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You Had Better Watch Out

JohnDB

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#1
Better not cry
Better not pout
I'm tellin you why
Christmas is COMING!!!!!

It's begun around here.

I got a quart of home-made vanilla extract started. (Yes from beans)
2 fifths of Gran Marnier started
1 fifth of Kentucky Bourbon aging in the oak barrel (soon to be replaced with a batch of scotch)


All this will go into candy and cookies.

Soon I'll be getting my 11 lb bar of fine Swiss chocolate for tempering. (Last year's bar is down to a little over a pound)

The gingerbread houses need planning yet. There's probably going to be at least 3 if not more of them. (Probably more...one will be huge)

It's time to slowly start stocking the supplies for cookies and presents.
(100+ dozen cookies are no joke to knock out)

Christmas is my license to do as I please. I got my 2 gallon KitchenAid mixer all broken in (brand new last year) and a small 5 qt to back it up.

I'm going to crush it this year.

Anybody else as excited as me on this?
 

kiwidan

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#2
Your keen. Its only the beginning of August. Lol. Christmas is over 4 months away. Lol. But why not. Lets have a party. Never too early to celebrate. If Christmas was everyday it would be great, people are in a good mood and freely giving and recieving. Even many people go out and give gifts and food to the less fortunate.
 
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JohnDB

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#3
Your keen. Its only the beginning of August. Lol.
Good things take time to make...the best ingredients aren't necessarily bought. Home made Gran Marnier is better than the expensive brand name.

I've got Creme de menthe and Chambord yet to go...

I was thinking about maybe cinnamon candies this year... maybe chocolate cordial cherries... but the goo for the center is hard to get.
 
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#4
I love gingerbread cookies and baking them from scratch. I have a big kitchen aid mixer that helps me whip up double batches . .the only catch . .in FL it can still be warm and humid in December. The dough isn't easy to work with and the cookies are a little soft when the weather isn't dry. Last year we got lucky with a couple of cold snaps. And by that I mean two days where the high was around 60 degrees :) Plus I was unemployed so I had plenty of baking time.
 

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JohnDB

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#5
I love gingerbread cookies and baking them from scratch. I have a big kitchen aid mixer that helps me whip up double batches . .the only catch . .in FL it can still be warm and humid in December. The dough isn't easy to work with and the cookies are a little soft when the weather isn't dry. Last year we got lucky with a couple of cold snaps. And by that I mean two days where the high was around 60 degrees :) Plus I was unemployed so I had plenty of baking time.
Oh I make houses...let the kids cover them with candy.

I got a good recipe...uses coffee in the dough so it comes out stiff enough.

I'll share a little closer to time when I get the cookie book out.
 
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#6
already on Christmas?!?! I'm impressed. You've got the big box stores beat, even. LOL.

but...ummmm....you've made me awfully hungry for something...high quality, wholesome, preferably homemade. Not actually an option right now, so...thanks (LOL). I'll settle for some strong coffee loaded up w/ Almond Joy creamer and try to think on something else.
 

JohnDB

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#7
already on Christmas?!?! I'm impressed. You've got the big box stores beat, even. LOL.

but...ummmm....you've made me awfully hungry for something...high quality, wholesome, preferably homemade. Not actually an option right now, so...thanks (LOL). I'll settle for some strong coffee loaded up w/ Almond Joy creamer and try to think on something else.
Actually when I was in Hobby Lobby today they were already pushing the stuff. Pre-lit trees, wreaths, table decorations and ornaments.

And I thought that I was an early bird.
Guess I'm just in the nick of time to start.
 

JohnDB

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#8
I just checked vanilla bean prices...

Uggghhhh
It's better than last year's prices but it's still high.

I used to buy low end (not pretty) vanilla beans for around $20 lb... called chef quality because we cook with them and make stuff with them and the consumer of our stuff is never going to see the vanilla beans. Great stuff for vanilla extract and custards and etc...

But then last year someone destroyed the vanilla bean market...bought them all up at the wholesale farmers market level and horded them. Beans went for $500 lb.

