I thought I would do a recap this year, and show you what recipes you looked at the most. I want to thank all of you for reading along and checking out the recipes!
The December 2012 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by the talented Marcellina of Marcellina in Cucina. Marcellina challenged us to create our own custom Panettone, a traditional Italian holiday bread!
“Panettone is a type of sweet bread loaf originally from Milan (in Milanese it is called “paneton” Milanese dialect (pronunciation IPA: /paneˈtuŋ/)), usually prepared and enjoyed for Christmas and New Year in Italy,southeastern France, Brazil, Peru, Malta, Germany and Switzerland, and is one of the symbols of the city of Milan. In South America, especially in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru and Chile, it is a Christmas dinner staple and in some places replaces roscón de reyes/bolo rei (King cake).” (Source)
What a fun challenge to end the year! Despite my best intentions to complete the challenge earlier in the month, I procrastinated and just finished making my panettone a few days ago (though I made the candied orange peel a few weeks ago- that counts for something, right?!). However, I’m going to say that it ended up being perfect timing, as I was able to share some of it with Nick’s parents on Christmas Eve, and wth my parents on Christmas morning.
If you have a baking to-do list like I do (it’s currently 107 items long!), and panettone is on that list, I highly recommend the recipe that Marcellina gave us to use. I used the panettone recipe and the recipe for candied orange peel. Both recipes are easy to follow, however, I will say that both recipes take time. This just means that you need to plan a little more when making them! Marcellina let us choose our own “add-ins” for the panettone, so I went with candied orange peel (yup, already mentioned that!) and 70% dark chocolate. If you visit Daring Bakers‘, you will see what the rest of the participants used to flavor their panettone!
For the recipes, please visit the Daring Bakers’ link, as Marcellina has some really great detailed information (and pictures). For the panettone papers, I found mine on Amazon, as my local cake/candy store doesn’t carry them.
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVE!!!!
Cookies are ready for Santa’s arrival!
Nick will be checking NORAD (they have an app!!!) tonight, to keep me updated on Santa!
Does anyone else check on Santa’s flight?
I mentioned recently that I was on the lookout for White Chocolate Peppermint M&M’s.
Well, I found them!
I have to admit that I am not a big fan of white chocolate. It’s ok, and I’ll eat it, but it isn’t my first choice.
That said, the M&M’s have a really nice flavor and I think it actually works well with the white chocolate.
Chocolate bark is a favorite holiday candy. It’s easy to make and can be made with a lot of flavor combinations. I thought that the peppermint M&M’s would be a nice addition to peppermint bark, by adding crunch, color, and of course, additional peppermint flavor!
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon peppermint extract (do not use peppermint oil)
2 cups white chocolate chips
1 bag White Chocolate Peppermint M&M’s, chopped
Line a jelly-roll pan or sheet pan with silpat or wax paper. Set aside.
In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the semi-sweet chocolate chips in 30 second intervals (stirring after each one), until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir in the peppermint extract. Evenly spread the chocolate onto the prepared pan. Refrigerate for 10 minutes, or until the chocolate has set.
In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the white chocolate chips, using the same process as before. Once the chocolate is smooth, evenly spread this over the semi-sweet chocolate layer. Sprinkle on the chopped White Chocolate Peppermint M&M’s. Refrigerate for 10 minutes or until the chocolate is set. Break into pieces and enjoy!
Made with love, not calories!
December 17th is National Maple Syrup Day!
For all of the desserts that I have been making this month, I thought I would go a little healthier with this food holiday. I decided to make Maple Granola. Nick and I like eating granola with our yogurt, and while I like the brand that we buy (Bear Naked), I have always wanted to make my own. This is an easy recipe that you can customize to your own tastes. Use different nuts- or a combination, you could use extra-virgin olive oil (as the original recipe calls for), or you could use different dried fruit!
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart
3 cups rolled oats (also called Old-Fashioned)
1 cup dried unsweetened coconut chips
1 cup chopped walnuts
2/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup dried cranberries (Craisins)
1/3 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper. Set aside.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients except the dried cranberries and raisins. Mix until everything is well combined. Spread evenly onto the prepared pan. Bake in a preheated oven for 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. After 40 minutes, add in the cranberries and raisins and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Enjoy!
Made with love, not calories!