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[personal profile] flamebyrd
All baked goods, because that's how December trends for me.

Gingerbread Cookies, wannacomewith.com. These were so good I made two batches. It has the slightly unconventional addition of a tablespoon of cocoa to the dry ingredients. Good texture, very spicy. Nice and dark.
Notes: It was very soft to roll out (my kitchen was probably a bit warm, but it's also possible a little more flour would help), but a few trips to the fridge helped me get the cut shapes to the baking tray in one piece.
Changes: Substituted half the molasses for golden syrup. Omitted the cloves and nutmeg, added 1 tsp mixed spice (pudding spice).

Spritz Cookies, Sally's Baking Addiction. I'd picked up a cookie press from the centre aisle at ALDI a couple of months ago, so I was eager to try these instead of making shortbread this year. The end result was very tasty.
Notes: The dough was very soft, so I added flour until it wasn't sticking to my fingers any more. I found it very difficult to get a consistent result with the cookie press, but hopefully practice will help with that.
Changes: Skipped the almond extract, added an extra 1/2 tsp vanilla.

Blueberry Crumble Slice, allconsuming.com.au. My uncle sent me home from Christmas with a huge bag of blueberries, which I don't tend to eat raw, so I was thrilled to find this recipe that used 5 cups of them. This was a hit with everyone who tried it at the bbq I brought it to.
Notes: Could easily use other fruit with this! I'd also consider dropping the sugar from the filling.
Changes: None.

Soft and Chewy Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies, lovingitvegan.com. I made these for a picnic, with great response from the vegans and non-vegans present. I'd picked up some vegan chocolate chips in Vancouver earlier in the year, so this was a good opportunity to use them.
Notes: Recipe is a bit vague. I creamed my margarine (Nuttelex) and sugar until very light and fluffy. The dough was very soft (does this sound familiar yet?) so I added a few tbsp more flour until I could roll it into balls without it sticking to my hands. I scooped some into 4 tsp balls and baked for ~15 min, and some into 2 tsp balls and baked for ~10 min. They were reluctant to spread so I encouraged them by pressing down on each ball in the middle of baking.
Changes: None.

Mini Berry Pavlovas, Jo the Tart Queen. Made for Christmas Day, served with a variety of DIY toppings rather than the suggested ones (but the mascarpone cream looks incredible).
Notes: This was actually a mild failure for me - my piped shells didn't hold a shape at all. I suspect I may have actually overbeat them. But they baked up with nice dry outsides, and a slightly soft interior. Still, next time I'm considering using the Serious Eats Perfect Swiss Meringue technique instead, to see if that helps.
Changes: None to pavlova shells.
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