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Christmas Goodies

It’s Christmas and time for homemade indulgences, so let’s get the cookie cutter and icing sugar out – Parvathy Menon

Pomegranate mojito

Red, green and white are the colours of Christmas and that’s what makes this refreshing and non-alcoholic spritzer the perfect drink of the season. 

Ingredients  
* 10 mint leaves
* 2 lime wedges
* 15 ml sugar syrup
* 60 ml pomegranate juice
* 60 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice 
* 60 ml soda 
* Garnish 
* Pomegranate seeds
* Sprig of mint

Preparation guide
* Mix the syrup, lime, and mint leaves in a highball glass.
* Fill the glass with ice.
* Add the pomegranate and lemon juices.
* Stir well. Top with soda.
* Garnish with pomegranate seeds and fresh mint.
* Making your own pomegranate juice will add to the taste. 
* For a spicier version, add a sliced green chilly to the drink

 

Bebinca

Go Goan this Christmas with bebinca. This popular multi-layered pudding made with flour, eggs, sugar, coconut milk and cardamom can be stored for two weeks. So you can enjoy it well into the New Year.

Ingredients
* 250 ml thick coconut milk (the first extract of coconut milk)
* 6 egg yolks
* 175 gm flour
* ½ cup ghee + 1 tbsp ghee
* 200 gm sugar
* 1 tsp nutmeg powder
* 1 tsp cardamom powder
* Few flaked almonds (optional)
* 1 tbsp vanilla essence (optional)
* Pinch of salt

Preparation guide
* Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a round tin or loaf pan with 2 tbsp ghee.
* Mix coconut milk and sugar in a pan and use an electric beater to whip until sugar dissolves.
* Add one egg yolk at a time and beat until they all mix well.
* Now add flour, 1 tbsp ghee and salt. Blend well.
* Pour ½ cup of batter and bake for 25 minutes.
* Spread some ghee over it with the help of a brush. Sprinkle a little cardamom powder and vanilla essence.
* Bake again for 15 minutes. Again spread ghee, cardamom powder and vanilla essence.
* Continue greasing and baking with ½ cup batter until all batter is finished. Bake each layer for 15 minutes.
* For the last batter, spread ghee, sprinkle cardamom, nutmeg and vanilla essence. Add flaked almonds. Bake the last layer for 20-22 minutes.
* Allow to cool. Unmould the pan gently with a tap from behind. Slice bebinca and serve warm or cold.

 

Gingerbread cookies

Though gingerbread is now used to describe any type of sweet treat that combines ginger with honey or sugar, in medieval England, it referred to preserved ginger. The first known recipe for gingerbread dates back to 2400 BC in ancient Greece. Today, this spicy sweet cookie is perfect for a Christmas party with the fairy tale The Gingerbread Man, making it an appealing treat for children.

Ingredients
* 1 1/2 cup flour
* ½ tsp baking soda
* ¼ tsp salt
* 1 tsp dry ginger powder
* ½ tsp cinnamon powder
* 1/8 tsp clove powder
* 1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
* 1/4 cup or 55 gram unsalted butter
* 1/4 cup powdered granulated white sugar
* 1 egg
* 80 ml molasses (you can substitute it by heating 2 tbsp of water, adding light or brown sugar and heating it until it dissolves)
* Cookie cutter

Preparation guide
* Sieve the flour, baking soda and salt. Add all the spices and keep aside.
* Beat butter until soft. Add powdered sugar and whip until fluffy.
* Add eggs and whip.
* Now, add molasses or brown sugar liquid and blend.
* Add flour in two batches and blend on low speed until mixed well. Make a smooth dough.
* Wrap it in cling film and refrigerate until firm.
* Pre-heat oven at 180°C for 15 minutes.
* Roll out the dough evenly, dusting it with flour, to 1/4-inch thickness. Use a cookie cutter to cut cookies.
* Line cookie tray with parchment paper and space the cookies 1 1/2 inch apart.
* Place the baking tray with the cookies in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to prevent cookies from losing their shape.
* Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges start to brown.

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