Yuletide Recipes



Quick Solstice Cake

The cake is made from a mix... any yellow cake mix will do. Pour batter into two 8" round pans, bake according to directions and cool. Place one of the layers in the middle of a large platter (we used a pizza plate) Cut the other layer into 8 equal wedges and trim the edges so they fit flush against the center layer when you arrange them around it. If the second layer has puffed too much in the middle, you might want to slice the puffy part off first. The frosting is simple butter frosting made with 1 box of confectioner's sugar, 5 tbsp milk, 3/4 stick of softened butter, 1/2 tsp vanilla (you could also use lemon flavoring) and a few drops of yellow food coloring. We also added a lot of little birthday candles but we hadn't yet bought them when this picture was taken :-)


I found this recipe for traditional Wassail and a lovely ceremony to go with it in John & Caitlin Matthews' book
The Winter Solstice.

Heat a large container of ale or beer, about 3 or 4 pints. Add:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup mixed spice (cinnamon sticks and whole cloves are also excellent)
2 or 3 small sweet apples, cut up
1 1/4 cup pineapple juice
1 1/4 cup orange juice
the juice of 2 lemons
Place over a slow flame; then, before it begins to boil, take off the heat and whip up some cream. Let this float on top of the brew like foam.
Put in a suitably large bowl (the more ornate the better)
Now go out to a tree or trees with a few friends (these don't have to be apple trees, since all can benefit from a well-intentioned blessing, but it is traditional to wassail fruit-bearing trees) Wet the roots liberally with the brew. Pass the rest around and when everyone is thoroughly warmed up sing a wassailing song, for example: Lift your glasses to the tree and shout "Huzzah!" as loud as you can.

Magickal associations
apples - love, health, peace
pineapple - healing, money, protection & love (in early America, this fruit was the symbol of hospitality)
lemons - love, happiness & purification
cinnamon - love, psychic awareness & money
sugar - love


This recipe for non-alcoholic Wassail is from Dorothy Morrison's book Yule A Celebration of Light and Warmth.

8 cups apple juice or cider
2 cups cranberry juice
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp allspice
2 cinnamon sticks
1 orange
whole cloves

Turn the crockpot on high and pour in the apple and cranberry juices. Stir in the sugar and allspace, then add cinnamon sticks. Stud the orange with the cloves... about 25 or 30 cloves should do the trick.. and toss it in. Cover the pot and cook on high for 1 hour. Change the setting to low and allow to simmer for 3 more hours, then serve

And don't forget about your friends, the apple trees! Set some wassail aside to cool, blend in an egg, then carry on with your tree wassailing ritual :-)

Magickal associations
apples - love, health, peace
orange - love, purification
cranberry - protection
cinnamon - love, psychic awareness & money
sugar - love


Desserts featuring nuts, cinnamon, apples and oranges are particularly good at this time of year. I found these Yule dessert recipes on the 'net. If one or more of these is "your" recipe, email me at so I can give you credit. Following each recipe is a list of magickal associations for some of the ingredients, courtesy of Scott Cunningham's The Magic in Food (I recommend all of the late great Mr. Cunningham's books; they are Pagan/Wiccan classics!)


Sun Shine Sugar Cookies with Orange Frosting
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup shortening
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Combine milk with vinegar to make sour milk. Let stand for 5 minutes. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugars, shortening, eggs, and vanilla. Add flour, soda, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Stir in sour milk and mix well. NOTE: Dough will be very sticky and hard to handle so be sure to refrigerate either several hours or overnight. Roll on well floured board to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutters to desired shapes-a sun shape or large round circles are best to signify the sun with large cutters working best. Bake at 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly brown on bottom. Frost with frosting (recipe below) and decorate.

