#bakefest2011 a recap

Blame it on 7 years of built up PhD stress…but this weekend I went a little nuts in the kitchen.

My #bakefest2011 started with Martha’s Cookie App and Epicurious on the iPad. Say what you want about Martha Stewart – but her cookie app is spectacular, gorgeous & intuitive. While there is a handy shopping list embedded in the app, sometimes I still like to go old school.


Then I started Saturday prepping Santa’s Whiskers and the dough for the gingerbread men and speculaas. I then whipped up a quick batch of M&M sugar cookies (requested by @ryanschram)

M&m sugar cookies

I woke up this morning and baked off the Santa’s Whiskers.  They’re fabulous and I’m definitely adding these to my repertoire.

Santa's whiskers

Next, I rolled out and baked off the gingerbread men.  The last time I made gingerbread men (December 2005) I swore I would not make them again.  Not sure what got into me…but I forgot how horrible it is and assume it will be another 6 (maybe even 10) years before I try it again.
Gingerbread men

I then pulled out the Speculaas dough – FAIL.  It was un-rollable. Moving on! Started cracking eggs for the next rounds and came upon a bit of good luck!
Double yolk

Next up were the Pignoli.  I learned how to make them at Zingerman’s a few weeks ago. They were not exactly the same as they were when I made them at Zingerman’s…I think there was too much egg white and honey…but they turned out OK. (Not great, just ok.)

Next, things took a turn for the worse….

I decided to stop baking for a while and moved to chocolate.  I made chocolate dipped pretzels (super easy!)
Chocolate dipped pretzels

Then I made hazelnut chocolate bars. These too were super easy – melt chocolate, pour into mold, set outside! Though, they were not easy to cut into squares :( Next time I will heat my knife under hot water then attempt to cut the pieces out.

Chocolate hazelnut bars

I built the courage back up to continue baking. I made another Zingerman’s recipe – Cherry Sesame Biscotti. These have become my daily breakfast for the past month! They’re SO GOOD and so easy!!
Sesame cherry biscotti

Then, it was onto more ginger-y goodness. Scott really likes gingerbread, so I thought he would enjoy Jenn’s grandma’s Gingersnaps. They’re a ton easier than gingerbread, and I think they taste better! Thanks Jenn and Gramma Edna.

FINALLY I round out the evening with these Eggnogg Bars from Martha Stewart. They’re a special treat for our MAET instructor luncheon on Tuesday. They take a day or two to set up in the fridge.
#bakefest2011 the final thing - Elizabeth's Eggnog Cheesecake bars

AAAANNNNNDDD….done.  Though after this weekend’s adventures I’m not sure how much more baking I’ll do this holiday season :) Looking forward to sharing the fruits of my labor this week with my friends and colleagues!