Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Gift Baking!

Finally back and well rested to start releasing some more posts!

So how was every one's Christmas/Holidays? :D

Mine was really great and I have lots of baking stuff to try out for upcoming recipes :P. I don't even know where to start lol?

I promise though from the last post I would release the baking I did for gifts :D right?.
For one, I gave away those delicious spectalass cookies I posted about just before Christmas,which were very well received.

The other two items I gave away were simple snowflakes and mini butter tarts 

I had a lot of fun making the snowflakes because it was something I had  never done before. I thought they were really simple to make and very creative. The feature of using the straw to make the holes I thought was very smart and made them look very fancy. I also took my own idea of using toothpicks for different sizes. It really helped experiment with different patterns so the cookies did not look all the same. Then the last feature of the sifted icing sugar really tie these cookies together. They were officially snowflakes in the cookie world :D.  

Now the taste test :D To me they were very similar to sugar cookies; however with the great spice flavor of cinnamon and nutmeg :).  I love those two spices and they always match so well together like two peas in a pod.The flavor of these cookies sort of reminded me of snicker-doodles,but with a different texture. They were crunchy, buttery and soft texture. A cross between shortbread and a sugar cookie is the best explanation for it. Plus the thickness you make these really effects the texture. For me I made a thinner  cookie so there going to come out with more of a delicate texture.

The mini butter tarts were so cute looking when they were all finished. They may look really fancy, but there actually really simple to make. For me I just used a  previously made pastry dough and used a cookie cutter that was a little bigger then the mini muffin tin cups. I greased the tins and place them in. You could even use a fancier cookie cutter with ridges or even scalloped along as it bigger then the cups. 

For the butter filling I went with a really good recipe from the joy of baking ( see recipe below for info)

For the filling I previously added a few raisins to each unbaked muffin tart and then added the filling to about tsp. The filling was really simple to make and you can choose weather if you want to add raisins, nuts such as pecan or walnuts. There is no cooking or melting required for the filling which is always a bonus :). The only problem you may have is having a little filling left depend how much you want to add to each cup. So if you can use all of it that's great. Sometimes you end up playing it to safe with the filling so there enough for every cup. If your able to use the rest for something else or able to go back an fill the tarts before there baked that's good.

When they baked they puff up nicely and left a nice smooth surface. They looked really impressive and fancy. The taste test was really good with the combination of flaky pastry paired with a gooey raisin,sugar filling. It was top notch and the mini sizes really helped on the waste line and great for appetizer desserts. I use to not like butter tarts when I was a child because raisin are not my favorite.However years have passed and I have changed. Now I really love them and plus you can't even notice the raisins or taste them if your not a big fan of them like me. :D.There is only one word to describe these mini butter tarts "cute"

Stay tune for more recipes!

Simple Snowflakes
  (Adapted from Simple Snowflakes, Better Homes and Garden, Christmas Cookies, 1991)

Printable Version

2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
Powder Sugar

Beat butter ans shortening in lg bowl until creamy. (Cut butter smaller pieces)
Add sugar and beat until fluffy.Add egg, beat well.
Sift in flour, baking powder, cinnamon,salt and nutmeg.Stir till well mixed.
Form into a ball and cut in half.
Cover and chill at least 3 hours or till easy to handle.
Lightly flour surface and roll dough 1/8 inch thick (pretty thin). Cut with scalloped cutter,star shape cutter or cutter that looks ridged.
Use a straw, to cut random holes in to each cutout and twisting the straw slightly.
(Can use a toothpick to use smaller holes for more patterns)
Place cookies on a nonstick pan or ungreased cookie sheet
Bake at 375F for 7-8 minutes or till edges are lightly browned.Cool for a few minutes and then transfer to wire rack.
When all cookies are cool, sift powder sugar atop of cookies. ( For me, place a plate under the wire rack while sifting sugar to catch leftover sugar.

Mini Butter Tart:

Used previously made dough from a pastry recipe. Froze to use for the future.
Thaw dough and rolled two balls.
Made them into mini sized tarts.
Used a mini muffin tin using a cookie cutter large then the cup width.

Butter Tart Filling (Joy of Baking)
  • Made mini tarts (Used a mini muffin tin and using a ridged cookie cutter larger then the cups)
  • Use the filling for all the tarts..

1 comment:

  1. I guess I found something new to do for New Year! Thanks for sharing this recipe!


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