Yuletide, Goth Music and Biscotti
by C.S. MacCath
I love Yuletide; the presents, the homemade things, the parties. My husband Sean and I buy or make an ornament for each other every year, and I bake things of various complexity (I make a mean vegan biscotti – recipe below). This year, we’re also hosting an all night Yule party on the winter solstice, which I hope will become an annual tradition now that we’re settled in Cape Breton.
I also love Yuletide Carols, the more fantastical-sounding the better. In addition to my library of traditional songs sung by masters like Bing Crosby, I have albums by artists like Enya, Loreena McKennitt, Blackmore’s Night, Jethro Tull, and Nox Arcana. This last band put out an album called Winter’s Knight several years ago, which sounds like it ought to be played at full volume in a crumbling, gothic church in Transylvania. It’s beautimous, and if my husband should ever tell you it makes him want to plod around the Yuletide tree in a self-flagellating ennui, you should definitely ignore him.
Seriously, the band’s Veni, Veni and Carol of the Bells are not to be missed, so I’ve linked them for you below:
Now for that biscotti recipe!
Vegan Cranberry Almond Biscotti
2 ¾ cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
5 Tbs. orange juice plus ½ cup
4 Tbs. cornstarch
1 cup sugar plus 2 Tbs.
2 Tbs. canola oil
1 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup sliced almonds
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in bowl.
2. Whisk together 5 Tbs. orange juice and cornstarch in bowl; set aside. Beat 1 cup sugar, remaining 1/2 cup orange juice, oil and extracts until fluffy. Beat in cornstarch mixture, then flour mixture. Fold in cranberries and almonds.
3. Shape into 2 logs on prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with remaining sugar. Bake 35 minutes, or until light brown. Cool 15 minutes on baking sheet. Slice into 1/2-inch thick slices. Return slices to baking sheet, and bake 15 minutes more. Turn the cookies, then bake them a final 5-15 minutes, or until they’re golden brown.
That’s all I haz, except to wish everyone who reads this the merriest of holidays! May the Yuletide season bring you joy, and light, and love.
From a Grey and Chilly Cape Breton,
Ceallaigh (C.S. MacCath)
This month on my blog I’m sharing holiday traditions, mine and other people’s as well. This is one of those posts, you can find the first, entitled Giftmas Cards (and subsequent ones) by visiting the main page, here. Happy Ho Ho!