Archive for December, 2012

Rugelach Redux

I swore on my March posting that I would NEVER make this again. And I hadn’t until December 23rd when I gave my husband a choice:  rugelach or biscotti. I don’t know what possessed me on the rugelach – it just blurted out of my mouth like a Freudian slip. And wouldn’t you know . . . the husband chose the rugelach! With a sign and my rolling pin, I went at it.

This time it was better. I pulled it off almost!  I actually enjoyed making it once the dough began to give a little when I started to roll it out. And except for the slightly burnt bottoms (that’s the almost part) from the carmelization, they came out fairly well!  And this time I have a picture of it!  And maybe, just maybe, I might try these again.  (BTW: that new food processor came in handy, too!)

Rugelach for the holidays!

Rugelach for the holidays!

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Finnish Pulla

This recipe was easy to do. I loved braiding, although getting the dough into three long pieces was a challenge. I think this is a skill I’m going to need to practice a lot. I’d pull to extend, only to have it bounce back to only a slightly longer version of the original length. It was progress, but slow progress. When I lined them up to prepare to braid, they looked a little frightening. The braiding was much easier. And at least I know how to do that!

Pulla dough looking a bit scary

Pulla dough looking a bit scary

Once I finished all the braiding, I had to make the bow. Another new skill. My bow turned out more like a Salvadore Dali image (you know the dripping clocks) and it is barely seen in the final product. BUT, I did it! And in the end, it was really a good bread. I was disappointed that my egg wash didn’t cover the bread as I expected. I slopped a lot on, but when the bread baked and expanded, it lost the gorgeous browning glaze.  Was I supposed to egg wash before I braided?  I don’t know. But I was still proud of the final product and took pictures to show friends. And almost everyone asked why I put such huge pieces of garlic on the bread!  I shook my head and said, “Those are almonds!”  My husband liked it and that’s all that counts. For today. . .

Finnish Pulla with almonds!

Finnish Pulla with almonds!

Baby Gingerbread Cakes

I decided to splurge and bought a set of 4 springform baby cake pans. I thought this would be a good idea and I liked the idea of having these tiny pans. Weren’t they cute???? When they arrived, I took them apart to wash them. That took 45 minutes. 2 minutes to wash and dry them and 43 minutes to put them back together. Their cuteness wore off.

After that task was complete, I then pulled out all the ingredients. Which was exciting since putting together the molasses, chocolate, espresso coffee and ginger was intriguing to me. So I lined them up on the counter and went to work.

The Baby Gingerbread Cake prep!

The Baby Gingerbread Cake prep!

From there it was easy going. Once I realized I had less than the 2 cups of molasses, I halved the recipe and prayed. It worked! The cakes turned out well (I wouldn’t say beautifully). It was a richer gingerbread than I have known, but it was really good. And my husband liked it too!

Prepping to store a baby gingerbread cake

Prepping to store a baby gingerbread cake

So we pulled out the holiday mugs and made a bit of a party of it!

Getting in the holiday mood with gingerbread cake and tea in holiday mug!

Getting in the holiday mood with gingerbread cake and tea in holiday mug!

Then it was time to clean up and wash those springform pans – this time 40 minutes. Yippeee! I’m acquiring a new skill!

And while this bit of splurging on baby cake pans was a little extravagant, I took this action to a new level. On Cyber Monday, I bought the 12 cup Cuisinart Food Processor!  What a deal.  You can see the empty box in the background of first picture!  Happy holidays!