Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Banana Bread & Anise Christmas Cookies

One of the best parts of the Christmas holiday is walking into a house that smells like someone has been baking all day. The sweet aroma of spice, apple, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cookie dough wafts around the house like a new type of air freshener.

Christmas desserts are a favorite part of any family Christmas gathering. What makes it even more special is that many Christmas dessert recipes are passed down from generation to generation. Maybe your grandmother had some great Christmas dessert recipes that have been passed down to you that you haven’t tried yet. Why not try them this year?
Find everything you need for yout favorite holiday recipe at Harter House and Harter House World Flavors.

Typical Christmas desserts are: brownies, cupcakes, muffins, hard candy, chocolate candy, and cookie bars. Cakes involving candy canes, peppermint, or any other type of mint as an ingredient, garnish, or topping are often prepared for Christmas as well. In addition, any cake recipe can be adapted for Christmas with a little bit of creativity. Fudge and puddings also make wonderful Christmas desserts.

But before, after and during Christmas dessert you also need some Christmas candy. That Christmas candy jar on the coffee table should never be empty. Christmas candy is the ice breaker when visitors come to your home. Hard candy, soft candy, citrus peel candies, truffles, brittle, and the like are all interesting treats to nibble on during Christmas. You will find plenty of Christmas candy recipes on our site as well.

How about some delicious Banana Bread
1 cup butter for shortening
5 over-ripe bananas, mashed well
2 ½ cups sugar
4 eggs
¾ cup buttermilk
3 cups flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped nuts
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla

Combine shortening, bananas and sugar.
Slowly add eggs, one at a time and beat well.
Sift baking soda, flour and salt together.
Alternately add the other dry ingredients along with the buttermilk to the batter mixture.
Add the vanilla and nuts and mix the banana bread recipe mixture well.
Bake the mixture for 70 to 80 minutes at 325 degrees or until a toothpick comes out clean from the bread.

This Christmas Dessert Recipe Serves 16.

You will need two greased loaf pans for the entire banana bread recipe mixture. Do not fill to the top since the banana bread recipe will rise, you might like to give at least an inch space from the rim of the loaf pans.


Anise Christmas Cookies
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons lemon zest
4 1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 drops anise oil

Beat together sugar and eggs until very fluffy.
Add anise oil and lemon zest.
Gradually mix in the baking powder and flour blending well as you go.
Chill this dough for at least 4 hours or overnight, if you wish.
Flour a dough rolling area and roll out the chilled dough to roughly 1/8th to 1/4th inch thick.
Use a springerle rolling pin or a pressboard to make the designs these cookies are so well known for.
Cut into desired shapes.
Let these sit out overnight, uncovered.
The next day bake them for 15 minutes at 350 degrees F.
Cool on a wire rack then store in an airtight container.

This Christmas Cookies Recipe makes 3 dozen.

These cookies have been called many things over the years. Whatever name you call it by it’s sure to turn into a holiday tradition.