Huge thanks to Heather McCollum for putting this together.
My Christmas cookies have to be Tudor in origin, since my current series is set in Elizabethan times. So hereafter follows the receipt (that’s what they called recipes back then) for Cyvele, or Almond Cakes.
1 cup (or more depending on the freshness of the bread) breadcrumbs
4 ounces (half cup) ground almonds
quarter cup +2 tablespoons sugar
half teaspoon salt
oil and/or fat for frying
Mix dry ingredients ( reserving the extra sugar), preferably in a blender; add eggs, beaten, if not using a blender. Heat oil and/or other fat in a frying pan and drop the batter in in small spoonfuls, flattening with the spoon if necessary (which you’ll it will not be if you are using deep fat). Turnover once if not using deep fat. Drain on paper, and sprinkle with reserved sugar before serving – warm, preferably.
An alternative procedure which may be convenient and offers good results is to chill the batter for an hour or so, then divide it into balls (about 20) and flatten into cakes; the cakes should be small and not too thick. One advantage is that much of the work can be done ahead of serving time; another is that the cakes will be of more uniform size, and less uneven in appearance.
From “PLEYN DELIT- Medieval Cookery for Modern Cooks” by Constance B Hieatt and Sharon Butler
Let me assure you, these crisp little cakes are absolutely delicious!
My Christmas Tidbit– Midwinter Folklore
The midwinter solstice is one of the great turning points in the sun’s apparent course through the sky, a time when its light is waning and the day is at its shortest. Our pagan ancestors would have found this a significant time, and done what they could to boost the sun with light of their own, by building midwinter fires. One example of this practice has survived in Europe in the form of the Yule Log. In England, according to an antiquarian by the name of John Brand, excessively large candles, called Christmas candles, were lit on Christmas Eve. A log of wood, the Yule Log, was laid upon the fire, preferably kindled from the remains of the previous year’s log. Oak was the preferred wood for the Yule Log, and before it was completely burnt out, it was rescued from the flames and preserved for a year. Keeping the log was supposed to protect the house from damage by lightning and fire, and to ward off the Devil, and the ashes thereof could help cows to calve, and heal the ailments of both cattle and people.
Source- The Golden Bough, J. G. Frazer
To win the Gift Card, you will need to visit all the authors’ blogs and collect the names of their cookies. But don’t worry, you have NINE days to do it in, and send your list to Heather McCollum so she can choose the winner at random. You will find the details on the Facebook Event Page HERE.
If you are visiting the websites/blogs in order, there’s a list of all the links below. You may find it easiest to visit all the sites in alpabetical order.