Celebrate debut of the original “Nutcracker”

Did you know that The Nutcracker  made its debut at the Mariinsky Theatre  in St. Petersburg on December 18th in 1892.
Here is the original program.
To celebrate this anniversary, the Menu Shoppe presents these treats.
 
“… while visions of sugarplums danced in their heads.” The famous sugar plums spoken about in Clement Clark Moore’s beloved poem, “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” were actually sugar-coated coriander. Later the recipe changed and included other spices and dried fruit.
This recipe from Saveur is a modern day confection. 
Sugar Plums
2 cups whole almonds
1⁄4 cup honey
2 tsp. grated orange zest
1 1⁄2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1⁄2 tsp. ground allspice
1⁄2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup finely chopped dried apricots
1 cup finely chopped pitted dates
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
*The daring might infuse a tablespoon of rum
Preheat oven to 400°. Arrange almonds on a baking sheet in a single layer and toast in oven for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool, then finely chop. Combine honey, orange zest, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg in a medium mixing bowl.  Add almonds, apricots, and dates and mix well. Pinch off rounded teaspoon-size pieces of the mixture and roll into balls. (Rinse your hands often, as mixture is very sticky.) Roll balls in sugar, then refrigerate in single layers between sheets of waxed paper in airtight containers for up to
1 month. Their flavor improves after ripening for several days.
And this variation of no-bake treats.
No-Bake Sugar Plums
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (3 ounce) package strawberry flavored gelatin
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs, or as needed
1 (3 ounce) package strawberry flavored gelatin
30 whole cloves
Pour the milk into a mixing bowl, and sprinkle 1 package of strawberry gelatin overtop. Stir to dissolve the gelatin, then stir in the coconut and graham cracker crumbs until a stiff dough forms. You may need to use additional graham cracker crumbs to make a firm dough. Roll the dough into approximately 30 – 1 inch balls. Pour the remaining strawberry gelatin into a small bowl, and roll the cookies in the gelatin to coat. Place the cookies onto a serving tray, and press a whole clove into each to form a stem.
And then to quaff this spirited potion from Snow Queen Vodka
50ml Snow Queen Vodka
30ml fresh apple Juice
12.5ml cinnamon sugar
(combine cinnamon and sugar syrup)
soda water
apple wedges for trim
Add all of the ingredients except the soda water into a shaker with a handful of ice cubes. Shake vigorously and strain into a Highball glass filled with ice cubes. Trim with an apple wedge.
If it’s on the menu…the Menu Shoppe has it covered.
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