Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dear Megs,

For some reason I cannot get around to posting. You are putting me to shame.

First there was the Maine apple crisp with chèvre and black pepper ice cream that never got posted. That was pretty fab, if I do say so myself. Then, when you were here, there was the nutmeg and almond crusted pork roast with the pomegranate cream sauce. That was outrageous. We really outdid ourselves that time. Then, I made some autumny hint-o-pumpkin sugar cookies, which were very delicious. Instead of icing them with buttercream as usual, I used an eggnog glaze and sparkling sugar. Pretty. Then there was Thanksgiving! Alex and I got a local turkey this year. It was a whole different animal than the typical store turkey. I'm never going back. I also went on a pie rampage, and made the following: pumpkin, french apple, pecan, lemon meringue, and banana cream. The latter in particular was a stunning treat. Then, last weekend, I went on a holiday baking rampage and made 2 kinds of fudge, lemon-espresso shortbread, and more sugar cookies.

What's my new allergy to posting, then? TBD.



Monday, December 14, 2009

Gingerbread Greatness


I'm in such a Christmas-y mood these days. Well, at least when there's a paper to be written or a toilet to be scrubbed (holiday happiness is an acceptable reason to procrastinate). This week, I expressed my cheer through a gingerbread bundt cake and some gingerbread-that-isn't-actually-gingerbread ornaments. Please send some pichas of your own holiday loveliness!

Gingerbread Bundt Cake
(adapted from Gramercy Tavern Gingerbread)
1 cup Guinness
1 cup dark molasses (Grandma's yellow label)
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 T ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
3 large eggs
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter bundt pan and dust with flour, knocking out excess. Bring stout and molasses to a boil in a large saucepan and remove from heat. Whisk in baking soda, then cool to room temperature. While the mixture cools, sift together flour, baking powder, and spices in a large bowl. Whisk together eggs and sugars. Whisk in oil, then molasses mixture. Add to flour mixture and whisk until just combined. Pour batter into bundt pan and rap pan sharply on counter to eliminate air bubbles. Bake in middle of oven until a tester comes out with just a few moist crumbs adhering, about 50 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes. Turn out onto rack and cool completely.

Gingerbread-that-isn't-gingerbread Ornaments
1 cup ground cinnamon
4 T white glue
1/2 - 1 cup water

Mix cinnamon and glue. Gradually add the water. Stir until a ball of dough forms. Roll out with rolling pin 1/4 inch thick and cut with cookie cutters. Poke a hole and let dry at room temperature for 1 to 2 days, turning over every 6-8 hours.

My apartment smells great.