Author Topic: Holiday Baking  (Read 2537 times)

Offline clgwli

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Holiday Baking
« on: December 20, 2013, 03:51:54 PM »
I know totally going against the weight loss thread, but I had to share what we were up to today.

My son wanted a gingerbread house and I have a recipe for Speculaas cookies that are to die for.  Not quite gingerbread, but the taste is spicy and crispy without being over dry.  Perfect for a little house right? 

So I made this from scratch today.  No patterns or anything.  Just did it all freehand to see how it went together.  It's in the fridge now having the icing set to rock hard levels.  Tomorrow my boy gets to decorate it if he wants :)

Elaine aka Squiggly
elaine@diamondsbylauren.com

Online oldmancoyote

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Re: Holiday Baking
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2013, 04:36:31 PM »
Looks yummy.

Some ideas for decoration, from a patisserie in Konstanz


Offline clgwli

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Re: Holiday Baking
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2013, 08:36:30 PM »
That is the exact kind of thing that my son would LOVE me to do!

However I am about as crafty as... well... not at all.  I wish I had artistic or crafty or some kind of talent in that area.

I have learned from doing this one this year and will be able to make it better next time around even.

I'll post the pics once my son has decorated it though.  He's 6 and has more talent than I do, so it should be lovely :)
Elaine aka Squiggly
elaine@diamondsbylauren.com

Online oldmancoyote

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Re: Holiday Baking
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2013, 01:19:12 AM »
Your undecorated house looks pretty good to me... snow does not come in round blobs (in fact this year snow doesn't seem to come at all to Europe, blobs or no blobs). :)

Offline lovecolor

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Re: Holiday Baking
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2013, 07:37:00 AM »
Your house looks yummy just the way it is!  It's a good thing it's not in my fridge now... >:D

Offline clgwli

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Re: Holiday Baking
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2013, 08:16:27 AM »
That is very true about snow in round blobs.  They only form here with the guys having snow fights ;)  We've already had quite a bit of snow here and I think it finally just  melted off the roof of our house.  So snow on a gingerbread house is much preferable to me!!

I kind of wish I could come up with a way to do icicles on a house though.  That's what we see the most of around here hanging from houses.  I just can't think of anything that will work.

So I have to ask, does anyone here do any real Christmas baking?  Other than this and the cookies that came from the dough, there isn't much I do.  I want to make a flan, but that's not quite the same thing.
Elaine aka Squiggly
elaine@diamondsbylauren.com

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Re: Holiday Baking
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2013, 11:48:05 AM »
My sister and her family are coming over, so we are going back to our Piedmontese origins: brasato al Barolo & polenta, then bonet (amaretto pudding) and marrons glacÚs. Lots of stuff that needs an oven, but no baking as such. On the other hand, tonight Mrs Coyote is treating us to home-made pizza (including making the dough), so it's definitely real baking, but that doesn't count as festive...

Re: icicles: have you tried with rather hard icing, piping it on a flat surface in thin, pointed strips and then lifting it off once it's fully set? I can do interesting  things with chocolate (spider webs, bats, skulls, dollar signs, grilles), as long as I make about 20% more than I need, because 1 in 5 will break.

Offline clgwli

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Re: Holiday Baking
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2013, 12:17:03 PM »
Your food sounds really good!!!!  We're having a much more low key Christmas food wise due to how big we had Thanksgiving here.  I don't mind, but I think I'll do meatballs in a red sauce for subs and then have some tortellini (frozen not fresh made) to go with the sauce and meatballs as well.  A favorite of my son's.  We're going for super easy to make.

Pizzas from scratch are my favorite.  We do it often and I feel pizzas are appropriate all times of the year - you can always make a party out of pizza ;)

I have yet to do icicles separate and then add them to the roof.  I have tried to pipe from the bag directly on the house and it never comes out right. I might have to try that and before it sets maybe sprinkle some sparkly sugar on top to see if I can get a look I like. 

We're off to decorate the house now.  Or I should say my son is :)
Elaine aka Squiggly
elaine@diamondsbylauren.com

Offline DiamondsAreForever

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Re: Holiday Baking
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2013, 03:38:37 PM »
My sister and her family are coming over, so we are going back to our Piedmontese origins: brasato al Barolo & polenta, then bonet (amaretto pudding) and marrons glacÚs. Lots of stuff that needs an oven, but no baking as such. On the other hand, tonight Mrs Coyote is treating us to home-made pizza (including making the dough), so it's definitely real baking, but that doesn't count as festive...

Re: icicles: have you tried with rather hard icing, piping it on a flat surface in thin, pointed strips and then lifting it off once it's fully set? I can do interesting  things with chocolate (spider webs, bats, skulls, dollar signs, grilles), as long as I make about 20% more than I need, because 1 in 5 will break.
Oh, that sounds awesome.

