Thursday, December 22, 2011

Gingerbread houses 2011

Just finished scrubbing down the house that is the aftermath of making gingerbread houses, and the kids had a blast. This is all them and very very reflective of each child.

Aaron: Fort Knox (there is even gold coins inside): Note nothing but chocolate!

Isaiah: Ornate and colorful.

Gabriel: Well - decorating = consuming. Aparently he doesn't like star mints.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas wreath mini donuts and a product review - TJs Concorde


It truly is a wonderful time of the year. Not the most wonderful to me - that is spring, but I have to say that I am more excited about Christmas this year than I have been in awhile. Along with that goes baking. We've made salted caramels, truffles, no knead bread, molasses cookies, pecan caramel bars and up next are gingerbread houses. So much fun!

Here are some cute little Christmas Wreath mini donuts. I didn't love the donut recipe from King Arthur flour - it was a bit dry and bland. I think I may not buy into the concept of baked donuts. I have made gluten free cake donuts that have worked very well, I don't have pictures of them, but I used this King Arthur recipe. Instead of all-purpose flour I used 1/2 cup brown rice flour, 1/3 cup millet flour, 1/3 cup cornstarch, 1/3 cup tapioca starch and 1 teaspoon xanthan gum. To decorate as wreaths simply die your glaze green and pipe on frosting ornaments. Another variation would use green dyed coconut. I was making it for kids, so stuck with glaze, but the coconut is adorable.


On another note, I recently picked up a Concorde pastry from Trader Joe's. This is a fairly traditional French pastry that is often gluten free. Comprised of layers of chocolate meringue and mousse, it is a decadent treat. The TJs version was decent. It reminded me a lot of the products you can get in France at Picard. It isn't going to fool anyone into thinking it comes from a proper bakery, but I wouldn't pass up a slice. The meringue is light, if a bit dry. The mousse creamy and dark, a bit sweet, but probably what most people would like. The chocolate is vanilla and floral in taste.

Happy Holidays everyone!