Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Trying new things

Here are some photos of a turtle cheesecake we did for a co-worker. We have made cheesecakes before, but not this one.  We even made the caramel. They loved it.  We will have to make another one for home so we can try it.

Pre- caramel
Post Caramel goodness
 Something else we did was make a minion cake for our daughter's birthday.  She is represented by the minion topper.

Side view
Top shot
 This was also a first.  It is a pumpkin spice cheesecake.  I wish I had remembered to take a picture after it was cut.  The inside is a creamy cheesecake sandwiched between two layers of pumpkin spice cake.  We topped it with candied apple slices.  YUM!

We are looking forward to some more new treats to try.  The prettier the better.  We will be sure to take pictures of the next batch of Linzer cookies we do.

I forgot to mention this bourbon pecan cake. WONDERFUL!

A Learning Experience

Well, we didn't get a ton of orders as we had hoped, but I am guessing a lot of that is due to the fact that many people do their own baking this time of year.  However, with the orders we did get, we learned a lot.

1.  Just because something is very pretty, doesn't mean it is very edible.  We experimented with stained glass cookies.  They looked very pretty, but were hard as rocks!  Turns out, they are mostly used for making ornaments.  Funny how that worked out.

2.  Linzer cookies are wonderfully light, nutty and delicious.  I don't like shortbread cookies or cookies that are similar, but my oh my!  These beauties are definitely a keeper in my recipe file.  And they are actually quite pretty.  You have the cutout with the jam showing through and you can add powdered sugar or colored sugar sprinkles on top.  They are a little work, but FABULOUS and so worth it.  We even tried it with some homemade caramel in the middle.  Yummy.

3.  Freezing cookie dough is a magical thing.  I was afraid that the texture would be different or the flavor or something.  To my surprise, they tasted just as good as when I first prepared the dough.  Now, you may be thinking, 'oh she must have known about refrigerator cookies from the grocery store', and you would be correct.  I knew about them and have tried them...do not like them.  With that said, if you were ever afraid to make up a big batch of cookie dough, form it into balls and freeze for an easy treat later on... be afraid no more!  I know there are certain types that freeze better than others. You can find lots of info about those online.

The ones I froze were chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, peanut butter, white chocolate macadamia nut, linzer, and sugar cookies.  I haven't tried to bake the cookies and then freeze though.  That will be the next trial.

4. If you are a perfectionist, do not try to bake cookies at 12AM.  It just doesn't work unless you are a night owl.  What looks good at midnight may not look so pleasing at 8 AM, which means DO OVER!  Not fun.

5. When you are tired, Christmas music doesn't work as well to pep you up.  I'm just saying.

6.  Cheesecake is a luscious beast I love to hate.  She can be a temperamental creature, but when she is treated right, you will love her and never want to let her go.  When you don't, she will crumble and your world with her!  Ok, maybe not your WHOLE world, but a portion of it. :)

And lastly, no matter what speed bumps you come across, if you truly love what you are doing, it is all worth the trip.  So bring it on hard cookies, crumbly cheesecakes and other baking madness.  We are up for the challenge!