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Chelsea Buns

Chelsea Buns 2

The other day someone mentioned looking on my blog for a cinnamon bun recipe, and not being able to find one. I assumed it was a search issue – an extreme makeover, including shiny new index, has been on my to-do list for many years now – until I looked myself and discovered she couldn’t find one because there weren’t any. Which is kind of ridiculous, considering my deep affection for cinnamon buns. I assumed it had been overdone here, when in fact they had been completely neglected.

So let’s start a new tradition, shall we? Since cinnamon buns are the quintessential Christmas morning food (or really, any chilly weekend morning food), especially if you’ve planned ahead and only need to pad downstairs in your woolies and slide the buns into the oven in the morning. This is like a tamed-down version of a typical cinnamon bun – a Chelsea bun is not baked in a puddle of butter and sugar (not that there’s anything wrong with that), and has a fine yeast dough studded with currants and candied citron rather than the usual pecans or raisins, and no waterfall of goo that most cinnamon buns exude. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) They originated at the Bun House of Chelsea, England, hundreds of years ago, and have likely evolved since then.

Chelsea Buns 4

I started out with a basic recipe from Canada’s Favourite Recipes by Elizabeth Baird and Rose Murray, with whom I sat and had tea in Jasper for the better part of an afternoon last month.

Chelsea Buns 3

Here’s another idea, it being December and all: spread the rolled-out dough with mincemeat (have you made your own yet?) before rolling it up and cutting-rising-baking – and to go really over the top, make a drizzle out of eggnog and icing sugar. Delicious Christmas overload. Or be genteel and discreet about it with these Chelsea buns – stand by for an all-goo-all-the-time version closer to Christmas.

Chelsea Buns 1

Chelsea Buns

AuthorJulie

Dough
1 pkg. (2 1/4 tsp.) active dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
grated zest of an orange (optional)
1 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
3 1/2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
Filling
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup currants
1/3 cup candied citron or chopped dried apricots
1/3 cup dried cranberries
3 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup

1

Put 1/2 cup warm water in a large bowl (of a stand mixer, if you have one) sprinkle over a pinch of the sugar and the yeast; let stand for 5 minutes, or until foamy.

2

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan heat the milk, butter, orange zest and remaining sugar until the butter melts. Set aside and cool slightly, then add to the yeast mixture along with half the flour and the eggs. Beat by hand or with the paddle attachment until well blended and gooey.

3

Attach the dough hook and add another 1 1/2 cups of flour and the salt, and mix/knead for 7-8 minutes, until you have a smooth, tacky dough that comes away from the sides of the bowl. Add a little extra flour if you need it, but don't add too much - it shouldn't be sticky, but should be tacky. Cover with a tea towel and let rest for 1 1/2-2 hours, until doubled in bulk.

4

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into a 14x18-inch rectangle. Brush with almost all the butter (leave a bit for brushing on top) and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon, scatter with currants, candied citron and dried cranberries; drizzle with honey or maple syrup.

5

Starting on a long edge, roll up jelly-roll style. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the roll crosswise in half, then cut each piece in half, making quarters. Then cut each quarter into three pieces, so you have 12. Butter a muffin tin or spray it with nonstick spray, or put a square of parchment in each.

6

Place one roll in each muffin cup, cover the pan with a tea towel and let rise for another hour. (Alternatively, but them into the fridge to slow the rise overnight.)

7

When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375°F. Brush the tops of the buns with the rest of the melted butter and bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden. Remove from the pan while they're still warm.

Category,

Ingredients

Dough
 1 pkg. (2 1/4 tsp.) active dry yeast
 1/4 cup sugar
 1/2 cup milk
 1/4 cup butter
 grated zest of an orange (optional)
 1 tsp. salt
 2 large eggs
 3 1/2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
Filling
 1/4 cup butter, melted
 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
 1/3 cup currants
 1/3 cup candied citron or chopped dried apricots
 1/3 cup dried cranberries
 3 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup

Directions

1

Put 1/2 cup warm water in a large bowl (of a stand mixer, if you have one) sprinkle over a pinch of the sugar and the yeast; let stand for 5 minutes, or until foamy.

