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David Ross

2018 Holiday Cooking and Baking

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Latkes from last night

Smoked chuck roast.  No picture

 

 

7E435902-F163-4F5B-A932-4797B0433E86.jpeg

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3 hours ago, scubadoo97 said:

Latkes from last night

Smoked chuck roast.  No picture

 

 

7E435902-F163-4F5B-A932-4797B0433E86.jpeg

Where's the icon for super yummy - potato latkes?

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5 hours ago, kayb said:

I have just put two of @Arey's applesauce cakes in the oven. If these don't turn out better for me than did the white fruitcakes of a few years back, I'm done making fruitcake! However, if a taste-test of the batter is any indication, they should be excellent.

 

Arey, I do not recall, and I did not copy the entire post with the recipe, just ingredients and instructions. Do you mist or drizzle yours with any sort of alcohol after baking? And do they need to be refrigerated/frozen, or will they keep, like most fruitcakes, nearly indefinitely in a tin?

I'm not Arey, but I have much experience with this cake.  Never misted it with booze...but what a good idea.  It does cut better the second day and yes it freezes very well.

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25 minutes ago, Darienne said:

I'm not Arey, but I have much experience with this cake.  Never misted it with booze...but what a good idea.  It does cut better the second day and yes it freezes very well.

Excellent. Thank you.

 

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@kayb I always refrigerated them although they can be frozen.  It was my mother's recipe so I never misted or drizzled them.

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I sure hope they turn out well. Nos. 3 and 4 just went in the oven. I'm going to have to cut one for quality control tomorrow. Should have made a small one for that purpose, but I wasn't thinking, and made them in my 8 x 3 1/2 pans. They fill two of those perfectly, and take 90 minutes to bake. They certainly look nice on the exterior.

 


Edited by kayb (log)
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The batter filled two loaf pans for me.  5 1/2 by 9 1/2.  Oh, I doubled the nuts called for.  


Edited by Darienne (log)
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I didn't double,  but I did use, well, a bit more than the cup called for. Because with nuts, like cheese, more is always better, yes?

 

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Yesterday, I made four applesauce cakes, and four dozen cheese wafers with bacon jam.

 

The applesauce cakes are @Arey's recipe. I cut one today for quality control purposes; these things are good. Very moist, "cakier" than a typical fruitcake, with a lower ratio of candied fruit. I will tweak the recipe just a tad when I make four more; they want some salt, and some ginger and nutmeg along with the cinnamon would not go amiss. I may also make an excursion to the liquor store and get some Calvados to mist them with. They'll be a nice addition to the Christmas treat collections.  

 

1462472385_fruitcakes1and2.jpg.4e806ef649c9ce480410e1c3083a0908.jpg812068446_applesaucecake.jpg.cf47620b23270d859eb9041ede71a3ae.jpg

Applesauce cake for breakfast? Yes, I think so!

 

The cheese wafers are a savory shortbread cookie with lots of cheese, in this case extra sharp cheddar. I used the pestle from my mortar to flatten the cookies inside my smallest biscuit cutter, and make little "divots" in the center, where I put bacon jam. Except on the last dozen, because I ran through my half-pint of bacon jam I'd opened, and rummaging about the fridge, found some sweet onion marmelade.  I'm going to make some more with blue cheese and put fig jam in the centers.

 

893405785_makingcrisps.jpg.7a4df27bdc0cd433fbd28a6ac4fc2b07.jpg

 

The wafers are about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, and about 1/4 inch thick. Here is the "mixed" pan, filled and baked.

843643527_mixedcrisps.jpg.0b6c090efdcc3a5af38dcbd7feca613b.jpg

 

Today will be cookies -- M&M dream bars, molasses spice cookies, maybe coconut macaroons, maybe chocolate stovetop cookies, maybe meringues, and the additional applesauce cakes. Then there'll be a candy day -- fudge, pralines, toffee -- next week, and somewhere in there, I'll make Chex mix. And the treat basket fillings will be completed, early!

 

 

 

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@kayb  Looks wonderful.  You're making me feel very behind!  Do you freeze all of this?

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Yes, I'll freeze the baked goods; the candy will be fine, though I may stick it in the storage room fridge just to keep myself out of it. 

 

First, though, the Calvados. I really think it calls for that.

