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The Great Christmas Pi(e) Caper Quiz

As part of our family's preparation for Christmas, there is a lot of baking - for family, friends and, of course, for Santa. Last year there were some problems. (Read the title of this quiz carefully - it contains a hint about the answers.)

A multiple-choice quiz by looney_tunes. Estimated time: 5 mins.

Author
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
277,807
Updated
Mar 20 23
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
1313
Awards
Top 35% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Guest 86 (4/10), Guest 97 (6/10), Guest 175 (2/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. Johnny made Christmas stocking cookies, using one chocolate chip for each of the Magi. How many pieces of chocolate did he put in each cookie?
Hint

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Question 2 of 10
2. After cooking a baker's dozen of his Christmas stocking cookies, Johnny left them to cool before decorating them. When he returned, he found only a dozen left. How many cookies had disappeared? Hint

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Question 3 of 10
3. When Johnny decided to make 13 Christmas stocking cookies, his distribution plan had included a cookie for Santa, as well as one for each of his (traditional since the 19th century) reindeer. He then planned to eat the rest. How many did he plan to eat himself? Hint

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Question 4 of 10
4. Johnny's plan to eat his leftover cookies was foiled by the disappearance of one cookie, so he decided to serve Santa's boomers instead of his reindeer. How many more cookies would Johnny have than he had originally planned? Hint

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Question 5 of 10
5. When the theft of Johnny's cookie was discovered, Sam raced off to check his plum puddings, and returned with the information that only 15 remained from the score of them that he had been so carefully tending. How many had gone missing? Hint

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Question 6 of 10
6. After the discovery of the theft of Johnny's Christmas stocking cookie, Susan went to check her fruitcakes, and returned in tears. The dozen fruitcakes she had made were all intended as gifts, and she found herself three short. How many were left on her shelf? Hint

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Question 7 of 10
7. Johnny's stolen Christmas stocking cookie led to the discovery that Sam and Susan had also suffered from mysterious depredations of their stockpiled Christmas treats, and Robin reported that a brace of her mince pies were gone. How many had been snatched? Hint

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Question 8 of 10
8. As Jenny was the only family member who had not lost any Christmas treats, suspicion quickly focused on her. However, she was able to produce an alibi - she had been at netball training all morning. How many alibi witnesses were on court with her, assuming they trained as if the team were in an actual game? Hint

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Question 9 of 10
9. Jenny admitted that she had earlier sampled one of Sam's puddings, as did Johnny. Sam owned up to scoffing a fruitcake and a mince pie, while Robin owned up to having eaten both a fruitcake and a plum pudding; Susan admitted to 'testing' Johnny's cookie, and to having sampled a plum pudding. At that moment, the family dog, Trinket, wandered in, looking smug, as only a terrier who has scored 'people food' can, and the location of the last three missing items was quickly agreed on! How many people 'sampled' another family member's holiday treats? Hint

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Question 10 of 10
10. Jenny arranged to bake extra Christmas tree cookies to replace everyone's lost items. Sam wanted three cookies for each of his five lost plum puddings; Susan reckoned that each of her three fruitcakes was worth at least six cookies; Robin was happy with one cookie for each of her two missing mince pies; Johnny was happy with his new plan to use fewer cookies for Santa. How many dozen extra cookies did Jenny have to make to satisfy everyone? Hint

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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Johnny made Christmas stocking cookies, using one chocolate chip for each of the Magi. How many pieces of chocolate did he put in each cookie?

As there are traditionally considered to have been three Magi (Wise Men) in the Christmas story, Johnny was pretty stingy with his chocolate! Christmas stocking cookies can be made using any good cookie dough. Here's one example:

This cookie dough is best used when chilled. Mix it up ahead of time to allow for a couple hours in the refrigerator.

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar - lightly packed
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Put the butter, both sugars, salt and the baking soda in a large mixing bowl and beat with a mixer for about 3 minutes. Blend in the eggs and vanilla extract. Reduce the mixer speed and add the flour gradually.

Roll out the dough, and use a cutter or stencil to cut it to the desired shape. (For Christmas stocking cookies, a stocking shape about 8 cm by 4 cm (foot width) works well. You need two pieces for each stocking. Cut the first one, layer semi-sweet chocolate bits on it, add the top layer and press firmly around the edges.)

Bake at 190 C for 10 to 12 minutes (or until cookies are golden) on an ungreased cookie sheet. Cool before decorating.
2. After cooking a baker's dozen of his Christmas stocking cookies, Johnny left them to cool before decorating them. When he returned, he found only a dozen left. How many cookies had disappeared?

