One of the items I made was a Gingerbread Snacking Cake adapted from Martha Stewart.
For this recipe I used:
8 Tablespoons – 1 Stick – 4 Ounces of Unsalted Butter – room temperature – tip here
2 1/2 Cups of All purpose Flour – plus more for the pan
1 Cup of Boiling Water
2 Teaspoons of Baking Soda
2 Teaspoons of Ground Ginger
1/2 Teaspoon of Ground Cloves
1/2 Teaspoon of Ground Nutmeg
1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
2 Teaspoons of Baking Powder
2/3 Cup of Whey Low Gold – brown sugar substitute
1 Tablespoon of Freshly Grated Ginger
2 Large Eggs – lightly beaten
Icing Sugar for dusting
I started by buttering and flouring a 9″ x 13″ glass baking pan, heating the oven to 350˚F, and boiling the water and mixing it with the baking soda and setting it aside.
|Gingerbread Snacking Cake – Boiling Water & Baking Soda|
Then I grated the fresh ginger with a micro plane. Be sure to add the accumulated juice too!
|Gingerbread Snacking Cake – Grated Ginger|
I gathered and measured the rest of the ingredients so that I could mix the cake quickly.
|Gingerbread Snacking Cake -The Ingredients|
In a medium bowl I sifted all of the rest of the dry ingredients together and set the bowl aside.
|Gingerbread Snacking Cake – Sifting the Dry Ingredients|
In a large bowl with a hand mixer I creamed the butter until light and fluffy.
|Gingerbread Snacking Cake – Adding the Whey Low Gold to the Creamed Butter|
|Gingerbread Snacking Cake – After creaming the Whey Low|
I added the molasses and grated ginger until well mixed.
|Gingerbread Snacking Cake – Adding the Molasses and Grated Ginger|
|Gingerbread Snacking Cake -Molasses mixed in|
In an unusual twist, the flour was added (before the egg) and mixed in.
|Gingerbread Snacking Cake – Adding the Flour|
Then it was time for the eggs. An unusual method. If you know why… do leave me a comment.
|Gingerbread Snacking Cake – Adding the Eggs|
I finished off the batter by hand with a spatula the batter in the prepared 9″ x 13″ pan and smoothed it out.
|Gingerbread Snacking Cake -Ready for the Oven|
Then it was off to the oven for 30 minutes. Cooled thoroughly and dusted with icing sugar.
- The next time I use Whey Low Gold for this recipe I will add an extra tablespoon of butter and and extra 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. Whey Low can make things a little gummy or dry.
|Holiday Baker Man – Generous Santa|
The titles include:
All stunning books in their own way. It’s going to be a busy year!
What did you receive this holiday season?
For two Christmas’s in a row I made this candy to give away in Christmas boxes to friends and family. It is definitely a huge success. Thanks again Martha Stewart!
If you have made butter cream icing before then nougat will be a snap. The timing can be slightly, and only slightly, tricky but the results are worth any effort.
|French Almond Nougat – Wrapped nougat in the Christmas Boxes|
I generally make 4 recipes filling 2 – 1/4 baking sheets.
For 1 Baking sheet I used:
4 Large Egg White – room temperature
1 1/2 Cups Light Corn Syrup
1 Cup of Sugar
1/2 Cup Water
3 Cups of Light Corn Syrup
3 Cup of Sugar
8 Tablespoons of Melted Butter
2 Teaspoons of Vanilla Extract – (1 TBS if you want more vanilla flavour)
1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
7 Cups of Whole Raw Almonds with the skin on
|French Almond Nougat – Everything is ready to go|
This is a two step process.
Step 1: Mazetta
In the mixer with the whip attachment, whip egg whites until stiff and set aside.
|French Almond Nougat – Egg Whites|
In a sauce pan mix 1 1/2 cups of corn syrup, 1/2 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar together. Cook over medium heat until a candy thermometer reaches 242 degrees (soft-ball). This may take up to 20 minutes.
|French Almond Nougat – Both boiling steps going at once.|
|French Almond Nougat – Coming to temperature|
Once temperature has been achieved, slowly pour the mixture into the egg whites beating continuously until all of the syrup had been mixed in. This should take you a few minutes. Set aside for the next step.
|French Almond Nougat – The syrup has been added|
|French Almond Nougat – The complete Mazetta|
Step 2: The rest
In another pan mix 3 cups of corn syrup, 3 cups of sugar and bring to a boil. You will want to reach 280 degrees (soft-crack). This can take up to 25 minutes. Be sure not to leave the mixture until you have finished.
