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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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Hello forum friends! What's going down in your kitchen this season? Are you baking family favorites? Traditional recipes? Trying something new? Talk about it and share recipes here.
 

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I really love to bake....use to do lots of it....but now my circle of friends is much smaller, I am retired and because of COVID I don't see anyone so just who is going eat all these cookies I would love to bake??? I have some Rum Chata left and am thinking of making a pie using instant pudding and the rum chata in place of the milk for Thanksgiving....but I know husband won't eat it so it will be me and I seriously don't need it....so, I'm on the fence about baking cookies....I usually use the true and tried recipes from years ago....I stay away from rolled cut out cookies as I have no patience to decorate...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
BW, RumChata would be awesome in pudding. Maybe rice pudding?

I'm the same when it comes to cookies, who is going to eat all these? I put 6-8 in a bag and freeze them. And I don't have the energy for rolled or decorated cookies. It's drop cookies or the kind you can pat out by hand, like shortbread or cheese straws.

I'm thinking:
pumpkin choco-chip (DH's fav)
cranberry shortbread
fruit cupcakes
cheddar rosemary crackers (low carb)
almond crescents (low carb)
 

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It's time to practice Gingerbread cookies.
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbl ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2/3 cup light or dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
2/3 cup unsulfured molasses
1. Place dry ingredients (except sugar) into mixing bowl and stir to combine.
2. Beat butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time until the mixture is smooth. Add half the flour mixture. Scrape the bowl and beaters. Beat in molasses. Scrape again, and add the remaining flour mixture, just until combined.
3. Divide dough into serveral pieces and press each piece into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Chill at least 1 hour or until firm. (Personally, I just wrap the whole thing in saran and break off pieces to roll out)
4. Preheat oven to 350F
5. Roll out dough, Cut with floured cutters.
6. Bake about 10 minutes
These actually get better with age because the spices intensify. I've made gingerbread man sandwich cookies using this dough -- stuffing them with apricot jam.
 

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I purchased a ginger bread mix from Sonoma for DS2 since he loves gingerbread. I made it last year and it came out but haven't attempted it again.
I used to make cookie trays for work but haven't done that in years... For the home, it will be the gingerbread mix, chocochip cookies, pumpkin and apple pies. Maybe something new if anyone asks for something new....
 

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Classic recipe quaker oatmeal cookies (the new recipe isn't nearly as good, they tried to make it healthy. My favorite is peanut butter/chocolate chips, and I'll do a dozen raisin for Roomie. This year we're only having cookies on the day of the holiday since we're both trying to reduce, but it will still be great fun since our new rule is junk food only on holidays. I did feel a bit cheated last holiday - I'm so not used to junk food anymore that we had donuts for breakfast and chips with dinner, and I couldn't finish either. But the oatmeal cookies... They're such a tradition I may spend the money to ship some to my bachelor brother just because Christmas.

Just to give you a laugh, last year my friend decided not to bake but missed the smell so she bought a vanilla butter cream candle to light in the evenings. Every single night for all of Advent her roommates came home and said "Did you bake?" I got a whiff of it and it surely does smell like sugar cookies baking. That might be a good thrift store find. Unlike the little air fresheners the scent lasted all season and it has a lid so she can reuse it this year and drive everyone silly again.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
LOL, Mme. I can't stand those candles, they drive me nuts. I have also worked with people who came to the office with popcorn or cookie smelling perfume. Everyone was smelling food all day, walking around asking "who made popcorn?"

But yeah, oatmeal cookies are good. I make mine with raisins.

I was in the freezer and remembered I bought some gingerbread cookie dough. I might do those at some point in December.
 

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I have buckwheat honey, lemons and limes and don't use real dairy. I keep looking for a recipe that uses those. Apparently there isn't one! So, I might convert the tightwad gazette standard muffin recipe to a honey lemon muffin/bread and make that as a rest this week. I ate up all my light honey. Oops! I can also do crepes with a honey lemon sauce but that isn't real baking.
 

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I can't eat dairy and I find the various non dairy milks can be substituted in most recipes without an issue. Pudding is sometimes a little touchy with no dairy milk, but I have never had an issue with baking.

Of course being lactose intolerant is not very frugal. The non dairy milks are always more than the real thing.

Honey can change the consistency in baking if you substitute it for sugar. But if you look online at websites for places that sell honey, you can find recipes designed to work with honey.
 

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MaggieTru, have you thought about candying those lemon and limes and making some kind of fruit cake? Not the disgusting kind that tastes like plastic, but the old fashioned kind that can make you lightheaded if you sniff it too deeply? I remember some of those from my childhood that were kept on a top shelf and the children weren't allowed to touch. At the time I thought it was grownups being stingy because fruitcake was expensive. Later on I looked up the recipe and realized they included alcohol not only in the baked recipe, but they poured it over the cake periodically until Christmas as a preservative method. They must have used a bottle of brandy or whisky by Christmas Eve. Kind of like the difference between today's "chocolate cherries" and the cordial cherries of my youth that had a decent slug of brandy in them and weren't sold to people under 21. Yes, time was you could be carded when you bought dessert.
 
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KathyB: I find if I do a cooked pudding with cornstarch or arrowroot it works ok, instant pudding nope. I've had mixed results with custards setting up with no-dairy milk. Full fat coconut milk worked best but that stuff basically sets up on it's own. I think each scoop of that custard was about 8million calories.
I use honey a lot and like baking with it. The stuff is best if I can leave it set for a day before eating it. The flavor and texture changes for the first day or so in my experience.

MmeH: Yes! I did! I don't do fruit cake even the boozy kind, but I am doing chocolates and treats. At a minimum I will zest them and keep the dried zest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Cherry pie in the oven, waiting to see how it comes out. Different recipe. It said to thicken the couple tablespoons of cherry juice.... I had more like a cup....
 

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Omg...the lemon mince is fantastic. My first attempt at almond flour crust is not as great
Maggie, one Thanksgiving I was trying real hard to impress a guy I invited over. We were both doing low carb so I made pumpkin pie with an almond flour crust. I'd never baked with almond flour before and it smelled... different.. while it was baking, but I figured it's not regular flour so okay. He got the first piece of pumpkin pie and started eating real slow. I figured he was just savoring it until I took a bite. The almond flour was rancid and yep it tasted like rancid nuts. Horrible. The pie filling was permeated and it was just inedible. The worst thing I have ever tasted.

I still can't bring myself to cook with almond flour nearly 20 years later. I'm sure it's good and healthy and all that but every time I think about it I flash back to that poor man trying to eat that horrid substance so he wouldn't hurt my feelings. He got down nearly half a slice.
 
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