Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tall and Creamy...not Tall and Dreamy....

...which is what Robert Pattinson is!

First of all I will start out saying I have become obsessed with two things. #1. Reading food blogs. I could seriously sit all day at the computer hopping from one food/baking blog to another...and before I know it, it is 5 pm and dinner is due and the kids have been sitting in front of the tv all day! I need to limit myself!! I am out of control! #2. Twilight! HELP ME! I just can't get enough. I am on my second reading through the books and I have seen the movie 3 times. I just need to stop! Between Twilight and the computer it's a wonder anything gets done at all around here!

On to another subject which I did find time to do...Tall and Creamy Cheesecake from this week's TWD. We have Anne Strawberry to thank for this week's pick. I
have to tell you...I guess I am not a cheesecake girl. I didn't really like it very much, though other people did. I can't believe there is a
dessert out there that I wouldn't eat in place of a meal! But I have found it...

After checking out some of the comments on the TWD site I decided to make an eggnog flavored cheesecake. I prepared the recipe just as the book says but in place of the cream/sour cream I used eggnog. Now, I know I should have added some rum...should have added some cinnamon..maybe some fresh nutmeg. Those things did not occur to me until AFTER I had the cake in the oven. Oh well.
Oh, and another thing...I don't have a roasting pan! What? You heard me right...I had to use my big 12" skillet for the water bath. It worked out fine just a little tight!
I double wrapped my springform pan, but the crust still got a little water logged. No cracks on the top, not too brown on the top and no sinkage. It sure looked pretty.

I left it in the pan for the hour and then cooled it on a rack. The outside rim came off no problem. I didn't even have to use a hair dryer as suggested by Dorie. Grated some fresh nutmeg on the top and there you have is still in my fridge. See, maybe that's a good thing. I am forced to eat a healthy breakfast instead of my current baked goods. I think I will chop it up into little squares and dip them in chocolate. Chocolate eggnog cheesecake bites for New Years!!!

Check out the blogroll here to see what the other bakers came up with for their cheesecakes.

Have a Safe and Happy New Year!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

I've been busy...oh so busy....

No TWD today...wasn't too interested in the butterscotch pudding...actually that's not totally true. I did want to make it, but just plain ran out of time. I will be back next week with the Tall and Creamy Cheesecake (with eggnog subbed in for the cream!)
So I will show you a few things I've made.

Gingersnaps from Baking Obsession (I LOVE this blog..the recipes...the photographs...oh my!)

Salted Chocolate Caramels
from Smitten Kitchen

This was my very first time making caramels. I am more of a baker than a candy maker. I enjoyed the process and
the taste however..I got tired of cutting and wrapping
themall individually. They were a big hit in the cookie tins though. I will definitely make them again. The flavor was so nice. Bitter dark chocolate with a hint of saltiness and the chewiness of caramels.

Apple Cider Caramels from Sugarpunk Desserts

These turned out a little softer than the chocolate caramels with a subtle apple cider flavor. I dipped some in dark tempered chocolate and sprinkled the tops of some with pink Himalayan Sea Salt and the others with some chopped pecans.
The dipped ones tasted like a chocolate dipped caramel apple!

I attempted Dark Chocolate Pistachio Brittle but cooked it too long and ended up throwing it all in the garbage. Luckily I hadn't used any chocolate yet...I hate throwing away chocolate!

The rest of my baking adventures for Christmas gifts:

Spoon Cookies

Maple Brown Butter Shortbread

Mexican Wedding Cakes

The Best Lemon Bars Ever!!

Pecan Tassies

Homemade Marshmallows
Most of my friends didn't know you could make 'em homemade!!

Midnight Crackles from Bon Appetit November 2006 (can't find the recipe on the website)

Peppermint Bark Brownies

Frosted Sugar Cookies

I'll have photographs of some of the above later....

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.....

Cookies..cookies..everywhere. I have been baking like a mad woman to get teacher gifts completed before Christmas break. Class party snacks completed in time for the Christmas party. As well as goodies to take to friends. Don't get me wrong, I love to bake...but I get a little frazzled at this time of the year!

Susan from She's Becoming DoughMessTic has a great recipe for soft sugar cookies. These are so very yummy. I prefer the soft to the crispy and I like frosting on my sugar's where it gets a little sketchy. I had some royal icing left over from some cake decorations I did a couple of weeks ago. Mind you, I have never decorated cookies with royal icing before. I don't know that I will ever again! I tried to get it thin enough to paint on...but never got the consistency I wanted. The piping was too thin...then too thick...then I just gave up and started dunking the whole cookie in the icing and sprinkling it with sparkling sugar. That seemed to work the best. I tend to get a little impatient when thinks don't go how I want them to!!!

I would like to try the icing listed at Our Best Bites and see how that goes. For the time being...these cookies are going to my son's 2nd grade Christmas party and I am sure the kids won't mind the wonky icing one bit!

I have also been making, cutting, dipping and wrapping caramels. That post will be coming up...just as soon as my carpal tunnel simmers down!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Buttery Jam....a nice combination

Today's TWD offering was chosen by Heather at Randomosity and the Girl. She chose the straightforward and fairly simple Buttery Jam Cookies.

They came out of the oven looking the same as they went spreading, no pufffing and hardly any color change. So after just plopping down the dough onto the cookie sheet in the first batch, I rolled the dough into little balls and pressed them down a bit to get a prettier shaped cookie. I used apricot jam but I must say, I would have liked a little more of the jam flavor. The hint of ginger is nice too.

These will be sent away as Christmas gifts along with the sugar cookies from last week and the many, many other cookies I have been baking this week. Check out the other bakers on the blogroll to see how they fared.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008's whats for dinner

TWD this week was Grandma's All-Occasion Cookies chosen by Ulrike of Kutchenlaten.
I have begun my Christmas baking and wanted to make some roll and cut sugar cookies but for some reason this week became too busy. I took the easy way out. Slice and bake baby!

I made the dough (very soft) and didn't add any extras. I had planned on adding something...but then I forgot and never went back to correct my error. Oh well. I rolled the two halves into logs and left them in the fridge for the day. Last night, I sliced the cookies into rounds, rolled the edges in green and red sparkling sugar and baked them for 10 minutes...

Then, the kids got into the act and well, I had to pour out more sugar....

And still more sugar...

Their teachers will LOVE these!

I didn't frost any. I am going to make the cream cheese sugar cookies from the lovely Susan. I will roll and cut and frost for Christmas gifts. (I like the softer cookies)

Don't forget to check out the other bakers and their cookies here.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Linzer...hey Linzer

My namesake cookie...well my nicknamesake cookie. My name is Lindsay and for as long as I can family has called me Linzer. Not too shabby of a cookie to be named after!

This week's TWD was chosen by Dennis from Living the Life. A very holiday-ish cookie for a very holiday-ish time! Last year during my holiday baking, I made Linzer cookies with hazelnuts. This year I could not find hazelnuts at Trader Joe's for the life of me! I did have ground almonds in the freezer so I used that in place of the ground hazelnuts. Other than that, I pretty much stuck to the recipe as written. After reading all of the comments, I rolled my dough out a little thinner than Dorie recommended. That worked fine and the combination of cookie, raspberry jam and powdered sugar was tasty. I did dip some of mine in chocolate before sprinkling on the powdered sugar. I haven't tried those yet, but I am sure they are good too!

The remaining cookies I be given away as Christmas gifts in a couple of weeks. WOOHOO, one gift down...many more to go!

Check out all the other lovely bakers here to see their treats!