December 22, 2009

The last days before Christmas always seem to be over in 1/562 of the time I spend waiting for them. And even though I like to think I’ve done tons of Christmassy things, I know there are so many (as in way too many) things I still haven’t done. But while catching reruns of America’s Next Top Model and frantically reading Lindsey Kelk’s “I Heart New York” (I can’t wait for July and the Paris version!), I’ve managed to make an ice lantern, marzipan chocolate and cinnamon applesauce ornaments. Phew, now I know why I’ve felt so busy!

Making this lantern is super easy. You pour some water in a bucket, let it stay outside until frozen (negative 10 degrees Celsius made that more than possible for me), pour some more water in the bucket, but this time you put a smaller bucket in the middle (put in some heavy rocks in it to avoid it floating). If you want more than just a block of shining ice, you can put in pine cones, straw, red ribbons, or like me: some pine sprigs and red berries.
It makes an excellent welcome lantern for Christmas parties.

The next day I went on making cinnamon applesauce ornaments, which I will leave to are so happy to show how it’s done; my dough did not resemble sugar cookie dough, but the house still smelled of cinnamon, one of my favourite tastes – and smells – in the whole wide world. (PS: Don’t taste the dough, it turns out there is such a thing as too much cinnamon..)

Then it was time for my traditional marzipan chocolates. I make these every single year, and have done so for as long as I can remember. I melt chocolate in a water bath (be careful, because chocolate is not suppose to boil, simply melt), then cover all the hearts in the form before I let it cool down in the coldest room in the house. Do not freeze chocolate, ever, because it oxidizes and leaves a kind of white-ish layer on the outside, which doesn’t change the taste, it just doesn’t look as good. I usually give a lot of these chocolates away, so I like for them to look as beautiful as they can.

Then I shove as much marzipan as I can into the hearts, before I cover with a dash of chocolate. I use a brush to make sure the chocolate covers all the marzipan. Then I put it back in to that cold room. After a while I carefully remove the hearts from the form, I wrap them in aluminium foil and put them in customised jam jars: A perfect gift!

Lastly I went out and picked spruce cones which I sprayed with glitter. They’ll be perfect on my Christmas tree, along with some of my other ornaments. I hope..
Now back to gift wrapping and tag making!


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