Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Decorated cookies are always a great addition to the dessert table at a holiday party. These sugar cookies are flavored with a hint of vanilla and decorated with American buttercream. To color your buttercream, use gel based colors instead of the liquid colors. Use a small angled spatula to spread the buttercream on the cookie and then use a piping bag and tip to decorate it any way you like!

Sugar cookies also make perfect party favors when placed in bags and tied with a matching bow.  Instead of using buttercream to ice the cookie, use royal icing. This icing hardens enough to be placed in a bag without harming the decorations. Click this link to get a great recipe for royal icing. It tastes yummy when almond extract is added to it!
A group of ladies took a shopping trip as their annual Christmas party. Each lady was given a goodie bag with one of these adorable purse cookies in it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Yule Log

Have you ever heard of a Buche de Noel? Or maybe a "yule log" ?  It's not very common here in the U.S., but it is a traditional dessert served during the Christmas holidays in many French-speaking countries.  It celebrates the winter solstice and Christmas by representing a log burning in the fireplace. 
Because the pastry school I attended teaches French culinary skills, we learned how to make a Buche de Noel. 
It is a sponge cake filled with chocolate mousse, rolled tightly like a jelly roll, and then frosted with chocolate buttercream. It is often decorated to look like a log by making bark lines in the buttercream, as well as placing meringue mushrooms and marzipan holly leaves on it. 

Click the link above to get the recipes and directions for making your own Buche de Noel. If you have any questions, please ask!! I hope see pictures of the yule logs you make!
Happy Holidays!