December 21, 2013

Mini Mincemeat Tarts

Contrary to how it sounds, mincemeat tarts contain no meat, well at least they don't these days but at one time they did.  Typically it would contain chopped dried fruit. liqueur, and some spices.  One day I will make my own mincemeat, and David Lebovitz has a great recipe on his site, but for now I have a few large jars that I picked up on sale.

December 19, 2013

The Cake Slice Bakers December 2013 - Streusel Squares

It is the 20th of the month so it must be Cake Slice Baker's time!  Last month was our big announcement letting everyone know that we will be baking from Great Cakes by Carole Walter for the next year.  The cake that had the winning votes for this month was the Streusel Squares. I have to say that this was the perfect cake to be selected, since it is pretty quick and easy to put together, and it stays fresh for quite a while making it the perfect cake to have on hand for when guests drop in unexpectedly.

December 17, 2013

Peppermint Dark Chocolate Drizzled Coconut Macaroons

Would you be surprised if I told you that I have played in the snow here in Hawaii?  And no, it wasn't one of those promotional events planned by a local supermarket, where they fly in a container of snow for the kids to have a snow day.  This is honest to goodness real snow that can require a vehicle to use snow chains. It doesn't snow on the island I live on, but it does snow on the top of Mauna Kea on the Big Island, which is a dormant volcano standing almost 14,000 feet above sea level (and if they measured it from the ocean base it would be 33,100 feet!). We haven't had snow as yet this year, so I decided to make some cookies that look like snowballs.

This idea fitted in perfectly with the theme for the Creative Cookie Exchange this month - Peppermint! I decided to make coconut macaroons, and drizzle them with a dark chocolate that had been flavored with peppermint essence.

December 10, 2013

Cardamom Snowdrop Cookies

Everyone seems to be in major cookie mode at the moment, and I'm loving it.  I saw these cookies over at Savory Simple and knew that I would have to make them. Cardamom has to be one of my favorite spices - it is extremely aromatic and since it comes from a plant belonging to the ginger family it has a nice zing to it. Cardamom pods are native to southern India and, by weight, they are the third most expensive spice in the world. Luckily a little goes a long way.

December 06, 2013

Candy Cane Bundt Cake - #BundtaMonth

It is time for Bundtamonth!  The theme for this month was to bake a bundt that captures the holiday theme.  I immediately thought of candy canes and how I could incorporate them into a cake. Peppermint alone may have a little overwhelming so I decided to go with a ribbon of peppermint through the middle of the cake, and crushed candy canes on top.

It's always said that it is the most wonderful time of the year right now, but it is the also the busiest time of the year, so for my bundt this month I took a shortcut and used a boxed cake mix.  Don't get me wrong, I love to bake from scratch but there are those times where having a cake mix in the cupboard can be a life saver. This cake can be put together and in the oven in about 15 minutes, and while it is baking you can make the icing.  From start to finish this cake should take you no more than two hours, and you will have an impressive treat to share.  You could even make it as mini bundt and give them away to family and friends as holidays gifts.