Squigs, Love the house.  Can't wait to see it finished.

Offline saqsay1

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Re: Holiday Baking
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2013, 01:06:08 PM »
That looks yummy. Last year I bought a gingerbread house kit. DH  ate it before I could put it together.  :-\
« Last Edit: December 24, 2013, 01:06:27 PM by saqsay1 »
"If the US government were placed in control of the Sahara Desert, it would run out of sand in 25 years."

Offline lovecolor

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Re: Holiday Baking
« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2013, 10:08:44 AM »
 :laughing4:  Merry Christmas, to all and to all a good day!      :-*     :Heart:

Offline clgwli

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Re: Holiday Baking
« Reply #11 on: December 25, 2013, 01:10:23 PM »
I have photos taken but will get them uploaded later today for you guys.  Once we dug into it, it really didn't last long LOL

Merry Christmas to all and wishing everyone a happy holiday season :)
« Last Edit: December 25, 2013, 01:10:43 PM by clgwli »
Elaine aka Squiggly
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Offline Trinkette

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Re: Holiday Baking
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2013, 07:36:26 PM »
Was on the road and not able to do any baking. Made a casserole and some "Kentucky Colonel" bourbon balls though ...  :devildance:

Offline ah2bqat

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Re: Holiday Baking
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2014, 12:49:14 PM »
Finally was able to do our Christmas dinner.  DH wound up in the hospital for Christmas week, so we had to put it off a bit ... ours was a simple standing rib roast with Yorkshire pudding and a fresh spinach salad. Got none of Christmas baking done.  Thankfully most of the ingredients will keep a good while.
Auntie Dammit :Heart: DBL!

Offline lovecolor

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Re: Holiday Baking
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2014, 03:34:05 PM »
Ah2, I'm so sorry to hear that you and your DH were not enjoying Christmas the way you all wanted to...I hope he's feeling better!   

Offline ah2bqat

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Re: Holiday Baking
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2014, 01:29:03 AM »
He's doing much better, LC, thanks for asking.   And now he knows how much more closely he has to watch his diet.  It was basically a  very positive experience for our future.  His GI guy tells us he can last another 20 years, with care.  :angel:

But he still has his hernia.  Skiing this season looks to be a non-starter for him.  oh well.  Could be worse.  Could have bled out on the table.  Damn near did.  But now he needs to find a new way to escape my nevil clutches!  Bwahaha!!!
Auntie Dammit :Heart: DBL!

Offline clgwli

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Re: Holiday Baking
« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2014, 09:58:41 AM »
Ah2 I am so sorry that you had to go through that during the holidays.  I do hope everyone is much better now (emotionally and physically)

I am so delayed on these photos, but here is what we did with the house.  Nothing special but we had fun.  Tasted good too ;)

Please do excuse the mess on the table.  we were obviously still cleaning up after we did all that work :)







and our cookies

« Last Edit: January 03, 2014, 09:59:08 AM by clgwli »
Elaine aka Squiggly
elaine@diamondsbylauren.com

Offline lovecolor

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Re: Holiday Baking
« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2014, 10:41:50 AM »
The house decorations were PERFECT!  Very yummie looking as well!   :party-smiley-052:

Offline ah2bqat

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Re: Holiday Baking
« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2014, 11:17:33 AM »
It looks to have been great fun, and tasty to boot! It just doesn't get any better.

I'll keep my fingers crossed that your youngster will continue to enjoy doing this sort of thing forever. Squigs.  At 17, my DSS is too 'cool' to enjoy such simple fun, but still enjoys eating the results. lol

DH is doing great. Still wearing my SPANX to help keep his hernia from poking out, but can get around pretty well.  We hope to finish the process by the end of Feb, after the current incisions heal up. 

What we found out was that he has 4th stage cirrhosis.  It was news to everyone.  He has had it long enough to re-expand the vein in the umbilicus and several others around the liver.  The first cut in his laproscopic procedure was through the belly button, actually a needle to pump CO2 into the belly to give the surgeon room to work.  In DH's case, the needle nicked that vein and filled the belly with blood. His clotting capabilities were also very low.   I don't know exactly how bad it was, but from the time I was allowed into post op to about midnight he went through 5 units of whole blood, 2 units of plasma, and a unit of platelets.  Somewhat more than a quart low, I'm thinking.  But it ended well, and now we know better how to take care of him.  His GI doc told us his liver doesn't need replacement so long as he never drinks and watches his diet.  We can do this, so it's all good.

They also gave us a private room, since occupancy was low.  I was allowed to stay with him the entire time.  The staff was really wonderful, as well, which kept mr. grumpy guts fairly calm.  At least we aren't getting any snow, so the ski yearning isn't too bad.  ;D
Auntie Dammit :Heart: DBL!