A baker's dozen is 13 (reportedly, the practice stems from the medieval English bakers' practice, designed to ensure that they were not providing short weight in their dozens), while a dozen is 12. The difference is 1.

Traditional (my family's tradition!) Christmas stocking cookie decoration is a red stocking with a white band across the top. After the cookies have cooled, mix confectioner's sugar with water to make a paste, and add red food coloring until the desired shade is reached. Apply to the body of the stocking. Use uncolored sugar paste to provide the white band, then add silver dragees or white sprinkles to add texture.
3. When Johnny decided to make 13 Christmas stocking cookies, his distribution plan had included a cookie for Santa, as well as one for each of his (traditional since the 19th century) reindeer. He then planned to eat the rest. How many did he plan to eat himself?

One for Santa, and one for each for Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen required nine to be left out, so there were four extra ones for Johnny.

The traditional names for the deer that pull Santa's sleigh come from the poem 'A Visit from St. Nicholas', written by Clement Moore and first published in 1823. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, first written about in 1939, has become very popular through media promotion, but he is not one of the traditional reindeer.

The Christmas treats made by my family are derived from the traditions of Christmas in a cold climate. In warmer climes (I now live in Australia, so Christmas could easily be 40 C or 100 F on a good day), cold treats are often more appropriate. Here's a delicious ice cream treat that would finish off a Christmas meal in fine style.

1 litre good vanilla ice cream
1 /2 cup Baileys Irish Cream liqueur
150 g roasted macadamia nuts, coarsely crushed
100 g coarsely grated milk or dark chocolate (a crumbled Flake bar was the original ingredient, but is not universally available; semi-sweet chocolate chips would also be fine)

1. Soften ice cream slightly.
2. Put ice cream and liqueur into a large (2-litre) bowl and beat with an electric mixer to combine as quickly as possible.
3. Fold nuts and chocolate through mixture.
4. Refreeze in a sealed plastic container.

Note - using too much liqueur or beating for too long will result in a mixture that does not set firmly, and stays somewhat soft. It still tastes delicious!
4. Johnny's plan to eat his leftover cookies was foiled by the disappearance of one cookie, so he decided to serve Santa's boomers instead of his reindeer. How many more cookies would Johnny have than he had originally planned?

According to the song written by Rolf Harris and John D. Brown, and popularized in the recording by Rolf Harris, Santa used "Six White Boomers" (large kangaroos) instead of eight reindeer on his Australian run. As there were two fewer animals to feed, even with one cookie fewer than originally planned Johnny still got one more cookie.

Another warm weather dessert alternative (one my mother first made for us in the definitely cold weather of a Philadelphia Christmas) is Peppermint Pie. It can be made in individual meringue cases, or as a single large pie that is cut into slices to serve.

12 individual meringue cases
1 litre peppermint ice cream (or peppermint stick, or choc-mint chip)
12 miniature candy canes
hot fudge sauce

Soften the ice cream and fill the meringue cases. Press a candy cane onto the top of each. Freeze overnight, or until the ice cream has re-set. To serve, pour hot fudge sauce over the pie.
5. When the theft of Johnny's cookie was discovered, Sam raced off to check his plum puddings, and returned with the information that only 15 remained from the score of them that he had been so carefully tending. How many had gone missing?

A score is 20, so he lost 5 if there are 15 left.

Here is a fairly traditional recipe for plum pudding. To make miniatures for individual presentation, divide the mixture into smaller quantities and use individual ramekins instead of a large pudding bowl. You can make this recipe up to 2 months ahead. In fact, it is considered to improve steadily over time. After steaming, cover the pudding in its basin with plastic wrap and foil. Store in fridge. To reheat, repeat the cooking process (Step 5), but only steam until heated through. NB - Microwave ovens make wonderful substitutes for the steaming stage, but the foil must be replaced by plastic wrap!

