Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays everyone!

snowflake sugar cookies for Graham's classmates

I've been busy, busy working and shopping and crafting and baking and candy making and party throwing, but unfortunately can't seem to do all those things and still take interesting photos and blog about it. Oh well, there's always next year...

In case you still have some baking to do, here are my favorite recipes from the season:
1. Homemade peanut butter cups - to D-I-E for! I used milk chocolate and topped off with crushed peanuts and Maldon Salt.
2. Peppermint Bark - I doubled the recipe for a 1/2 sheet pan and added half the oil. Make sure to wrap them it and store in the fridge.
3. Penuche fudge - I tried this recipe with both dark & light sugar and they were both equally as yummy. Make sure to not over cook or it will be crumbly.
4. Gingersnaps - I subbed the cardamon for black pepper and left out the fresh ginger because I didn't have any. I rolled the cookies in raw sugar before baking.
5. English toffee - Using chocolate chips makes this so easy, I prefer it will almonds
6. Mexican wedding cakes (or Russian tea cakes) - my husband's favorite. I added a 1/2 teaspoon of salt because every cookie should have salt.
7. Gingerbread caramels - Perfect!
8. Vanilla Bean marshmallows - I add the seeds from two vanilla beans as well as adding the extract.

I hope your holidays are merry and bright! See you next year...


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Gingerbread Decorating

I hosted a gingerbread decorating class yesterday at Zut! and it was such a blast. I purchased fabulous prebuilt houses from Spun Sugar in Berkeley and provided bowls and bowls of festive candy. Each group was given a tool set and bowls and bags of royal icing. To be honest, I didn't have to do much teaching. After a few quick instructions on how to hold a pastry bag, everyone dug in and started creating their candy masterpieces. I was so impressed with the creativity and passion of each group. To give the houses a finishing touch, we dusted them with disco dust that made everything super sparkly. I can hardly wait to do it again next year! Special thanks to the front of the house crew at Zut! for scraping all the royal icing off the tables and cleaning up the sticky mess after we were all done.
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