Holiday Baking 2011Posted: December 12, 2011
YES. Holiday baking with Mamma rejuvenated and grounded me for the next two weeks before Christmas arrives. Funny how a favorite tradition can do that and help a person [me] hit “reset.”
We were busy little baker elves yesterday!
We started first thing in the morning. We measured, mixed, rolled, dipped, tasted, and baked our patoots off all day long.
I started with one of our holiday/everyday favorites, dried cranberry and white chocolate scones. Yippie!
About 15 minutes later….drooooll!!
Meanwhile, Mum has started the truffle mixture so it can cool for a few hours.
Beautiful, velvety chocolate melting on the stove:
The mixture is poured into a square pan and left outside for the rest of the morning to set.
I dipped half of the truffles in unsweetened cocoa powder (left) and the other half in finely-ground espresso (right).
Here are my very imperfectly-rolled-non-spheres-dipped-in-espresso:
But ohhhhhh LORDY! The rich, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate paired with the coffee flavor is to DIE. FOR. (No matter what they look like. 🙂 )
We made approximately 1,482 almond cookies (well, okay, not that many….but pretty darn close). And for good reason….made with margarine, baked low and slow (250 degrees for 45 minutes – caused a bit of an oven bottleneck with our mass quantity), then rolled in powdered sugar – these are like doughy almond drops of heavenly goodness in your mouth.
When they are [finally] done, look how pretty:
Speaking of I-want-to-bathe-in-sweet-almond-everything….we also made Swedish Rusks.
Rusk dough is first rolled into logs and baked for a spell.
The logs are cut into mini Biscotti-like shapes and baked bit longer….to add that cookie crunch.
Dunk these in your coffee, folks! They are PHEE-nom.
Our second scone of the day is that of the pumpkin. Here, the batter mixture:
Once baked, a spiced icing (including cinnamon and nutmeg) is drizzled atop.
They are glossy and beautiful!
We made refreshing lime bars that made us think of summertime (and reiterated that I will eat two dozen pieces of key lime pie on our stop to Key West in a month….).
A mealy, limey crust is first patted into a rectangular pan, then baked until golden brown. A mixture of sugar, lime juice, and eggs (plus a few other things) was poured over.
Then baked, then the 1/3 of the remaining crust crumble was sprinkled on top, baked 10 minutes more, and dusted with powdered sugar. It looks like this (and tastes heavenly):
Now, the thumbprint cookies….our most colorful in the bunch.
The dough is similar to shortbread, and here rolled out into balls that will be dipped in egg whites and rolled in crushed walnuts.
An initial dent is placed into the dough balls, then they bake for a bit.
Then they’re re-dented and baked some more (I used the back of a table knife).
Meanwhile, I’ve whipped up some icing made of confectioners sugar and milk. Drops of red and green food dye are added.
Vibrant! I need sunglasses!
When they came out of the oven and cooled a while, I drizzled icing into the thumbprints. And they looked like this:
Oh – and the snowballs, for lovers of coconut (e.g. Dad and DT).
Melted chocolate chips, butter, sweetened condensed milk, and crushed walnuts. Chilled with the truffle pan outside, then rolled into balls and dipped in coconut.
Let’s not forget about the pumpkin bread!
Mini loaves like David’s Grandma Roberta used to make. 🙂
It was a fantastic, full day of creating our favorite holiday sweets. Mom and I were trying to remember what year we started our little bakefest….has it been 10 years? We think at least that long.
Happy holiday baking, one and all! I hope it brings a sort of reprieve during this busy time of year….I know it did for me. I love our baking tradition, and am so thankful to have it with my mum.
‘Tis the season for sugar overload! 🙂