2

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan heat the milk, butter, orange zest and remaining sugar until the butter melts. Set aside and cool slightly, then add to the yeast mixture along with half the flour and the eggs. Beat by hand or with the paddle attachment until well blended and gooey.

3

Attach the dough hook and add another 1 1/2 cups of flour and the salt, and mix/knead for 7-8 minutes, until you have a smooth, tacky dough that comes away from the sides of the bowl. Add a little extra flour if you need it, but don't add too much - it shouldn't be sticky, but should be tacky. Cover with a tea towel and let rest for 1 1/2-2 hours, until doubled in bulk.

4

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into a 14x18-inch rectangle. Brush with almost all the butter (leave a bit for brushing on top) and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon, scatter with currants, candied citron and dried cranberries; drizzle with honey or maple syrup.

5

Starting on a long edge, roll up jelly-roll style. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the roll crosswise in half, then cut each piece in half, making quarters. Then cut each quarter into three pieces, so you have 12. Butter a muffin tin or spray it with nonstick spray, or put a square of parchment in each.

6

Place one roll in each muffin cup, cover the pan with a tea towel and let rise for another hour. (Alternatively, but them into the fridge to slow the rise overnight.)

7

When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375°F. Brush the tops of the buns with the rest of the melted butter and bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden. Remove from the pan while they're still warm.

Chelsea Buns
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102 comments on “Chelsea Buns

  1. Peggy Doyle
    December 13, 2013 at 10:50 am

    I always had an orange and an apple in my sticking. I giant naval orange and red delicious apple. The traditions still continues to this day, my husband will always put one in my stocking.

  2. Katie Edwards
    December 13, 2013 at 10:56 am

    I always skipped breakfast on Christmas in favour of present-opening. Then I’d eat all the chocolate and candy I found in my stocking. Then I’d come off my sugar high and crave something wholesome. Luckily, my mom usually made chicken stew on Christmas!

  3. Jocelyn
    December 13, 2013 at 10:57 am

    I don’t have any specific food memory about Christmas, except for the treats. Mom was the type of cook who put processed cheese slices on lasagna, but at Christmas she’d buy pop and chips. That was kinda a big deal! 🙂

  4. Larry B
    December 13, 2013 at 11:10 am

    The oranges in our stockings were Tangerines. and I am unable to reawaken that taste memory with the Chinese or Japanese oranges we get today. We had a wood stove for a while and would put the peels on the stove top for a Christmas citrus smell throughout the house.

  5. Cgymomof2
    December 13, 2013 at 11:14 am

    My mom always would make a German oven baked Pancake. Basically similar to a Yorkshire pudding batter, but you bake in a large cast iron pan so it rises up on the outsides. I used to love watching it bake in the oven. My mom would then have canned peaches or cherries, things she had preserved from the summer, to place within the baked ‘pancake’. I can still taste it! Brings back lovely memories!

  6. Karen
    December 13, 2013 at 11:15 am

    Ah yes, Bugle fingertips. Remember them well.

    Every year my mother, who grew up in the depression, would tell us of her joy in finding an orange in her Christmas stocking then miracle of miracles on Christmas morning there would be an orange in OUR stockings!

  7. Cynthia
    December 13, 2013 at 11:31 am

    A mandrin orange was always in the toe of our stockings, back then they only came from Japan and you could get them only at Cristmas time. That was breakfast.

  8. Elaine
    December 13, 2013 at 11:33 am

    I love how you say “make a drizzle out of eggnog and icing sugar” just as an aside, like it’s not the most fantastic idea in the world or anything.

    Christmas food memory: my mom always making a huge (and I mean MASSIVE; like, 5 lbs for 4 of us) platter of shrimp and a giant bowl of cocktail sauce for dipping, and we’d snack out of it all day.

  9. Robin M
    December 13, 2013 at 11:37 am

    When I was little, we always left Santa cookies and a beer. We figured that by the time he got to us, he’d be tired of milk and in need of an adult beverage.

  10. David Reynolds
    December 13, 2013 at 11:39 am

    my favorite memory is the smell. My mother passed years ago and i always miss the smell of our house around the holidays

  11. Suzan
    December 13, 2013 at 11:46 am

    For me it’s my mum’s mincemeat pies. British style mincemeat (not sickly sweet like the Canadian stuff), light flaky pastry tarts, served warm and topped with a dollop of Devon Clotted Cream (available in Safeway’s and Sobey’s year around.) She still makes them. Mmmmmmmmm!

