I started my Christmas ‘Baking’ tradition after I was married. I always loved the close-knit environment in the Mast home which was ‘all the more’ evident at the holidays. My mother-in-law Gerda bakes the most amazing array of Christmas cookies. I learned by making sure that I was there every year to bake with her. Baking at the ‘Mast’ home was always a family affair. My father-in-law Ronnie always made sure all the oranges and lemons were grated and juiced and all the icing sugar was sifted. While Gerda ‘rolled’ and ‘cut’ the cookie shapes, Peter, Mark, Ronnie (lovingly known to us as ‘Pappa’ to us) and I, transferred to the cookie sheets and decorated. Today I bake in my home. The ingredients have slightly changed to accommodate the expanding waistlines but the basic recipe remains the same. From our home to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.
4 Egg Whites (room tempterature)
500g Ground Hazelnuts
2-3 Tbsp Lemon Peel
Have on hand a small melon baller or two spoons
Heat Oven to 300°F. (convection)
Separate 4 eggs. Put the whites in mixing bowl.
Reserve and refrigerate the yolks for use later in another recipe.
Blend the whites slowly, then gradually increase the speed to highest on the mixer. When the whites form stiff, white peaks, slowly add the sugar. Mix until the peaks are stiff and shiny. Do not overbeat.
Once the whites are stiff, fold in the Ground Hazelnuts and the Lemon peel with a large sweeping action. When all the nuts and whites are well folded, use a melon baller (small) or 2 spoons and spoon the mixed whites onto a prepared baking cookie sheet (lined with parchment or silicone sheet).
Bake 20 – 30 minutes at 300 or until just stiff to the touch.
Post by Rose Marie Cavanna