Sunday, December 16, 2012

dessert overload!

oh wow, it's been a while since i've been here, but the semester is finally over (phew, scrapped by with no sleep and chugging honey tea w/ a splash of lemon. it really works!). but here's a recap of the last 2.5 weeks, and can't really talk about life w/o the sweet stuff right?

goodies from top left clockwise: stollen, maple cookies, biscoff cookies, biscoff scones, and oatmeal and dried cherry cookies
baking is my chance to work out my stress and get away from thinking about school or applications or whatever and just focus on a recipe and making something yummy. so as strange as the quote may seem at first i'm working on trying to notice Now.

but onto tastier things- recipes
  • stollen is a German fruit cake (don't think the ones you see in the grocery store) filled with dried fruit (such as cherries like mine) and topped with powdered sugar. it's often made during the Christmas season so i was pretty much on target. one of the volunteers at my museum is the sweetest German lady ever and she's forever trying to feed me and take care of me, so i wanted to bake her something nice. this recipe doesn't actually include the yeast/rising/dough part, which makes it good for those under a time constraint. when i'm a bit sleep deprived i tend to forget things so mine was missing the egg (whoops!) but it was still very tasty. the bread was denser than the stollen the volunteer has fed me, but still really good. maybe i'll give fruit cake a try...haha
  • maple cookies: these cookies and the dried cherry oatmeal ones occurred during frantic studying for advanced human nutrition (i used a whole pack of looseleaf paper by the end!). i used grade B (from VT). i had to change the sugar b/c the brown sugar i bought for thanksgiving had mysteriously disappeared...haha. but i had 1/2 c cane sugar as my sugar and got about 3 dozen small cookies (bite sized treats). i wish these cookies were a bit more cookie-like and less cake-like.
  • biscoff cookies: biscoff spread is amazinggggg. it's funny how i don't really like sweets or desserts wtih caramel in them (b&j's caramel sutra comes to mind), but the caramel of this spread is rich and creamy (sugar and butter will do that:). there's tons of biscoff cookie recipes, and now i can't find the one i used, but our recipe called for them to be rolled in sugar before baking which i think tops the yum factor.
  • biscoff scones: had the jar lying around so might as well put it to good use (although taking a spoon to the jar also sounded like a pretty good idea!). we left the glaze off b/c they were going to get transported to CT and scones always taste better warm so figured the glaze would just melt in funny ways when reheated. i would suggest making two smaller 4" wheels and then cutting b/c as one wheel these scones are way to big for one person to eat a wedge! but the biscoff flavor comes out really well in these scones. perfect with a cup of coffee.
  • oatmeal and dried cherry cookies: once again, no brown sugar so for the sugar i used 1/2 c granulated sugar and 1/4 c cane sugar, but i'm sure using the regular sugars called for is fine (i also like my cookies a little less sweet, esp since my dried cherries were sweetened). these cookies are great buttery and crisp in texture. it also has a great sweet/tart flavor. 

happy baking! off to new england for a week or so. happy holidays and hopefully the world doesn't end on the 21st so i can keep baking.