Saturday, January 1, 2011

Christmas Baking Roundup

I was only at home for 15 days during December, most of those dedicated to my job search, so I did not get to bake nearly as much as I hoped this year. Baking a Yule Log will have to wait until next year :)

Orange, Raisin, Walnut Brownie Cookies

The recipe is for orange cranberry cookies, but I realized last minute I was out of dried cranberries, so I substituted with raisins and walnuts. I think I like cranberries better than raisins (the tartness is a better offset), but the walnuts were a good textural addition. These are one of my favorite cookies, the flavor and texture is terrific.

Tate's Bake Shop Chocolate Chip Cookies

I was paging through Ina's new cookbook and saw a chocolate chip cookie icebox cake made with cookies from Tate's Bake Shop in the Hamptons. When I saw this recipe for Tate's cookies come up, I figured I'd give them a trial run, since I want to make the icebox cake this summer (or maybe for my birthday :D). My cookies did not turn out nearly as flat as Tate's OR CakeSpy's cookies. In general, I never really produce flat cookies. Interestingly, the internet seems to have more cures for flat cookies than instructions on how to get them that way :) More research needed. Flavor on these was typical chocolate chip cookie.

M&M Cookies

The first time I made M&M cookies, I used the Toll House cookie recipe (subbing M&Ms for chocolate chips). For some reason, they became hard as a rock the day after baking and were just disappointing. After I managed to find another bag of Christmas M&Ms (I could NOT find them at local supermarkets this year, I felt like I was going crazy), I decided to try out Smitten Kitchen's chocolate chip cookie recipe (again subbing M&Ms for chips). These came out delicious! I popped them into the freezer the day of baking, so I'm not sure about their longevity.

Spritz Cookies

I am not a fan of butter cookies, but my mom loves them. She doesn't have the steady hand required for using a cookie press, so I make them for her every year. I love the shapes and decorative possibilities, but these cookies still do nothing for me.

Strawberry Sour Cream Bread

I used up the last few frozen strawberries that I picked over the summer for this bread. I think that the recipe should have called for chopping the strawberries, because I ended up with big chunks of strawberry that affected the integrity of the bread and got stuck to the side of my loaf pan and so on. I split the recipe into two loaves made in 8 x 4 inch loaf pans (roughly). I gave the loaves away as a gift, so I am not really sure how it tasted (oops). I really need to come up with a system for making a mini loaf when I bake breads I am gifting so I can taste the flavor without cutting into the gift.

Orange Cranberry Bread

I love the combination of orange and cranberry and love using up my excess of frozen cranberries in the freezer. I split the recipe into two smaller loaves and am giving them away, so I'm not sure how they taste. I will have to report back if I get to try them.

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