NEW YORK, NY :: HOLIDAY BAKING // gingerbread houses at JBF, converting chocolate chip cookies to vegan cookies, beautiful & glamorous linzers

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During the holidays, people bake. 

And during the holidays, I usually watch these people bake…

However, this year was different.

This year, I was the one in front of the oven.

 

It all started out when I volunteered to make Gingerbread Houses at the James Beard Foundation House (NYC). I started off on meringue duty and made royal icing by the pound.

Needless to say, the Kitchen Aid became my best friend.

Following a total of 40 Gingerbread Houses, the sugar rush continued with pastry classes at the Natural Gourmet (my culinary school in NYC).

I made 7 batches of Chocolate Chip (Walnut) Cookies.

I repeat, SEVEN batches. For every batch, I replaced one existing ingredient at a time for a health supportive ingredient (ex: white sugar was subbed out for maple crystals)… to my surprise, I was left with a successful vegan chocolate chip cookie #WhoKnew?

Following 7 batches of Chocolate Chip Cookies, I made an Apple Galette.

It turned out exactly as it should: flat, round, tasty, and filled to the brim with apples.

As shown in the bottom picture, I tried to pay homage to Il Dolce Cortile (in Monza, Italy – my previous hometown) by curling my apples, but it didn’t look quite like theirs… #stillpretty

Moving on… Linzer Tarts.

At first I had no interest in making these Linzer Tarts for my culinary school class.

Plain & simple: I was tired.

I didn’t want to get up from my chair, nonetheless make dough, roll dough or bake dough… however, I was challenged by my instructor, Chef Elliot, to make them beautiful and glamourous… #GameONChef

Maybe baking isn’t so difficult after all…

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