Monday, December 30, 2019

Key Lime Sour Cream Pie

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Key Lime Pie is as easy to make as it is delicious to eat, and if you aren't making key lime pies in the winter, you really should be.  Wintertime is the best season for citrus, although this is also a wonderful pie to make in the summer as well, with its light, creamy texture, quick bake time and cool, refreshing lime flavor.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Christmas Cake

Christmas Cake, Painted Buttercream Cake, Christmas Cake Decorating, Vintage Christmas Car, Christmas Decorations, Gift Wrapping, Christmas Tree CakeI hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!  We spent the holiday at home, and it was a quiet week for us (at least, as quiet as things can be when you have 1 and 3 year old boys who are so excited to wake up and discover that Santa brought presents the night before).  We played outside, did a little more baking, watched Christmas movies, ate cookies, and just enjoyed time with our boys.  We had a simple Christmas dinner of prime rib with cabbage rolls and kale salad, and chocolate cream pie for dessert.  And, this Christmas Cake.

I just love everything about this cake design.  To me, this says "home for the holidays", with the vintage car piled with presents and a Christmas tree, traveling along snowy, tree-lined country roads, heading home to see family and friends, drinking hot chocolate by a warm fire while the snow drifts outside, and eating too much apple pie and ginger molasses cookies.

Friday, December 20, 2019

Our Christmas Cookie Box and a Gingerbread House Cake

Shortbread Cookies, Shortbread Recipes, Mini Gingerbread House, Gingerbread House, Gingerbread Cookies, Christmas Cookies, Christmas Cookie Box, Christmas Baking, Chocolate and Peppermint Cookies, Chocolate Sugar Cookies, Chocolate Shortbread Cookies, Almond Shortbread Cookies, Maple Shortbread Cookies, Maple Cookies, Almond Cookies, Christmas Cake, Gingerbread House Cake, Peppermint Buttercream, Royal Icing, English Toffee Recipe, Cakes with Macarons, Christmas Cookies with Royal IcingIt's been such a busy week of cookie baking.  I wanted so much to create a really beautiful cookie box with a variety of tempting sweets, and my goal of making and decorating this many different cookies in just a few days was maybe a little overly ambitious.  But I'm not one to back down from a baking project once I've begun, so on the first day, I made all the dough, one batch right after the other, so I would only have to wash my food processor once when all the dough was done, wrapped, labeled and chilling in the fridge.

I love shortbread, so I decided to do a variety of shortbread flavors, in addition to a few other cookies and treats.  There was vanilla bean shortbread, which I made into tiny little houses.  I'm so in love with those.  Then there was almond shortbread, with almond icing and crushed almonds on top - this was probably my favorite to eat, because I love almond extract in baked goods.  Maple pecan shortbread with maple icing, crushed pecans and toffee bits - my husband's favorite.  Chocolate shortbread trees, with snickerdoodle buttercream tinted a deep woodsy green.  Some of the chocolate trees just got a simple dusting of powdered sugar.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Cardamom Cake with Eggnog Buttercream

Cardamom Spice Cake with Eggnog Buttercream, Spice Cake, Eggnog Cake, Christmas Cake, Cake Decorating, Cake Photography, Winter Desserts, Christmas Desserts, Christmas Cake RecipesThis cake has been on my mind for quite a while, but with my weekly pie project the last few weeks, I haven't been baking as many cakes lately.  But I really wanted to post this recipe in plenty of time before Christmas, and I had bought eggnog specifically for using in the buttercream (and to drink, too, of course), so I dropped my other baking projects and set about mixing up cake batter and buttercream.

Cardamom is a spice that I think is a bit overlooked this time of year, with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger, and sometimes allspice, taking center stage in our fall and winter baking.  But it's a really wonderful, warm fragrant spice that is so good in both sweet and savory dishes.  It's used in curry dishes, Chai tea spices and in Scandinavian breads and pastries.  In fact, one of the countries that uses the most cardamom is Sweden, where they use the spice to season everything from meatloaf to baked goods.  The next time I make meatloaf, I'm going to try adding a pinch of cardamom.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Gingerbread Pancakes, and Gingerbread Cutout Cookies with Lemon Royal Icing

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Our house is looking very Christmasy all of a sudden, and I just love it.  On Saturday, we put up the tree and hung the ornaments and garlands and stockings, with our little boys' help, of course.  They love rearranging the ornaments on the tree, and I'm trying to be okay with it and not worry about everything being perfectly arranged.

I also baked and decorated a batch of gingerbread cookies with my three-year-old son while his little brother was napping, and, having only three hours to get the cookies done from start to finish, I don't think I've ever decorated cookies that quickly.  Royal icing isn't one of my strong points, but I can do an acceptable job of outlining and flooding a cookie, and I've decided that I'm perfectly fine with being mediocre at cookie decorating.  My son had so much fun rolling out his own portion of dough and playing with all the cookie cutters, but didn't want to part with any of his dough to actually bake it into cookies.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Classic Pecan Pie

Pecan Pie, Thanksgiving Dessert, Pie Decorating, Pecan Pie Recipe, Brown Butter PecanIt's been a delicious month of pie.  I had a goal of making one pie each week through November and December, and so far, I'm right on schedule.  We started off November with apple pie, then there was Pumpkin Bourbon Crumble Pie, and then the Maple Tart.  And for Thanksgiving Day, I made this Pecan Pie.  Last year, I updated my classic pecan pie recipe, but this year I made a few more changes, and it was, without a doubt, the best pecan pie I've ever made/eaten.