To finish off writing about the Christmas treats I made, here’s my last big project of the season (that I managed to get to: Rainbow Cookies from Sherry Yard’s fantastic book The Secrets of Baking.
These were hugely popular with everyone who received them. How could they not be, looking that adorably festive on a cookie tray? Everyone wanted to know what they were, and thanks to Yard’s engaging storytelling in her second book, I had details to give them on their Italian origins.
They’re very pretty, of course, but they taste much more sophisticated than you might expect. It helped that I used a couple of aging bars of very dark Michel Cluizel (my absolute favorite chocolatier in the world) chocolate in the glaze, but the cake’s sweetness and almond flavor are very light and subtle. It was only when I tasted one that I realized there was no almond flavoring in the recipe, only almond paste and almond flour, and I think from the photo in the book I was expecting something with the concentrated flavor of the extract. Continue reading
I had more people to give gifts to, so I made another round of Christmas cookies this week. I wanted to do a half batch of the icing and tried to wing it with the corn syrup and milk measurements so as not to dirty more dishes, but it didn’t set up quite as well, so next time I will be meticulous with my measurements! I was also hampered by the fact that it was the middle of the night. But a few turned out to be cute despite my best attempts to ruin them, so I thought I’d share.
My best friend loves unicorns, and when I was going through my cookie cutters, I found a unicorn one. After my success with the Dala horses, I wanted to try one in a similar style. There’s another photo of him here. Continue reading
Last time on As the Fondant Liquefies, we made cherry-flavored fondant and dipped maraschino cherries in it, in preparation for dipping them in chocolate. Really, that’s the hardest part of the whole process.
I decided to make another batch of cherries after the ones I documented in the original post and test the theory the Geeky Gnu and I had about pulling the hot fondant from the start instead of trying to cool it with a scraper on my small piece of marble. That and I wanted to prove I could do it all by myself. It worked very well, actually. After awhile, I got into a rhythm where I was kneading it like a cat, pressing half the mass of hot sugar down on the Silpat-covered marble with one hand and then the other half with the other, stretching it as high as I could each time. The fondant seemed to turn out much better–and crystallize much faster–this way. Continue reading