Saturday, December 17, 2011

Chocolate Truffles


More Christmas goodie creations!  You don't get much more decadent than these truffles.  They are rich, chocolatey, and sweet...don't eat too many at once!

3 cups melted chocolate
2 1/2 cups icing sugar
8 ounces of cream cheese




Mix the chocolate and cream cheese until smooth.  Add the sugar.  Cover with plastic wrap and set in the fridge for about an hour.




Roll into balls about an inch in diameter.  Then roll in something tasty!  I used ground hazelnuts and cocoa.











Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cookie Decorating Technique...Stamping!


Simply get your favourite Christmas rubber stamps, dip them in a bit of oil (I used canola), and stamp!  Press firmly because once the cookies bake, the imprint won't be as prominent.  Now this is an easy technique that any busy mom can do (as long as you have the time to make the cookies!).






Now, speaking of making cookies, I have to include the recipe for these delectable gingerbread morsels. I've had no problem hiding away all the other cookies I've baked so far...except for these.  We have eaten every single one!  Shameful, I know, but these are my weakness.  I'll have to wait until the 23rd to make another batch if there's any hope of serving these for Christmas!  And if you're out of eggs...no problem, because this recipe is eggless.  And if you want your little ones (or you!) to avoid a major sugar rush while feasting on holiday treats, these are perfect because they are mostly sweetened with molasses.  And substitute the butter for margarine if you'd like a vegan alternative.  

Best Gingerbread Cookies Ever

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger 
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup molasses
3 cups unbleached flour

1. Cream the butter, sugar, soda, spices, and salt.

2. Blend in molasses

3.  Mix in flour until just barely combined.  (over mixing will create gluten in the dough which will affect the texture of your cookies)  Add a little cold (no more than 1/4 cup) water if the dough is too dry.

4.  Wrap and refrigerate for an hour before you roll.







Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Checkerboard Cookies


Finished another type of Christmas cookie this morning...the Checkerboard Cookie.  Surprisingly easy, it looks pretty neat when it's done.  This is Tobias' favourite because of the squares.

Make two types of sugar cookie dough, and make four rectangles, two in each colour. Roll about 1/2 inch thick.










Stack them on top of each other using some water as 'glue' for each layer.




 Slice in a total of eight equal long pieces.







Stack them again, using water to stick them, alternating the colours.   Your squares should be equal...mine were about 1/2 inch.




Slice and bake.








Monday, December 5, 2011

Marbled Christmas Cookies

Yesterday, I baked my first batch of Christmas cookies, while joyfully listening (and singing to) holiday tunes!  I got the recipe from a book I borrowed from the Library: The Artful Cookie.  



I got ambitious and tried one of the decorating techniques Aaron Morgan demonstrates called marbling.  Here's how it's done:

Make a parchment cone.  I watched this tutorial to learn how.




Melt two kinds of chocolate and dip the top of each cookie in your base chocolate.  I did five at a time so that the chocolate didn't start to harden before I was ready to marble.





Fill your parchment cone with the other chocolate, and make this pattern on top of each cookie:





Drag a toothpick through the pattern alternating from top to bottom and bottom to top.  (This was not easy to do while taking pictures!)



































The 'reject' cookies that got ruined during the process (I waited too long and the chocolate started setting...not pretty).  I'll call them Chocolate Cashew Clusters.







 Now I must go and hide them before Michael gets home or there's no chance these will last 'till Christmas!


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