Frosting
3 egg whites
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon orange extract
1 Tablespoon of orange rind
1 Tablespoon of Orange Juice

Beat egg whites in clean, large bowl with mixer at high speed until very foamy Gradually add sugar, rind, orange juice and extract. Beat at high speed until thickened. Spread over cooled cookies or put in a pastry bag with a piping tip attached and pipe onto cookies.

magickal associations:
orange - love, purification
vanilla - love, sexuality
eggs - healing, protection, fertility
sugar - love
nutmeg - psychic awareness



Almond Yule Logs
Yields: 2 dozen logs
Total Time: 45 to 50 minutes
2 7-ounce tubes almond paste
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
2 large egg whites
2 cups sliced natural almonds

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 large cookie sheets.
2. Cut almond paste into 1-inch chunks. In small bowl, with mixer at low speed, beat almond paste until crumbly. Add sugar and egg whites; beat until well blended (dough will be sticky and wet).
3. Place almonds on sheet of waxed paper. With lightly floured hands, roll 1 level tablespoon dough into a 3-inch-long log. Place dough log on almonds; gently press and stick almonds into dough to cover. Repeat with remaining dough and almonds to make 24 logs in all, placing logs on cookie sheets, about 1 inch apart, as they are formed.
4. Place cookie sheets on 2 oven racks. Bake logs 20 to 25 minutes until golden and set, rotating cookie sheets between upper and lower racks halfway through baking time. Remove logs to wire racks to cool. Store in tightly covered container.
Each log: About 135 calories, 4 g protein, 13 g carbohydrate, 8 g total fat (1 g saturated), 0 mg cholesterol, 7 mg sodium.

magickal associations:
almonds - money & healing
eggs - healing, protection, fertility
sugar - love



Anise Tuiles
Yields: About 2 1/2 dozen cookies
Work Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour plus 5 to 7 minutes baking time per batch
3 large egg whites
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons butter (3/4 stick), melted
3/4 teaspoon anise extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease large cookie sheet. In large bowl, with wire whisk, beat egg whites, confectioners' sugar, and flour until blended and smooth. Beat in melted butter, anise extract, and salt.
2. Drop 1 heaping teaspoon mixture onto cookie sheet. Repeat to make 3 more cookies, about 3 inches apart. With small spatula, spread each cookie to a 3-inch round. (Do not place more than 4 on cookie sheet because, after baking, cookies must be shaped quickly before hardening.)
3. Bake cookies 5 to 7 minutes until edges are golden. With pancake turner, quickly remove 1 cookie to wire rack. With hands, gently shape warm cookie to flute edges. Repeat with remaining cookies on cookie sheet. If cookies become too hard to shape, return cookie sheet to oven to soften cookies slightly. Repeat with remaining batter. (Batter will become slightly thicker upon standing.) Store in tightly covered container.
Each cookie: About 40 calories, 1 g protein, 5 g carbohydrate, 2 g total fat (1 g saturated), 6 mg cholesterol, 45 mg sodium.

magickal associations:
anise - love (it's also used to flavor wedding cakes!)
eggs - healing, protection, fertility
sugar - love
butter - spirituality



Apricot-Raspberry Rugelach
Yields: About 4 dozen
Work Time: 1 hour plus 2 hours chilling
Total Time: 3 1/2 hours, including chilling
1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup walnuts, chopped
3/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup seedless raspberry preserves
1 tablespoon milk

1. In large bowl, with mixer at low speed, beat margarine or butter with cream cheese until blended and smooth. Beat in vanilla extract, salt, 1 cup flour, and1/4 cup sugar until blended. With spoon, stir in remaining flour. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces. Wrap each with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours or overnight.
2. Prepare filling: In medium bowl, with spoon, stir walnuts, apricots, brown sugar, 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon until well mixed. Line 2 large cookie sheets with foil; grease foil.
3. On lightly floured surface, with floured rolling pin, roll 1 piece of chilled dough into a 9-inch round, keeping remaining dough refrigerated. Spread dough with 2 tablespoons raspberry preserves. Sprinkle with about 1/2 cup apricot filling; gently press filling onto dough. With pastry wheel or sharp knife, cut dough into 12 equal wedges. Starting at curved edge, roll up each wedge, jelly-roll fashion. Place cookies on foil-lined cookie sheet, point-side down, about 1/2 inch apart. Repeat with remaining dough, one-fourth at a time.
4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In cup, mix remaining 2 tablespoons sugar with 1 teaspoon cinnamon. With pastry brush, brush rugelach with milk. Sprinkle with cinnamon- sugar.
5. Bake rugelach on 2 oven racks about 30 to 35 minutes until golden, rotating cookie sheets between upper and lower racks halfway through baking time. Immediately remove rugelach to wire racks to cool. Store in tightly covered container.
Each rugelach: About 115 calories, 1 g protein, 13 g carbohydrate, 7 g total fat (2 g saturated), 5 mg cholesterol, 80 mg sodium

