The first selected recipe for December was the gingerbread Bûche de Noël and I was ecstatic that there were so many how-to videos popping up just in time! Dorie Greenspan made this cake with Melissa Clark of the New York Times and you can get the recipe and watch the video right here. You can also get it and all the other wonderful recipes we’ll be baking, by picking up Baking Chez Moi. 🙂
I made this cake for a holiday party that we had at our home and was grateful that making the filling and praline could be done ahead of time. The morning of the party, I made the cake and needed two attempts. The first attempt was undercooked. Initially I thought it would be ok but after dusting it with confectioners sugar and letting it reach room temperature it was a soggy mess. To the garbage it went! 2nd attempt was sublime! Again, I was really grateful for the step by step video. Being able to pause and watch on my iPad while baking gave me a huge advantage to making this successfully!
The recipe did end up making a lot more frosting than what was needed and I was surprised at how long it took to make, (it took much longer than the 10 minutes advised for the sugar to reach the desired temperature) but boy was it amazing! I was really, really excited to finish this cake off and then see how incredible it looked when sliced. I think the next time I want to make this special Yule Log I might try this recipe (chestnut mousse!!!).
The first December recipe from Baking Chez Moi was the Rugelach that Won Over France (check out the link to see how everyone did!). Not going to lie, when I heard that the rugelach was selected for baking I became very hesitant and considered skipping it. The rugelach recipe in Baking From My Home to Yours was one of the first recipes I made for the TWD group (November, 2008) and it didn’t turn out anything nearly like I was expecting and was a borderline disaster:
Yikes. At least it tasted better than it looked! That sugar was really not a good idea. What was I thinking 6 years ago? 🙂
Back to the current recipe- I tend to enjoy rugelach that is jam based so this was a new filling for me and I really enjoyed it! I was able to fill the dough with little problems until the 4th roll. I tried to stuff it with all the leftover mix which caused the dough to split/spill on several occasions.
Wrapped, I let the dough stay frozen for about 24 hours. I ended up slicing 2 of the logs to bake and left the other 2 frozen to bake for another time. I decided to bake the last log that I rolled and that became quite the adventure since the filling didn’t want to cooperate in the oven.
After about 13 minutes of baking, the smoke detectors went off. Half of the rugelach was getting burned and the filling was starting to leak out. It always amuses me that I remember to turn the fan on after the smoke detector starts going off. Long story short, the rugelach were very, very tasty. I’m looking forward to baking the cookies in the freezer I’ll just need to keep a better eye on them so they don’t burn. The batch that turned out well had a delicious pastry. The batch that burned, well you could tell that they would have tasted well if they hadn’t burned!