PLUM PUDDING (serves 12)
375g raisins, coarsely chopped
300g currants
150g sultanas
170g dried cranberries
250ml (1 cup) rum
melted butter, to grease basin
250g butter, at room temperature
200g (1 cup) firmly-packed brown sugar
4 eggs
175g (2 1/2 cups) fresh breadcrumbs
75g (1/2 cup) self-raising flour
75g (1/2 cup) plain flour
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
warmed custard, to serve

1. Combine raisins, currants, sultanas, cranberries and rum in a bowl. Set aside for 6 hours to macerate.
2. Brush a 2L (8-cup) capacity pudding basin with melted butter to grease. Line the base with non-stick baking paper.
3. Use an electric beater to beat the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition (mixture may appear curdled). Stir in breadcrumbs, combined flours, mixed spice and cinnamon. Add the raisin mixture and stir until combined. Spoon into basin.
4. Place an upturned heatproof saucer in the base of a saucepan. Fill one-third of the saucepan with boiling water and bring to a simmer over low heat.
5. Cut a 30cm-square piece of non-stick baking paper and a 30cm-square piece of foil. Place paper on foil and fold to make a pleat in the centre. Place over basin, foil-side up. Tie a double piece of kitchen string around basin to secure. To make a handle, tie a double piece of string loosely over the top of the basin.
6. Lower the basin onto the saucer in saucepan. Add enough boiling water to reach two-thirds of the way up the basin. Simmer, covered, over low heat, adding boiling water when necessary, for 4 hours or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the pudding comes out clean.
7. Remove basin from pan. Set aside for 5 minutes. Pour over custard sauce to serve.
6. After the discovery of the theft of Johnny's Christmas stocking cookie, Susan went to check her fruitcakes, and returned in tears. The dozen fruitcakes she had made were all intended as gifts, and she found herself three short. How many were left on her shelf?

Since a dozen is twelve, and three were gone, she had nine left.

Here's a recipe for fruitcake. Fruitcakes can be made several months ahead, and stored in an airtight container.

melted butter, to grease pan
125g soft butter
155g (3/4 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
2 eggs
185g (1 cup) mixed dried fruit
135g (3/4 cup) sultanas
50g (1/3 cup) dried cranberries
100g (2/3 cup) plain flour
75g (1/2 cup) self-raising flour
1 tbs golden syrup
80ml (1/3 cup) Grand Marnier liqueur
1 1/2 tsp mixed spice
1/4 tsp ground ginger
2 tbs Grand Marnier liqueur, extra
1 x 420g pkt ready-to-roll white fondant icing
2 drops red or green food colouring
Silver (or red or green) cachous, to decorate

1. Preheat oven to 160 C. Brush a non-stick loaf pan with melted butter to grease.
2. Use an electric beater to beat butter and sugar in a bowl until combined. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until just combined. Add the mixed dried fruit, sultanas, cranberries, flours, syrup, liqueur, mixed spice and ginger, and stir until well combined.
3. Spoon mixture into pan and smooth the surface. Place on a baking tray. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from oven. Wrap pan with foil. Turn upside down on a flat surface and set aside to cool.
4. When cake is cool, remove foil and turn cake out onto a flat surface. Brush with extra liqueur.
5. Knead fondant on a surface dusted with icing sugar until smooth. Add food colouring and knead to create a marbled effect. Use a rolling pin dusted with icing sugar to roll out fondant until 5mm thick. Press into place to cover top and sides of cake. Decorate the top with cachous.
7. Johnny's stolen Christmas stocking cookie led to the discovery that Sam and Susan had also suffered from mysterious depredations of their stockpiled Christmas treats, and Robin reported that a brace of her mince pies were gone. How many had been snatched?

A brace is two, of course, although its use in reference to mince pies is somewhat unusual.

Here's a recipe for mince pies, adapted yet again from a Women's Weekly recipe. Note that it needs to be planned well in advance, as the fruit mixture needs to stand for several weeks to get the flavors thoroughly infused. The mince pies will keep for up to one week in an airtight container.

Fruit mince:
100g seedless raisins, finely chopped
60g currants
60g sultanas, finely chopped
1 /2 small, firm cooking apple, peeled, cored, finely chopped
60g suet, finely chopped
60g caster sugar
30g candied mixed peel, finely chopped
30g (1/4 cup) finely chopped blanched almonds
30mls (2 Tbs) brandy
pinch ground nutmeg
pinch ground mixed spice
2 tsp fresh lemon juice

Pie ingredients (to make 36 individual pies):
6 sheets (25 x 25cm) frozen shortcrust pastry, thawed
1 egg, whisked, for brushing pastry
icing sugar, to serve

1. To make the fruit mince, combine the raisins, currants, sultanas, apple, suet, caster sugar, mixed peel, almonds, carrot, brandy, nutmeg, mixed spice and lemon juice in a clean glass or ceramic bowl. Mix thoroughly. Place the mixture into clean jars, seal and place in fridge for at least 1 month before using.
2. Preheat oven to 200 C. To make the mince pies, cut 7cm rounds from the pastry sheets with a fluted biscuit cutter. Place 1/2 the pastry rounds into 36 flat-based 20mls (1 tbs) tart pans. Brush the edges of the pastry with the whisked egg and fill with the fruit mince mixture. Cover with the remaining pastry rounds and press edges lightly to seal. Brush with whisked egg and prick several times with a fork.
3. Bake the mince pies in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until golden. Transfer to wire racks to cool. Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve.
8. As Jenny was the only family member who had not lost any Christmas treats, suspicion quickly focused on her. However, she was able to produce an alibi - she had been at netball training all morning. How many alibi witnesses were on court with her, assuming they trained as if the team were in an actual game?

