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Citrus + Spice and Everything Nice!
In a Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens captures the aromas and flavors of the season, describing bowls of “juicy oranges” and “sticks of cinnamon so long and straight, the other spices so delicious” you can practically smell and taste them. Indeed, the custom of enjoying citrus fruits and spices during the holidays dates back centuries, to a time when they were considered once-a-year luxuries: Oranges were placed in the toes of Christmas stockings (symbolic of Saint Nicholas’s tossing balls of gold) in Victorian England, and clove-studded oranges called pomanders graced the holiday table in colonial America. And of course fruitcakes, gingerbread, and other spice cakes were baked throughout Europe and America. These time-honored yuletide flavors continue to delight the senses – and have us dreaming of a citrus-and-spice Christmas.
BITE-SIZE JEWELS – Marmalade Linzer Sandwiches are a twist on traditional linzer cookies, these gem-like goodies were inspired by stained glass and Moroccan tiles. Cardamom in the dough echoes the exotic theme, and orange marmalade adds a bittersweet note. We baked the cutouts as well: Dusted with confectioners’ sugar, the tiny treats are tasty all on their own.
“As we struggle with shopping lists and invitations, compounded by December’s bad weather, it is good to be reminded that there are people in our lives who are worth this aggravation, and people to whom we are worth the same.”
~ Donald E. Westlake