Don't forget to add some cultural aspects in your recipes for the contest!!
RECIPES FOR NOVEMBER:
Christmas baking wouldn't seem complete without a batch of gingerbread men. These cookies are fragrant with ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves; the amount of which can be adjusted to suit your own individual taste. If you like your gingerbread cookies on the soft side bake them a little less than the recipe states as the longer they bake the harder they will become. There are a few ways to decorate your gingerbread men; one is to press raisins into the dough before baking, or you can frost the baked and cooled cookies with confectioners frosting. You can also use gingerbread men as decorations for your Christmas tree or as gift tags. To do this, pierce a hole in the top of each unbaked cookie using a straw or end of a wooden skewer. Bake the cookies and then thread a pretty ribbon through the hole and hang on your tree.
Chocolate Truffles are a rich and elegant, bite-sized petit four made with a creamy mixture of chocolate, cream, and butter to which various flavorings are added (liqueurs, extracts, nuts, coffee, purees, spices, candied or dried fruits). This mixture is really a Ganache that is rolled into mis-shaped rounds to look like the real truffle fungus that grows around the roots of trees in France and Italy. Once the truffles are formed they are then rolled in cocoa powder to simulate the 'dirt' that the real truffles grow in. While cocoa powder is the traditional coating, truffles can also be coated in confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, toasted and chopped nuts, tempered chocolate, shredded coconut, or even shaved chocolate.
Shortbreads are traditionally a Christmas cookie made with just four ingredients, butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and flour. They are a rich cookie with a delicate buttery flavor. These cookies freeze very well so they are the perfect cookie to make for the holiday season.
Pound cakes were the cakes made by our mothers, our grandmothers, and our great-grandmothers. The name 'pound' was given to this cake because the original recipes contained one pound each of butter, sugar, eggs, and flour.
Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe
The Chocolate Chip Cookie was invented by Ruth Wakefield, who was the owner of the Toll House Inn in Massachusetts. The story goes that one day in 1930 she decided to add small chunks of a Nestle's Semisweet Yellow Label Chocolate bar to her butter cookie dough. The cookies were an instant hit with her customers and word of their popularity reached the Nestle company. Nestle must have realized that adding small chunks of their chocolate bar to cookie dough would appeal to the mass market because by 1939 Nestle was selling chocolate morsels (or chips). What a brilliant marketing plan it turned out to be when Nestle decided to package the chocolate chips in a Yellow bag and then bought the rights to the Toll House name and Ruth Wakefield's chocolate chip cookie recipe. They called her recipe "The Famous Toll House Cookie" and printed it on the back of the Yellow bag of chocolate chips.
When a sponge cake is baked in a sheet pan and then rolled around a filling, it is called a Roulade (for the French), a Jelly Roll (for the Americans), and a Swiss Roll (for the English). Sponge Cakes (or biscuits) presented in this way have a beautiful pinwheel design and they are often filled with toppings like lemon curd, jam or preserves, fruit sauces, chopped nuts, ganache, or for this recipe I have used a raspberry whipped cream. Now, all the garnish a sponge roll really needs is a dusting of confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, but to dress it up, as I did, you can pipe rosettes of cream down the center of the roll and then top the rosettes with fresh fruit.
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