December has come and (almost) gone and I feel that I didn’t produce as many baked goods as normal. In reality, I baked a lot. There just wasn’t enough days in the month to make everything I wanted to.
Twenty-four mini fruitcakes were produced, and three days before Christmas, four different batches of cookies (spritz, chocolate/coconut bars, pecan pie bars, and snickerdoodles) were whipped up and fedex’d to a lucky few. Then Christmas came knocking on my door and I still had a long list of items needing to be baked. Alas, I had to pick and choose.
Top of the list was a traditional french Christmas cake, buche de noel. I wanted to make this since my brother-in-law is here from France during the holidays, and I thought that a taste of home would be nice. It’s a pretty simple sponge cake that is rolled up with frosting and then frosted on the outside to resemble a log. I also had to make meringue mushrooms to decorate it with. Little Miss Perfectionist had to settle for a good replica of a log, but didn’t have time to really go into a lot of detail.
I also had to make an apple pie since my family felt that one pie and one cake was not enough for 9 adults (which happened to result in a lot of leftover dessert to be consumed over the next few days). Bless the creator of the apple corer/peeler gadget. It saved so much time with making the pie.
That left a gingerbread house to be assembled by December 27 for the Daring Bakers Challenge at the Daring Kitchen. I had to work December 26th and 27th, 10-hour shifts, so I didn’t see any way it was getting done. The dough was made, but I had no time to bake and assemble. Or so I thought . . .
I really didn’t want to miss a challenge. And it was one I was so excited about. In all honesty, saying that I half-assed it would be an understatement. It was terrible. But I got a gingerbread doghouse to stand, so I met the challenge. Was I happy with it? No! But if time permits this week, I might give it another go, a sort of redemption, if you will.
Next year holds the prospect of more baking and kitchen destruction. Cheers for 2010! Happy baking!
The December 2009 Daring Bakers’ challenge was brought to you by Anna of Very Small Anna and Y of Lemonpi. They chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ everywhere to bake and assemble a gingerbread house from scratch. They chose recipes from Good Housekeeping and from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book as the challenge recipes.