Thursday, January 5, 2012

Christmas Cookies

I feel as though my own tradition is starting.  This December was the second year that I made a bajillion cookies for Christmas presents.  I LoVE it!!  I'm practically in the kitchen all day with music playing covered in flour and butter.  It's great.  Last year I experimented with a ton of different cookies.  Which was time consuming considering I choose to do everything at the last minute.  But with all that crazy experimenting it did give me a chance to pick out which ones I wanted to make this year. 

 The final line-up (insert drum roll here): chocolate thumbprint cookies (this dough is amazing. like as in I wouldn't think twice about eating the whole batch of dough and inducing a severe food coma), pecan pie cookies (equally as addicting), and butter cookies (pretty much butter, flour, and sugar *sigh*).  I was only in the kitchen for about 6 hours this time.  I finally finished baking everything and put them in pretty boxes.  It's equally as fun giving them out seeing friends faces ;).  Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Almost Disaster

I have had this baking book, 'Rose's Heavenly Cakes,' for the longest time.  Flipping endlessly through every page drooling over these amazing looking cakes.  I eventually will make every cake in that book (yes very lofty goal indeed seeing as it is around 500 pages :), but for now I settled on one particular cake that caught my eye, Karmel Cake (named after a friend, hence the spelling wrong and 'K' instead of 'C'.)  Oh. My. Goodness.  This cake was exponentially yummy.  I knew it would be delicious (well duh cause i made it...haha...jk), but it quite exceeded my expectations.  Words straight from my mother's mouth, "This cake is heavenly."  The recipe didn't call for frosting, merely a dollop or two of whipped cream if desired.  It didn't need a thing added to it for it was complete perfection.

Starting out the recipe called for making your own caramel.  No biggie right??  Throw some brown sugar in a pot (along with some, erm, other necessary ingredients) and let it get to soft ball stage.  Not so easy as it sounds.  Now don't let me scare you.  Caramel isn't all that scary.  It's actually quite lovely.  And the smell of it cooking is amazing.  I am just retarded sometimes.  I stirred it until it bubbled then let it boil.  I tended to it as though it were a newborn child.  I constantly checked the temperature making sure everything was just right.  Well, all of a sudden soft ball stage turned into hard ball stage.  And half of it was burned on the bottom :)  FAIL!  I blame my thermometer.  I was still determined to make this cake so I threw everything out and started again.  This time I actually learned from my mistake and the caramel was perfect!  I prepared the rest of the cake while the caramel cooled. I guess to my surprise the cake did not have an overwhelming caramel flavor.  But it did add just the right amount of flavor and sweetness.  Not to mention a wonderful crunchy top to accent the fine crumb of the cake.  Rose was right when she dubbed this cake (and her book) heavenly.