Friday, December 4, 2009

Goodies for the Feast of St Nicholas

Chocolate Stout Cake made up as mini-cupcakes. I finally made the recipe that I found on the King Arthur Flour website last spring. The Guiness stands out in the raw batter. (I always have to taste the dough or batter--before the eggs are added.) After baking the stout disappears and simply acts as a subtle underscore or amplifier for the chocolate. A very moist cupcake. Yummy. three dozen minis and nine full sized cupcakes. I will definitely make this again. This recipe and the beer batter bread make it more than worthwhile to give Guiness "housespace" as my great-grandmother used to say. (Drinking it is good too, but I can't really do that because of the neurological problems that I already have.)

Above, a Christmas tray full of cappachino flats awaits visitors for St. Nicholas Day. This is a fairly standard recipe for these delicious cookies, but I have ramped up the chocolate by adding about 1 T of dark Ghiradelli unsweetened cocoa powder. Very, very good and they don't need the extra dipping in chocolate, although that would make them look prettier.

It was a lot of work, but I had fun. I hope that it will entice folks to come to my little Open House--something that the big box stores definitely won't be offering. But then I can't compete with them in so many, many other ways.

We are having some very cold weather, unseasonably so for so early in the year and I am worrying about how the plants will fair and my heating bill. The gas and electric are the one thing that we don't know the cost of until after we have used them and I have wondered for years what it would take to change this system.

I am grateful tonight that I have a warm house and a warm electric blanket. Grateful for the goodies, which I have enjoyed making and will enjoy sharing.

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