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Gary

Christmas 2009

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I'm getting ready for the Christmas baking & candy making season. I just checked out an old Martha Stewart Christmas cookbook from the library. First up are some toffee and spiced pecans. I always say that I'm going to do more than my "regular" stuff... which consists of snickerdoodles and sugar cookie cutouts. I am trying to get the energy up to do another gingerbread house (last one was 3yrs ago).

I'm starting this thread to track my progress and to get inspired from the eG community. Who's IN?

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Too slow, Gary - I made my Christmas pudding last weekend (this weekend it will probably get its first drink of rum ...).

I don't usually do a Christmas cake, but I've found an elderly recipe I might try this year. That's the next job.

What's a snickerdoodle?


Edited by lesliec (log)

Leslie Craven, aka "lesliec"
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I'm in!

I've just started to feel like the holidays are here, maybe because its been so warm. And now I need inspiration. Nothing has made me go WOW yet.

I'm wanting to do something different this year for brunch/dessert, but will probably end up just doing the tried and true for the brunch part and being creative on my desserts.

I do have some fruit in the back of a cupboard that has been sitting in alcohol for over a year. Sounds like a fruitcake to me!


Cheese - milk's leap toward immortality. Clifton Fadiman

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OK... first up are some oatmeal cookies. Although they don't register high on the "Christmas spirit" index... I did find the recipe in the Martha Stewart Christmas cookbook. Therefore, I am adding them to my 2009 tally.

Yum yum.

I wonder what will be next????

Oatmeal cookie stack.jpg

Oatmeal cookies (JPG).jpg

ps to Leslie: Snickerdoodles are a simple drop cookie, rolled in cinnamon sugar before baking. The recipe requires "cream of tartar"... which is in a little jar *way* in the back of my cabinet and used for only this recipe.

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This weekend I'm making soft centers (buttercreams) for my chocolates. I'm also making 3 different batchs of ganache. People are starting to order for christmas so I have to get busy! It will be great to see all the goodies everyone will be making....

Rena

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The first time I made Snickerdoodles I didn't have any cream of tarter, and for some reason decided to use baking powder instead of baking soda and cream of tarter. I use a mini scoop to form the cookies and roll them in the cinnamon sugar and they dont change shape at all when baked. Turn out as little balls that are a touch cakey...I love 'em. They can even take a few seconds in the microwave to warm them up if you want.

tracey


The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

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Are you freezing your cookies for the Christmas season, or are you just testing out recipes that you may make again around Christmas?

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I am eating some of the cookies, and freezing some.

I've got lots of gingerbread house ideas floating around in my head right now. Just need to get out of the office and start BAKING!!!

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I'll be making Butterfinger truffle candies and caramels flavored with cardamom and cinnamon. I'll also make butter toffee almond bark, or if I have time and energy, I'll use the nuts in some Christmas-themed chocolate molds I have. I'm not sure about cookies. I always used to make them, but I've done candy only the past few years. I'll have to see what kind of time I have.

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I'm going to be making some cornmeal-cranberry cookies for a cookie exchange (the first time I've done one, believe it or not), and I'm seriously thinking about doing the gingerbread house thing (I make gingerbread every year but this is the first year my kids are old enough to get into construction).

My big Christmas production is my great-grandmother's Christmas pudding though. I do this every year - it's a classic 19th century Victorian pudding with suet and peel and carrot and apple and brandy etc. It boils for about 8 hours before we serve it. My Aunt recently sent me an alternate version, also from the same grandmother, which was the birthday dumpling; a bit lighter than the Christmas one. It has butter instead of suet, less fruit and no booze. Hmm...

Oh, and I have vague fantasies about making chocolate truffles, which I've never tried before.


Edited by agray (log)

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Today I made cardamon peanut brittle, using an old recipe from Gourmet Magazine. Some of it will be mailed out to relatives in Germany & Belgium who have told me this is a very "American" candy. Is peanut brittle truly a regional candy? Or, is there something similar in other parts of the world?

IMG_1982.JPG

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Not too exciting in terms of confectionery skills, but still appreciated by the kids at the Multicultural Center in Moab, Utah...today 4 dozen brightly colored lollipops went into the mail for the kids from the Candy Lady. :smile:


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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Today I made cardamon peanut brittle, using an old recipe from Gourmet Magazine. Some of it will be mailed out to relatives in Germany & Belgium who have told me this is a very "American" candy. Is peanut brittle truly a regional candy? Or, is there something similar in other parts of the world?

IMG_1982.JPG

I think what makes it American is the use of peanuts. I'm not an expert, but I can't think of seeing a traditional European confectionery or pastry that uses them.

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the brittle looks great!

i'm making marshmallows for teachers' gifts -- hot cocoa and marshmallows. i'm also going to make some torrone, which i've made once with tremendous success and once going down in flames. i'm planning on making divinity for my family back home in GA. oh, and fruitcake. alton brown's is my go to version, and i find that making it 2 weeks in advance is fine...

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This is the first of many Holiday sweets to come. While the Pumpkin Roll is typically associated with Thanksgiving, I think it's a totally appropriate dessert to serve throughout the holiday season and it would be welcome at our Christmas dinner table.

I was pretty nervous about making a jelly roll type cake as this was my first attempt, and the directions didn't ease my anxiety. The recipe-from Libby's-called to start rolling the cake hot out of the oven. I was sure it would fall apart on me, but it worked just fine. Once you roll the cake "warm," you then let it cool, add the cream cheese filling/frosting, then roll again.

