4 magical Winter Solstice recipes

From festive spiced tea to homemade decorations, our Witchcraft Tutor Rachel Patterson shares four of her favourite Yule recipes to evoke the spirit of Winter Solstice.

By: Rachel Patterson.   Posted

Yule, or Winter Solstice, which falls on 21 December this year, is a special celebration in the Pagan Wheel of the Year. It marks the mid-point of winter. From now on, the days start getting a little longer, and the light continues to grow until it reaches its zenith at Summer Solstice. Yule is all about celebrating light and love with family and friends... This is the time for get-togethers, feasting and celebrating. We asked our Witchcraft Tutor, Rachel Patterson, to share her favourite magical Winter Solstice recipes to get us into the Yule mood.

Yule tea

The festive season is scented with warming spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and clove. That's why this Winter Solstice recipe for tea is PERFECT to evoke the spirit of Yule...

You will need

  • 4 cloves
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground ginger
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • Tea bag (black or herbal - raspberry or apple works well)
  • Boiling water
  • Teaspoon of honey

Magic of the ingredients

  • Cloves: love, protection, exorcism, wealth
  • Nutmeg: prosperity, good luck, health
  • Ginger: power, money, success, love
  • Cinnamon: success, healing, power, love, protection
  • Honey: to make life sweet

Add the spices to a pot of water and bring to the boil. Then remove from the hob and add the tea bag, allowing it to steep for around five minutes. Sweeten with honey and enjoy with a Winter Solstice sun cookie (recipe below).

Winter Solstice Sun Cookies 

For a magical Winter Solstice recipe that celebrates the increasing sunshine, try Winter Solstice cookies, aka coriander cookies. They are perfect for evoking the spirit of Yule as they are infused with sun energy from the coriander seeds, and celebrate the increasing light. Additionally, once baked, they look like mini suns. Enjoy!

You will need:

  • 150g/ 5 oz sugar
  • 110g/ 3 ½ oz butter or margarine (room temperature)
  • 1 egg
  • 275g/ 9 ½ oz plain (all purpose) flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

Magic of the ingredients

  • Coriander: healing, love
  • Butter: spirituality
  • Egg: healing, protection, love, fertility
  • Salt: protection, purification, cleansing
  • Sugar: love and to make life sweet

In a mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in the egg. Then add in the flour, coriander, salt and baking powder and mix until just combined. Drop tablespoonfuls of the mixture onto a baking sheet lined with baking parchment paper. Bake at 350F/Gas 4/180C for about 12/15 minutes (or just until it starts to turn golden around the edges). They are crisp on the outside and lovely and soft inside.

Homemade Yule Decorations

Salt dough is one of the easiest things in the world to make, and you can create just about anything from it. Use it with cookie cutters to make your own Sabbat ornaments.

You will need

  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon for scent
  • Sprinkle of glitter for sparkle
  • 1 ½ cups hot water
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil

Mix together the salt, cinnamon, glitter and flour, then add the water until the dough becomes elastic. Now, add the oil and knead. Add flour if it's too sticky. Roll out the dough, and use cookie cutters to create your Yule decorations. If you're planning to hang them on the tree, poke a hole through the ornament BEFORE baking them. Place on a paper-lined baking sheet and bake at 200*C for 20–30 minutes until they have hardened. Once they've cooled, paint them with Yule colours - red, green and gold - and seal with clear varnish. When the varnish has dried, loop a ribbon or thread through the hole and hang around your home and garden!

Magical Yule incense

Yule is all about the scent of warming spices, which are all ingredients of my magical Yule incense. Charcoal discs are widely available. Once lit, place the charcoal disc on some sand in a fireproof dish and sprinkle over the incense mixture. Be safe - always keep an eye on the burning charcoal! Everyone has different preferences, so choose the ingredients according to what you love. Have fun experimenting!

You will need

  • Pine
  • Frankincense
  • Cinnamon
  • Dried orange peel
  • Bayberry
  • All spice
  • Myrrh
  • Nutmeg

Alternatively, add a few drops of these magical Winter Solstice essential oils to an oil burner to scent your home with the aromas of Yule.

Yule tree oil

  • Juniper
  • Pine
  • Frankincense
  • Cedar

Winter spice oil

  • Cinnamon
  • Clove
  • Orange

A Yule feast

The Wheel of the Year teaches us to align more closely with nature. This means we cook with seasonal vegetables, celebrating nature's bounty that is readily available to us. Of course, not all of us have access to allotments and fresh farm produce, but we can look out for seasonal produce in our local farm shops and markets.

In December, centre your Winter Solstice recipes around vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, leeks, greens and beetroot. Celeriac and celery are also delicious at this time of year, and, of course, our trusty root vegetables such as onions, parsnips, swedes, turnips, potatoes and carrots. Pumpkin and squash bring a beautiful colour to any dish, and watercress adds a fresh peppery garnish.

Foragers wishing to gather the energy of Yule should fill their baskets with crab apples, rose hips and juniper berries. Additionally, chestnuts and wild mushrooms are in plentiful supply… as are our dear friends cow parsley and nettle.

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