Monday, December 22, 2008

A full day of sweets making

So, this morning I made Carmel Pecan Turtles for an hour or so.

Then, I went to a Central Market cooking class on cookies. It was really fun, being taught by a real pastry chef and culinary teacher, and I learned some really good stuff...like how to properly cream butter or how to tell when you're over-heated chocolate. Each group made four cookies, and it was lots of hands-on fun. When we were done, I got to go home with this lovely platter of cookies.

Clockwise, starting at the gingerbread boy, there's Apricot-Walnut bars, Angel-Date cookies, Fudgie Brownies, Orange Macaroons, Lemon Bars, Pecan Snowballs, Fruitcake Cookies, Almond Spritz, then Pistachio Crinkles, Pumpkin Cookies and Cardamom Sandies.

So, after stopping at the Party supply store for some decorative bags. I make Buttermilk Pecan Pralines, from the good ol' standard, the Joy of Cooking.

Then, I packaged it all up, including this Frito & Reese's Brown Sugar Candy and Marshmallow Peanut Butter Gobs I made yesterday, into 20 goodie bags to give away to family and friends.

*Wooh* Time for tea and a few well-earned treats.

Update...no tea really...Casey and I braved this cold night to go deliver the goodies to our friends around town. A few were left in mailboxes, but most we got to deliver in person...and it was fun saying hello to folks. We even got to see Mercy Place's newest member little Luke Diehl, a week old today. Very cute little guy.

5 comments:

Marci said...

we are loving our candy!!! thanks for bringing it by.

megan said...

sounds like a busy day! Are you going to share any of your secrets (creaming butter and melting chocolate type secrets)? And hey - where's my bag?!

Virginie Meyers said...

Sure!

Creaming: the butter should not really be room temp, but colder (64). And definitely not warm and slightly melted from the microwave, like I usually do. Also, cream on low for several minutes...even thought the "creaming" setting on my mixture is almost the highest setting. Anyway...do that and you will properly incorporate the air into the butter and your cookies won't over-spread.

chocolate: can't be heated over 134 degrees, if you do, it will become grainy and a little bitter...which is funny, because as he said it, I realized that was exactly what happened to the chocolate I used that morning on the turtles. They tasted fine, just weren't as pretty as I'd like. Even when using a double-boiler, you can over do it. Once there's steam, that's more than enough heat to melt the chocolate and you can probably take it off pretty soon afterward. Yeah...last week I did that...except there was steam everywhere! So...I learned a few things.

And...well...I do have one extra bag, but I'm pretty sure that you would receive a crumbly melted mess...very sorry. I'll make sturdier candy next year!

megan said...

Thanks for the tips...and that's ok about the candy. All is forgiven. Merry Christmas!

Darrah said...

your treats really were tasty. thank you so very much!