Christmas Recipes

These festive recipes are not always made with locally sourced ingredients, but as long as the exotic ones are purchased from local shops we will allow ourselves a little indulgence at this special time of year.

The following recipes were mentioned and /or tasted at the Christmas Meeting at Fernhill House Hotel December 6, 2011.


Vanilla Moons

120g butter

200g flour

200g ground almonds

80g icing sugar

1 egg

a few drops of pure vanilla essence

Cream butter and sugar and combine with beaten egg and rest of ingredients.  Make into slim rolls about the size of 2 pencils.  Cut into 2cm long pieces and bend into a moon shape.

Bake for 14 mins at 190C/Gas 5.  Gently roll in icing sugar as soon as they come out of the oven.


Dark Rich Gingerbread Cookies

115g soft brown sugar

115g butter

pinch salt

Few drops of pure vanilla essence

175g wholemeal flour

15g sifted cocoa

2 tsp ground ginger

a little milk

icing sugar

Heat oven to 190C/gas 5.

Cream butter and sugar.  Add in the rest and knead until well blended.

Roll out to 5mm thick on a floured surface or an unfloured silicone sheet. Stamp out shapes.  Bake10-15mins at 190 C.  Leave to cool on a rack.

Mix icing sugar and milk to a smooth stiff cream to ice.



1/2 lb butter (I use the regular kind. Butter needs to sit at room temperature for a while to be soft enough- not oily though.)

3/4 cup caster sugar

2 and 1/2 ounces cornflour

10 ounces of plain flour  (it should not contain any raising agent, so check the bag)

1/4 teaspoon salt

Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until creamy and then add in remaining ingredients.

Mix well.  You may need to knead the dough to get it to stick together into a thick non-sticky lump.

Turn out onto a long strip of greaseproof paper. Using the paper to help, shape into a long rectangular log about 2 inches by 1 inch and cut with a sharp knife into 40 pieces (about 1/4 inch deep).
 Alternatively roll out 1/4 inch thick between sheets of cling film, or on a silicone sheet,  and cut into small shapes with fancy cutters (check cooking time after 15 mins if you choose to do this).

Place on a greased oven tray. As these cookies have no eggs or raising agents they spread only a small amount.

Shortbread shapes ready for baking in a low temperature oven.

Bake in a cool oven (160 C) for approximately 20 minutes until golden. They should not be brown, but a pale creamy – gold colour, but crisp right through the centre when cool. (They brown up more after they are removed, so be careful.)

Cool on a wire rack.


Source: Original recipe from New Zealand Anchor or Fernleaf butter wrapper circa 1970.

I used to make these in the early 2000’s for the Clonakilty Market and Inchydoney Hotel.





These link to family recipes from various sources that are all tried and tested.  Enjoy!

Easy Mix, No Crumble, Christmas cake recipe: click here 



Roll out on silicone mat and cut out all before lifting them onto the tray.


Gingerbread for Gingerbread Men and Christmas Decorations recipe: click here

Gingerbread shapes for decorations and gingerbread men












Russian Fudge recipe: click here









Other Christmas Cake Recipes

Christmas Cake- Grandma’s  click here.  A delicious medium fruit cake which has been used on numerous occasions from the 1940′s to the present, as a wedding cake.

Ginger Ale Fruit Cake click here.  A smaller very moist fruit cake.

Christmas Puddings

Traditional rich and fruity pudding: click here.


A ‘faux’ quick and easy “Christmas pudding” that takes just 30 minutes from start of preparation to eating.  Click here.

All the flavour but not so rich and time consuming.



Non traditional Puddings

Chocolate log: click here.

Recipes for Christmas Gifts

Afghan biscuits: click here

Iced spice biscuits: click here

Shortcrust for mince pies etc.: click here

Speculaas: click here

Yoyo biscuits: click here

Home made play dough for children: click here

Beetroot Pickle: click here

Cashmere Chutney: click here


Gingerbread House Instructions

Here is the template for cutting out the house after it is cooked.

Click on the underlined words to get a .pdf of shapes and measurements. Make sure that you look at this and read the whole recipe before you start cooking.   Gingerbread House Template-1

Honey Spice Gingerbread for Gingerbread house.

600gm Sugar

100gm butter

540gm Honey


Melt these ingredients in a large saucepan, boil until the sugar is dissolved, then add:


4 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice – mixture will bubble up a lot – beware!!

Cool to room temperature.


Meanwhile, mix together in a bowl:


1 kg 100gm plain flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 ½ teaspoons ground cloves

½ teaspoon ground cardamom


Beat 1/3 of the flour mixture into the lemon/honey/sugar mix. Then beat in:

1 egg

3 egg yolks (reserve the whites for the icing).


Transfer mixture to a large bowl, knead in the rest of the flour. Add extra flour as needed until mixture is soft but not too sticky.


Heat oven to 350 degrees Celsius.

Butter and then coat with flour 2 baking trays.  You will need one base approx 25cm x 30cm and another approx 45cm x 30cm to cut out all the house shapes


Divide dough depending on tray size and roll out to approximately 1cm thick. Keep flouring work surface to avoid dough sticking. Place on buttered and floured trays. Press into shape. Cook for 35 mins or until dark golden brown. Pieces will harden as they cool, so cut out house templates as soon as possible after taking out of the oven. Carefully lift pieces to a wire rack and lay flat to cool completely.


Royal Icing Ingredients:

4 egg whites

Approx 1 kg Pure Icing sugar (check no maize or potato starch)

2 Tablespoons lemon juice


Beat egg whites until frothy, add sifted pure icing sugar ½ cup at a time, beat after each addition. Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Beat icing until stiff. Adjust thickness with more icing sugar or lemon juice. Too thin and it will not glue the house together sufficiently and too stiff it will be harder to form icicles. Can be piped or freehand.