mix. whisk. bake.

closing the (cook)books on 2011…

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – where in the heck did 2011 go?  Seriously, I didn’t even take down my Christmas lights from the year before (and thank goodness for that because I saved a few hours this December from doing it again!).  Did you have a good year?  I certainly did.  Busy, crazy, lovely.

In fact, it was such a grand time, how about we stroll/I drag you down memory lane?  Ready?  Let’s go.

As you may recall at the end of last year, I promised you that I would fill up my baking rack with goodies galore in 2011, and oh boy, did I bake…

       

Starting off the year by spreading the love seemed like the perfect way to jumpstart 2011.  What says romance more than red velvet cupcakes?  Don’t tell me – I like living in my PG-13 world.

I got over my phobia of making pies in 2011… well almost.  Ok, not really.  Don’t pressure me!  In my head, making the perfect pie is the pinnacle of being a baker.  So instead of failing miserably, I decided to take it slowly.  First I’m started with tarts, and then I moved on to galettes, and maybe, just maybe, in 2012, I will attempt to make my first double crust apple pie.  Gasp!  I KNOW!  How have I gone this long without making a freakin’ pie??  Blame it on my pastry teacher – she put the fear of not having sufficiently cold butter in me when she slammed a rolling pin down on a classmate’s table and yelled, “”JUST ROLL THE D*** THING!! TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE HERE! TURN AND ROLL! TURN AND ROLL!”  I think at that point, I ran into the walk-in freezer, hid, and waited until we moved on to scones and biscuits…  A chill just ran down my back.

Pie… it will be conquered in 2012.

What skills I lacked in making pies, I surely made up for in almost mastering French Macarons this past year!  I think I may have made over 1000 of these ubiquitous delicate cookies.  Apparently, they were the new cupcakes and then became the old cakepop.  Trends will come and go, but I think the macaron will have some staying power, especially since it is so versatile in flavors and colors – they make the perfect gift, party favor or edible decor that a cupcake just can’t compete with.

Since the Valentine’s Day bake sale was such a success, I decided to make some treats for Easter.  Pastel colors are kind of irritating, huh?  Ah well, these cookies and cakepops were cute, and my treats were made even more super cute as they were photographed by a college friend as part of my goal to bring back the bartering system for other people’s talents.  Unfortunately for him, french macarons really can’t withstand a 3000 mile journey across the country via the US Postal Service.  But he did a good job making them look quite shabby chic – you should check out the rest of his work.

The summer was kind of a blur of all things cake. All I remember is buttercream… lots and lots of buttercream…

Oh, but I do remember that my inner mod woman came out, and a freshly frosted cake was my canvas.  Love, love, love the polka dots and geometric patterns on the cakes.  Please someone have a Mad Men themed party – you’ll need a retro looking cake to wash down that martini…

 

Then came Fall… should be filled with sugar and spice, right?  Not quite yet!  Cookie favor orders were coming in at this time for birthdays and weddings.  I enjoy doing these, but they tend to be very time consuming and in need of absolute attention (gee, no wonder I’m not married yet – iced sugar cookies have traumatized me!).  I also started to do a few baking demonstrations… yes, alcohol was needed…

Ok, now here comes my favorite part of the year, aside from the actual baking part.  But, it’s the baking that pulls the entire feel and nostalgia of fall and winter.  Cinnamon, cranberries, nutmeg, brown sugar (I hardly ever use brown sugar in everyday baking!) – they all make their appearances to excite us into going into the holidays full force.  It’s also the time of the year that I don’t necessarily bake for looks, but more for texture and comfort.  You just can’t make a pumpkin pie or apple crisp look cute – you just can’t!  But that’s okay, because it’s all about the food and how the taste can bring back such happy memories… ahh, ugly food – how I love thee.

And finally, Christmas.  This is it.  It’s the final battle for the baker.  It all comes down to how she’s going to end the year.  For me, it was split between a little bit of dazzle and a little bit of down home bakin’!  Our annual cookie decorating party was reserved for family only this year – and how great was it to see my 41 year old brother and 10 year old nephew competing to see whose oversize unicorn cookie was going to take 1st place!  I’m just sorry that there wasn’t enough time in 2011 to bake for everyone that I wanted to.  But thanks for being part of my 2011 and following my sporadic blog!  I promise in 2012, I’ll be much better about sharing recipes as well as tips and tricks of the trade.

It’s going to be an exciting 2012… you just wait and see!  Happy New Year!!

ooxxooXoXXx (a la Nacho Libre),
-shauna

This entry was published on December 29, 2011 at 2:32 am and is filed under sweet talk. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “closing the (cook)books on 2011…

  1. An awesome year! Thanks for sharing! Love the french macaroons! Thanks to DAQWEENA for bringing me samples!

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