Holiday Preparations

One of the best things about the holidays is the excuse to bake to excess. It’s an excuse to try new recipes for decadent, sweet goodies or make some tried and true favorites. So over the last few days I’ve indulged in baking my little heart out.

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This has to be the best smelling goodie of the season. Pumpkin seed brittle. Yes, it smells better than peanut brittle. I roasted some pumpkin seeds I had on hand, and made a basic brittle and the results

20131126-153956.jpg are a sweet, salty tasty treat that smells amazing. And who knew brittle was easy to make?!?

Today I went a little more traditional. Lemon meringue pie and pecan pie. I did make little mini pecan pies instead of one large pie (they are just so cute) for a change. I was a little concerned that they wouldn’t look good, but … well, they came out perfectly.

20131126-154253.jpg I started with a basic pie crust recipe, but changed out a half cup of regular flour for whole wheat. I wanted a little nuttier crust, so I think this worked well.

20131126-154447.jpg I love the little tart pans, but I almost never use them. I also get to use the fresh pecans Bob’s mom gave me.

20131126-154618.jpg I have to be very careful to not eat the entire bag myself. I did keep enough for the pies.

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I also used the same crust for the lemon pie.

20131126-154811.jpg As a kid, I thought the yellow color of a lemon pie came from the lemon zest or food coloring. It’s nice to know it is just the eggs. They really do give a good color to the filling.

20131126-154915.jpg And for one of the first times ever, the pie came out picture perfect!

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And it would not been the holidays without bacon bread. I found my recipe again (or at least the base recipe that I use to make the bread) so I’m hopeful that the batch will be perfect. It certainly looks perfect.

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Bob also lost one of his gadgets to me and baking.

20131126-155359.jpg infrared thermometer. This thing came in so handy for the brittle and the bread (have to get the temp of the water/milk/butter mixture right or the yeast dies which is not good for bread). I’ve now hidden it in the kitchen and told him I’m claiming it, since is potentially means more brittle and treats for him, he’s not objecting.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving and a blessed Hanukkah.

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