 


Edited by kayb (log)
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We went to Thanksgiving Dinner at a friend's house and I was asked to bring a veggie dish, preferably sweet potatoes for a gathering of a dozen people. I am not a fan of some of the super-sweet dishes, so decided on mixed roast veggies. I pre-cooked some sweet potato slices and golden beets to get them started, then diced them along with carrots and a couple of crisp apples, tossed all with olive oil and roasted at 425F. Used some reduced apple cider to glaze them a couple of times. Simple, but really good and quite attractive. I was going to add some pomegranate arials at the end, but ran out of time for pom seeding.  😞

 

Veggies had a bit of sweetness but not overwhelming. I will make this again for Christmas, if we do a traditional meal. 

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For the questions about using Splenda or any of the sugar substitutes.

 

The Splenda/Sugar baking mixes,  both white sugar and brown sugar have  instructions on the bags for substituting.

So do the Stevia/Sugar baking mixes and those with  Sucralose and etc.  

I have tried ALL of the baking mixes that are specified for BAKING  and with excellent results.

In fact, I used even less of the mixture and substituted  UNSWEETENED APPLESAUCE  (purchased some very large jars) in the quick breads and muffins with strong flavors - gingerbread, pumpkin bread, carrot cake, and an APPLE CAKE!   The apple cake took an additional 15 minutes of baking to get to the 210° internal temp - I am using a remote probe, inserted after the cake is fully "set" to make sure it reaches that DOND temp.

I prefer baked goods that are less sweet  and even when I use regular sugars, I have been cutting down the amounts with no difference in the results except for less longevity - that is some cakes, such as yellow and white will stale faster - after 2 or 3 days but that is seldom a problem.

Cakes with chocolate or cocoa do not stale as rapidly.  

I have been doing this for several years after noticing that cakes made back in the "War years"  used much less sugar (which was rationed) both here and in the UK, and were perfectly fine. 

What I also noticed was that in the late 1940s and throughout the 1950s, there were many cookbooks that were published with ADs by Dominos, Spreckels, American Crystal, C&H, and other SUGAR producers, that had INCREASED AMOUNTS OF SUGAR!  

Merchandising of a product DROVE many of these recipes with the additional sugar and in my opinion, a lot of it is unnecessary.

 


Edited by andiesenji (log)
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24 minutes ago, andiesenji said:

For the questions about using Splenda or any of the sugar substitutes.

 

The Splenda/Sugar baking mixes,  both white sugar and brown sugar have  instructions on the bags for substituting.

So do the Stevia/Sugar baking mixes and those with  Sucralose and etc.  

I have tried ALL of the baking mixes that are specified for BAKING  and with excellent results.

In fact, I used even less of the mixture and substituted  UNSWEETENED APPLESAUCE  (purchased some very large jars) in the quick breads and muffins with strong flavors - gingerbread, pumpkin bread, carrot cake, and an APPLE CAKE!   The apple cake took an additional 15 minutes of baking to get to the 210° internal temp - I am using a remote probe, inserted after the cake is fully "set" to make sure it reaches that DOND temp.

I prefer baked goods that are less sweet  and even when I use regular sugars, I have been cutting down the amounts with no difference in the results except for less longevity - that is some cakes, such as yellow and white will stale faster - after 2 or 3 days but that is seldom a problem.

Cakes with chocolate or cocoa do not stale as rapidly.  

I have been doing this for several years after noticing that cakes made back in the "War years"  used much less sugar (which was rationed) both here and in the UK, and were perfectly fine. 

What I also noticed was that there were many cookbooks that were published with ADs by Dominos, Spreckels, American Crystal, C&H, and other SUGAR producers, that had INCREASED AMOUNTS OF SUGAR!  

Merchandising of a product DROVE many of these recipes with the additional sugar and in my opinion, a lot of it is unnecessary.

 

 

Thank you for this excellent post.

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2 hours ago, andiesenji said:

For the questions about using Splenda or any of the sugar substitutes.

 

The Splenda/Sugar baking mixes,  both white sugar and brown sugar have  instructions on the bags for substituting.

So do the Stevia/Sugar baking mixes and those with  Sucralose and etc.  

I have tried ALL of the baking mixes that are specified for BAKING  and with excellent results.

In fact, I used even less of the mixture and substituted  UNSWEETENED APPLESAUCE  (purchased some very large jars) in the quick breads and muffins with strong flavors - gingerbread, pumpkin bread, carrot cake, and an APPLE CAKE!   The apple cake took an additional 15 minutes of baking to get to the 210° internal temp - I am using a remote probe, inserted after the cake is fully "set" to make sure it reaches that DOND temp.

