Big news! Big news! So much news!
Where to start — um, um… okay — so, first off, I’ve just come out on the other side of a round of practical exams.
I’m totally thrilled with my marks, mostly over 9+/10 on all my items (although I didn’t do a great job on my hand-rolled chocolate truffles), and my chef told me that I “set the bar” for the exam. Squee! How great is that?
Of course it’s my dream to become a truly skilled pastry chef — and of course I think I can do it — it’s just nice when someone I respect immensely throws a bit of fuel on the fire of my hopes and ambitions, y’know?
Look out, next semester, here I come!
On top of that, I was able to get a seasonal position (a second job, no less) helping out The Vancouver Club during their Christmas rush.
I recently had the luck of meeting their pastry chef, too, and she’s totally nice — she offered to let me come to the club one night and follow her around to see what she does for free, but this is even better.
Doesn’t it seem serendipitous that I’m able to work with her so soon after meeting her?
I don’t even know if I’m getting paid or not and I just don’t even care — money would just be gravy at this point — the opportunity of experience and the ballin’ reference on my resume is really all I’m lookin’ for!
Whoooooa shit — okay. Must calm down.
So, in other news, now that it’s the season of giving, my school is making cookie tins to sell and raise money for the local BC Children’s Hospital. Each pastry class has to produce at least 150 cookies to contribute to the tins.
I love the idea of baking for charity, and I was totally eager to participate no matter what kind of cookies my class decided to make, but imagine my surprise when my chef instructor asked me to make 150 cookies of my own recipe for the tins!
I was deeply flattered and humbled.
I went nuts perfecting the recipe.
I asked too many other chefs for their opinions and got overwhelmed with feedback.
I lost sleep.
But the cookies are finally baked and done and in their tins and ready to go and lots of people came together to make it happen!
There’s just so much going right now!
On one hand, I’m a little worried about spreading myself too thin and getting sick or overwhelmed during the most intense time of the year — but on the other hand, I can’t wait to rise to this challenge!
We’ll just have to see how things go, eh?
Anyways, without further ado, here is the recipe I developed for my school’s charity cookie tins.
It’s a soft and cakey cookie with a very intense spiced nutmeg and egg nog flavour (even though this home version doesn’t contain any actual egg nog). One of my classmates even helped me name them — thus, they were dubbed “egg noggies”!
*original recipe by Christine
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon white sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon real vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon dark spiced rum
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons custard powder, like Bird’s
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon all-spice
Sift the flour, custard powder, baking powder, salt, and ground spices together. Set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth.
Mix in the whole egg, egg yolk, vanilla extract, and dark spiced rum — at this point the batter might look curdled, but that’s okay — keep mixing until the wet ingredients are evenly incorporated.
Gently stir in the sifted flour and custard powder mixture, mixing until no steaks of dry ingredients remain.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least overnight. Leaving the dough in the fridge to “ripen” for up to 3 days matures the flavour by quite a bit, but letting it sit that long isn’t necessary.
Once ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C.
Scoop out 3 ~ 4 tablespoon-size mounds of dough and roll them into balls, spacing at least 3 ~ 4 inches (7 ~ 10 cm) apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Gently flatten the dough balls palm of your hand and sprinkle the tops with white sugar.
Bake for 10 minutes at 350°F/175°C, then turn the heat down to 325°F/160°C and bake for another 10 ~ 12 minutes more. The cookies are done when the edges are browned and slightly crispy-looking.
Makes at least 10 large egg noggies.
If anyone wants the recipe in weight (grams), please e-mail me for a copy.
Enjoy these cookies with a latte or a mug of egg nog spiked with a lil’ more of that dark spiced rum, if you think you can handle the EXTREME LEVELS OF NOG all up in yo face. Yum!