Oh my. It seems as though Res also has a post today called *Trial Run.*
What a coinkidink.
Well, as they say, great minds must think alike because it seems both of us were engaged in practicing for the Ultimate Christmas Cookie Bake-Off Of The 21st Century!
When I practice anything I need to start big. I've got to flex every baking muscle, so to speak. I start by lifting newly purchased bags of flour over my head, 5 reps each until I complete 250, all the while letting dark chocolate waffers melt in my mouth. Sugar gives me the energy I need to dream!
It could be better. I know. I was only warming up! Geez!
When we were in Switzerland last winter, (you know, the winter after we had spent the summer in Paris) I snapped a photo as my husband and son were skiing. (I don't ski -- that's for crazy people.)
I knew it would serve as inspiration one day. And that day has arrived.
What better way to make fake smoke coming from the back of a marshmallow mountain than with a homemade plastic form where you freeze cream soda that has been colored by chocolate pudding? There's no better way. Believe me. I've been doing this for years.
The ski lift was tricky, I have to admit. Wasn't sure how I was going to accomplish it, but then a great idea, like a bolt of lightning hit me! Bleach red licorice strings until they are perfectly white. Then braid them. (You must do this twice -- because, you know, there are two rope things involved in a ski lift.)
After you braid them, dabble just a tad of (a tad!) of liquified glucose (creates a glue-like substance) on them and then roll them in sugar. Perfectomundo!
I knew exactly how I needed to make the train. (The train tracks are another story. We'll get to that later.)
Again, using a homemade cake pans, (cuz only sissies shop at William-Sonoma) you bake each part of the train, adding lots and lots of extra starch so that each part stays as rigid as possible. Then, you melt chocolate (the proper color of course for each part) and you pour the melted chocolate into the cake pans so that you have the proper shape. Then, again, you take liquified glucose and apply each piece to the actual rigid train cake pieces! Voila! Easy as, well...cake!
(Just make the train tracks out of pretzels...duh!)
This is just a close up of the Gingerbread Village. They're really easy -- everyone knows how to make those, so I won't bore you with the details. Except to say -- see those green trees there? I made those myself from the feathers of the turtle doves we raise. I dyed them green of course! We don't have green turtle doves, silly!
And the Magical Kingdom shown here was NOT part of the scenery when we were in Switzerland, but just something I added at the last minute in honor of my buddy Res. He loves Disney so, I thought I'd throw it in to make him happy.
I thought the flags were a nice touch. They were really easy. It's amazing what you can do with a pair of scissors and Joojoo Beans!
Yes, yes, I know. I took the easy way out by making the door out of graham crackers. So sue me.
(See that Gingerbread guy laying there? That's me if I would ever even try to ski.)
So, anyway. I wasn't even going to post photos of my practice run. But I saw that Res had and I didn't want him to think I was being a slacker.
Afterall, I didn't take the time to bake and include any fireworks in my village! So, I mean, how great could it possibly be?