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Behemoth

Holiday baking

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Stollen: have a new recipe, this time it was easily as good as the certified Dresden ones. Stored it for a month and its not at all dry. Basically the secret is a completely insane 2:1 flour to butter ratio. But you eat it over a month with friends and in very thin slices. Recipe here if anyone is interested. 

 

My cookie game is finally where I want it. This year: 

 

1. The traditional to A's family Danish "Braune Kuchen". These are very small, thin, made with beet syrup, almond meal, citron, a bunch of spices and weird old fashioned leaveners like potash and hartshorn. 

2. Spicy gingerbread cookies, recipe from Smitten Kitchen.  

3. butter cookies for the kids to decorate (random internet recipe, probably Leite's Culinaria) 

4. Intense cocoa drops, dipped in melted dark chocolate and topped with black pepper. These were from a German magazine, definitely a keeper

5. almond cantuccini, found a very good and easy recipe here

6. Alice Medrich Linzer cookies. (Called Spitzbuben in German.) I used some organic ground hazelnut from a vacuum sealed package, turned out to be super intense and roasted. The hazelnut was so good I did all hazelnut instead of part almond meal. Crazy good, with an Italian raspberry jam. 

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Just laid out the plan yesterday

 

A sandwich cookie (Ischler) and a Greek almond cookie from a rose berenbaum book

Brownie cookie from Claudia Fleming

Chocolate Chips - the NYT recipe

 

For Xmas morning an Dan Lepard black current and rye enriched white load in a Bundt pan

The contra chocolate hazelnut tarte for Xmas dinner.

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Fourth year running:

 

Chocolate espresso snowcaps

Chocolate gingerbread cookies

Chocolate ganache thumbprint cookies

Pfeffernüsse

Rum balls

Shortbread cookies

 

All recipes from Ms. Marfa, other than ganache (Jacques Torres).

 

KitchenAid Pro stand mixer and silpat sure make the work easier.

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So I may have had one of my first fruit cake experiences.. It was presented to my office by a Portuguese Woman... I don't know if they vary from country to country but, it makes sense I guess.. So what is fruit cake, essentially a dinner roll filled with the rinds of left over lemons and grapefruits, with a couple of the booger raisins and maybe a little powdered sugar for good luck?  Great Satan's Ghost, who would inflict this upon another person.. I mean, i would rather eat a martins potato roll with a few crushed up lifesavers in it.   I don't know what to say, the War is over, sugar is plentiful, who are these misanthropes who add raisins to a dessert for crying out loud, let alone whatever spare fruit you can pull out of the cocktails glasses from the night before.. 

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Years ago a friend made us a fruitcake from her Georgia family's recipe.   Buttery pound cake loaded with pecans and chunks of luscious candied fruit (red cherries, pineapple, citrus peel), bourbon vanilla.    She eventually gave me the recipe which I tried once.    Labor intensive, expensive and not as good as hers.   I guess you have to be a Belle to do it right.

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Or a Brit, or a South African.  Both nationalities have fruitcake as the traditional wedding cake, so for our wedding N made our cake.  She put up the fruit several months in advance and made the cake itself a couple of months beforehand.  The whole thing was covered with a layer of marzipan and then a layer of fondant.  So many people said it was the best fruitcake they'd ever had.

 

I have no idea what the Portuguese version is, but you need to get your hands on a real boozy fruitcake, especially one that uses real fruit and no weird green cherries.  If you can find someone who makes authentic Caribbean black cake, even better.

 

Back on topic, I've no idea what N is baking.  I wonder if the jarred mincemeat we bought last year is still good....

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If you can find someone who makes authentic Caribbean black cake, even better.

 

 

The recipe is on-line. It's too late to make it for Christmas this year,, but if you ever get around to it, it may very well change your mind about fruitcake.

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Baked two dozen large gingerbread men this morning.   Not decorated, since these are for inhaling.   Son, by chance, dropped by and took entire production, munching as he left.    It's one of our traditions this season.   He'll probably ask for another batch before New Years.

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Baked two dozen large gingerbread men this morning.   Not decorated, since these are for inhaling.   Son, by chance, dropped by and took entire production, munching as he left.    It's one of our traditions this season.   He'll probably ask for another batch before New Years.

 

Every year since about 4 years I make 2 dozen each for kindergarten and school. But I do decorate them. The men get Christmas sweaters and the women dirndls. (Then the rest of the dough is cut & decorated as trees and snowflakes.) 

 

Basically I made them one year, and they have been specifically requested ever since. 

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If you can find someone who makes authentic Caribbean black cake, even better.

 

 

The recipe is on-line. It's too late to make it for Christmas this year,, but if you ever get around to it, it may very well change your mind about fruitcake.

 

Even Golden Krust's version is better than your typical American (light-colored, green cherries) fruitcake.

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I did this for the kids last year, but I'm resisting this year.

The clue to longevity of this tradition is to give them simple cookies, so they never expect decoration. KISS in all areas that may become expected!

 

As in, someplace along the way, I started making croquembouche for Christmas Eve. Now, you got it, son/grand-kids look forward/expect it.

coming over early for assembly line.

 

I guess that's what it's all about.

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The world cares, but I think the single best cake I've ever had was probably a Black Cake I bought at the Caribbean Day Parade in Brooklyn one year.

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