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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 03/04/13

Monday, March 4, 2013

FREEZING COOKIE DOUGH TO USE FOR ANOTHER DAY!

   This diy comes from www.mykitchenaddiction.com .  Sometimes we all could use a little more knowledge.  You can never learn enough, especially when it comes to baking.  The more you know the better your next batch of cookies, or that 3 layer cake will be.  Learning is a nonstop cycle if we want to get better in our techniques.  Good luck!


Freezing Cookie Dough

 




   Since the holiday baking season is officially in full swing, I thought I’d share a holiday baking tip with you this Wednesday!
   With Christmas over a week away, it’s still a bit early for me to start doing all of my holiday cookie baking. I don’t want my cookies to taste stales when my friends and family bite into them. But, I also want to get a head start on my baking. I bake a lot of cookies for Christmas, so I don’t have time to do everything in the last few days.
In the past, I have tried baking ahead of time and freezing the baked cookies until I’m ready for them. It seemed good in theory, but I always felt like the frozen cookies just didn’t taste as fresh as I would like. Maybe it’s in my head since I have a bit of a thing about hating cold food (and it doesn’t get much colder than frozen). I can’t take that risk with my Christmas cookies, though!
   So, instead of freezing the baked cookies, I simply freeze the dough prior to baking! Simple, right? I mix up my cookies ahead of time, and then freeze the dough in small batches. So that I can pull it out and bake it later. It’s all of the convenience of store-bought, pre-made cookie dough, except that it’s homemade, from scratch cookie dough!
   Freezing cookie dough works for me when I’m prepping for the holidays, but it’s also great to have on hand when I just want a few freshly baked cookies. Instead of freezing the cookie dough in one large brick in the freezer (which you can do, if you want), divide the dough up into smaller batches with just enough dough for about 1 sheet of cookies. Most recipes tell you how many dozen cookies the recipe will make, and a sheet pan will typically hold 1 dozen cookies, so you can use those numbers to help you out a bit. For example, for a recipe that makes 4 dozen cookies, divide the dough into 4 equal portions for the freezer!





Freezing Cookie Dough
Here’s what you’ll need to freeze your cookie dough…
  • Waxed paper (or parchment, but waxed paper is typically cheaper)
  • Clear tape
  • Plastic wrap
  • Masking tape or labels
  • Permanent marker
First, wrap the cookie dough in the waxed paper and secure with the clear tape. Wrap again with the plastic wrap (I usually double wrap with the plastic wrap because I can be a bit OCD at times). Be sure to label cookie dough with the masking tape/labels and the permanent marker. Even if you think you’ll remember what it is, label it anyway. Trust me, in a few weeks, you’ll be glad that you labeled it!
You can leave the dough in the freezer for about 2 months. When you’re ready to bake the cookies, leave the dough wrapped as it thaws. It doesn’t have to thaw completely, just enough that you can break off a piece and shape/roll the dough. Bake as directed in the recipe.

BLACKBERRY SWIRL POUND CAKE!

   This recipe was found at www.marthastewart.com .  Good luck!









Enjoy this cake on its own or with a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream.
                         
  • Prep Time 15 minutes
  • Total Time 2 hours, 15 minutes
  • Yield Serves 9

 

Ingredients


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 6 ounces blackberries (1 1/3 cups)
  • 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature


Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 5-by-9-inch loaf pan and line with parchment, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides; butter parchment. In a food processor, puree blackberries with 2 tablespoons sugar. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder.
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together butter and 1 1/4 cups sugar until light and fluffy, 5 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and beat to combine, scraping down bowl as needed. With mixer on low, add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  3. Transfer half the batter to pan and dot with 1/2 cup blackberry puree. Repeat with remaining batter and puree. With a skewer or thin-bladed knife, swirl batter and puree together. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 1 1/4 hours. Let cool in pan on a wire rack, 30 minutes. Lift cake out of pan and place on a serving plate; let cool completely before slicing.


Cook's Note

Change it up: Swap 6 ounces raspberries or blueberries for the blackberries.

CARNIVAL IN COLOGNE FROM GERMANY!!!!









   Carnival in Cologne is almost as old as the history of the city itself.  But the organized carnival celebrated today only dates back 178 years.
   The Greeks and Romans celebrated cheerful spring festivals in honor of Dionysos and Saturn with wine, women and song.  The ancient Germans celebrated the winter solstice as a homage to the Gods and expulsion of the evil winter demons.  Later the Christians adopted the heathen customs.  The period of fasting (Lent) prior to Easter was heralded in by "Fastnacht" or "Karnival"...carne vale = Farewell to meat!










   In the Middle Ages, the celebration of Carnival, the masquerade, often took on drastic forms, very much to the displeasure of the city council and the church.  Bans and ordinances did little to help, the celebration was wild and spirited.
   The boisterous street carnival was extended in the 18th century to include the so called "Redouten", elegant masked and fancy dress balls in Venetian style, which were initially the preserve of the aristocracy and the wealthy patricians.  In 1736, the first Redoute was held in Cologne in a noble house on the Neumarkt.










   Almost 50 years later, Cologne was captured by the French revolutionary troops.  But the new rulers allowed the locals "de fair son tour", to hold their carnival parades.  The Prussians, who took control a short time later, were stricter, which, however, did not prevent the natives of Cologne from cultivating their Carnival tradition.  Carnival was romanticized and became bourgeois.  It became organized!  With the "Carnival Hero", with today's Prince Carnival, a new idea was also introduced.
   In 1823 the "Festordnende Komitee" was founded.  On February 10th of that year, Cologne celebrated the first Rose Monday Parade with the moto "Inthronization of the Carnival Hero".  Also involved were the "Rote Funken" the former city militia, who had just established themselves as a carnival society, the carnival fool of the "Hillige Knaachte un Magde", Jan von Werth and Cologne's "Peasant" and "Virgin" as a reminder of the former free imperial city of Cologne.  At that time, like today, a man wore the costume of the Virgin.   In 1860, the first "Ghost Parade" was held on the evening of Carnival Saturday.  Even after the turn of the century, the "founding period" of the Carnival fans continued.  In 1902, the "Ehrengarde" was formed as the accompanying group of the Peasant and Virgin.  In 1906, Prince Carnival was given his "Prinzengarde".  Other societies established themselves.  Willi Ostermann,  with his songs and musings, Grete Fluss extended the fame of Cologne's Carnival beyond the city's boundaries.











   The "Sitzungen" (shows) with their humorous orators and singers bridged the gap between the opening of the "Carnival Session" On "11.11" to its climax on Rose Monday.  That is still the same today.  Now it is bands like the "Black Fooss", "Hohner" and "Paveir" and humorists like "Rumpelstizchen" or "Webfachmann" who are the trade marks of Cologne's "Fifth Season".  The  world famous "Strippefottchen-Tant" of the Rote Funken, a parody on the soldiers' strict life.
   There are approximately 160 carnival societies, local history societies and district groups in Cologne which celebrate their home town festival in about 5oo parties, balls and parades. The highlight is always the Rose Monday Parade.