  12. Denese
    December 13, 2013 at 11:49 am

    I recall eating shortbread, cut in coins from the chilled roll of dough, and topped with a very small piece of candied cherry.

    I also got a delightful memory jolt from Larry’s comment about mandarin peels on the wood stove – best aroma ever!

  13. melanie
    December 13, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Cheesy shortbread crisps my nanny would make

  14. Susan
    December 13, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    It wasn’t Christmas at our house until the wrapped shoebox full of shortbread arrived from a very favorite Scottish friend. She sent it every year when I was growing up. It was the best !

  15. Gail Jones
    December 13, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    When I was in Junior High School, my Home Ec teacher and I made chocolate dipped cherries as a Christmas treat for our families. That was over 30 years ago and I continue to make about 200 of them every year. One year when I took them to a family gathering, my uncle took the box before anyone else could have any, so ever since then, I have made it a point to provide him with his very own box.

  16. Carolyn
    December 13, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Favourite Christmas food memory – the little pfeffernuse cookies my grandparents made. I make them every year, giving me about 6 hours to think about them and all of those happy years.

    FYI – living in Ontario, I wasn’t aware of London Drugs. Your posts prompted me to go to their website and netted LD a $600 purchase (and me a sparkling new 7 qt. kitchen aid machine and the ability to make a full batch of the above mentioned cookie dough in one go)!

  17. Amy
    December 13, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    My grandmother makes shortbread cookies shaped with a cookie gun and decorated with maraschino cherry bits. Apparently my grandfather actually kneads the buttery dough by hand while watching tv. I’ve tried to make replicas but they’re never the same.

  18. Janet
    December 13, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    It wasn’t Christmas till my mom made the cabbage rolls (with a tomato based sauce). Then on Christmas Day we’d still head to my aunt’s where we would taste her cabbage rolls – made with sauerkraut leaves. I still keep up the tradition and make sauerkraut cabbage rolls for Christmas.

  19. Amy Allen
    December 13, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    Standing by…for the full-on gooey rendition!

  20. Caitlin
    December 13, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    Croation walnut roll made by my grandmother

  21. Susanne
    December 13, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    Butter tarts and shortbread cookies are what I remember most from being really little. When I was 12 or so my mother rediscovered her mother’s ‘Christmas Pudding’ recipe. I wasn’t a huge fan as a kid, but now I love it. It’s not a plum pudding, but more of a carrot-based pudding, and it’s served with an Amaretto rather than Brandy sauce…

  22. Patricia
    December 13, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Those look lovely, and perfect when OD’ing on sugar during the holidays! My favourite holiday food is a Polish item my mother makes each year. I don’t know how to spell it, but the literal translation is “ears” – which my sister and I decided to call “elf ears” in English. It’s a dumpling filled with sauteed mushroom and onion, served in a beet juice soup. Absolutely delicious in its simplicity, and only at Christmas. I’m going to miss those, since I’m not able to fly back to see my family this year… mom’s food is always better 😉

  23. Korena
    December 13, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    Random holiday food memory: my grandpa loves marinated artichokes, so when I was little, I would always get him a jar for Christmas. Another holiday food memory is the brandy hard sauce on the Christmas pudding – I wasn’t such a fan of the cake part, but the sugary, buttery icing with “forbidden” booze in it: yes please!!

  24. Crystal
    December 13, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    My dad would mix cranberry and orange juice for breakfast christmas morning.

  25. Karen
    December 13, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    One year for Christmas morning my mom made the best cranberry orange muffins. The next year she wanted to make them again but couldn’t find the recipe. So our Christmas tradition has been a new recipe for cranberry orange muffins trying to replicate the memory (probably exaggerated) of the fantastic muffins she made. Some were good, some were bad 😉

  26. Joann
    December 13, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    Holiday memory- my Oma’s stewed red cabbage. It was never something we enjoyed but knew we would have to force down. Now it’s the first thing I request for Christmas dinner. Funny how tradition keeps moving on.

