Holiday Heading Recipes

Our Holiday Heading Recipes for You

From Sue:
I had looked at this recipe in Cooking from Quilt Country several times over the years, thinking I would try it sometime – I’m sorry I waited.   It was very easy to make, came out of the pan easily, and is simply delicious.  It was rich and moist with a nice texture – I certainly wouldn't restrict it to Christmas. 
I used golden raisins, and baked this in two 6 cup Bundt pans.  It is not a mistake that there are no eggs in this recipe.  I used lemon and orange peel from my stash in the freezer. 
I was pleasantly surprised that the raisins and nuts came out evenly distributed throughout the cake, I assume because of the cooking process first.  The hardest part about making this cake was waiting for the raisin mixture to cool down – about 30 minutes or so.  I have never made a cake with this method, but it is moist and perfect.  I am making another batch soon to keep in the freezer for coffee-times.  It made more than 16 servings for us.
I discovered that one of my Pyrex mixing bowls made a perfect “cake keeper” with my very old green glass cake plate.  Today, my husband asked when I was going to make this cake again, he thinks it's one of the best I make.
                           Amish Christmas Cake
  1     cup pecans -- chopped (4 ounces)
  2     sticks butter -- 1 cup
  2     cups sugar
  2     cups raisins
  2     cups water
  1     teaspoon cinnamon
  1     teaspoon nutmeg
  1     teaspoon ground cloves
  1     tablespoon lemon peel -- grated
  1     tablespoon orange peel -- grated
  3 ½ cups flour, all-purpose -- sifted first (about 14 ounces)
  1     teaspoon baking soda
In a large, deep kettle, combine first 8 ingredients.  Simmer, uncovered, over moderate heat, for 4 minutes, then let cool to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350° while mixture is cooling. 
Add the lemon and orange rinds, and transfer to a large mixer bowl.
Sift together the flour and baking soda and, using slow speed, gradually beat it into the raisin mixture.  Pour the batter into a greased and floured 10" tube pan or a 12 cup bundt pan.
Bake for 60 minutes, or until the top of the cake is medium brown and springs back up when touched with your finger.
Let cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes; then tip out onto a wire rack to finish cooling. 
Cake freezes well and will keep, tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator, up to 2 weeks.
I baked this in two 6 cup bundt pans for 40 - 45 minutes.
Yield:  "12 cup bundt pan or 10” tube pan – 16 servings"
Cost 2011: $ 5.08 or 32¢ per serving
Per Serving: 407 Calories; 17g Fat (35.3% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 64g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 31mg Cholesterol; 200mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1 Fruit; 3 Fat; 1 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

From Myrna:
Well, just got done baking THE Christmas cookies. I think when you mention Christmas and Cookies in the same sentence, the first cookie that comes to most minds is the rolled sugar cookie. It seems like every culture has a variation of rolled sugar cookies.
Over the years I have baked and decorated these with lots of children. My own, my nephew, neighbor kids in Minnesota and Iowa, grandchildren and a few borrowed children. I must confess however, that I really enjoy doing them by myself and not icing them (sprinkled colored sugar works) just because it involves less cleanup and goes so much faster. It is on the other hand much more of a Holiday mood if you have children of any age helping. Much laughter and eating. Double the recipe if you have helpers or there won’t be many left to save.
The following recipe is the one I have used for over 40 years. Do give it a try. They come out tender, crisp and buttery. If you intend to frost them, roll them just a little thicker. We like them more to the crisp than the cake side so I roll them thin.
The recipe is from Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book 1963 edition.

Mary’s Sugar Cookies
1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 cup butter room temp. Not too soft
1 egg 
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar (do not omit)

Mix sugar and butter. Add egg and flavorings; mix thoroughly. Mix together the
dry ingredients and add, blend in and refrigerate 2 to 3 hours or over night.
Heat oven to 375°. Divide dough into 3rds and roll 3/16th thick on lightly floured board. Cut with cookie cutter place on lightly greased (parchment paper or Silpat)
sprinkle with sugar and bake 6 to 7 minutes, or until lightly browned. Makes 5 doz. 2 to 2 1/2 inch cookies.

This is a forgiving dough so you can roll the scraps together and reroll at least twice. Any more than this and they get tough. Try to fit your cutter so that there is not a lot of waste space.


  1. LOVE the Christmas header, and both recipes look good. I'll try them, the cake especially.

  2. They both look yummy! I am going to make my first bundt cake tomorrow.


  3. Am going to make the cake, definitely. Thanks for sharing all your recipes. Merry Christmas to you & yours. M

    1. You'll love the cake! It's one of my husband's favorites.


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