December 2014 A Note from Marcy

 

Dear Bakers and Friends,


I know, I know – how could I feature a photo of Danish Butter Cookies as the December art for BB? But it’s one of my personal traditions. I buy the tins more for the look than anything else (and they’re also great to store your own baking in). But it’s my thing:  the first week of December, I make a Costco run and get a couple of tins of cookies – one Danish Butter Cookie and one of imported chocolate cookies –those delicate, chocolate-enrobed, elegant little cookies that are perfect with tea. I think I invest in all this as much for the tins as for the tradition. Then I buy one or two wooden crates of imported clementines (one for eating and one for making clementine marmalade with, a recipe that’s in the new cookbook…just sayin’). Then I tote home a box of Lindt Truffles, Black Magic Milk Chocolates and sometimes a Terry’s Orange Chocolate thingie. I might also get mints and wine gums. Then it’s onto the décor.

My living room gets spruced up with white and gold poinsettias which is my way of saying Happy Hanukkah with seasonal florals. Of course, with the many menorahs that get dusted and displayed, there’s no mistaking it’s Hanukkah in this house. And in case anyone forgets it’s ‘that time of year’, I go overboard with all manner of scents, from cinnamon incense, to oranges and vanilla beans simmering on the stove, to Bath and Body 3-wick candles in pine, vanilla and apple, all lit, first thing every morning from December lst on. I figure, if you’re going to live in Cold, Cold Canada (or Buffalo), and it’s cocooning time, you might as well do it right. But I think what I love best about the holidays is I get to bake for me, for fun and for the sheer joy of it. Plus no one whines about gluten, butter or sugar in December or chides me for making them lose their discipline. In December, it’s like everyone is finally voting on the right ticket - my ticket – the one the butter stains on it. That said, if you are diabetic, gluten-intolerant, allergic to nuts or chocolate, I do understand. Moreover, if you lived with me, I would do my utmost to create treats exclusively for you.

Welcome everyone to the December Issue of BB. I’ve been baking (and cooking ) many new things but with the new cookbook just launched, time flew and those amazing things will have to have their debut in January. Although, given they’re really decadent things (Buttermilk Salted Caramel Sticky Buns, Crack Oatmeal Pie, Tollhouse Cheesecake Bars, Cinnamon Puffs – a concept so good and easy, it takes baking to a new level), I might have to wait until February. As you can appreciate, January (in food publishing) always seems to be about whole-grains, spa food and anti-oxidant cuisine. Actually, I’ve created a special Kale Salad so you can count on me to do my part. I am full of good intentions.

So for now, I am sharing some seasonal classics, such as butter cookies and rugulah. I could also take this occasion to remind you the Winter Section of The Baker’s Four Seasons is almost a cookbook in itself but that would be overtly self-promoting.  I could also remind you that the recipe archives (over 2500 recipes and increasing daily) is bursting with baking for the holidays, for gifts and for festive meals.

2014 has been quite a year. I had two different web firms promise me a new site and as you can see, that didn’t eventuate. But I did get a new logo designed and now have a wonderful (and unused) Wordpress template that is in storage. I also had a beautiful new Mail Chimp template designed which is on hold until I have a new site but it’s always fun to have a fancy mailer you can’t use…yet.  Happily,  I published a book of poetry, got A Passion for Baking back in print, and published my baking opus, The Baker’s Four Seasons.

I also figured out the perfect diet (stress), new tonics (Monday hot yoga, Sunday afternoon tango and roasted buckwheat tea – oh the joys of anti-oxidants), found warm, wearable winter boots that put Ughs to shame (La Canadienne), and figured out how to upload an Ebook to Google Play. I consulted for a new restaurant (stay tuned), found out I can indeed write in Starbucks (if I’m on deadline) and discovered that if you do one thing at a time, the odds of being both efficient and hyper ventilating less are increased many fold. Who knew? But to that end, I highly recommend Jon Kabat Zin’s Body Scan Meditation on You Tube or any of his books. (Speaking of books, I also discovered while the Ipad, Netflix and Suits are a wonderful combination, I still prefer paper books versus Ipad reading. Call me old-fashioned but I prefer to turn pages versus tapping a screen).

To keep things short and sweet, let me just say, thanks for baking with me for 17 merry winter issues of BB. I do this site, as I do my cookbooks, for you. I take my guests (readers, visitors) seriously as I honour my own friends and family. When I create a recipe, I am hoping it will knock your socks off, or cheer you up, or make you shine or feed your family well or uplift anyone lucky enough to be a baker’s friend. That’s why when someone asks me if a writer’s life features too much solitude I have to say : no. Because you, my gentle readers (and bakers), are always in my mind’s eye. I know where you live – because I live there too. Thanks for hanging out with me.


With warm wishes for the holidays, happy baking, and sweet times,

 

Marcy Goldman
Master Baker, Author
www.BetterBaking.com
Est. 1997

 

Nielsen Massey Heart of Vanilla Shortbread Nielsen Massey Heart of Vanilla Shortbread
A wee touch of vanilla transforms this classic shortbread into vanilla/sugar/butter nirvana. Cut in hearts for a festive spin. Dollar stores also sell heart shaped cookie tins, which are perfect for packing up a batch of these.Nothing beats Nielsen Massey Vanilla for this recipe.

FREE Sugar Cookie Hearts Over 3344 Downloads
A gorgeous sugar cookie filled with raspberry jam or apricot preserves. Can’t beat a pretty heart.


Melted Butter Hanukkah Rugulah

 


Previous Monthly Essays from A Note From Marcy:

Essays to tickle your funny bone, wake up your inner baker, twinge on your heartstrings, or make you smile and say, ‘I’ve know the feeling; I know the place”. If you missed an essay, or a season in baking or inner sensibility, we invite you to stroll through our archived Notes From Marcy.