  27. Evelyn
    December 13, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    My Dutch parents filled our home with Dutch treats at Christmas. My favourite was the almond ring (almond filling wrapped in puff pastry). Mom still bakes boterkoek filled with almond paste and speculaas filled with almond paste. And I love the little marzipan animals that appeared at Christmas. Hmm. I think I see a pattern here! 🙂

  28. Aimee
    December 13, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    I love Christmas oranges! I remember my parents coming home with the first box of the season and unwrapping them from that green tissue paper eagerly waiting to open the firs one! My dad would look over and say, “Remember the rule…. only one of these a day!” I am pretty sure he set that because my brother, sister and I could easily polish off an entire box in one day.

  29. christine
    December 13, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    When we were kids my father would let us have sips of the Xmas eve cocktails he made for the grownups. One year he decided on Brandy Alexanders with ice cream that we sipped while the biggest snow flakes ever fell from the sky. My father was not an easy man to love but that night, he was grand.

  30. Jennifer
    December 13, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    Helping my grandma candy zucchini to make her infamous home made fruit cake.

  31. Cathy
    December 13, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    My mom used to make nuts and bolts every Christmas and store them in the freezer. Do you know how delicious frozen, seasoned shreddies are???!!! I do!

  32. Jen
    December 13, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Your bugle story is too funny! It reminds me of Christmas parties in the rec room at my Grandma’s house where my cousins and I would swipe all the black olives off the party trays. The gherkin pickles were next and as kids, we’d leave the pearl onions alone.

  33. Anita
    December 13, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    My all time favorite, from the time I was about 6, is dark Christmas cake. Make one every year with my BFF. The only problem is getting ingredients seems to be more and more difficult. Now have to special order the seedless raisins and next year plan to make our own citron and candied pineapple as had to go to several stores to find it.

  34. Kristi A.
    December 13, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    So many! Dad taking pictures of all of us kids as we waited to be allowed into the living room, mom’s coffee cake and grapefruit with a maraschino cherry half in the middle… the really tall Christmas trees we would fit into our childhood home even though mom said each year to get a smaller one, decorating cookies with my sisters… so much fun!

  35. Amy
    December 13, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    I always think of my Grandma’s Christmas breakfasts … wether they were Bacon and eggs and toast, waffles (my favorite!) or her “wife-saver” bakes … it was always a great pre-lude to the feast awaiting us in the evening 🙂 … that and butter tarts. yum!

  36. Allison E.
    December 13, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Hmmmmmm. Some of favourites were (and still are!) Icelandic brown bread with ham, vinatarta, cherry slice, shortbread, mom’s turkey stuffing, 24 hour salad, cabbage rolls.

  37. Beverley
    December 13, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    Food, food, and more food. My Mom was a great cook and baker …. but of all the things that were made … what I remember the most were the two sizes of butter tarts, shortbread cookies in different shapes from a cookie press, with a maraschino bits on top.

    Then of course, the Japanese oranges and tradition every year was a huge jug of cherry cider. It was soooo delicious 🙂

  38. Meta4
    December 13, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    I never forget the Christmas evening 1965. I hid behind the Christmas tree and opened one of my gifts, it was a bottle of perfume. I took a sniff and closed the bottle and re-wrapped the gift, I thought…
    On Christmas morning when everyone came down to the living room the whole house stank of perfume and my gift was an empty perfume bottle. Lesson learned…

  39. Joanne
    December 13, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    My mom made what we called “meringue squares”–shortbread base, raspberry jam layer, then a meringue made with brown sugar and an egg white and coconut–delish! But my personal downfall is Poppycock–if I get a bag, I don’t even want to share it!

  40. Nicola
    December 13, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    My 2 favorite Christmas treats are homemade poppycock and melt in your mouth shortbreads, the latter of which I may make tonight! Christmas desert trays are the best!

  41. NurseJennifer
    December 13, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    My Christmas food memory is all about the plum pudding and ‘hard’ sauce. I can’t stand either, but it is a tradition in my house. The one thing I do like is using gin to soak the pudding and then light it on fire. If you do it more than once … that is okay too 🙂

  42. Samantha
    December 13, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    What a fantastic recipe! Growing up, my mother and I would always spend the Sunday before Christmas making stollen … I could barely sleep with all the fabulous smells of bread rising up the vents from the kitchen to my attic bedroom.
    I moved after for university and after, but am now back home and already have a baking date – but we might make these instead – as well? :).

