Large Batches of Christmas

This year, Phil and I decided to be super serious and spend Christmas together.  This means that we've been in Pennsylvania since last Thursday, and we'll be leaving for Michigan in a day or two to visit my family.  It's been busy and fun, and it's given me good reason to make lots of cookies.  Which is good, because the things I've made have had VERY large yield.

129. Gingerbread Snowflakes
These cookies were supposed to be 7" in diameter, which totally wasn't going to happen.  I used my 3" cookie cutters, and what was supposed to give ~16 cookies turned into some 8 dozen!

If you follow the link on the cookie title, you can look at something very similar to this recipe.  I'm actually a little surprised that things were changed, as the book version turned out quite well.  The differences are the following: (1) my book calls for 5 1/2 C flour, not 6C; (2) no baking powder; (3) no pepper; (4) 1 1/2 C molasses instead of 1C.  Since I used a smaller cookie cutter, I reduced the baking time to 6 minutes, and the result was nice soft cookies.  The icing was a bit sloppy to do, but it was simple to make: it's just powdered sugar, (soy) milk, and meringue powder.  I shared these with my labmates, and a couple friends who were still in town, and still had a couple dozen to bring on our drive to PA.  They were very popular with everybody.

130. Peppermint Meringue Sandwiches with Chocolate Filling
Guys, I've finally done it.  I've made meringues that didn't totally fall, fail, or otherwise disappoint me.  It may have helped that I was using Phil's mom's fancy Kitchenaid stand mixer, but I am just so relieved that I was able to get meringues right for once.

Making these was a little different, as the recipe calls for dissolving the sugar into the egg whites prior to beating them, and then adding peppermint extract after they form stiff peaks.  To make the stripes, I took red gel food coloring and drew lines on the inside of a pastry bag.  The egg white mixture was squeezed through these to give a lovely, minty result.

The thing to remember when making meringues is that they are not so much baked as dried.  These took about 2h in a 175˚F oven to get the appropriate melt-in-your-mouth texture.  After they were completely cooled (I left them in the cooled oven overnight, actually), they were sandwiched with a semi-sweet chocolate ganache.  When I made the ganache, I think I messed up a little, since I bought whipping cream instead of heavy whipping cream, and so I ended up having to add lots of extra chocolate to make it firm up properly.  Nevertheless, these are pretty, impressive cookies, and I am just so glad to have finally gotten this right ^.^

1 comment:

  1. Hi Katie, as promised I added this blog to my Google Reader, and also skimmed through everything I missed. mmmmm... once again I wish you had started this project in ugrad!!! Anyways, it was so fabulous to see you the other day! Let's not let another year go by before we do it again, okay?!



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