Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Traditions, Part 3--Baking Traditions

I've admitted before that I'm really not a cook. My sister--now she's a cook. My mom--now she makes great candy and treats. Me? My family doesn't starve, and I make food to fill our bellies.

It's taken us a few years to come up with Christmas food traditions of our own. Here are three:

Every Christmas morning, we have Christmas slush, sausage, and Christmas bread ring.

12 oz. frozen orange juice, diluted
6 bananas
16-oz. frozen strawberries, thawed
1 large can crushed pineapple (not drained)
2 c. sugar
1 1/2 cup water

Mix and freeze. (It fits well in a 5-quart ice cream bucket.) Stir occasionally to prevent it from becoming a huge solid block.
Serve by itself or with Sprite.

This next recipe is hard for me to translate, since I've never ever made it.  This tradition began one year when Grandma and Grandpa Tucker were here, and Grandma took Heidi aside and taught her how to make this.  Heidi will be home this year, so I need to have her show me and Lily how to continue this tradition:

Cinnamon Bread Ring
1 1/2 c. warm water
2 T. yeast
1/2 c. butter
1 t. salt
4 T. Bird's custard powder*
3 T. sugar
3-4 c. flour

Mix all ingredients and knead 12-15 minutes (in mixer or by hand). Divide into 3 balls. Line a large round pizza pan with foil, spray with vegetable oil. Roll each ball into a circle--size of the pan. Place one circle on the pan, sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon and pecans (we are a no-nut household, so we omit these little nasties!). Repeat with second circle. Add third circle on top, not sprinkling with cinnamon and sugar. Place a large cereal bowl in the middle like a cookie cutter; leave on the dough. Using a pizza cutter, cut 2-inch pieces of dough up to the bowl, leaving an inch between the cut and the edge of the cereal bowl. Twist each strip. Remove the cereal bowl, and cut and twist the circle of dough underneath. Replace in the center of the dough.
Let rise one hour.
Bake at 374 for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven, then glaze with 2 T. milk, 1 t. vanilla and enough powdered sugar to make a runny glaze.

*If Bird's custard is not available where you are, you really do need this kind.  It's available online.  I ordered mine from a darling little British company.

And finally, I do make sugar cookies with my kids.  I give them out to our neighbors as my kids frost and decorate them.  They aren't masterpieces, but they're meant to be eaten, right?
The cookie dough recipe--just my mom's sugar cookies.  But the key to fantastic sugar cookies (or cake, for that matter) is the frosting.  I'm always about the frosting.  I learned how to make perfect frosting as a young girl, under my mom's careful tutelage:

1 cube butter (straight from the fridge--this is important)
1 t. vanilla
1/4 c. milk
1/2 t. lemon
1 pound powdered sugar

Beat the butter on high for 2-3 minutes until it's light and fluffy.  Add the wet ingredients, then the powdered sugar a little at a time, watching that it doesn't get too thick.

So yummy.  I have such a frosting weakness.  It's true.

My reasoning behind this post was completely selfish. I would love to adopt a few more baking traditions around here. What are yours?  Link up and let us know!
Next week--Christmas Eve traditions.  These are some of my favorite things I do with my family all year.  I can't wait to share them with all of you!


  1. I got nothin'. Strangely, all of our baking traditions belong to my mom. SHE does our baking.

    Something's wrong with this picture...


  2. i love the idea for the slush & will adopt it this year! what an awesome idea to have everyone link theirs. i will post mine later this week. hugs to you Jen! cathy

  3. Ah, Christmas memories! Our first Christmas give-away treats were sugar cookies that all of you decorated. Boy, has that been a while. I love that Heidi makes the cinnamon bread ring and it is time you and Lily learned. She will love it.

  4. Slush...Hmm, interesting :) Just like Sue, I don't have anything that I can share either. Unless you consider opening up a box of Betty Crocker's cake mix a recipe!

    I find it quite interesting how Heidi knows how to make the Cinnamon Bread Ring but you don't. I think it's cute how your daughter will be teaching you how to make your family's traditional bread recipe.

  5. Hmmm, I like the sound of the slush. I've been making one for years that involves scooping the guts out of a lot of oranges and grapefruits. It is delicious but makes me tired.

  6. We have Christmas morning slush too, soooooo YUMMY!!! My only baking tradition are my sugar cookies. I should branch out a bit.

  7. I will link up Jen as soon as I get a post together!

    I too love that Heidi will be teaching you how to make the bread...that's really special.

  8. i'd kill for some slush right now!

    love traditions...funny how our kids will remember things like this but not other events in their life! i think that counts right?! :o)

  9. These recipes looks delish...thanks for some new ideas!!!

  10. That slush sounds yummy, I'm going to mark that to try. And I need you to take pictures as Heidi teaches you to make the bread, it's hard to picture in my head without seeing it. Sounds really yummy & something my kids would devour. This was fun, thanks!

  11. We really don't have many baking traditions (or decorating ones!) We do make great chimichungas (or however you spell that!) for Christmas eve dinner. They really aren't hard to make, if your interested in the recipe, let me know.

  12. I make cinnamon rolls for breakfast, and insane amounts of caramel, and truffles, and dipped things to give to the neighbors. I like the slush- I think we'll give that one a whirl- thanks for the recipe.

  13. My mom and I always make candy at Christmas, but we haven't done it yet this year. I love it. Dipping things in chocolate can never be bad.