  43. Calgary Bonnie
    December 13, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    At Christmas we always had an orange in our stocking at the very bottom stuffed in the toe. Mom always bought those little chocolate candies with liquor in them. Food, always lots, perogies and cabbage rolls along with fabulous butter tarts…..oh so gooey….

  44. Kirsten
    December 13, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    Swedish meatballs on Christmas Eve followed by custard and a huge selection of homemade cookies.

  45. Rose
    December 13, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Hi Julie
    My mom would make nuts and bolts and all five of us just loved them! She would have to hide the containers so there’d be some left for Christmas….

  46. Trinh
    December 13, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    My mom never baked when I was growing up…she does make the best spring rolls though. Which I still can’t get enough of!

  47. Maija
    December 13, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    Our family has a bread ring on Christmas morning that is essentially a ring of cinnamon buns–totally the goopy kind. These Chelsae buns sound nice and light. I’ll have to try them out.

  48. Dana
    December 13, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    I’m so glad you posted this! I was thinking about how to rise the dough in time for x-mas morning. Our tradition was always cinnamon buns for the morning but my Mom made them using my Grandmother’s recipe. Best. Bread. Ever. This year I wanted to make them for her. I can take them over to her fridge x-mas eve!!!

    Thanks!

  49. DJ
    December 13, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    The one absolute must-have christmas treat is melting moments. It’s a shortbread cookie sandwich recipe which has been passed down from my great grandmother. The recipe uses icing sugar, not cornstarch, and has an almond butter cream icing between the two layers. My 12 year old daughter is so proud to tell people that the recipe is from her great-great grandma

  50. Vincci
    December 13, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    Growing up, my grandparents didn’t like turkey (they think it’s too dry), so for Christmas dinner there was ALWAYS two kinds of meat – a Christmas ham and steaks! Don’t even get me started on the sides…

  51. Arlene
    December 13, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    My favorite thing about Christmas was always breakfast the day after (on St Stephen’s Day – or Boxing Day). I would always make the most massive leftover sandwich -layers of turkey, ham, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce (maybe even a cold, squished roast potato) – and then toast it. Every year, that sandwich is the best part of Christmas!

  52. Judith
    December 13, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    My mom made wonderful butter tarts…. in perfect flaky pastry…. and never managed to teach me how. But what i remember most was…. there was always a bit of leftover sugar/butter/raisin mix…. which she would freeze for some reason. When the tarts were gone, and my sweet tooth shouted out…. i would sneak to the basement with a spoon… and eat some of the raw semi frozen syrupy butter tart filling mix! ahhh…. yummy!

  53. Julia
    December 13, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    Peppernuts! Tiny little cookies spiced with cinnamon, orange peel and black pepper (among many other things). I grew up in a Mennonite community and these were all over the house in bowls at Christmas time. There was always fierce competition amongst the ladies in our church; small, even cookies were a sign of skill and anything bigger than a quarter was embarrassing. Also up for debate was the hard vs soft recipies, I remember my gramma making batches of each and demanding we choose a winner. My gramma is 90 and in a home now but my sister and I keep the tradition alive. Nothing is more enjoyable than eating a handful of peppernuts with a cup of black coffee for breakfast!

  54. Jeanette
    December 13, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    My grandma would always make a ham on Christmas Eve and serve it with homemade buns. She also made meatballs and tomato sauce. Oh, and of course nuts and bolts. In fact I just finished making a batch of nuts and bolts with my daughters tonight.

  55. Rebecca
    December 13, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    Hi Julie – saw you and Mike shopping at Superstore today but was far too shy to say hi! I did enjoy hearing you laugh as Mike almost tripped over the avocado that my son dropped on the floor right in front of him 😉

    As for Christmas food memories, my favourite has to be trying to make gingerbread houses out of homemade gingerbread. My mom would try her hardest year after year but there was always some issue with her homemade gingerbread and our house would never work out all that well. But, we had tons of fun trying to put it together and my sisters & I LOVED eating as much candy as we could before we got busted and had to put it on the gingerbread house. I have yet to try to make my own gingerbread but I certainly do love putting together a gingerbread house each year with my daughter.

