Yule Cookie – English Matrimonials

English Matrimonials

1 ½ cups sifted flour
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 ¼ cup rolled oats
½ teaspoon of salt
¾ cup of butter
3/4 cup of raspberry jam (Mom used Mary Ellen but use the good stuff)

Measure flour, sugar, oats, salt and butter into bowl.
Mix with hands to a crumb-like consistency
Place half of mixture in an ungreased 6×10 Pyrex pan and press firmly
Cover with jam and top with remaining half of mixture
Press firmly
Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 40-45 minutes

Should be slightly candied around the edges and not too moist in center
Cut when cool
Makes 3-5 dozen

The recipe can be used as a dessert by substituting 1 can of whole berry cranberry sauce or cherry or apple pie filling for the jam. Serve warm with ice cream.

Grandma Sjoberg’s Coffee Bread

Mom always made this Christmas morning.

2 cups scalded milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter melted
2/3 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cardamon
2 yeast cakes
1/4 cup lukewarm water
8 cups flour
2 eggs

Scald milk in small saucepan; stir in melted butter, salt, sugar, and cardamon. Cool mixture to luke warm. Pour water on yeast. Stir until dissolved.  Pour into milk mixture. Add beaten eggs and 4 cups of flour. Beat well and work in remaining 4 cups of flour.

Place on board and knead until smooth. Place dough into greased bowl, cover with damp towel and let rise 1 hour. Punch dough and let rise again about 1 hour. Return to board and shape into 4 braids. Top with nuts and granulated sugar.

Bake at 350 degree oven until medium brown.

This was another recipe my Grandma had to stand by my great-grandmother with measuring equipment to translate “a little of this” and “quite a bit of that”.

Mom’s Split Pea Soup

It was 37 again this morning and I’m bloody cold. It’s soup weather and if I make this , I’m afraid I’ll sit in it to get warm. Anyway this is the family, AKA the Swedish sides recipe and I’m afraid it isn’t vegetarian because if you leave out the pork it’s flat.

1 small package of split peas

1 onion chopped

2 carrots sliced

3 inch sprig of fresh rosemary

2 ham hocks

Salt to taste

  1. Place all ingredients in a large pot. Add water according to the pea package plus 2 cups. Cook until the peas mash when pressed with spoon, at least an hour.
  1. Remove the vegetables and blend until smooth. Remove meat from the bones and return vegetables to the pot. Mix well

Good with corn bread and honey butter.

This was my Swedish great- grandmother Hilda Sjoberg’s recipe and the rosemary was my mother’s addition.

I thought this went with the time of year.

Yule cookie – Grandpa’s Shortbread

For anyone’s holiday pleasure that wants to make it, here is my great-grandfather’s Scottish Shortbread recipe.

1 lb of flour, preferably unbleached, this equals 4 cups

1 lb of butter and don’t you dare use margarine! That would be a crime!

¼ lb of brown sugar but I cheat and use a loosely packed cup which is more than a ¼ lb.

Cut a large rectangle of brown paper out of a paper bag and put it aside.

Combine all 3 ingredients by hand, no cheating with a mixer! Until it is a smooth, well mixed ball of dough.

Pat out flat on the brown paper about ½ inch thick. Prick with fork to break apart later or don’t and just break it into bits when done.

Place in 350 degree oven for around 15 minutes or until light tan. Do not slip a pan underneath. Just put the paper in the oven. The grease from the butter will prevent the paper from burning.

Remove from oven. Let cool a bit and serve with a nice cup of tea. I prefer Twining’s Prince of Wales.

Our great- grandfather was a professional baker and all our family bakes. So this is required for holidays.

Yule treat – Fudge Pie

1 cup sugar
1 stick butter (1/4 pound) melted
2 whole eggs
1 square (1 oz) bitter chocolate
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 Tsp vanilla

Mix together sugar and butter
Beat in the 2 eggs
Melt over hot water 1 square chocolate, cool slightly and beat in butter mixture.
Sift before measuring and beat into the butter mixture the flour.
Add vanilla

Bake the batter in a greased 8 1/2 inch pie plate in a slow (325) degree oven for 30 minutes.

The pie will look and feel moist and gooey but don’t on that account bake it longer. It’s supposed to look and feel that way.

Cool in pan, cut into 6 pieces and dish each piece into individual dessert plates. Top each serving with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Yule Cookie – Walnut crispies

2 Squares bitter chocolate
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup sifted flour
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

Melt chocolate in heavy saucepan
Add all other ingredients except nuts
Beat well by hand
Spread mixture in greased jelly roll pan or 3 (8×8 inch pans)
Sprinkle with nuts

Bake in  400 degree oven for 15 minutes
While warm cut with cutter into bars or squares
Break apart when cool.

Makes 4 dozen