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It’s that time of year again, let the baking begin!

Christmas Treats

Christmas is coming quickly, and we have been working away in preparation for it, everything from savoury shortbread to go with appetizers to those highly addictive peanut butter balls.

Many of our guests marvel at all the items we make by hand. It’s a compliment, for sure, especially since all of our food is made from scratch – no mixes or preservatives. That’s our philosophy.

Speaking of tasty treats, you have to try these Orange Cranberry Florentines. Happy baking.

 

Orange Cranberry Florentines

 

1/2 cup sugar

3-1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

2-1/2 Tbsp. mild honey

2 Tbsp. heavy cream

2/3 cup sliced almonds

1/4 cup fine-quality candied orange peel, finely chopped

1/8 cup of dried cranberries

8 oz. fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), finely chopped

Parchment paper

 

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Boil sugar, butter, honey, and cream in a one-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until creamy and slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in almonds and orange peel and cranberries (batter will be thin).

Drop level 1/2 teaspoons of batter about 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. (Batter will thicken as it cools; you may need to reheat for last few batches.) Bake in batches in middle of oven until golden brown and bubbly, 8 to 10 minutes. (Cookies will look runny at this point.)

Cool cookies on sheets on racks until firm enough to be lifted, about 2 minutes, then transfer with a metal spatula to racks to cool completely. These cookies are very delicate; if they become too brittle to lift easily, return to oven to soften, about 1 minute.

Melt chocolate in a double boiler or a metal bowl set over a saucepan of hot water, stirring occasionally, then remove top of double boiler or bowl from heat.

Dip about one third of each cookie into chocolate, then transfer to a parchment-lined tray.

Let stand until chocolate is set, about 1 hour.

 

Chocolate Grand Marquis

 

10 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped, melted and smooth

1/2 cup butter + 1/4 cup butter, both at room temperature

1/4 cup sugar + 1/4 cup sugar

2 Tbsp. cocoa powder

4 large egg yolks

1/4 cup water

1 Tbsp. vanilla

1 cup 35% whipping cream

Line spring form pan or loaf pan with plastic wrap.

Use an electric mixer to beat 1/2 cup of butter until fluffy, then beat in first 1/4 cup of sugar and the cocoa powder.

Whisk 4 egg yolks, 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup butter, and second 1/4 cup sugar in metal bowl.

Set over simmering water in a double-boiler, whisking constantly, until it reaches 160˚F (about 5 minutes).

Using an electric mixer, beat the warm yolk mixture until thick and cool, about 5 minutes, then beat in cocoa mix.

Fold in melted chocolate and vanilla.

In another bowl, beat whipping cream into soft peaks and fold into chocolate mix.

Spread into prepared pan and freeze.

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