I prefer baked goods that are less sweet  and even when I use regular sugars, I have been cutting down the amounts with no difference in the results except for less longevity - that is some cakes, such as yellow and white will stale faster - after 2 or 3 days but that is seldom a problem.

Cakes with chocolate or cocoa do not stale as rapidly.  

I have been doing this for several years after noticing that cakes made back in the "War years"  used much less sugar (which was rationed) both here and in the UK, and were perfectly fine. 

What I also noticed was that there were many cookbooks that were published with ADs by Dominos, Spreckels, American Crystal, C&H, and other SUGAR producers, that had INCREASED AMOUNTS OF SUGAR!  

Merchandising of a product DROVE many of these recipes with the additional sugar and in my opinion, a lot of it is unnecessary.

 

Those of you who are interested in the subject, keep your eyes open for when the Kindle book of Joanne Chang's Baking with Less Sugar goes on sale. (It's currently $1.99. I'm a US Prime member; YMMV.) The introduction talks exactly about this subject, and when you can cut back on sugar without ill effects. The first chapter in the book is baked goods with less sugar added to the mix. Other chapters focus on other ways of sweetening your baked goods, including fruits, maple syrup, honey, and even just using the sugar present in chocolate. I've enjoyed the whole book.

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I've decided I'm going to make some Gravlax and share with 2 people at work that I know will enjoy it. One of them is a woman whose husband has a major aversion to fish so she never gets to eat it at home. The other is the guy who has a big garden and gifts me veggies in the summer. I've also got a small jar of cajeta that I know I won't want to continue eating off a spoon, so I'm thinking a thumbprint kind of cookie.

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I did my riff on King Arthur Flour Caribbean Rum Cake.  I don't follow the recipe exactly.  I use way less sugar in the batter.  I also soak freeze dried pineapple, mango and coconut in the rum to infuse the fruit and the rum.   I make a paste out of the fruit and add it into the batter as the rum portion.  Really nice tropical flavor.  Then I use the infused rum for the soaking syrup.

 

This is a really forgiving recipe.  I am making these in waves and the second go at it I accidentally added twice the amount of butter to the batter.  Didn't seem to hurt it in the least.

 

I like the small loaf pans because it makes gift portioning the easiest.

 

Also, I agree with King Arthur's kitchen that the cake needs the instant vanilla pudding.  It just doesn't turn out right without it  IMHO.

 

 

IMG_7058.jpg

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3 hours ago, BeeZee said:

I've decided I'm going to make some Gravlax and share with 2 people at work that I know will enjoy it. One of them is a woman whose husband has a major aversion to fish so she never gets to eat it at home. The other is the guy who has a big garden and gifts me veggies in the summer. I've also got a small jar of cajeta that I know I won't want to continue eating off a spoon, so I'm thinking a thumbprint kind of cookie.

What' was your method for gravlax?

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9 hours ago, kayb said:

Yesterday, I made four applesauce cakes, and four dozen cheese wafers with bacon jam.

 

The applesauce cakes are @Arey's recipe. I cut one today for quality control purposes; these things are good. Very moist, "cakier" than a typical fruitcake, with a lower ratio of candied fruit. I will tweak the recipe just a tad when I make four more; they want some salt, and some ginger and nutmeg along with the cinnamon would not go amiss. I may also make an excursion to the liquor store and get some Calvados to mist them with. They'll be a nice addition to the Christmas treat collections.  

 

1462472385_fruitcakes1and2.jpg.4e806ef649c9ce480410e1c3083a0908.jpg812068446_applesaucecake.jpg.cf47620b23270d859eb9041ede71a3ae.jpg

Applesauce cake for breakfast? Yes, I think so!

 

The cheese wafers are a savory shortbread cookie with lots of cheese, in this case extra sharp cheddar. I used the pestle from my mortar to flatten the cookies inside my smallest biscuit cutter, and make little "divots" in the center, where I put bacon jam. Except on the last dozen, because I ran through my half-pint of bacon jam I'd opened, and rummaging about the fridge, found some sweet onion marmelade.  I'm going to make some more with blue cheese and put fig jam in the centers.