Remove the pan from the heat and let sit for 2 minutes.
|French Almond Nougat – Next Syrup|
Now you have to work really quickly!
Pour the slightly cooled mixture over the previously mixed Mazetta and stir until smooth.
|French Almond Nougat – Adding the second syrup|
Next add the butter, vanilla, and salt and mix again until the butter is incorporated fully. Now stir in the nuts. The mixture will be heavy so use a strong spoon or spatula.
|French Almond Nougat – Butter and vanilla|
|French Almond Nougat – Add the almonds|
|French Almond Nougat – Mixed in almonds|
Once thoroughly mixed empty the mixture onto your parchment lined pan.
Smooth the mixture out to ensure it fills the pan from corner to corner.
Let stand for 1 day. You can let it stand for less time but 1 Day was the right amount of time for me.
|French Almond Nougat – Sitting to cure for a day|
Packaging is up to you from here.
I used:80 – 3 1/2″ x 5 ” pieces of parchment.
I cut the completed nougat along the short side of the pan in 3/4″ slices then each of the strips in to 7 or 8 pieces. I wrapped each piece of nougat in the parchment twisting the loose ends to contain the nougat.
|French Almond Nougat – Cut & Wrap|
Now you are done! Enjoy!
- I have had 2 pots of mixtures on the go at once – it reduced the amount of waiting time between step 1 & 2. Since the mixtures have to be at 2 different final temperatures this has worked well.
- don’t stack the finished pans on top of each other while you are waiting for the nougat to cool. When I did this, somehow the nougat leap up off the one pan and sealed itself to the other pan. It was difficult to separate the two
- you will need to twist the end of each piece of candy in its parchment cover. If you don’t the nougat will ooze out and you will have a pile of nougat with paper innards.
- this might be the place for Tahitian vanilla extract since you are not cooking the vanilla
- you may be able to use glacè fruit in the mixture for a more festive look
|Chocolate Peppermint Cookies – Packing up the Box|
This year I made 6 Batches of this cookie. It required:
6 Cups All-purpose Flour
3 Cups Dutch process cocoa powder
3 Teaspoons Baking Soda
3 Teaspoons Baking Powder
3 Teaspoons Salt
15 Ounces of Unsalted Butter
4 1/2 Cups of Sugar
6 Large Eggs
6 Large Egg Yolks
4 1/2 Teaspoons of Peppermint Extract
24 Candy Canes
10 Pounds of White Chocolate
This yields about 432 cookies. WOW!
Due to a vacation in the midst of the holiday baking season last year, I split the mixing and baking of this recipe up. Mixing and freezing one day and the baking and assembly later. Since there a bunch of steps to making this cookie recipe this was a great idea.
I sifted the flour, coco powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt together and set it aside.
|Chocolate Peppermint Cookies – Cookie Dough Ingredients|
Next, in a mixer, I creamed the butter and sugar together for a minute or so, then added the eggs and egg yolk to the mixture and mixed until it was combined, then I added the peppermint oil.
|Chocolate Peppermint Cookies – Creamed Butter and Sugar with Eggs|
Then I started to add the flour/cocoa mixture on low until everything was just combined. Then I finished off with a spatula until everything was combined thoroughly.
|Chocolate Peppermint Cookies – Adding Chocolate & Flour|
After the mixing I split the mixture up into smaller squares (12 in all) and wrapped them in plastic wrap flattened. I then placed the discs on a cookie sheet and froze them.
|Chocolate Peppermint Cookies – Wrapped and ready for the Freezer|
Then I was very fortunate to go on a great cruise!
|Aboard the Silver Spirit|
After I returned the real work for this recipe started…..
After thawing for a couple of days in the Fridge each square was rolled out to about 1/8″ and used a 2″ circle cutter to stamp out the cookies.
|Chocolate Peppermint Cookies – The Baked Cookies|
Re-roll the scraps to create more cookies.
The cookies are then cooled on a rack.
In a zipper bag place 12 unwrapped candy canes and crush evenly and reserve for later.
|Chocolate Peppermint Cookies – Candy Canes For Crushing|
Using a serrated knife, chop the white chocolate into small pieces. Place the pieces in a double boiler, or a heat proof bowl over a pan of simmering water, and melt chocolate until there are still some lumps left. Remove the chocolate form the heat and continue to stir until smooth.
|Chocolate Peppermint Cookies – Melting the White Chocolate|
Take each chocolate cookie and dip into the white chocolate and remove with a fork. Gently scrape the bottom of the fork on the side of the chocolate bowl. Place the chocolate coated cookie on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Continue with coating cookies until the cookie sheet is full. When the sheet is full, sprinkle a few pieces of crushed candy cane on each cookie.
|Chocolate Peppermint Cookies – Coated Cookies|
Place the cookie sheet in the fridge or freezer until the chocolate is set.
