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Festive sweeties?


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I really would like to try and make some home made sweets to give as small pressies for our French friends and neighbours this year. I was inspired last Christmas by a Swiss lady who lives nearby who had made the most wonderful seasonal biscuits with such love and care that it made you feel special. I would like to perhaps try and return the compliment by trying to make some sweets or such like....nothing too complicated though...any suggestions?

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Something I have made over the years is a truffle. Made from marzipan, dark choc, (Alcohol of choice) double cream , melt and mix altogether , roll the paste around a nut and roll in cococ powder, or dip in chocolate, or if you dont want to use a nut then soak sultanas in rum, or soak a cherry in kirsh and roll the paste around them. but you can chop and change it to your own taste.  They are very easy to make and people always seem impressed.  

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Here are a few that were big hits with my French neighbors.  Measurements are in the American style.

Frost Bite Cookies

3/4 cup Raisins

3 Tablespoons orange juice or orange flavored liqueur

1/2 cup butter or margarine, room temp

3/4 cup sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons finely grated orange peel

1 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 - 1/2 cups rolled oats

8 oz. white chocolate baking chips (I used a white chocolate bar broken up)

1 tsp vegetable oil


Preheat oven to 350 F.  Ina a small bowl, combine orange juice and raisins.  Cover and microwave on high for 1 minute.  Let cool, covered.

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy.  Beat in egg and orange peel.

In a separate bowl, combine flour and baking soda.  Stir into butter mixture.  Add raisins, any soaking liquid and oats ; mix well.

Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheets (or use parchment paper), spacing 2 inches apart, and flatten slightly.  Bake 10 - 12 minutes at 350 F.  Transfer to racks and cool completely.

Dip one third of cookie in white chocolate an set on waxed paper-lined baking sheets.  Chill until chocolate is firm.

I chilled the dough for about an hour before spooning them onto the baking tray and baking them.  Helped to keep dough solid.  My French neighbors loved them. 


Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie

3 eggs

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

3/4 cup light corn syrup

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons bourbon

1 tablespoon all purpose flour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup chopped pecans (I use a little more)

1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels

1 unbaked pastry shell


Beat eggs in a large mixing bowl until frothy.  Add butter, beating well.  Add syrup, sugar, bourbon, flour and vanilla; beat well.  Stir in pecans.

Sprinkle chocolate morsels in pastry shell.  Pour pecan mixture over chocolate morsels.  Bake at 350 F for one hour or until set.  Cool before slicing.


Pumpkin Orange Cookies

2-1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter softened

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg

1-3/4 cups pumpkin pure (if you can't find canned pumpkin, just use fresh/mashed, but try to drain as much liquid out as possible)

2 tablespoons orange juice

1 teaspoon grated orange peel

1/2 cup chopped nuts (I use a little more)

Orange glaze (recipe follows)

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in medium bowl.  Combine butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar in large mixer bowl; beat until creamy.  Add egg, pumpkin, orange juice and orange peel; beat until combined.  Gradually add flour mixture; beat until combined.  Stir in nuts.  Drop dough by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.  Bake in preheated 375 F oven for 12 to 14 minutes or until edges are set.  Remove to wire racks to cool completely.  Spread each cookie with about 1/2 teaspoon orange glaze.

FOR ORANGE GLAZE:  Combine 1-1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar (sucre glace), 2 to 3 tablespoons orange juice and 1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel in medium bowl until smooth.


Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

2-1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

2 cups granulated sugar

1-3/4 cups (15 oz can) pure pumpkin (use well drained fresh/mashed if you can't find canned)

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup fresh, frozen or sweetened dried cranberries

Combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and salt in large bowl.  Combine eggs, sugar, pumpkin and oil in small mixer bowl; beat just until blended.  Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture; stir just until well moistened.  Fold in cranberries.  Spoon batter into 2 greased and floured 9 x 5 inch loaf pans.  Bake in preheated 350 F oven for 55 to 60 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pans for 5 to 10 minutes; remove to wire rack to cool completely.

I add lots of chopped nuts to this bread.

I have wrapped these goodies up for my neighbors and they have really enjoyed them.



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They are SO good PG and really easy.  The white chocolate half dipped cookies really look festive.  They were gobbled up in no time here.  I was very happy my French friends wanted the recipes too.

I'll post a few more when I have time to type them in. 

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