The 1st December marks a very special day in Auckland’s Christmas calendar. On this auspicious evening every year just as dusk turns to dark in one of our central city streets, a row of houses light up with the spirit of Christmas. Draped in curtains of Christmas lights these houses are transformed and it is impossible not to be overcome with Christmas cheer. An influx of cars brings traffic to a standstill and as crowds gather and the street fills, the sound of laughter fills the humid summer air.
For us here in New Zealand Christmas is synonymous with summer. It is warm and humid and weather permitting we move outside to the shade of Mum’s garden for our late Christmas lunch. Our menu is ever-changing and Christmas ham is the most traditional item ever to feature. Desserts are numerous and this year, pre-empting the post lunch coffees I will make on Mum’s new coffee machine, I am going to make and serve these sweet little almond drops.
As well a making up a batch for Christmas day, I thought I would also make some to give as presents. Boxed and tied up with a red ribbon I think they will make gorgeous Christmas gifts. I am going to play round with the recipe too as I think you could make beautiful rose, vanilla or lemon flavoured variations. If you cannot find the little gold cachous with which I decorated my drops, then try walnuts or pistachios.