Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Flurry of Baking.....

After reading how many recipes we needed to make this month I decided to have an afternoon of baking and try to make as many I could. Whew, I got four done in one afternoon; it's amazing what you can do with no distractions and have total concentration to the tasks at hand. I made the Real Butterscotch Pudding, Grandma's All-Occasion Sugar Cookies, Linzer Sables and the Buttery Jam Cookies. While the sugar and linzer cookie doughs were chilling I made the pudding; while the pudding was chilling, I made the jam cookies (really easy). All in all it took a few hours but certainly not an impossible task.

It does help when DH isn't at home and if MacGregor (the cat) is in his kitty condo.

The Linzer dough came together easily, I had everything on hand including the almond flour because I have been making macarons (tartelette's directions from Desserts Magazine #2). The dough is very easy to roll out between wax paper. I read the comments and most indicated they preferred 1/8" thickness instead of the 1/4" Dorie suggested; I tried both thicknesses and feel the 1/4" was easier to cut out. I have one of those adjustable pastry boards to roll out dough to an exact thickness, I know anal, but my dad was an engineer and, well, if a recipe calls for 1/4", it will be 1/4", LOL. I filled them with raspberry jam and lemon curd, very good with both! I would suggest cutting out the center of the cookie after you have placed the cut out cookie on your sheet, much easier; also the dough warms up very fast and I had to keep putting it back into the freezer to make cutting out easier. Verdict, would I make Linzer cookies again, maybe; they are labor and time intensive, because you need to keep putting the dough back into the refrigerator. Since they freeze well, I would probably make them a month ahead of time and not in the middle of the holiday rush.

The Jam cookies were OK, very easy to put together, no chilling or rolling, just drop and bake. I used raspberry jam and could barely taste it in the final cookie; the ginger came through and that is what you taste first. DH will take what are left to work tomorrow; he loves raspberry anything and he could not tell me what I used in this cookie. Verdict, probably not make again, too many good recipes out there to make this one again. If you are pressed for time and make changes, maybe add some coconut and use pineapple jam, or another interesting combination this might be the recipe for you.

Grandma's Sugar cookies were very good! I would definitely use this again but only as a slice and bake sugar cookie. The dough is VERY soft and wanted to stick to the wax paper, I remedied this with flouring the top and bottom of the dough prior to rolling out. Since this dough puffs and slightly spreads during baking you lose the sharp edge of your cookie cutter, not worth the time to roll out, chill, cut out and bake. I used a fluted round cutter and the edges were not crisp or well defined. So if you had an intricate cookie cutter this dough might not work for you. Verdict, will make again, they are delicious!

The Butterscotch Pudding was very good! My dad loved it, and said he could taste the scotch, which if you don't like scotch is not a good thing! I like scotch and enjoyed this pudding, it had a subtle taste and not at all like the "out of the box" stuff I have had before. This is the real deal, and would be great in a trifle with gingerbread and some blackberries. Verdict, would make again.

A big thank you to Heather for the Buttery Jam Cookies, Ulrike for the Sugar Cookies, Noskos for the Linzer cookies and Donna for the Butterscotch Pudding. It's so nice to have a large portion of my holiday baking done. The cheesecake will be dessert on Christmas Day, so I hope all goes well with that recipe!


HoneyB said...

All these cookies! Mine are in the freezer waiting for Friday's christmas party!

kim said...

wow, i can't believe you made them all at once!! they all look wonderful, great job :)

n.o.e said...

I'm exhausted just thinking about all that cooking! I've made all the December recipes except the pudding, and now I'm excited about that. In a trifle with gingerbread? and blackberries? Sign me up!

Teanna said...

Mmm! The coconut and pineapple jam sound great for those cookies for next week! What a cookie explosion in your home! they all look great!

Kimberly said...

Go on, girl, with your fit self! :D

I love your idea of making a bunch of the recipes at once. I should have done that. Really enjoyed your evaluation of each cookie. After reading your review I'm very excited to make the butterscotch pudding. I look forward to reading more about your baking adventures!

Anonymous said...

Wow! what a full day of baking! I'm impressed. I made the Linzer Sables and the sugar cookies on the same day a couple of weekends ago.