December 9, 2017

Gnome Sugar Cookie


The holiday season doesn't start for me until I decorate the Christmas tree and bring out my beloved collection of Scandinavian gnomes.  I first fell in love with these adorable felt figures many, many years ago when they festooned my honorary Norwegian mamma's cabin in the mountains outside of Oslo.  Mamma G (aka "MG") loves to decorate at Christmas, no one can hold a candle to her in this regard, and the gnomes are the star centerpieces.  


How ecstatic was I last Christmas when she gifted me with an entire family of white and grey gnomes of my very own!  Little did she know at the time that her generous gift was the start of my ever growing gnome collection.  You might say I have a slight obsession, but I can't help it, they are just so darn cute! I've found some great ones at Zara Home, Swedish Inspirations, IKEA and Heath Ceramics.


So when I happened upon Sweet Sugarbelle's gnome cookies I knew I had to make them.  They were literally screaming my name.  Callye is such a baking inspiration for me and her creativity has no bounds.  She ingeniously used one of her brand's ghost cookie cutters and transformed it in to the gnome.  Unfortunately I didn't have a chance to buy her Halloween cutter collection when it was in stores but I found this great alternative at Truly Mad Plastics.

I just love how the gnomes turned out.  In fact, I love them so much I'm using "gnomes" as the theme for the holiday treats that I'll be gifting this year.

December 3, 2017

Tunnel of Fudge Cake



My friend Link texted me a few weeks ago in search of a chocolate bundt recipe.  I initially referred him to this post already on my blog for deep chocolate sour cream cake.  Then I thought to myself, what if you didn't have sour cream and just wanted to make a cake with ingredients you normally already had on hand?

In search for something easier, I was thumbing through my copy of this Cook's Country cookbook and fortuitously happened upon a recipe for Tunnel of Fudge Cake.  I loved the idea of a moist chocolate bundt with a fudgy center.   I've never made this cake before and I don't recall having tasted one either so that was enough motivation for me to try the recipe.


After reviewing the list of ingredients I do admit I was concerned about the copious amounts of sugar it has: granulated, brown and powdered!  My anxiety was quickly alleviated once I tasted the finished cake as I found the rich chocolate flavor tempered any sweetness I had feared.   

The key to success with this cake is to make sure you don't over bake it, otherwise you won't get the lovely "tunnel of fudge."  Follow what the recipe says and test that it's done by gently pressing your finger on the surface of the cake and it springs back gently.  Also, I only used half the chocolate glaze, which was more than enough, so I ended up baking a second cake a few days later! 

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