Before 2012…

The end of the year is always a time for reflection, and looking back on 2011, my only thought are I can’t believe it’s already over! It has been an incredible journey this past year in getting to know our customers, learning how to have and incorporate an online store, and the list goes on.

We are delighted and honored to be part of our customer’s special and every day events, whether it’s your everyday sweet nosh or special event.

On another note, now that I am getting my wind back from the holiday rush (though it’s not over at the bakery until midday on Saturday), one of my favorite requests is when I receive the challenge of recreating a favorite. “Can you make it like my mom used to?” Just the name, no recipe or hint of ingredients, just the memory to contend with! As a result of I have tried Joe Froggers, Kris Kringles, Christmas Crescents and Chocolate Pate, which were all new to me! Personally, for the perfect, not too sweet, late afternoon nosh are the Christmas Crescents. These lovely little cookies are like a cross between a Wedding Cookie and a Snickerdoodle, and I have a hunch that these Christmas Crescents will be appearing soon under Cookies as Delightful Crescents, so keep an eye out for them!

All of us here wish you a Happy & Blessed 2012, with good health, good friends, and as always, Sweet Memories!

Until next year!

After holiday treat!

It’s the day after Christmas, the sugar high is easing, cleaning up is looming, and work is beginning to call, and yet I the air to go slow, be indulgent, and just enjoy life is what I breathe! So, before everyone gets full into their diets and purges any left-over sweets, I saw this this morning and wanted to share. Plus, this is great for those coming off the shopping rush of the after Christmas sale!

For anyone who made or purchased eggnog and have some left over, how about Eggnog French Toast, with fresh fruit, whipped yogurt and a drizzle of warm maple syrup. And most likely all the ingredients are in your pantry and fridge. What makes this such a fast, easy recipe is that the eggnog replaces all the wet ingredients in a traditional french toast, as it already has the milk, eggs, and seasoning!

Needed:
eggnog,
day old bread – such as french baguette, sliced bread or hallauh
griddle or panini pan
fresh fruit or berries
plain or vanilla yogurt
maple syrup
and crispy bacon for those who choose!

Directions!
Pour the eggnog into a long dish that you can lay a slice of your bread in. Coat each slice thoroughly, allowing the bread to absorb the delicious flavor of the eggnog. Then place it onto your pan, medium high heat for approximately 3 -5 minutes, until the bread is brown and no longer soggy. Plate and dress with fruit of your choice.
You can use oranges, strawberries, raspberries, whatever sounds good to you~! If you like whip a little yogurt to lighten and dollop on top. To heat the maple syrup just pop in the microwave in an heat proof container, for about 12 seconds.
As I am a firm believer that bacon makes everything better, I like to add a few slices of crispy bacon.

Enjoy!

Holiday Hosting Go To Recipe

We’re in the single digits now in the countdown to Christmas, and the holiday parties are in full swing. Visiting family is about, if they have not already descended your home!

One of my go-to holiday hosting recipes is eggnog. Yes, women can worry about going against their diets, but it is the holidays after all, and it is quite delicious. How much harm can one glass do? Even people who don’t tend to like eggnog enjoy this! Freshly made eggnog is not comparable to store bought.

Have no fear in making it – it’s easy! And my hope is that you can enjoy it with dear and loved ones, remembering in the chaos and commitments what this season is all about!

Eggnog Recipe :
Makes about 1 ½ – 2 litters or ½ gallon, a nice punch bowl full
*Note: It doubles perfectly

Ingredients:
6 fresh eggs (separated)
1 cup sugar
1 ½ Tbsp of Rum, optional
1 ½ Tbsp vanilla extract
½ liter (1 pint) heavy cream
½ liter (1 pint) fresh milk

Directions:
Beat the 6 eggs yolks. in another, larger, bowl beat the egg whites adding the sugar while beating. Next add well-beaten yolks to the egg white mixture. Beat again, thoroughly. Mix in rum, then cream and milk. Mix well. Sprinkle top with greeted nutmeg and serve. (Note: let this chill and get very cold).
For the family friendly version leave out the rum.

Intimitaded by Baking Math?

We are in full baking mode here at the bakery. In ‘normal’ times of the year we are a unique blend of baking our bakery line and baking / decorating wedding and / or occasion cakes. Yet in December it is mostly baking for the bakery line. Which I love and enjoy. It fills your senses with the holiday season. And my youngest daughter who still lives with me loves it because there is always something to ‘sample’.

However, large quantities, and multiple quantities mean a lot of math. Now, unlike a lot of bakers I see highlighted on Food Network shows and the like, I am most definitely not a mathematician. In fact, I told my children’s teachers that I could no longer help them with their math homework after grade 5. Algebra II, Calculus, are all just words to me that can remain pleasant as long as we don’t enter the deep labyrith of their meaning, or worse, application.

And yet, I am very adept and quick at baking math. Somehow the simple fractions and changing from teaspoons to tablespoons, cups to pounds, ounces to cups, are not so or so complicated to me. Which always makes me chuckle when I’m working with people who love math and sometimes struggle with it. Now, before you think I’m bragging or gloating, don’t; their is no ego, just baffled amusement. And I want to help everyone who does struggle with it, so I am putting these notes below, to help you until you’re baking sufficiently that it becomes second hand knowledge.

1 cup of butter = 2 sticks (8 oz) (1 stick = 4 oz, 8 TB)
16 oz = 1 lb
16TB = 8 oz
2 TB = 1 oz
6 tsp = 1 oz
3 tsp = 1 TB
3/4 tsp = 1/4 Tb
⅓ , 0.33 = 5 Tb + a bit
¾ (0.75) cup = 6 oz,
1.5 cup = 12 oz
2.5 cups = 20 oz, 1.25 lb
2 lb = 32oz
5 TB = 2.5 oz

oz = ounces, Tb = tablespoon, tsp – teaspoon, lb – pound,

While fluid ounce and solid ounce are the same equivalents in weight, it is not interchangeable measuring and should be measured in their respective measuring tools.

So be afraid no more; Go forth and Bake!

It’s Time to Start Baking!

Happy December 1st! And as a dear friend of mine says, “the race is on”. For most of us it is now countdown and a race against the clock to get everything done in a jammed schedule of Christmas parties, cookie swaps, kids needing gifts for friends, teachers, etc.

The only solution I know is to have a strategy and start early. Baked cookies are wonderful, economic gifts that show your appreciation and care for those who provide services for you throughout the year and loved ones alike – and they are always appreciated! And they can be easy to fit into your busy schedule. Here are a few tips:

1) Most cookie recipes can be made ahead of time and sit happy, wrapped and stored in an airtight container or sealable bag in your refrigerator for anywhere from 12  to 48 hrs.

2) Most cookies freeze beautifully – it just captures their flavor and taste – especially if you wrap and package them in sealable bags as soon as they have cooled from coming out of the oven. Note: if the cookie has a drizzle or glaze, to not put it on until you’re ready to give it.

3) The clean up really isn’t that bad – one bowl, a few measuring spoons, and take the time to put parchment paper on your baking sheets – and your good to go! *Note not wax paper and not freezer paper; they look similar but do not react to heat to the same way 🙂 !

Buy a beautiful box – or decorate a bag yourself – and add some tissue paper and your good to go!

Happy Baking!

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