Turn leftover ingredients into tasty desserts

Christmas carrot cake is delicious any time of the year.  | Joan Airey photo

Wonders can be performed in the kitchen by checking out the pantry, whether it’s carrot cake, cheese cake or biscuits

A family recipe I hadn’t used for years was a carrot loaf that contained maraschino cherries. Recently, I came across this Christmas carrot cake made with glazed cherries or mixed fruit, which I tried and will definitely make again.

Cousin Bev and I compared the recipes and the only differences between the one I made are a different type of cherries and the fact that the old recipe has 1 1/3 cups of canola oil and no orange juice. The recipe makes two loaves.

Christmas carrot cake

  • 3 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 c. chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 18 oz. mixed fruit or red and green cherries
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 c. light brown sugar
  • 3 c. grated carrots
  • 1 c. canola oil
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. dark raisins (washed)
  • juice from 2 oranges(1/3 to 1/2 cup)or you can use mango/tangerine juice)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Sift together dry ingredients. Add nuts and fruit to coat. Add remaining ingredients and mix until smooth.

Pour batter into two loaf pans. Bake for one hour.

I used 1/3 cup of mango/tangerine juice and the loaves were nice and moist.

Bev Bennett, who normally is one of a group of seven ladies that caters numerous events in their community of Harding, Man., mentioned this recipe to me, which they often serve around the holiday season. It comes from a Legion cookbook published in 1984.

My copy is well worn from lots of use over the years. With lots of mincemeat on hand, I decided to try the recipe.

No bake mincemeat mallow cheese cake

  • 1 c. vanilla wafer crumbs
  • 1/4 c. margarine melted
  • 1 3/4 c. mincemeat
  • 4 c. mini marshmallows
  • 1/2 c. heavy cream, whipped
  • 1/3 c. orange juice
  • 2-8 oz packages softenedcream cheese
  • 2 tsp. grated orange rind

Combine crumbs and margarine. Press onto bottom of a nine-inch spring form pan. Chill.

Spread mincemeat over crust. Melt marshmallow with orange juice in double boiler. Stir until smooth.

Set aside and chill until thickened. Combine softened cream cheese and orange rind, beating until well-blended and fluffy.

Whip in marshmallow mixture; then fold in whipped cream. Pour over mincemeat. Chill until firm. Garnish with additional mincemeat and chopped candied fruit to form a wreath, if desired.

Fresh homemade biscuits are a great finishing touch, often with homemade soup. The following one is a favourite with soups or to top a casserole.

Fresh homemade biscuits

  • 3 c. all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 3/4 c. cold butter(not margarine if you want great flavour)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c. whole milk

Preheat oven to 450 F.

Combine the dry ingredients into a large bowl.

The secret to excellent biscuits is very cold butter.

Cut the butter into small pieces then incorporate into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter. You want to see small pea-sized pieces of butter through the dough.

Add milk and egg and mix just until the ingredients are combined. The dough will be sticky but don’t keep working it.

Turn the dough out onto a generously floured surface. Sprinkle some flour on the top of dough so it won’t stick to your fingers and knead 10 times. If the dough is super sticky just sprinkle on more flour but don’t get carried away.

Pat the dough out to three-quarter inch to one inch thickness, and cut with a biscuit cutter or glass.

You should have 10 to 12 biscuits.

Put the biscuits on a parchment paper lined tray and bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

If you wish you can brush the tops of the biscuits with melted butter.

About the author


Stories from our other publications