magickal associations:
apricots - love & peace
raspberries - happiness, protection & love
cinnamon - love, psychic awareness & money
vanilla - love & sexuality
sugar - love
butter - spirituality



Chewy Ginger Triangles
Yields: 32 cookies
Work Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes plus cooling

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped candied pineapple (about 2 large rings)
1/2 cup chopped crystallized ginger (about 2.7-ounce jar)
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Into large bowl, measure all ingredients. With hand, knead ingredients until blended.
2. Pat dough into ungreased 13" by 9" metal baking pan. Bake 30 minutes or until edges are golden. 3. Remove pan from oven; immediately cut lengthwise into 4 strips, then cut each strip crosswise into 4 pieces to form 16 bars. Cut each bar diagonally in half to form 32 triangles.
4. Cool cookies in pan on wire rack. When cold, carefully remove cookies from pan. Store in tightly covered container.
Each cookie: About 100 calories, 1 g protein, 15 g carbohydrate, 4 g total fat (0 g saturated), 0 mg cholesterol, 90 mg sodium.

magickal associations:
ginger - love & money
pineapple - healing, money, protection & love (in early America, this fruit was the symbol of hospitality)
cinnamon - love, psychic awareness & money
sugar - love
butter - spirituality



Chocolate-Raspberry Almond Spritz
Yields: 2 1/2 dozen filled cookies
Work Time: 1 1/4 hours
Total Time: 2 hours plus cooling

1/2 cup blanched whole almonds
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg

Chocolate-Raspberry Filling (see below)
1. In food processor with knife blade attached, blend almonds with sugar, pulsing processor on and off until almonds are finely ground. (Or, in blender, grind almonds with sugar in batches.)
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In large bowl, with mixer at low speed, beat almond mixture, flour, butter, almond extract, salt, and egg just until blended, scraping bowl occasionally with rubber spatula.
3. Spoon dough into large decorating bag with large star tube (about 3/4 inch in diameter). Pipe dough into teardrop shapes (about 2" by 1 1/2"), 1 inch apart, onto 2 ungreased large cookie sheets.
4. Place cookie sheets on 2 oven racks. Bake cookies 12 to 14 minutes until lightly browned around edges, rotating cookie sheets between upper and lower racks halfway through baking time. Allow cookies to cool slightly on cookie sheets. With pancake turner, remove cookies to wire racks to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.
5. When cookies are cool, prepare Chocolate-Raspberry Filling. With small spatula, spread about 1 rounded teaspoon filling onto flat side of half of cookies. Top with remaining cookies, flat-side down, to make filled cookies.
CHOCOLATE-RASPBERRY FILLING: In 1-quart saucepan over low heat, heat 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy or whipping cream, to boiling. Meanwhile, finely chop six 1-ounce squares semisweet chocolate and place in small bowl with 3 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam. Pour hot cream over chocolate mixture; let stand 1 minute. Stir chocolate mixture until smooth. Refrigerate until chocolate mixture is firm enough to spread, about 15 to 18 minutes. If mixture becomes too firm, let stand at room temperature until slightly softened.
Each filled cookie: About 165 calories, 2 g protein, 18 g carbohydrate, 10 g total fat (5 g saturated), 28 mg cholesterol, 85 mg sodium.

magickal associations:
chocolate - love & money
raspberries - happiness, protection & love
almonds - money & healing
sugar - love
butter - spirituality