  56. Bonnei White
    December 13, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    Mine was a Christmas of blended traditions: shortbread, Chinese Chews, Hermits, butter tarts from one side of the family and the other gave us candied boiled wheat and cabbage rolls. I still have the recipe for Hermits which is a spiced fruit nut cookie, but I can’t seem to find the Chinese Chews recipe made from dates. Anyone know about this?

  57. Lisa
    December 13, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    My favorite Christmas thing is making butter cookies! I loved rolling out the dough, cutting out different Christmas-y shapes, and making different colored icing. Great way to spend a Saturday afternoon, and they always seemed to taste better and better as the winter days wore on.

  58. ben
    December 13, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    I may have found my Christmas breakfast, thanks!
    My mom always makes “christmas bread” for breakfast-it’s actually a pannetone recipe, rolled out, dusted with cinnamon sugar and rolled up into a ring, then it has almond icing on it after it’s baked. Some “bread!” One of my favourite things ever.

  59. Deb
    December 13, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    Food memory? Nanaimo bars out of my friends mom’s freezer. Great idea until she went to get some for some unexpected guests. Oops. So much for her christmas cheer.

  60. Allison
    December 13, 2013 at 11:51 pm

    I have fond memories of Quaker instant oatmeal mixed with applesauce, oddly. My parents had a rule that we had to eat breakfast before opening presents, so oatmeal was the fastest thing my brother and I could down.

  61. Janice
    December 14, 2013 at 3:08 am

    The smell of my grandma’s house was always filled with the wonderful aroma of fresh bread baking in the old wood stove!

  62. Irene
    December 14, 2013 at 5:41 am

    My favorite Christmas memory is my mother baking for days and days, and the four of us kids sneaking into the basement freezer, devouring most of it before Christmas. This resulted in many re-bakes, and to this day I still love frozen cookies.

  63. JM
    December 14, 2013 at 6:13 am

    Making the tourtières with my mom was always a sign that Christmas was coming. We also decorated the sugar cookies. Now that she’s gone and my little girl is big enough, we’re keeping the traditions alive with cookies today (with 3 other toddlers, should be interesting) and tourtière next weekend!

  64. voula
    December 14, 2013 at 8:25 am

    My mom would.spend 2 days making traditional Greek cookies . The house smelled so good, like honey, cinnamon, rosewater and.anise. I would sneak in and snag as much cookie dough as I could before she could swat my hand away…

  65. Mary
    December 14, 2013 at 8:51 am

    My dad always made a huge traditional Italian lasagna. It would take all day and was always a big hit, with the little meatballs, sausage and hard boiled eggs.

  66. Lyn
    December 14, 2013 at 9:59 am

    We used to make chocolate mint truffles on Christmas eve as a family. I remember scraping the excess of my hands with my teeth.
    And eggnog and ginger ale. Always. One taste of it and I am 8 years old again.

  67. CarrieM
    December 14, 2013 at 10:45 am

    My grandma used to make fruitcake cookies that were a spiced dough filled with the super candied cherries and citrus peel. They weren’t my favourite but the best part about them is the day that my brother called them ‘chicken cookies’ because they looked like fried chicken and it stuck!

  68. Barb
    December 14, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Mandarin oranges for sure! I still love them. Do you remember ribbon candy? I’m not sure if you can even get it any more but I liked the ones that tasted like cloves.

  69. Deidre
    December 14, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    My mom used to make a quiche lorraine and a tourtiere for christmas breakfast (and was horrified when we put ketchup on the tourtiere!) Thanks for the chance to win!

  70. Kelly
    December 14, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    My mom always made turkey for Christmas except that being Chinese she always stuffed it with sticky rice instead of the normal bread stuffing. To this day, I still cannot picture a bird without sticky rice inside of it. And, our side dishes were things like spring rolls, vermicelli…and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

  71. Kirsten
    December 14, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Thanks for the bun recipe! I thought it was just my inept searching ability when I couldn’t find one in your list. Best Christmas food memory is the Norwegian Christmas feast at my grandparents complete with ribs, meatballs, lefse and lutefisk(an acquired taste made better with melted butter).

