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Global Winter Holidays Complete Recipes

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Making buuzThese recipes represent winter holiday traditions around the world. For the related article on Winter Holiday Food Traditions Around the World, click here.

Mongolian Buuz

1. Combine 1 cup flour with ¾ cup water to make a pliable dough and let rest for 15 minutes while you make the filling.

2. Filling
½ lb ground meat (mutton or beef)
1 small onion, chopped fine
3-5 Tb. Water (enough to make the mass smooth)
Salt & Pepper to taste

3. Form the pockets
- Roll pieces of dough into circles of about 3 inches in diameter, making the center slightly thicker than the edge.
- Place about one teaspoon of the meat mix in the center.
- The design of the buuz is up to the cook, but the easiest fold is to take the four opposing sides and press them together.

4. Steam buuz in a covered bamboo or metal steamer for about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve warm.

Indian Gajar Ki Kheer

4 cups milk
2 cups peeled and grated carrot
½ cup sugar
4 Tb. Grain rice
2 Tb slivered almonds
1 tsp rose water
½ tsp cardamom
¼ cup chopped pistachios
¼ cup cream

1. Pour milk and rice into a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir.
2. Simmer for 20 minutes covered.
3. Add carrots and heat for 15 minutes uncovered.
4. Add sugar and almonds, and cook for 10 minutes.
5. Stir until the mixture starts sticking to the bottom of the pan.
6. Remove from heat and allow it to cool to room temperature.
7. Add cream, cardamom and rose water. Serve cool with pistachios for garnish.

Japanese Christmas Cake

Ingredients for sponge cake
8 eggs, separated
1 cup of granulated sugar
2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon of lemon extract (optional)
powdered sugar (optional)

1. Line a 10-inch springform pan with wax paper or parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
2. Whip egg whites until frothy. Slowly add sugar and beat until glossy and stiff.
3. In another bowl, whip egg yolks, lemon zest and lemon extract until creamy, approximately 2 minutes.
4. Fold the egg yolks into the egg whites, but be careful not to overmix which will deflate the egg whites.
5. Combine the flour and cornstarch and add to the egg mixture. Fold in carefully, then fold in melted butter.
6. Transfer the batter to the pan. Spread evenly with the spatula and shake the pan to remove air bubbles.
7. Bake for 30 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Once the cake has cooled, run a knife around the cake to detach it.

Spread whipped cream over the cake and garnish with whole fresh strawberries.

Finnish Glogg
Serves 6
1 bottle red wine
2-3 Tb. Madeira (optional)
½ cup sugar or honey
1/3 cup raisins
1 stick cinnamon
5-6 whole cloves
Peelings of 1 orange
¼ cup slivered almonds
¼ cup vodka (optional)

Combine all ingredients (except for the vodka) in a large pot and heat slowly until it is steaming hot. Avoid boiling, since this will boil off the alcohol. Taste with a spoon and add sugar if necessary. Before serving, add vodka.

Armenian Gata

¼ cup warm water
1 tsp dry active yeast
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground mahlep (cherry pits)
½ cup warm milk
2 egg whites
3 tsp butter
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp honey
Zest of 1 orange
1 cup raisins
1 egg yolk mixed with 2 tsp water

1. Mix the warm water with the dry active yeast in a bowl and set aside for 15 minutes.
2. Add flour, salt, mahlep and milk and mix.
3. Add egg whites, butter, sugar, honey and orange zest and mix.
4. Place dough into a greased bowl, turning it over to evenly coat the surface. Place a damp towel over the bowl and allow bread to rise for a 3 hours.
5. After the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and kneed in raisins.
6. Cut dough into three pieces, creating three long rolls, and braid the dough into a single loaf.
7. Cover the bread again with a damp towel and allow to rise for 1 hour.
8. Preheat oven to 375F.
9. Brush the top with the egg yolk and water mixture and bake for 40-50 minutes.