Start your Christmas baking in plenty of time


November is right around the corner and that means it is time xTC to start your holiday baking. Here are some recipes to get you started. These breads will freeze well for three months.

Coriander Gingerbread

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed

1 cup molasses

1 tablespoon ginger

1 tablespoon coriander

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

3 eggs

3 cups flour

1/2 cup orange juice

2 tablespoons grated orange peel

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons water

1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter and sugar. Add molasses and spices; beat in eggs. Add flour and orange juice, alternately to creamed mixture. Add orange peel. Dissolve baking soda in water and stir into mixture. Add raisins and pour batter into a greased loaf pan or pans.

We baked our ginger bread in five one-pound loaf pans for about 30 minutes. Foil bread pans are available in most grocery stores. Rotate the pans about half way through baking.

Gingerbread is done when cake pulls back from sides of pans.

Cool on wire rack. If top is browning too quickly. place foil around the sides and top of pan, do not cover loaf completely.

(-- "Gifts from the Pantry" by

Annette Grimsdale; HP Books,

a division of Price Stern Sloan Inc.

-- 1986, $9.95.

Berry Corn Bread

3 tablespoons butter, melted

2 tablespoons sugar

1 egg

1 cup milk

1/2 cup berries (any fresh or frozen berries will do including cranberries, blueberries or strawberries or raspberries)

1 cup flour

1 cup yellow cornmeal

4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons nonfat dry milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine butter, sugar, egg and milk; set aside. Stir berries into flour; set aside. Mix together cornmeal, baking powder, salt and dry milk. Add to butter mixture. Stir in berry mixture and pour into greased loaf pan. Bake 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack. When cool, wrap bread air tight and allow to ripen at least 24 hours before serving.

Christmas Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup raisins

1/4 cup honey

3 eggs

1/2 cup sliced banana

1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups chopped mixed dried fruits

Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and raisins. Set aside. Combine the honey, eggs, banana, orange juice and vanilla in a blender. Process until smooth. Add to the dried fruits. Combine all ingredients, mixing well. Spoon into a large greased loaf pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for about one hour. Let the bread cool for ten minutes before removing it from the pan.

* This year we are holding our own Christmas cookie exchange. Send us a copy of your favorite cookie recipe and the story behind it. We'll run as many of them as we can on Nov. 28.

Send your recipes to Sherrie Clinton, Food Editor, The Evening Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md., 21278.

* Copies of last year's Christmas Countdown recipes and articles are available on a limited basis. If you would like to receive a booklet containing the entire 12 part series, please send $3 check or money order to: Article Reprints, The Baltimore Sun Public Affairs Dept., 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278-0001.

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