Merry Kitschmas

vintage & retro Christmas collecting

Nostalgic Christmas treats

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christmas treats
The Christmas table is an important a gathering place during the Christmas holidays season, so expand the kitsch to include iconic family Christmas foods.

Take a trip down memory lane with these nostalgic Christmas treats. Think back to childhood about those special Christmas treats you waited to receive each year.

The nostalgia factor is huge when it comes to treats such as Christmas candy, eggnog, gingerbread, and even fruitcake.

Nostalgic Christmas candy

christmas candy Chocolate oranges

Chocolate oranges are spherical segmented chocolate candies that resemble oranges. The foremost producer of chocolate oranges is Terry's Chocolate Orange, but in recent years imitations have popped up at stores such as Trader Joe's and World market which were not produced under the Terry's label.

These were originally a United Kingdom-only chocolate candy, but they are now available worldwide as their popularity in Christmas stockings continues to spread.

Chocolate Santas

Who doesn't like chocolate Santa candy? They're adorable, they're festive, and they come in neat little foil wrappings that just beg to be opened. There is an assortment of different sizes from tiny ones perfect for stocking stuffers to giant ones that might take the entire evening to eat (you'll be full but happy afterward).

With the image of Santa Claus gracing the wrappers, you could even hang them on the tree as delightful edible Christmas tree ornaments.

Candy canes

Candy canes are said to have been invented by the choirmaster of Cologne Cathedral in Germany as an attempt to silence noisy children during services by filling their little mouths with sweets.

A recipe for a white peppermint stick dates to 1844, while the earliest reference to a "candy cane" is in 1866. By 1882, the candy cane became a prominent part of the holiday treats and decor, even being used to decorate the tree.

Christmas eggnog

christmas eggnog Nothing says "kitsch holiday bash" like a nice glass of eggnog. It has been a holiday staple since the creation of the British drink termed "posset", which is a milky alcohol based drink created back when ravaging Normans roamed Britain. "Eggnog" is derived from the primary ingredient of this concoction and "nog", which is traditionally used to describe any drink involving a strong alcoholic base.

While there are commercial eggnog options available at the local supermarket, this is an easy drink to prepare at home when your distant cousins announce their impending descent upon your home this holiday season.

Get out your best punchbowl and mix up a batch!

24 December is Eggnog Day!

christmas eggnog

Ingredients

Instructions

In a small saucepan, combine milk, spices, and vanilla over low heat until just simmering.

In a large mixing bowl, combine egg yolks and sugar until the mixture is pale and frothy.

Temper the egg mixture with the hot milk mixture, whisking until just combined.

Return the mixture to the saucepan and heat until it thickens (160 degrees F).

Once thickened, remove the saucepan from heat. Stir in the heavy cream and alcohol. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

Serve topped with whipped cream and an extra sprinkle of cinnamon.

Note: This recipe can be doubled if needed.

Serves: 6.
Prep Time: 15 minutes plus chilling.
Total Time: Overnight.

Christmas fruitcake

christmas fruitcake
Fruitcake has been a Christmas tradition for over two thousand years with the first recipe dating back to ancient Rome. Despite the fact that the fruitcake fell out of favor within the past few decades, fruitcake is a time-honoured tradition for the Christmas holidays. Everyone remembers it, although no one actually wants to receive one in their stocking.

The earliest extant Christmas fruitcake recipe lists as ingredients pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, mead, and raisins mixed into a barley mash. (I bet the remnants of that Roman fruitcake may still be lurking in the Roman ruins somewhere.)

The expression "Nutty as a fruitcake" was coined in 1935.

Does anyone actually eat fruitcake, though? In some families, a game has been played for decades called "pass the fruitcake". If you receive it, re-wrap it for re-gifting next Christmas. Legend has it that there is only one fruitcake that gets passed around the world until some unsuspecting soul eats it. Then a new one gets baked from the crumbs. (I don't think there's much truth in that, however.)

In fact, fruitcake is a gift that keeps on giving. The #1 fruitcake giving holiday is Christmas. In modern society, Christmas is a social activity for Christians and non-Christians alike to both give and receive gifts. This resulted in the Christmas season being a significant social time period. In addition to the purely social attributes, the period starting with what is commonly termed "Black Friday" (the day after Thanksgiving here in the States) marks a major sales period for retailers. It's their chance for their finances to be "in the black" before the year's end. That means shoppers may well end up buying a whole lot of fruitcake in lieu of a proper gift.

National Fruitcake Day is 27 December

Ingredients

christmas fruitcake

Instructions

Sift 4 cups of flour and the baking powder together. Set aside.

Cream butter, add sugar, then cream mixture until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.

Add the dry ingredients alternately with rum. Dredge the fruits and nuts in the extra 1/2 cup of flour. Stir in the nuts, raisins and cherries until just mixed.

Turn the mixture into a well-greased 10" tube pan. Level off the top of the batter. Bake at 300ยบ F for 2 hours or until a tester inserted in the cake comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and let stand in pan for 20 minutes. Invert pan onto a cooling rack. If you like, sprinkle more rum on cake when it has cooled completely.

Wrap in foil or put in a cake carrier. At this point, it can be frozen for later or kept refrigerated for several days. Allow to come to room temperature before serving. If desired, sift powdered sugar over surface prior to serving.

National Fruitcake Month is celebrated for the entire month of December.

Serves: 8.
Prep Time: 20 minutes.
Total Time: 3 hours.

Christmas gingerbread

christmas gingerbread
The Christmas holiday season just isn't complete without the iconic staple: gingerbread. It has just the right spices and texture to say "Christmas" loud and clear whether it's in the form of a gingerbread man, a gingerbread house, or new seasonal favourites such as pancakes, waffles, or even pie crust.

Bake gingerbread to make a statement, dress up your special events, or even to send a message to someone special!

05 June is National Gingerbread Day!

Ingredients for dough

christmas gingerbread

Ingredients for icing

Instructions

christmas gingerbread In a medium saucepan, mix together honey and molasses until boiling.

Remove from heat, then stir in brown sugar, egg, lemon juice, and lemon zest.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together all remaining dry ingredients for dough. Add the molasses mixture and mix thoroughly, then cover the bowl and chill overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease your baking sheets, then roll small amounts of dough on a lightly floured surface until 1/4 inch thick. Cut in desired shapes, then place all pieces onto the baking sheet.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes (until no imprint remains when touched).

To make the icing, combine water and white sugar in a small saucepan. Heat to soft ball stage. Remove from heat and sift in confectioners' sugar. This icing can be brushed over cookies, piped onto gingerbread men, or used for seams and decorations on a gingerbread house.

Serves: 6.

Tip: Decorate your gingerbread creation with small hard candies, gumdrops, or sugar sprinkles to be extra festive.

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