Citrus Bars
Yields: 32 bars
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup shortening
4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick),cut up
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream
5 large eggs
1/3 cup lime juice (about 3 limes)
1/4 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
confectioners' sugar for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In food processor with knife blade attached, blend flour, shortening, margarine or butter, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt, pulsing processor on and off until crumbs form. With processor running, through feed tube, add 2 to 3 tablespoons cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing processor on and off until dough comes together.
2. Press dough onto bottom and 1/4 inch up sides of a 13" by 9" metal baking pan. With fork, prick dough in many places to prevent puffing during baking. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until lightly browned. Remove crust from oven. Turn oven control to 375 degrees F.
3. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, with wire whisk, beat sour cream, eggs, 1 cup sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt until well mixed. Mix in lime and lemon juices, and lemon peel until blended.
4. Pour citrus mixture over warm crust in pan; bake 15 minutes or until just set (do not overbake or citrus filling may crack). Remove pan to wire rack; cool completely in pan. Refrigerate.
5. To serve, when cold, sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. Cut lengthwise into 4 strips; cut each strip crosswise into 8 pieces. To store, cover pan and refrigerate.
Each bar: About 105 calories, 2 g protein, 10 g carbohydrate, 5 g total fat (2 g saturated), 35 mg cholesterol, 55 mg sodium.

magickal associations:
lemons - love, happiness & purification
limes - love & purification
eggs - healing, protection, fertility
sugar - love
butter - spirituality



Coconut Buttons
Yields: 6 1/2 dozen
Work Time: 45 minutes plus 1 hour chilling
Total Time: About 2 hours and 5 minutes, including chilling

1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon coconut extract
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups flaked coconut, chopped
4 1-ounce squares semisweet chocolate
1 tablespoon shortening

1. In large bowl, with mixer at medium-high speed, beat butter, sugar, milk, coconut extract, baking powder, and salt until light and fluffy. With wooden spoon, stir in flour and chopped coconut (dough will be a bit crumbly). With hands, squeeze dough together.
2. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a 10" by 1" log. Wrap each log in plastic wrap and slide onto small cookie sheet for easier handling. Refrigerate dough at least 1 hour or until firm.
3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Cut each log into 1/2-inch slices. Place slices, 1 inch apart, on 2 ungreased large cookie sheets. With toothpick, make 4 holes in each cookie to resemble a button. Place cookie sheets on 2 oven racks. Bake cookies 20 to 25 minutes until lightly golden, rotating cookie sheets between upper and lower racks halfway through baking time. Remove cookies to wire racks to cool.
4. When cookies are cool, melt chocolate with shortening. Dip bottom of each cookie into melted chocolate so that the chocolate comes slightly up side of the cookie. With small metal spatula, scrape excess chocolate from bottom of cookie, leaving a thin layer. Place cookies, chocolate-side down, on waxed paper. Set cookies aside to allow chocolate to set. Store cookies in tightly covered container. Makes about 6 1/2 dozen cookies.
Each cookie: About 55 calories, 1 g protein, 6 g carbohydrate, 3 g total fat (2 g saturated), 6 mg cholesterol, 45 mg sodium.
Note: You can make the cookie dough and keep it wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks before slicing and baking. Or, you can freeze the dough for up to 2 months.


magickal associations:
coconut - spirituality, psychic awareness & purification
chocolate - love & money
sugar - love
butter - spirituality


Magickal Cookbooks

Click on the title to learn more about the book.

Celtic Folklore Cooking
by Joanne Asala

A Kitchen Witch's Cookbook
by Patricia Telesco

A Witch's Beverages and Brews
by Patricia Telesco

The Wicca Cookbook: Recipes, Ritual, and Lore
by Jamie Wood & Tara Seefeldt

Witch in the Kitchen: Titania's Book of Magical Feasts
by Titania Hardie

Recipes From A Vegetarian Goddess
by Karri Allrich


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Joyous Yule Celebrating the Winter Solstice

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