Apart from plum cakes and kulkuls, there are a host of innovative treats flooding the city

The tree is up, the baubles and wreaths look pretty, carollers are doing the rounds and the full on planners are done with Christmas shopping. Now is when the baking starts and the air is saturated with its delightful aroma.

While Christmas and plum cakes go hand in hand, in India we have our own variations and adaptations of Christmas goodies. In the ever evolving world of food, rose cookies, kulkuls, murukus and karjikais are making way for a host of delectable treats that have made their way to the yuletide circuit this time around.

The buzzword

According to Marianne George, a home maker and baking enthusiast: “People are baking different goodies not because the old ones have lost their charm but simply because innovation and creativity are the buzzwords of the day. Also, especially when we have kids around, it's always nice to make fun treats.” Tabitha Samuel, a collegian says: “It's not fun to exchange the same kind of goodies with neighbours. They give us their kulkuls and we give them ours and for all you know, our mothers must have shared the recipe! Hence the trend of doing something out of the ordinary.” Validating this shift of trend are the baking connoisseurs in the city. Suman Gandhi who runs Simply mmmm Cupcakes on Bannerghatta Road has on offer Spiced Nuts and Dates Cupcakes with crème which cost Rs. 55 each. She also has some edible toppings for Christmas such as Santa and snowflakes.

There are confectioners like Nithya Susan Sunil of Sugarcraft who are going all out and delivering huge Christmas hampers. Each Christmas basket Nithya is putting together includes 10 slices of peppermint brownies, 20 squares of peanut butter fudge, box of 8 marzipan covered chocolate truffles, one medium sized lemon pie, seven inch rectangular casing of sticky toffee pudding and bottled toffee sauce, box of 6 cupcakes with coloured buttercream (vanilla, chocolate and red velvet), and a pack of 15 sugar-frosted cookies.

For those who want to experiment but think it requires too much time and effort, there are a host of treats you can make without worrying about the difficulty level of the recipe. Cranberry bread wrapped in parchment paper and trussed with a red ribbon makes for a good present for a neighbour. If you thought candy was only for kids, think again. Bourbon balls are adult indulgences too. Move over butter and chocolate chip cookies; give a shot at chocolate espresso cookies this year. For the health conscious, fruit gateaux are a wise option.

New age Christmas goodies are not only for family consumption but also make for good presents. “There's something about handmade cards and baked goodies that make gifting a more meaningful exercise especially when it's Christmas,” Tabitha opines. Reading this article, weight watchers and those who are going to be partying on New Year's Eve would be wary.

However, remember, don't be worried about what you eat between Christmas and New Year's, but worry more about what you eat between New Year's and Christmas.