 

893405785_makingcrisps.jpg.7a4df27bdc0cd433fbd28a6ac4fc2b07.jpg

 

The wafers are about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, and about 1/4 inch thick. Here is the "mixed" pan, filled and baked.

843643527_mixedcrisps.jpg.0b6c090efdcc3a5af38dcbd7feca613b.jpg

 

Today will be cookies -- M&M dream bars, molasses spice cookies, maybe coconut macaroons, maybe chocolate stovetop cookies, maybe meringues, and the additional applesauce cakes. Then there'll be a candy day -- fudge, pralines, toffee -- next week, and somewhere in there, I'll make Chex mix. And the treat basket fillings will be completed, early!

 

 

 

Looks delicious 

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So, it's 12:14am and I just finished my shopping list for tomorrow.  It includes all of my make ahead stuff for our Christmas Eve party, Christmas morning breakfast and all the sweets and food gifts.  It doesn't include the hams (already bought).  There is also a "week before" list and a "last minute" list.  I don't expect anyone to actually READ it, but I thought it might be fun to see it and compare with other folks' preparations.  Keep in mind that Mr. Kim won't be home until about 6pm and I need to try to get this all done before I need to be home to put my mom to bed.  Worst comes to worst, I can come home, put her to bed and go back out to Walmart.  Not my favorite store, but it's the only one open 24 hours.  

 

PRODUCE

8 lb. russets or Yukon Gold

4 lemons

1 large or two small onions

 

DELI

ham

FRUIT

4 (10 oz.) can crushed pineapple
 

MEAT

Bacon

2 lb. B’fast sausage

FROZEN

Frozen OJ

Waffles

 

GENERAL GROCERY

3/4 c. peanut powder - plain, no added salt or sugar
sm cider vinegar 

Mustard


BAKING

light brown sugar
10 lb. sugar
5 lb. bread flour
2 -
7 oz. marshmallow crème

2 Lg. can evap milk

2 cup dark corn syrup 
Better Crocker GF yellow cake mix

active dry yeast
1 cup slivered almonds


DAIRY

1/2 gallon milk

2 doz. Eggs

4 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, cubed
4 (8oz.) cup sour cream

4 (12 oz.) package refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (10 count)

1 c. heavy cream
3 oz. Gruyère cheese, grated (about 1 C.)

Sugar Cookie Dough 4

 

RX fenof/jenta

 

ASIAN MARKET

6 c. raw peanuts


CUPERTINO’S 

          Bagels

 

TRADER JOE’S

3 milk chocolate
 

WMART

Depends

Green paint tape

Marshmallows

11x17pan

 

WORLD MARKET

Xmas crackers

Cookies

$10 ECW gift

 

$ TREE

4 – 13x9

11x17

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9 hours ago, scubadoo97 said:

What' was your method for gravlax?

@scubadoo97, I have a couple of recipes I found online and will probably do an amalgam of them. The one constant is it looks like a 3 day cure in the fridge. Will update when I do it.

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First Hiccup of the Season. My DW got home before me. She put the pound of butter I had on the counter softening back into the fridge thinking I left it out by mistake. That was the end of baking last night.

 

When I went to make the Cherry Icebox Cookies this morning, the house was a bit chillier than normal and the butter didn't want to mix with the powdered sugar and eggs. I had to put the balloon whip on the mixer and let it run for about 10 minutes before it blended together. The last step is to roll the dough into logs and chill. The dough was stiffer than normal and required more elbow grease to shape.

 

Since the weather is supposed to remain cool for the time being I'm thinking of putting the butter I need as I go for other cookies into a 78 degree F Sous Vide water bath to soften it.

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1 hour ago, Porthos said:

Since the weather is supposed to remain cool for the time being I'm thinking of putting the butter I need as I go for other cookies into a 78 degree F Sous Vide water bath to soften it.

That sounds awfully warm. If the butter overheats, it will lose its ability to hold air pockets. Even in a chilly room, the friction from the mixing process will generate heat. BraveTart says that butter for creaming should only be about 60 °F; how cold do you think your kitchen is likely to be?

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1 hour ago, Porthos said:

Since the weather is supposed to remain cool for the time being I'm thinking of putting the butter I need as I go for other cookies into a 78 degree F Sous Vide water bath to soften it.

 

That's genius. If I still baked regularly, that might have finally given me a reason to dabble in SV.

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This house is COLD. I'll tuck it under my pillow - perfect for early morning baking ;)

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