From plain to decent in just a couple of minutes. Steady your pulse and draw your pastry bag. Meringue and dulce de leche are the sure winners in these latitudes.
Christmas is in the eyes of the beholder. There’s nothing necessarily Christmassy about the cookies except the ornate decoration so no recipe here.
As for the panettone (please, pronounce it Italianly)…
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/3 cup water
- a pinch of yeast (you barely need any in December in these latitudes!)
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
- 3 eggs
- a couple of drops vanilla essence
- 1 cup nuts and dried fruit
- 2 tablespoons rum (or any spirited spirit you may find lying around)
- 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2 teaspoons orange zest
- 1 teaspoon salt
Step by step
- Combine all the ingredients for the “masa madre”, cover and let rest overnight.
- Soak raisins in rum.
- In a large bowl combine 1. with flour, sugar, vanilla essence, orange zest and salt.
- In a separate bowl, combine water, eggs, and honey, then mix it into 3.
- Once the dough comes together, add in butter and keep going until dough is elastic.
- Let rise until it doubles its size.
- Knead in raisins (and anything you like, really), form into a ball and place in a panettone mold on a baking sheet. Let it rise for a couple of hours.
- Preheat oven.
- Bake until your heart’s content (an hour or so, actually)
- Tempting as it might be, do not cut it until completely cool! Well, a collapsed panettone is still delicious, though less Christmassy.
1 teaspoon _vanilla essence__
75g ____cocoa powder___
100g chocolate and nuts (chopped)
Melt the butter in the microwave and let cool
Beat the eggs (very gently!) with the sugar
Add the melted butter and vanilla essence
Sift in the salt, cocoa and flour together
Add chopped nuts/chocolate
Bake at 170ºC for approx. 35 minutes