To store, put parchment or wax paper between layers of the cookies and keep in a cool place.
After choosing which cookie recipes to make each year, the challenge is finding the ingredients. Now flour, sugars, and butter is always easier to find than say oblates (for lebkuchen).
Some of the shopping problem is finding quality ingredients at a decent enough price. We all know this challenge.There are many choices for vanilla but few are really good. A few are too expensive. And only one really fits my “standard”. So finding the right price on the right vanilla is the challenge here.
I found flour was a strange one to buy a couple of years ago. In bag, from a brand I normally do not buy, there was a lot of grit. Thankfully I tend to sift all flour before using it. Lesson learned. After this experience I now sift flour without exception even though I don’t buy the other brand any more.
|2011 Christmas Cookies – The Shopping Loot!|
Other items like oblates and citrus peel can be the biggest challenge. Citrus peel at the grocery store tends to be mostly flavoured rutabega (a turnip!) – not in my Lekuchen!! Oblates (the thin paper-like backing on Lebkuchen) are nearly impossible to find locally. I did find some oblates in the city for the first time in years at a specialty store. The oblates I am using this year are from a grocery store purchase in Cologne Germany when I was in vacation earlier this year.
One item I am having trouble locating is coco butter. I only need about 75 grams or so (2.5 ounces) meaning the one pound bag is just way to much.
So now after a few trips to a few stores my shopping is over 1/2 done! The rest I will finish this coming weekend. Wish me luck with the coco butter.
Special Thanks to Starbucks for the great coffee and Bell for the internet connection this morning while my power was out.
When I return from the vacation(s) I can then thaw the recipe and continue with baking them off and complete everything by December 3!
October 5 Prepare Hazelnuts
October 6 Linzer cookie recipe Dough
October 7 Chocolate Pinwheel cookie recipe dough
October 8 Chocolate Drizzle spice cookie recipe dough
October 12 Spiced Cardamom cookie recipe dough
October 13 Chewy Molasses Spice cookie recipe dough
October 14 Chocolate Peppermint cookie recipe dough
October 15 Lime Cornmeal cookie recipe dough
See something you want? Let me know.
|2011 Christmas Cookies – First Shopping Trip|
Whole Wheat Flour – 5 Pounds
Icing Sugar – 7 Pounds
Sugar – 15 Pounds
Molasses – 2 Cups
Light Brown Sugar – 2 Pounds
Dark Brown Sugar – 2 Pounds
Cornmeal – 10 Cups
Rolled Oats – 1 Pound
Baking Soda – 1 Container
Baking Powder – 1 Container
Dessicated Coconut – 4.5 Cups
Shredded Coconut – 1 Small Bag
Dark Corn Syrup – 1 Large Bottle
Light Corn Syrup – 3 Large Bottles
Condensed Milk – 1 Cup
Vanilla Extract – 8 Ounces
Cardamom – 1 Container
Peppermint Extract – 1 Bottle
Cinnamon – 1 Container
Orange Zest – 5 Large Oranges
Lemon Zest – 3 Lemons
Granny Smith Apples – 5
Zucchini (Medium) – 5
Limes – 2 Large Bags
Walnuts – 1 bag
Whole Almonds – 2 Large Bags
Raisins – 1 Bag
Chocolate (Milk) – 1.5 Pounds
White Chocolate – 6 Pounds
Maraschino Cherries – 2 Large Jars
Pecans – 2 Bags
Hazelnuts – 3 Bags
Milk – 2 Cups
Eggs (Large) – 6 Dozen
Heavy Cream – 2 Cups
Butter (Unsalted) – 14 Pounds
Candy Canes – 24
Candied Lemon Peel – 375 Grams
Candied Orange Peel – 275 Grams
Cocoa Butter – 75 Grams
Raspberry Jam – 1.5 L
150 70 MM Oblates
Cherry Chews Spiced Cardamom Cookies
French Almond Nougat Lime Cornmeal Cookies
Feiner Lebkuchen Apple Raisin Cookies
Chewy Molasses Spice Cookies Chewy Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies
Chocolate Peppermint Cookies Linzer Sandwich Cookies
Lemon Zucchini Cornmeal Cookies Cinnamon Swirl Cookies