Teams may include up to twelve players but only seven may take the court at any one time. Each player has a playing position determined by the areas on the court where they may move. The playing positions are shown by identification letters worn above the waist positioned on both the front and the back of the player. These positions are GS (Goal Shooter), GA (Goal Attack), WA (Wing Attack), C (Centre), WD (Wing Defence), GD (Goal Defence) and GK (Goal Keeper). The major aim of the game is to score as many goals as possible. A goal is scored when the ball passes through a hoop 3.05 metres (10 feet) above the ground on a goal post in the middle of the goal line, after the ball is released from within the Goal Circle, which is a semi-circle centred on the goal line and measuring 4.9 metres in radius. Only two players from each team may score goals, these being the Goal Attack and Goal Shooter.

The first public game of netball was played in 1891 in America. It was initially known as 'women's basketball'. The major development of the game occurred in England during the early part of the Twentieth Century, and it spread throughout the Commonwealth. In 1995 netball was recognised as an Olympic sport and the USA managed to get around to sending its first team to the World Championships (held, of course, in England). For many years, men generally didn't play netball; in recent years, however, attitudes have changed and men can now play in their own games and leagues, as well as in mixed matches.

Orange quarters are traditionally served as refreshment at half time. Not very Christmas-like, but easy to prepare!
9. Jenny admitted that she had earlier sampled one of Sam's puddings, as did Johnny. Sam owned up to scoffing a fruitcake and a mince pie, while Robin owned up to having eaten both a fruitcake and a plum pudding; Susan admitted to 'testing' Johnny's cookie, and to having sampled a plum pudding. At that moment, the family dog, Trinket, wandered in, looking smug, as only a terrier who has scored 'people food' can, and the location of the last three missing items was quickly agreed on! How many people 'sampled' another family member's holiday treats?

Jenny, Johnny, Sam, Robin and Susan have all admitted culpability. Trinket, although often considered a member of the family, is a dog, not a person.

Another holiday treat, and one with little appeal to dogs, is

WHITE CHRISTMAS
1 c powdered milk
1 c icing sugar
1 c desiccated coconut
3 c rice bubbles
1 /2 c sultanas
1 /4 c chopped red glace cherries
1 /4 c chopped green glace cherries
250 g copha
1 tsp vanilla essence

Mix powdered milk, icing sugar, desiccated coconut, rice bubbles, sultanas and cherries in a large bowl. Melt the copha, add the vanilla, and pour into the bowl. Mix well. Press into a greased tray and allow to set. Cut into squares, diamonds or fingers to serve.
10. Jenny arranged to bake extra Christmas tree cookies to replace everyone's lost items. Sam wanted three cookies for each of his five lost plum puddings; Susan reckoned that each of her three fruitcakes was worth at least six cookies; Robin was happy with one cookie for each of her two missing mince pies; Johnny was happy with his new plan to use fewer cookies for Santa. How many dozen extra cookies did Jenny have to make to satisfy everyone?

3 x 5 = 15 for Sam; 6 x 3 = 18 for Susan; 1 x 2 = 2 for Robin; 15+18+2=35. Since a dozen is 12, 2 dozen (24) would not be enough. Susan had to make three dozen (36) extra cookies, and a Merry Christmas was (eventually) had by all.

Preparation of Christmas tree cookies can be an excellent way to amuse children in the lead-up to Christmas. Starting with a good cookie dough, use either a tree-shaped cookie cutter or make your own stencil from cardboard covered with foil to make your trees; cook them until golden. Cool and decorate. A large range of possible decorations will make the activity fill more time, as they strive to make each new tree better than the last. Colored sugar paste can provide the green coloring. Colored sprinkles, dragee, cachous, hundreds and thousands, crushed nuts, colored candy (M&Ms, if available, look a lot like ornamental balls) or anything you think might work for decoration will!
Source: Author looney_tunes

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