December 23, 2010

the baked goods: christmas cookies

Last night this house was the house of cookie. Christmas cookies to be precise.

Actually, this was the second cookie night around here.  Unfortunately the first cookie night was a bust thanks Ms Crocker.  Damn you Betty!  You promise deliciousness and deliver nothing but floppy cookies.

Okay, so I found some new recipes and whipped up batches upon batches of beautiful cookieness.  This time it was amazing.

First on the docket - chewy ginger chunk cookies.  Recently I became obsessed with Walkers Stem Ginger cookies.  For a boxed biscuit they were pretty darn good; but far too expensive for my taste.  But now I've kicked my expensive cookie habit thanks to this recipe.  Seriously easy to make with beautiful results.  So beautiful that I have to make another batch in the morning.

The second (and last) cookies are of the classic sugar variety.  I have to admit, when I search for a recipe such as this I always choose the one with the most pieces of feedback.  I mean, if 3973 people managed this recipe then my chances are pretty good too (this is my hope, not an assumption).  So here it is folks, the recipe for the best dang sugar cookies I've ever made.  Solid enough for decorating but perfectly soft for chewing (especially helpful for those of us with fewer teeth than we should have).

And that other thing in the photo?  That chocolatey messy lump?  Those are soft blobs of ginger that have been dipped in some delicious dark chocolate.  This was my first read attempt at tempering chocolate.  I've learned that I need a better candy thermometer.  The chocolate is a bit splotchy - but it is solid and doesn't immediately melt in your hands.  So this conquest I deem a success.  Can I call myself a chocolatier now?

Tomorrow I'll be baking a pie and making a batch of fudge.  Christmas - it's the most wonderful baking holiday of them all.

I want you all to know that the baked goods will be back to it's regular Sunday schedule in the new year.  And it will probably involve pie.  My grandmother just taught me her patented pastry techniques and my world will never be the same.