Thursday, December 18, 2014

AZTEC COCOA CUBES with SWIRLY HOMEMADE MARSHMALLOWS

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I started making hot cocoa from homemade chocolate truffles years ago.  At our shop, while playing with cocoa recipes, I dug into a vat of freshly made chocolate ganache, from whence truffles are made.  I whirled a heaping tablespoon into steaming milk.  Goodness gracious, that was a sublime mug of cocoa.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

CRANBERRY-ORANGE POLKA DOT CHEESECAKE

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We're at that portion of our holiday program where we let go of any pretense that we're holding steady on the scale and all dietary hell breaks loose.


That's where cheesecake comes in.  Up until now it's been a stray cookie or a nibble of candy but there's a weak plank in your wobbly bridge of restraint.  Some small part of your discipline is ready to dislodge.  Any and all food stuffs are welcome to take a trip down your gullet and as long as you're in this sublime state of culinary dishabille, cheesecake is an option.  Perhaps it's the only option.

BROWN BUTTER-BROWN SUGAR COOKIES

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I like sugar cookies well enough.  What I don't like is a sugar cookie that's gloriously embellished, the kind that draws exclamations like, "That's just too pretty to eat!" but has all the flavor of sweetened drywall.


So let's add some flavor to the party, shall we?  How about browning that butter so our cookie has a nutty, deep caramel flavor?  And let's switch up that sugar to dark brown and bring a little butterscotch yumminess to our cookie soiree.  Up the vanilla and the salt a bit and we've got a decorated cookie worth eating by the dozen.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

SNOMACS: Macaron Snow Folk

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Winter isn't coming.  It's here.  No matter that the official start date isn't for a few more days, a foot of snow is a fine indicator that the coldest months have arrived.


Saturday, December 13, 2014

CARAMEL-MARSHMALLOW PINWHEELS

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I am equally caramel and marshmallow obsessed.  After a 17 hour baking day, I've been known to whip up a batch of caramel, park in front of the t.v. and gnaw on the chewy stuff until my jaw hurts or I fall asleep, whichever comes first.

Friday, December 12, 2014

St. LUCIA BUNS

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On the morning of December 13th, I arrived at my pastry shop to find a lantern sitting upon the front stoop.  The candle inside was bright enough to light the dark path leading to the front door.  A note attached wished me a Happy St. Lucia Day.


Who, at 4 am, would leave such a lovely message on the darkest of days?

Larry, of course.



Thursday, December 11, 2014

MAPLE TOFFEE with POPCORN & SALTED PEANUTS

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Sweet.  Buttery.  Crunchy.  Toffee is a delightful addition to holiday snacking.  And with diets and treat abstinence right around the corner come New Years, gluttony is the rule of the day.  


This particular toffee, with rich maple flavor and delightful bits of popcorn and peanuts, is especially good.  If you can abstain from eating it all, wrap it up for friends and family as the perfect gift.  It travels long distances very well and keeps for weeks.