  72. Jo
    December 14, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    After my mom died when I was a small child, my aunt undertook to do our Christmas baking. Our freezer was full of all the usual Christmas goodies, but I really remember the butter cake. Over a period of a few weeks I ATE IT ALL, straight from the freezer without anyone knowing. My aunt doesn’t have any recollection of having that butter cake recipe, and I can’t find one that matches it. sigh…

  73. Jeanie
    December 14, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    Actually… we always order sushi take-out for Christmas dinner! A bit non-traditional, but so convenient and yummy!

  74. Rana
    December 14, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    For years it was a tradition for my mother, her aunt, my sisters and I to get together days before Christmas to make what we called Moka Balls (though it is the furthest away from coffee or chocolate). We cut up several pound cakes, store-bought, removing the crusts which we ate later or even as we went along. Then the cubes of cake get rolled in pastel-coloured thin icing and then either rolled in coconut or tiny peanut pieces. These balls (which are really cubes) are then frozen and taken out for special Christmas events.

  75. Sarah
    December 14, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    I’m with NJ – Christmas plum pudding with hard sauce! homemade every year with some reluctance, but a staple none the less, and I loved it. As much a tradition etched in my memory as the sound of my grandfather’s knife sharpening before carving the turkey

  76. Danielle
    December 15, 2013 at 6:53 am

    Our mother would spend days upon days in December baking and we often woke up to the sound of her old school Braun machine in action with the oven timer ringing in the background and the delightful smell of whatever she had on the go. She would make pfefferneusse or little German spice cookies that I really enjoy.

  77. sarah
    December 15, 2013 at 7:05 am

    Julie’s Cinnamon Sticky biscuits: our family favourite for years!
    http://www.dinnerwithjulie.com/2008/02/15/day-45-early-tuna-melts-and-late-night-goat-cheese-gratin-with-roasted-peppers-tomatoes-garlic-and-chilies/

  78. sue b
    December 15, 2013 at 8:40 am

    Christmas Eve at out house always had a special meal which was rich and decadent; oyster stew and lobster sandwiches (with the crusts cut off). When I got married I tried to continue the tradition but it has been deemed too rich. Some 20 years later we still don’t have a tradition for our Christmas Eve meal tho one thing we did start; making Nut’s & Bolts- to give away to friends, family and at one point teachers. One year I think we made over 20 batches 🙂

  79. Carol S-B
    December 15, 2013 at 10:05 am

    I love reading everyone’s Christmas+food memories. This is the best question ever! So many things you guys mentioned that I love as well. The bugles; nunts’n’bolts; fruitcake cookies, gingerbread… Bonnei, I have the Chinese Chews recipe and I’ll find it later on today. One of my Christmas eve memories: after we walked home from evening church service (Pleasant Heights United Church, and the initials [phuc] written on the bottom of a card table led to an interesting incident with a child learning the “ph” sound…)we’d have a late supper of buns and sliced meats. Buns were from George and Elsie’s bakery down by city hall, and the meat from Till’s meats. Which became Rupps, then Paolini’s, and is now Rocky’s! Haven’t missed a Christmas eve, with their cervelat and black forest ham, or the 1/2 lyoner/ half ham. Thanks for all the memories, everyone; keep them coming! -CSB

  80. Cheryl
    December 15, 2013 at 10:49 am

    Homemade shortbread, butter tarts and dark dark Christmas cake. My mother would start in November so that the cake could have a few weeks of ageing before we demolished it. After I grew up I made my own Christmas cakes for a few years, but the ingredients became more and more difficult to obtain and the audience dwindled as everyone became more health conscious!! Maybe next year I’ll resurrect the idea and give them a go again. Cheers and have a fabulous Christmas break Julie!

  81. Lori
    December 15, 2013 at 11:35 am

    I remember making and decorating sugar cookies with my mom and brother as a kid. I still have and use the same cookie cutters.
    I also remember nuts in the shell and getting to use the nut cracker and mom worrying about getting bits of nut shells all over the place-they’re hard to vacuum out of shag carpet.