This year is better...but it's still $300 lb

I'm hoping for better next year.

Nothing beats real vanilla...and the junk they sell as "real vanilla extract" has very little real vanilla but a ton of vanilla flavoring coming from a hybrid yeast. I can tell the difference.
 
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#10
Wow, this is early! Then again if you need stuff to ferment or cure it needs planning. Sounds awesome.

I am so hoping I can make at least one edible gingerbread house for our family to decorate. I am not good at measuring all the pieces and keeping them together. I would definitely need my husbands help, but if all else fails maybe we can decorate some flat christmas trees, stars, or houses =P I will see what happens when time gets closer.
 

JohnDB

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#11
already on Christmas?!?! I'm impressed. You've got the big box stores beat, even. LOL.

but...ummmm....you've made me awfully hungry for something...high quality, wholesome, preferably homemade. Not actually an option right now, so...thanks (LOL). I'll settle for some strong coffee loaded up w/ Almond Joy creamer and try to think on something else.
You can always take up cooking lessons...or just get started on one thing...and do it well.

I get 22 cookies from one batch of toll House cookies...recipe comes right from the back of Nestle's chips.

I got the timing down to bake times @ 7-9-11 minutes depending upon different factors and my kitchen goes into full production. I use weight for the flour as it tends to be more consistent than volume measurements. I can't remember exactly... something like 13.25 oz... I'll recheck when doing the first batch.
 

JohnDB

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#12
Wow, this is early! Then again if you need stuff to ferment or cure it needs planning. Sounds awesome.

I am so hoping I can make at least one edible gingerbread house for our family to decorate. I am not good at measuring all the pieces and keeping them together. I would definitely need my husbands help, but if all else fails maybe we can decorate some flat christmas trees, stars, or houses =P I will see what happens when time gets closer.
Watching me is not a good idea...lol
My wife does and notices when I use accurate measurements and when I use the SWAG method (systematic guesses made by lots of practice)

And then I fly...I know the science behind most of the things I make and where all the critical steps vx shortcuts are at. 10 dozen cookies a night are the norm. Decorations on the cookies takes longer. (Dipping in chocolate and sparkling sugar)
Candies were frustrating last year as it's been 30 years since I did production level cooking of those. I'm hoping for a better year on those.
I started buying the 11 lb bars of chocolate because I was going through that much usually but Kroger's wants @ $10/lb + on sale for the good chocolate (in 4oz bars) and the big bars run around $75. Hefty savings of $30.

But we'll stock up to about a 40 pounds of butter, 50 pounds of sugar...two big tubs of oatmeal. 5 lbs of powdered sugar...I'm thinking about buying the chocolate chips in bulk...but I'm not sure. Size, shape, and taste are everything.

Shortbread cookies are pretty and make a display inviting but nobody eats a lot of them.
 
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#13
Watching me is not a good idea...lol
My wife does and notices when I use accurate measurements and when I use the SWAG method (systematic guesses made by lots of practice)

And then I fly...I know the science behind most of the things I make and where all the critical steps vx shortcuts are at. 10 dozen cookies a night are the norm. Decorations on the cookies takes longer. (Dipping in chocolate and sparkling sugar)
Candies were frustrating last year as it's been 30 years since I did production level cooking of those. I'm hoping for a better year on those.
I started buying the 11 lb bars of chocolate because I was going through that much usually but Kroger's wants @ $10/lb + on sale for the good chocolate (in 4oz bars) and the big bars run around $75. Hefty savings of $30.

But we'll stock up to about a 40 pounds of butter, 50 pounds of sugar...two big tubs of oatmeal. 5 lbs of powdered sugar...I'm thinking about buying the chocolate chips in bulk...but I'm not sure. Size, shape, and taste are everything.

Shortbread cookies are pretty and make a display inviting but nobody eats a lot of them.
That sounds like a lot of bulk cooking! Surely for large cozy winter gatherings! I am sure it smells great come Christmas, too!

