I've never been a big fan of strawberry rhubarb pie. To my taste, strawberries are infinitely better fresh than cooked. I don't like the texture they get in a pie. Give me straight-up rhubarb any day. And while rhubarb is a spring crop, it freezes beautifully, and whenever I see it in the market, I buy a ton, chop, and freeze for use throughout the year.
Most of the gingerbread houses I make are pretty laden with candy, like this one from last year:
But it's a lot of fun to work just with royal icing and gingerbread itself as the only decoration.
The blank expanse of a gingerbread house roof can seem vast indeed. An extensive blank canvas, just waiting to be filled with candy decorations, with no interruptions from windows or doors. Sometimes it's hard to know where to start.
I typically make mostly A-frame gingerbread houses (printable templates here) for all the kids in my girls' classrooms, scout troops, etc. It's just faster and easier when you're doing it for a crowd. But if I have a little extra time, this is what I think of as my "standard" gingerbread house shape.
I know it's not quite yet Thanksgiving, but I have GINGERBREAD HOUSES on the brain already! I love gingerbread time! And since I make north of 100 gingerbread houses each year, I need to start early.
I'll be the first to admit it: brownie mixes are actually very good. Much better than cake mixes, in my opinion. And I have absolutely no objection to using brownie mixes. But every once in a while, I want the outrageously delicious brownies my mother always made when we were growing up. And every time I make them, I realize how stunningly easy they are--almost as easy as the box mix!
The hectic holiday season is notoriously stressful, with so many parties, events, and entertaining obligations that quickly fill calendars. Making homemade pies and cookies for Christmas dinner is often one of the first things to get cut from the to-do list; many people instead opt for sad, gummy, store-bought versions instead. Instead of running into a time crunch at the end of the holiday season, why not plan ahead and freeze pies early in December, before the social calendar gets completely swamped?
I'm not a huge fan of peanut butter. It's fine, don't get me wrong--but I've never in my life been tempted to just eat a spoon full of the stuff. But pair it with chocolate...well, that's an entirely different matter.
Some pies are just better with a graham cracker crust. There's something magical about that mix of butter and sugar and cookie crumbs that's just so right, especially with creamy-type pies.
I'm guest posting today over at Best Friends for Frosting, sharing my favorite (and really yummy) salted caramel buttercream icing recipe. And what more perfect thing to put it on than apple cake cupcakes?