While we were shopping, not only did we get the male parental his X-mas present, BUT I was really shocked to discover that the quilt shop had their Egyptian cotton sheet sets for 30% off with another 10% off this weekend. :o So, I bought myself a duvet cover. I'm thinking about going back and picking up a set of wine coloured sheets... ^o^
Last night, I didn't actually manage to do as much baking as hoped, but did manage to bake the Vanillekipferln, ORANGE pumpkin loaf, and the choux for cream puffs. No cream. :P I suspect yesterday wasn't a great day for baking / cooking, and ran into a couple of minor problems, so I'd probably do things a bit differently next time. Anyhow, puffs with no cream is just BAD. I find myself gravitating to that plate only to have to remind myself that they're not ready to be eaten yet. -_-;
ORANGE pumpkin loaf. This is from the online recipe. Since the recipe called for using the food processor on a whole orange (minus seeds), I decided to change the recipe slightly. I zested 2 small-med sized oranges and, using a knife, then peeled and segmented them so I'd have few membranes and minimal pith. Since I wanted to blend in the orange as much as possible, I added it in before the pumpkin which wasn't entirely wise, but not overly horrible. The loaf batter started separating out slightly at the end. But instead of the original orange pumpkin loaf, it turned into ORANGE pumpkin loaf thanks to all that zest. I don't think I'm getting any pumpkin through really. ^^; I like how the loaf turned out (it's nice and tasty), but am not sure how often I'd repeat the recipe. Next time though, I think I'd also be more careful about the type of orange I get rather than blindly grabbing some navel oranges. They're not the most flavourful in the flesh although the zest was nice. ^^; Otherwise, there's another apple pumpkin loaf I'm thinking about trying which might be interesting. I doubt the apple would overpower things quite like the orange did. ^^;
And the vanillekipferln recipe Ichi gave... The complete cookie is quite nice and yum; perhaps... understated is the feel I have for it. ^_^ It's not too sweet and is like a light shortbread in texture. From what I remember last night (I no longer have any naked cookies), the cookie doesn't hold up too well when it's naked and, on its own, it's a bit weak. Fresh out of the oven, the almond was a bit strong, but today, it's calmed nicely. Coated, it's a nice, quiet cookie although the vanilla is still a bit shy for my tastes (I'm a vanilla fiend).
The main problem I had when making this was that I ran out of vanilla sugar; but *that's* because, like with the eggnog cookies, I aimed for small cookies. Unlike the eggnog cookie recipe, this one is more accurate for yield according to the size instructions (I think I ended up with close to 60 cookies again compared to the expected 40). Since I needed more sugar, I decided to mix some cinnamon sugar with icing sugar to make up the rest of the cookies. ^^; Cinnamon and almond is a bit odd, but overall it's not too bad. :P The main changes I'd try next time given my own penchant for vanilla would be to double the vanilla (ie whole bean for each), and to make the vanilla sugar well in advance. Also, I'd probably go for making twice the vanilla sugar recipe if aiming for small cookies and add the bean pod to the sugar while it sits. Otherwise, I wasn't paying attention on the very first batch of cookies and slightly overcooked them (because of the size difference). -_-; Later, I reduced the heat to 325F and cooked for 13-14 mins. (I forgot about having changed the oven temp and cooked my first batch of choux at 325F... they *need* 350F to puff properly...). >_<;;
So yeah, a bit of a meh baking day, but the recipes turned out well, so I'm happy. Thanks Ichi for the recipe!
I think tomorrow, assuming I've got some energy up again (this much sugar just isn't good for me. :P ) it'll be the attack of the killer cream puffs hopefully followed by the candy cane crush. I don't know if I'll get around to making the White Chocolate and Peppermint Creams though. Two batches of cream puffs will take most of the evening.
And this time, I was good and put most of the post behind an lj-cut. :P