I've two more recipes for you today, plus a little knitting at the end of the post. If you're weary of all the baked goods, just skim done to see the jolly, red fellow I knit a couple of weeks ago.
First recipe today is for Orange Cherry Poundcake. I'm not sure where this recipe came from, my Mum use to make this when we were younger, so she must have discovered it from a book or a friend in either the 1960s, 1970s or 1980s (I had a lengthy childhood). Ian has discovered this year that he loves this cake, in years past he wouldn't try it, being too suspicious of "things" (like cherries) inside of other "things" (like cake). I guess he's not a baby anymore...
Orange Cherry Poundcake
1/4 cup orange juice (fresh squeezed is a nicest)
1/2 lb. red glace cherries, cut fine (sorry, i don't know how to make the wee accent mark over the "e" in glace)
1/2 lb. butter, softened (that's one cup, for you novice bakers)
1 1/4 cups berry sugar
4 eggs, separated
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups unbleached flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
Grease two standard loaf pans and line with wax paper. Mix the juice with the cherries in a small bowl and stir well to separate the fruit. Cream the butter thoroughly and add 3/4 cup of the sugar gradually. Continue beating, add flavouring, then flour sifted with the salt. Beat well. Scrape the batter into a larger bowl and add the cherry mixture and zest. Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar together until fluffy; add the remaining sugar gradually and beat until very stiff (the egg whites, not your arms). Fold the egg white mixture gently and thoroughly into the cherry batter and scrape into the prepared pans. bake at 300 degrees F oven for 1 1/4 hours or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pan, then remove and peel off the wax paper. When cold, wrap airtight and store 24 hours before slicing.
Another cherry-filled recipe that I found through Mum, this one comes from the November 2006 issue of Chatelaine. It was a recipe submitted by a reader, who mentions in the preamble that her Mother found it in a recipe book back in the '50s and they've made it ever since at Christmas time.
Festive Cherry Bars
2 cups flour
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. each baking powder and salt
1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup finely chopped almonds
3/4 cup maraschino cherries, drained and chopped
1/4 cup maraschino cherry juice
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 cups icing sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 inch pan. In a bowl, using a fork, stir flour with 1/2 cup icing sugar. Using a pastry blender, or two knives, cut in 1 cup butter until coarse crumbs form (or instead pulse ingredients together briefly in a food processor). Press over bottom of baking dish. Bake until light golden around edges, 25-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, stir flour with baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat eggs, then stir in brown sugar. gradually stir in flour mixture, then almonds and cherries. Spread over base (no need to cool the base after baking, as it's going right back in the oven). Bake at 350 degrees until filling is set, 25-30 minutes. While filling is baking, in a small bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cherry juice with 3 Tbsp butter and almond extract. Gradually beat in 2 cups icing sugar until fluffy. Cover and set aside. Cool bars, then evenly spread icing overtop. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before cutting into bars. Store in airtight container.
My Festive Cherry Bars didn't look so great this year because I forgot to chill the bars before cutting into them, I just left them to cool on the counter, and now the icing looks a tad sad and wilted. This, of course, won't happen to you because you'll follow the recipe.
Off the needles recently is another Alan Dart toy, this one is the Little Devil from the October issue of Simply Knitting.
I thought why not Old Nick instead of Saint Nick for the festive season. He's not all that threatening though, as I never did make his trident.
On an unrelated-to-anything-except-for-Christmas note, this video makes me wish I'd asked for a timpani drum for Christmas: