December 11, 2010

Christmas Cooking On A Saturday Morning

Farmboy's Christmas Concert was a spectacular success.  He was a stellar Angel.  I managed to pull together something that resembled a halo.  It did lean fairly spectacularly to one side half way through his performance.  That's OK.  It kind of gave him a rakish, devil may care look...

An Angel, Not As Cute As Farmboy
Today I have started some Christmas cooking.  I enlisted Farmboy as an assistant.  He did a great job, unlike Farmgirl he did not channel Nigella.  I think he adopted more of a Masterchef judge type persona.  He told me the whole time I was being judged.

Farmboy and I made a fantastic recipe that I have made heaps of times before.  I originally found it on the author Jane Greens website.  You can find the entire recipe here.  I can't recommend strongly enough that you give it a whirl.

The recipe is a basic meringue mixture with a few additions.  Initially you whip up your meringue.

Lovely Meringue, Super Glamorous Pistachio KitchenAid

I have a couple of tips for meringues.  First of all use egg whites that aren't super fresh (ie at least a week or so old) and that are at room temperature, then add your sugar a tablespoon at a time with lots of beating in between.  You need two egg whites which you beat initially.  Then add a pinch of salt, a pinch of cream of tartar and 3/4 cup of sugar slowly as above.

The secret ingredient in these little treats is crushed up candy canes.  Farmgirl calls these "Christmas hooks".  Basically you take these...

Candy Canes aka Christmas Hooks

Pop them in a plastic bag and bash them around with a rolling pin.  Farmboy is demonstrating below.

Farmboy In Action
Incidentally Farmboy specifically wanted to wear his 3D glasses wearing dinosaur T-shirt for the "photo shoot"  Please take the time to admire accordingly.

The crushing of the candy canes is an excellent pre Christmas stress release.

Then when you have made your meringue you fold in roughly a cup of nuts, the crushed candy (I use 3 canes)  and about a cup of choc chips.  Dark or milk choc chips both work.  Dark gives a slightly less sweet result.

Then you pop them on a lined tray and wind up with these.

I package these using old china I have bought in op shops and things.  Basically I grab a pretty 2nd hand bowl or plate and fill it with the treats.  I then try and do some sort of tricksy uber stylish wrapping type effort with cellophane.  The old china becomes part of the gift....

Anyway - I had best go as my gorgeous friend has just arrived for the weekend.

Enjoy your weekend, wherever you are.


Sydney Shop Girl said...


Have a lovely weekend, AFW!

SSG xxx

Sydney Shop Girl blog

A Farmer's Wife said...

Thanks SSG - You enjoy your weekend too.

Not A Ballerina said...

Ooh sounds clever! Hope we see a photo of the wrapped finished product.

And please tell Farmboy that I actually (honestly) specifically noticed his T-shirt before I scrolled down and read your comment. He's got style!!

Maryam said...

Oh my oh my oh my! I have meringues on my list for holiday cooking for the family, and have been nervous to make them. Thank you for the tips, it makes me feel a little safer and more secure. And I just love your idea for using old china as part of the gift—that is so great :)

A Farmer's Wife said...

Not A Ballerina - He will be so glad you noticed his T-shirt. At one point he found himself a pair of 3D glasses too.

Maryam - I am sure your meringues will be amazing. I love using old china. I think it is very beautiful and makes the gift that little bit more special.

G said...

Oh... brilliant timing... thank you. I have loads of candy canes on our tree that our cat is constantly attacking and your meringues will be the perfect end for them. Also love your blog background... G

A Farmer's Wife said...

Thanks Georgie - you have to do something with all those candy canes...