Still trying to figure out the gingerbread thing without an oven lol. Don't think it will work. I think we are going to have to make a trip to bake somewhere else. My husband usually makes his amazing chocolate chip cookies around Christmas. They are a wonderful outreach to give to neighbor's, too.

I remember we lived in an apartment and my husband whipped up a lot of cookie dough. While he was at work, I baked them all up. It ended up being like 10 dozen cookies. We gave some to the front office and then some to our neighbors. We put tracts with them as well. That evening, we were inside and heard fighting upstairs. One of them yelled, "Dude! Did you just eat my cookies?!" The other said, "Well, yeah, you weren't eating them!" And he said, "Man! I wanted the rest my cookies! I should punch you in the face!" I told my husband, "Are they seriously in a fist fight over your cookies?" Lol it was something else. I call my husband's cookies "crack cookies" because they are so addictive. I could eat like 2 dozen by myself in a sitting no problem. The ingredients are basic...nothing special. It is all in the special technique!
 

JohnDB

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#14
Home made cookies are special...every year I bring them to work it starts fights over "someone eating too many and not leaving enough for others"...( even though there's more than enough)

And yes...there's nothing all that special... normal mundane ingredients...but for whatever reason there is some kind of magic that happens when put together. It brings out the child in all of us. I've seen parents eat their kids cookies and if the kid whines buy them store bought... LOL

It's that old fashioned taste of hearth and home. Eating and tasting a memory is priceless. Which is why I make the blank gingerbread houses...the store bought gifts will be forgotten...but the memories of getting ready for Christmas last a lifetime.
 

HeIsRisen2018

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#15
Your keen. Its only the beginning of August. Lol. Christmas is over 4 months away. Lol. But why not. Lets have a party. Never too early to celebrate. If Christmas was everyday it would be great, people are in a good mood and freely giving and recieving. Even many people go out and give gifts and food to the less fortunate.




Oh no, no, no, no, no, no!!! That's a BAD idea right there! I love Christmas as much as the next person don't get me wrong, but I'm glad it's only once a year. I would get SO sick of it! The spirit of the holiday can and SHOULD last all year though. As of right now, I would rather carve my pumpkin and eat my turkey first.
 
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#16
Good things take time to make...the best ingredients aren't necessarily bought. Home made Gran Marnier is better than the expensive brand name.

I've got Creme de menthe and Chambord yet to go...

I was thinking about maybe cinnamon candies this year... maybe chocolate cordial cherries... but the goo for the center is hard to get.
Yum, where do you live again?
I love baking for Christmas.
Bake goods make wonderful gifts.
 
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#17
Home made cookies are special...every year I bring them to work it starts fights over "someone eating too many and not leaving enough for others"...( even though there's more than enough)

And yes...there's nothing all that special... normal mundane ingredients...but for whatever reason there is some kind of magic that happens when put together. It brings out the child in all of us. I've seen parents eat their kids cookies and if the kid whines buy them store bought... LOL

It's that old fashioned taste of hearth and home. Eating and tasting a memory is priceless. Which is why I make the blank gingerbread houses...the store bought gifts will be forgotten...but the memories of getting ready for Christmas last a lifetime.
Sounds like you get what I mean 1,000%!!!

True, the memories are special and love makes it all come together! =D
 

Tessa

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#18
I love everything about Christmas. The gorgeous smells of the baking, cooking and candles. The candles, cards and holly. But most of all the atmosphere It's special.
The Christmas carols and songs, you can't beat them.
My grandmother used to make everything from scratch, the big Christamas cake and Christmas pudding etc. I'm not as good at it as she was. So think I will creep into John's house this year. Sounds delicious!
 

JohnDB

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#19
I love everything about Christmas. The gorgeous smells of the baking, cooking and candles. The candles, cards and holly. But most of all the atmosphere It's special.
The Christmas carols and songs, you can't beat them.
My grandmother used to make everything from scratch, the big Christamas cake and Christmas pudding etc. I'm not as good at it as she was. So think I will creep into John's house this year. Sounds delicious!
Sounds like I'm going to have to do a closet check every night before I go to bed each night...
 

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