming little cake, awaiting its star turn tomorrow, when it becomes a Finnish Christmas Cake. I learned of this Finnish traditional cake in Beatrice Ojakangas' book, The Finnish Cookbook, but the cake recipe is my own. I adapted my mom's buttermilk cake to add some Finnish flair, with lots of freshly ground … Continue reading Baker’s Solstice Countdown: December 18: Christmas Cake (Joulukakku)

Baker’s Solstice Countdown: December 17: Pulla (Finnish Cardamom Coffee Bread)

This recipe's success relies heavily on the freshness of the cardamom you use, which is why I encourage you to get cardamom pods instead of ground cardamom. Ground cardamom loses its flavor very quickly, so if you have a jar of ground cardamom that has been around for a while, you want to open it … Continue reading Baker’s Solstice Countdown: December 17: Pulla (Finnish Cardamom Coffee Bread)

Baker’s Solstice Countdown: December 16: Peppermint Kisses

Although these are not as pretty as I had hoped, they are absolutely delicious, crunchy at the start, then immediately chewy, but not sticky, and perfectly minty. Next time I make them, I might put the easy-to-manage meringue mixture in a piping bag with a star tip, to get a shape that's a bit more … Continue reading Baker’s Solstice Countdown: December 16: Peppermint Kisses

Baker’s Solstice Countdown: December 15: Star-Topped Mince Pies

These are another easy, tasty version of a traditional holiday pie, that allows you to have just a small perfect bite, rather than an overwhelming slab on a plate. The crust is very forgiving, and the filling can be a store-bought mincemeat blend, but Ms. Lawson has provided a not-exactly traditional recipe for a filling, … Continue reading Baker’s Solstice Countdown: December 15: Star-Topped Mince Pies

Baker’s Solstice Countdown: December 14: Mom’s Caramels

I had never made my mom's caramels before. I didn't even have the recipe. They were just one of those things only my mom ever made. When I moved to the East Coast, I didn't take the recipe with me because it makes a remarkable number of caramels, more than The Husband and I could … Continue reading Baker’s Solstice Countdown: December 14: Mom’s Caramels

Baker’s Solstice Countdown: December 13: Aunt Hanna’s Cookies

These cookies are an everyday Finnish cookie, that I decorate with green and red glazed cherries for the holidays (inspired by Beatrice Ojakangas' suggestion in The Great Scandinavian Baking Book). They have become one of my favorite cookies, because they are not terribly sweet, and are a nice change from all the sugary treats around … Continue reading Baker’s Solstice Countdown: December 13: Aunt Hanna’s Cookies

Baker’s Solstice Countdown: December 12: No-Bake Wreaths

This is another recipe from a homemaking/parenting magazine from years ago. Despite the look of them, and the "kid-stuff" list of ingredients, these crispy, sweet, cornflake and marshmallow wreaths are delightful. Rather than the sticky, chewy consistency of puffed rice marshmallow bars, the cornflakes take on a light glaze of marshmallow, and provide relief from … Continue reading Baker’s Solstice Countdown: December 12: No-Bake Wreaths

Baker’s Solstice Countdown: December 11: Spiced Rum Pecans

This is inspired by a recipe I collected and until now, never actually made. I don't remember where I got it, exactly, but it is on the inside of a cardboard box, that I cut and glued to an index card, making it impossible to discern what was originally in the box. I suspect it … Continue reading Baker’s Solstice Countdown: December 11: Spiced Rum Pecans

Baker’s Solstice Countdown: December 10: Snickerdoodles

Here's another recipe from my mom, that I transcribed as she read it to me over the phone, some time in the distant past. Turns out that, upon closer examination, it came to us by way of Betty Crocker's Cooky Book, and they, in turn, acknowledge they got the recipe from Mrs. Ronald Anfinson, of … Continue reading Baker’s Solstice Countdown: December 10: Snickerdoodles

Baker’s Solstice Countdown: December 9: Mom’s Fudge

My recipe card simply says Mom's Fudge, but I suspect it's not just my mom's fudge, but a lot of folks' moms' fudge, because it is suspiciously similar to the "foolproof fudge" recipes on the labels of both Kraft's Marshmallow Creme and Durkee Mower's Marshmallow Fluff. Then there's the whole Creme vs Fluff issue to … Continue reading Baker’s Solstice Countdown: December 9: Mom’s Fudge