Offline lovecolor

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Re: Holiday Baking
« Reply #19 on: January 03, 2014, 11:27:26 AM »
 :faintthud:  What a terrible scare you all had!  It's wonderful to see that you're so "high" in spirit after that...(pardon the very bad pun.   :-[    )

A quick and full recovery is wished for your DH and you mind dear, God bless you and your wonderful outlook!   :-*   

Offline clgwli

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Re: Holiday Baking
« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2014, 12:12:57 PM »
I thought he did good for being a kindergartener.  We so enjoyed eating it all too!!!  I have a template I need to scan in for next year and found some good methods on cutting the structure.  This dough cooks up great for a gingerbread type house and cuts very well while warm.  I almost want to do this again soon to see if I can improve it ;)

Ah2 glad that your husband is doing great now.  After going through a clotting issue that was very very severe I only had 2 units of blood.  Granted mine was short term, but I would imagine he was very bad off :(  I hope his health keeps up well with any diet changes and lack of drinking.  I admit it can be fun to be the sober one (going for a silly smile there).
Elaine aka Squiggly
elaine@diamondsbylauren.com

Offline ah2bqat

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Re: Holiday Baking
« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2014, 02:31:24 PM »
Hearing you, Squigs!  I've given up alcohol with him.  It makes it easier for him to be 'good'.  And it helps keep my weight down, too.  :smarty:

I think your house came out great.  Looking like a professionally done item isn't the primary focus for me.  (Altho I'm sure Miz M could put us all in the shade.)  I'm sure she'd agree with me that it's all about the family and doing things together while having fun.  I wouldn't mind trying one out maybe next year.  (I've never had the guts to try one.)  You should post your dough recipe and the place you've found templates.

Apologies for taking your thread so far off track, Squigs.  I'm afraid my good sense has been sadly lacking for the last couple of weeks.  Until now, I actually thought I was coping ok.  whoops.  oh well. 
Auntie Dammit :Heart: DBL!

Offline clgwli

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Re: Holiday Baking
« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2014, 02:57:56 PM »
Professional look never came to my mind while doing this.  I just think having fun is the best part.  I think we'll be doing it again next year.  I need to find different frosting/icing though.  The one I tried was too runny.  I just found my icing bags again so I'll be ahead of the game for next year.

My engineer dad actually made the templates.  Oddly he could never find a good spice cookie dough to make the walls and roof though.  I came across a cookie called speculaas and it's perfect for it.  Anyway give me some time to scan the template in and I'll upload it for you.

I have a lot of spices on hand so it was easy to get the spice blend made.  If you don't have it all, let me know and I can make a batch up for you as I always have these spices on hand.

Speculaas (Speculoos) Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup white sugar
1 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 1/2 tablespoons speculaas spice**

**speculaas spice
8 parts cinnamon
2 parts nutmeg
2 parts ground cloves
1 part white pepper
1 part coriander
1 part ground ginger
1 part cardamom
1 part mace

1. Preheat oven to 350░
2. Cream butter, vanilla, and both types of sugar in mixer until light and fluffy. Add in both eggs and mix well.
3. Wisk all of the dry ingredients together and slowly add to butter mixture - combining until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl (I have always had to use all the flour mixture)
4. Divide the dough in half. Wrap each half in plastic wrap (Ziploc bags work well) and refrigerate for several hours or preferably overnight
5. Roll dough out to about 1/4 - 1/8 inch thick and cut with cookie cutters. If you are lazy form cylinders with the dough and slice off round cookies in that thickness.
6. Bake at 350░ for 10-12 minutes

I bake for 11 minutes and they seem to come out just right for us.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2014, 02:58:28 PM by clgwli »
Elaine aka Squiggly
elaine@diamondsbylauren.com

Offline ah2bqat

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Re: Holiday Baking
« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2014, 03:14:39 PM »
I like that spice mix!  Never thought of white pepper, but the rest looks similar to my pumpkin pie blend.

Do you roll your dough with flour or powdered sugar?  I've had problems with sugar cookies that get gooey when the dough warms up and used the powdered sugar instead of flour to keep it from sticking to everything.  Seems to keep the dough from getting 'tough' when it bakes, too.  Maybe for a house this dough wouldn't need to warm up so much?  :dontknow:
Auntie Dammit :Heart: DBL!

Offline clgwli

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Re: Holiday Baking
« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2014, 03:36:46 PM »
When rolling this, I did it on a sheet of parchment paper with a non-stick roller so I didn't actually need to use either.  If I did, I would use powdered sugar instead of flour.  I had powdered sugar on hand in case I needed it.

I would work with this dough at a very cold temp if possible.  Kind of like sugar cookies, I put it back in the fridge or freezer if it gets too warm.

Here is a link to the templates.

http://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/n553/clgwli/Scan0002.jpg

http://i1139.photobucket.com/albums/n553/clgwli/Scan0001.jpg
Elaine aka Squiggly
elaine@diamondsbylauren.com