Holiday Baking

Posted by Avalon Bourne

It is undeniable that one of the best aspects of the Holidays is all the baked goodies. The smells of ginger and cinnamon and stewed fruits conjure up nostalgic visions of roaring fires, roasting birds and stockings all in a row. Platters of delicious food all resonating with the joyous celebration of the Holidays: Christmas baking is steeped in tradition and it is from that tradition that we draw comfort and a homey feeling of nostalgia. This is not to say that one must stick to a carefully regimented list of pre-approved, time-honoured recipes but rather build on the classics with modern twists and slowly, gradually introduce new possibilities for new traditions.

So let us begin with some classics. This classic Shortbread comes from a family recipe and is the very epitome of Christmas nostalgia. While Ginger Snaps are a taste of the Holidays in a single bite. And of course Mincemeat Pie is the ultimate in Christmas baking and though a challenge, the end result is so very much worth it.

For something a little different yet still with that Holiday flavour try any of these new, interpretive takes on classic ingredients and recipes. Pumpkin Streusel Loaf with its spiced, rich flavour is a comforting, dense slice of deliciousness. For an easy to make tray of goodness whip up a batch of Chocolate Chip Nut Bars; chocolatey and nutty, perfect for an afternoon treat or as part of the dessert section of a Christmas buffet.

Now for the showstoppers. Whether it is the Piece de Resistance after a glorious turkey supper with all the fixings or a simple dessert after a quiet dinner party with close friends, the show stopper holiday dessert is a must. A classic Christmas Trifle pulls together all the delicious flavours of fruit and spices into a creamy richness and is versatile enough to add your own spin. While a Cheddar Apple Pie incorporates all the crisp, tartness of apples with the sharpness of a finely aged Cheddar. With a side of whipped cream this pie is a sure hit.

These are all classic dishes with a little twist. Christmas and the Holiday season is filled with tradition but that does not need to be limiting. Classic dishes are meant to be interpreted and left open for each new chef to make their mark. Of course the other aspect of the classic, traditional recipes is the fact that these baked goods are all absolutely delicious and perfect on their own without change as well. Thus the joy of Holiday baking.