  82. Carol S-B
    December 15, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Here’s that Chinese Chews recipe (see above):
    1 C. sugar; 1 C. chopped dates; 3/4 C. Flour; 1 tsp. baking powder; 1/4 tsp. salt: stir to combine. Add 2 eggs, beaten. Stir well. Spread in a 9X9 pan (Greased). Bake 350 for 35 mins. Cut in 36 squares while still warm and roll each into a ball. Roll in icing sugar. (While warm so it sticks)

  83. Vivian
    December 15, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    The year my Oma came to visit she made Stollen. When baked and cooled it was covered in a drift of icing sugar and topped with little marzipan “fruits”. She showed me how to make the wee oranges…using the fine teeth of a grater, rolling the round orange ball of marzipan over it repeatedly to put the texture of the “skin” on it and then sticking a whole clove in the bottom. To my young eyes, it was magical!

  84. Ken
    December 15, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    Thank you for this! We made them with mincemeat and I think a new tradition has been born!

  85. cj
    December 15, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    my mom made the best nuts and bolts and gave them as gifts to everyone…now I continue the tradition.

  86. Silvi
    December 15, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    Seafood after midnight mass. We would come home and my mom and her sisters would cook. We would have shrimp, crab, mussels and clams in a tomato sauce with toasted bread….so amazing!

  87. Amy
    December 15, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    My favourite Christmas food is my grandma’s perogies!

  88. Christa
    December 15, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    Oh that’s easy: my grandmothers stuffing!! We have now developed an awesome new holiday tradition where 10 of us backpack an entire thanksgiving dinner into the woods (including grandmas secret recipe) and toast to our good fortunes. Amazing.

  89. margo
    December 15, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    My favorites growing up were mom’s nanaimo bars, and an amazing chewy toffee she made… I believe it had Eagle Brand milk in it. So sweet, creamy and caramelly.

  90. Erin Q.
    December 16, 2013 at 12:15 am

    My mom makes whipped shortbread cookies dotted with a sliver of red or green candied cherry every single Christmas, without fail.

  91. Debbie L
    December 16, 2013 at 2:14 am

    As kids we would all pile on our parents bed & open our stockings, actual wool socks of my dad’s, with a Japanese orange in the toe & a candy cane sticking out if the top. Usually some socks & underwear stuffed inside and something from Avon. Then mum’s baking…mincemeat tarts, shortbread cookies, light Xmas cake, pumpkin pie….

  92. Jill
    December 16, 2013 at 6:34 am

    I remember my Grandma’s carrot and spinach cheesy casserole at dinner on Christmas Day- it seems like a strange combination… As a matter of fact it was… It didn’t even taste all that good! But for some reason I always remember it!

  93. Kendra
    December 16, 2013 at 7:06 am

    Best Christmas food memory is making homemade ice cream (real farm cream of course) with the hand crank machine out on the back step on Christmas Eve 🙂

  94. Linda C
    December 16, 2013 at 9:14 am

    I remember making bugle fingers!
    My best Christmas food memory: Christmas Eve, we would each get a fancy Christmas plate (there’s a German name for it that I just can’t spell) and load it up with treats. It wasn’t so much 1 food as it was the variety – meatballs, pickles, potato salad, nuts, clementines or mandarins, squares, cookies and some Christmas ribbon candy. If I had to pick 1 food, it would be pomegranate – still my favorite treat of the season.

  95. Lisa
    December 16, 2013 at 9:50 am

    I used to sneak spoons of hard sauce(butter, icing sugar and rum) straight from the fridge at Christmas. It was the only reason to eat plum pudding as far as I was concerned….

    But to even things out, I also ate so many Moroccan clementines I’d get canker sores. Apparently you _can_ have too much of a good thing!

  96. Jen
    December 16, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Sadly, Bugles and Bits n Bites were the big Christmas goodie in my memories. I think that is what has made me a baker!

  97. Katie
    December 16, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    My favorites were gumdrop cake and icy squares.

  98. Charlotte
    December 17, 2013 at 9:54 am

    We are working on a tradition to have fondue every christmas eve. Fun!

  99. jenna
    December 17, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    We always received (and still do!) a Rogers Chocolates “Victoria Cream” in the toe of our stockings…… just on top of the mandarin orange!

  100. WendyJ
    December 18, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    Growing up, I always knew when a certain kind of cookie was being made as soon as I walked into the house. It uses ammonia (no, that is not a typo), and despite the smell while being made, it tastes delicious.

  101. rena
    December 21, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    One of my favorites my mom made all year is banana cake. She picked me up from the airport once with a warm pan of it 🙂

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