I'm thinking I'll use this basic technique for a "Buche de Noel," a perfect Christmas cake.

Pumpkin Roll-

gallery_41580_6808_49595.jpg

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Made 4 big christmas cakes (fruit cakes) this weekend - one already gone as it came to see where I work.....

My husband made mince pies and somehow they are gone too...I think the little christmas elves have been at work :biggrin:

I have promised my kids that we will make gingerbread houses for a little village, so we're all looking forward to this, although I'm not sure whether it's the making or the eating piles of sweets that hold the attraction

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Every year I make flourless peanut butter cookies - that started because I have a friend with Celiac's disease who loves peanut butter and chocolate. This year is no exception - just a cup of peanut butter, a half cup of brown sugar, and one egg, beaten together and baked. I chop and add in some decent dark chocolate. I like these because they don't dirty more than a bowl and a spoon. I also usually make whipped shortbread, another three ingredient wonder cookie. I can never find glace cherries, so mine always get a dose of sprinkles on top. I find the key for deliciousness is to stay away from the Australian and NZ butters, and go right for the Lurpak.

This year I'm contemplating adding a recipe for gingerbread I found in a Jamie Oliver book - it calls for grinding up a batch of shortbread cookies with treacle, glace peel and spices, and then re-baking. I want to do a batch of mince pies as well, if I can find a decent recipe.

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This year we have made a very abitious schedule. We are doing the 12 cookies of christmas. We a different batch every day for the 12 days before christmas. On top of doing a cookie swap. I have done all the shopping, now I am just hoping I survive. :laugh: (just kidding)This will be fun. Now I just need to think about what will be desert for our christmas dinner. :smile:


"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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Every year I make flourless peanut butter cookies - that started because I have a friend with Celiac's disease who loves peanut butter and chocolate. This year is no exception - just a cup of peanut butter, a half cup of brown sugar, and one egg, beaten together and baked. I chop and add in some decent dark chocolate. I like these because they don't dirty more than a bowl and a spoon.

This sounds excellent. I have recently simply melted bittersweet chocolate and added it to peanut butter and icing sugar and to tahini and icing sugar. Both excellent little delight. Now I'll add a beaten egg and see what occurs. :smile:

Oh. Tomorrow is candy day for three of us: Montelimar nougat dipped in chocolate, a copy cat recipe for Enstrom's incredible toffee and something new to play with: chocolate chunks for melting in steamed milk for hot chocolate gifts. Found a few variations of this idea online and we'll fool around until we find one we like. Oh, what a challenge. All the testing and tasting coming up... :raz:


Edited by Darienne (log)

Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

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This weekend tried two new recipes, both of which I think are gift-worthy. First is a fantastic peanut brittle recipe from Food and Wine, which totally lives up to its header notes... It somehow manages to be both sweet and buttery and delicious, and yet not *too* sweet. Perfection. http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/best-ever-nut-brittle

Other recipe was for espresso-chocolate shortbread cookies, from Smittenkitchen's site. These were also delicious, and the flavor actually improved the second day... The coffee flavor is quite intense. My only note here is that I would probably add just a smidge more sugar to the recipe, but if you like your shortbread just barely sweet, leave it as is. I think I might also try making a batch of these with a tiny pinch of cinnamon, making them into cappuccino shortbreads... http://smittenkitchen.com/2007/12/espresso-chocolate-shortbread-cookies/

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This is the first of many Holiday sweets to come. While the Pumpkin Roll is typically associated with Thanksgiving, I think it's a totally appropriate dessert to serve throughout the holiday season and it would be welcome at our Christmas dinner table.

I was pretty nervous about making a jelly roll type cake as this was my first attempt, and the directions didn't ease my anxiety. The recipe-from Libby's-called to start rolling the cake hot out of the oven. I was sure it would fall apart on me, but it worked just fine. Once you roll the cake "warm," you then let it cool, add the cream cheese filling/frosting, then roll again.

I'm thinking I'll use this basic technique for a "Buche de Noel," a perfect Christmas cake.

Pumpkin Roll-

gallery_41580_6808_49595.jpg

That looks yummy. Where one might find the recipe?

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this morning i made biscotti -- king arthur's italian recipe, with anise and almond. i bought some vin santo to test them out tonight!

IMG_0668.JPG

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Hello everyone,

Stumbled on this while taking a break in between making cookies and having lunch. Regarding the peanut brittle post, it's a popular snack in Malaysia. I remember them as a child and I am quite sure they still exist.

Getting back to the Christmas spirit! I started actually last week by making a bunch of candied lemon and orange peel to use in a cookie. I started today by making some teeny tiny chocolate chip cookies(wheat free) for myself :rolleyes: and just mixed up a batch of Mailenderli & Basler Brunsli, waiting in the refrigerator to be stamped after lunch. I've decided to make several popular Swiss cookies this year from Nick Malgieri's recipes. This is going to be my first time trying them out but I've had great success with most if not all NM's recipes. I can't remember one not tasting good. Anyone here has tried out NM's Swiss cookie recipes? What do you think? Worth the effort?


.........................................

http://petitateliercuisine.blogspot.com/

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I've made the Mailenderli from one of his books (How to Bake?) and they were OK. I thought they were a little plain. Nothing stood out to make me want to make them again.

Never tried the Basler ones since I am not a fan of the chocolate/spice combination.

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