It is nearly that time of year again when we celebrate the shortest day and welcome back the sun. Last Winter we featured a solstice bread (fruity, sweet and great with some butter or vegan margarine). 

This Winter Solstice why not try out these two recipes below. 



16 tablespoons (227g) unsalted butter, softened

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup (149g) granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional

2 1/3 cups (280g) all purpose flour

2/3 cup (106g) crystallised ginger


Preheat the oven to 160 degrees. Lightly grease two 9” round cake pans.

Combine the butter, salt, sugar, and vanilla in a mixing bowl, and beat until smooth.

Place 1 cup of the flour in a food processor with the crystallised ginger. Process until the ginger is finely minced.

Add this mixture, with the remaining 1 1/3 cups flour, to the butter-sugar mixture. Beat until well combined.

Divide the dough in half, and press half into each pan, smoothing the surface with your fingers or a pastry roller.

Prick the dough all over with a fork. This will prevent it from ballooning up or developing air bubbles as it bakes.

Bake the shortbread till it’s golden brown all over, and a bit browner around the edges, about 35 minutes. Remove it from the oven.

Loosen the edges of the shortbread from the pan, using a table knife. Wait just a minute or two, then turn the shortbread out of the pan onto a piece of baking paper. 

Use a bench knife, a knife, or (easiest) a rolling pizza cutter to cut each round into 12 wedges. Do this immediately, while the shortbread is still warm. If you wait, it’ll be difficult to cut.

Transfer the wedges to a rack to cool.

Store shortbread, well wrapped, for up to a week; freeze for longer storage. The flavour improves as the shortbread ages.


Hot wassail is a hot cider drink infused with spices and fruit juices. It has the flavours of the seasons and is used to welcome in the shortest and darkest day. A warm celebration of Winter that will make your whole house smell cosy. 

If you are lucky enough you’ll have a fire to curl up next to with this drink in hand, or it is perfect before or after a winter solstice dinner. 


2 cups cranberry juice

2/3 cup white sugar

7 cups water

3 cinnamon sticks

1 tbsp. whole allspice

1 tbsp. whole cloves

1 cup orange juice concentrate

2 cups pineapple juice

6 cups concentrated fruit punch


In a large pot over medium heat, combine the cranberry juice, sugar and water. Bring to a boil and stir until sugar is dissolved. Place the cinnamon, allspice, and clove into a cheesecloth bag and tie shut. Add to the liquid and simmer 20 minutes. Remove spice bag and add fruit juices. Serve hot.