holiday baking

Holiday time is equivalent to baking time. Lots of get togethers requiring baked goods and all.

But before the holidays, it was exam time. Though there was essentially no time to bake, it was one of my best friend’s birthday and she threw the theme “nostalgia” at me. Earlier in the year, I was like, what am I going to do with that??? After bouncing ideas off another mutual friend, I came to the idea that I’d do a cake I used to do in high school. I used to make a NY style cherry-topped cheesecake for school, and it was super popular. But once I went off to university, I stopped making it. So for her birthday, I decided to make one more cheesecake like I used to. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures, but it looks like a stereotypical cheesecake. 🙂

Also with the lack of time due to exams and the need for Christmas presents, I chose to make chocolates and give those out.

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Assortment of chocolates; made for excellent Christmas presents!

Once exams ended, I wanted to do like a 24-hr non-stop baking thing. I stayed an extra two days to bake and pack, and go to a friend’s dinner party. A number of my friends who were at the dinner party had requested cookies, so I decided on cinnamon sugar cookies and meringue cookies. I brought those in addition to the leftover chocolates.

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Cinnamon sugar cookies

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Peppermint meringue cookies

The day after I went home for the holidays, my sister proposed we do a fun activity together – decorating cookies. Her “specialty” is cookies (whereas mine is cakes). She had already baked them and wanted me to decorate them with me, since I have decorating  experience. I taught her how to use the grass tip and leaf tip, and that was enough to keep her entertained.

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“Obese gingerbread men” almond sugar cookies

Lastly, I got to make a birthday cake for my Grandma! Usually my dad buys her a costco cake, but this year he let me do it. My process was a lot messier and time consuming than they expected, but nonetheless they enjoyed the finished product. I did a vanilla-almond sponge with orange-almond buttercream. When I was learning cake decorating, I was told that for every flower needed, I should make 3 extras (though this may have been concerning transporting royal icing flowers). I had a bunch of extra flowers that I was going to discard, but my mom insisted I stick more on, hence the two around “GRANDMA” – my sister picked those places, I thought they were unnecessary. However, my grandma was very impressed and happy. 🙂

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Vanilla-almond cake with an orange-almond buttercream

This was my first non-round cake, and I learned that corners are a lot harder to ice than I expected! I need to work on that…

(December 2013 – January 2014)