Sunday, 1 January 2012

Happy New Year!

One of the things I like about baking is that you can be very friendly and welcoming with so little bother. Our horrendously grumpy neighbour moved out just before Christmas (yay!) and to welcome the new couple to the neighbourhood I dropped in some mince pies and a card. To get to know them better we've invited them around for a cuppa and a cookies on New Year's Day.
20 minutes messing about in the kitchen and the house smells lovely. Miss B, now a grown up young lady of 6, deigned to help for a bit. It was mostly an excuse for nicking unbaked cookie dough in her case, but fun nevertheless. Anyway, it's so little real work, knocking up a couple of batches of biscuits.
And at the end of that bit of effort it's ace offering lovely warm cookies to our new neighbours. Baking for someone is such a nice way of saying Hello, or Welcome to our house. I also find people are much more forgiving of the mess you live in when they are distracted by fresh baked goods!
On the selfish side, I could also take the opportunity to play with recipes from the marvellous Dan Lepard book. I've had a lovely time reading it lately and was dying to have a go baking some of the recipes in it. The oatmeal and cherry cookies were delicious. I'd not got the dark chocolate and mint cookies quite right; I'll need to work on that.
Another happy baking time this holiday was when my very ace friend and her family came over for Miss B's birthday. I made a chocolate cake using Annie Bell's recipe (my old favourite) and then had a go at a pecan pie from Edd Kimber's book, using rum instead of bourbon.
We are all fans of When Harry met Sally, so the pie was greeted with many exclamations of being "Proud to partake of your pecan pie," (which we found funny for longer than was seemly.) The pie itself was utterly delicious.
I'd used the wrong pie dish - a quiche dish - and it stuck quite badly despite being greased before hand. It also couldn't accommodate nearly half of the syrup mix, which was such a waste. I found I needed more pecans to cover the top than the recipe called for, but that might have been down to the wrong size dish as well.
Despite this, the pie was gooey, crunchy and flavourful in all the right ways. It's taken us 4 days to eat it and every mouthful has been scrumptious.
Now I know what I did wrong I shall certainly be making it again soon!
Tomorrow I'm back to work, baking what needs baking rather than whatever takes my fancy. It's only a fortnight until I hit my 3rd anniversary of Cake Box, so I'd best get cracking.
Happy 2012

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