Thursday, December 15, 2011

Apron Strings

I love wearing an apron in the kitchen - it's like wearing gardening gloves - when they are on you are invincible. And a favourite apron is one that my sister Dori made for me for Christmas a few years ago.

Actually, she made one for each of the girls in our family and they are beautiful, not only because of her eye for colour and strong design, but because she incorporated pieces from her stash, our late mom's stash, and our maternal grandmother's stash into the block that is the pocket on the front. And it has come in particularly handy this week as things begin ramping up on the baking front.

There are several neighbours and friends that we like to give tins of goodies to at Christmas so I've been making my list and checking it twice and now need to ensure that there's enough to go around. These little chocolate fudge tarts are a personal favourite. The batter is actually really simple but what I love are the tiny tins that I have for baking them in. They are fluted and about 1.25" in diameter. You could use mini muffin tins but the ornateness of the tins just works for me. The tins are getting a little long in the tooth and I'm concerned that they won't last forever so when we were in Paris in 2006 we sought out the famous E. Dehillerin chefs supply store to see about adding to my collection. I picked up a similar style but not quite the same (quite ironic if you are familiar with the shop because it is a labrynth of every manner of pot and pan and cooking utensil that you could dream of and we walked away with 24 tiny tins!). They are more squat and the material is much more substantial than the tins that I have so I've been slow to use them, but they are much easier when it comes to cleanup so I am coming around.

Top the tartlets off with a dollop of chocolate and tiny white dragees & sugar snowflakes for a delicate winter treat. You could also use finely chopped nuts if you prefer.

Social Tea Squares
I've also whipped up three batches of what is probably the hands down favourite across our family - Social Tea Squares. For anyone who has not tried these little morsels I would highly recommend them as the best combination of sugar, eggs and butter that you can get, with a little marshmallow thrown in for good measure. The key to making these is patience but once you get the hang of it you will be sold. I'm thinking we still might need another pan or two.

2 eggs
1 c sugar
3/4 c butter
2 c mini marshmallows
1/2 pkg crushed social tea buscuits

Cook first 3 ingredients in a double boiler for 25 minutes on low heat til thick. Cool slightly. Combine with crushed buscuits and marshmallows and pour into and 8" x 8" pan to set. Makes 36 squares.

White Chocolate Gingerbread
Finally, I thought I'd give the White Chocolate Gingerbread recipe that Janet from Quiltsalott shared a few days ago. They turned out okay but were not what I was hoping for in terms of chewy. Also, the recipe says to drop the dough by the tablespoon but it was too stiff to be able to do that so I rolled it into 1-inch balls. I think the next time I'll follow Janet's suggestion to use two eggs to get that chewy texture that I want. My taste buds have been off lately because of some medication so I had my in-house cookie tester try them and he came back with two thumbs up, so they must be good, but they definitely do not look like Janet's.

Me thinks I will be humming Everything But The Girl's Apron Strings for the rest of the evening....M

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Marie am into making some Christmas stockings, two are for my two granddaughters and one is for the grandson of a close friend. I just have to say I bought a roll of painter's tape and used that as a guide to do the quilting----WOW--best tip ever, thanks to you. And by the way you'll have to quit posting pics of your delicious baked goods--makes me crave a few with a cup of tea--hope we can have a January get together and craft day, love, Linda xox