Sunday, 18 November 2012

Festive Pinnies and Petticoats

First Christmas Party of the season and it involved a lot of cake.  Not the best when you have to squeeze into the required sparkly frock or festive jumper. But this wasn't just any Christmas party it was the Pinnies and Petticoats Aberdeen Baking Club Party. The regular Wednesday night meet had been changed to a Friday to allow for a few sneaky tipples and the promise of late night dancing round tupperware boxes.

Christmas is definitely one of the biggest opportunities on the baking calendar so the choice of what to make was phenomenal. I browsed my cookery books and scoured Pinterest for inspiration and after much swithering opted for Gingerbread Men. With a twist. The idea was very simple in theory. Use a gingerbread cutter upside down and it becomes a reindeer. However when I actually looked at my existing selection of gingerbread cutters it became apparent that it needed a specific physique of man to work. Cue a quick trip to Lakeland for a Gingerbread Boy Cutter Kit.
The recipe I used was from Mary Berry's Baking Bible but I added a touch more ginger than she states as I like my men spicy. They needed a wee bit of fiddling once cut. A knife in the crotch and legs pulled apart formed perfect antlers. Once baked and cooled it was time to ice and decorate. The problem with only needing red skittles for their noses was what to do with the rest of the family sized pack. On this occasion I ate too many and felt slightly sick but Skittles Vodka was suggested as an alternative which I must investigate further.
Reindeer's made but I still had a hankering for something savoury. Not strictly baking but I decided to do some Penguin canapes with a festive touch of a Tomberry Santa hat. Even more fiddly than the original versions but looked great. 
Yet again there was a fantastic turnout of bakers and an even more amazing spread of cakes and bakes. Not sure if I managed to photograph them all. I certainly didn't manage to taste them all on the night but packed two layers to take home in my tupperware. Lets kick off with the savouries.  
Christmas Dinner Swirls
Blue Cheese and Oat Biscuits
Tom's Christmas Dinner Swirls were so good. Turkey, cranberry, stuffing and pastry perfection. They were gone in a flash. Lou from Please Do Not Feed The Animals was a wee bit disappointed in her bake but I though they were great and devoured way more than my share of her Dan Lepards Blue Cheese and Oat Biscuits. They would be amazing with Port and Stilton.
Olive and Parmesan Pinwheels
Mini Cheese Scones, Chilli Jam, Parmesan & Chilli Biscuits
When I spotted the pinwheels I assumed they were sweet cinnamon danish pastries but when the label went up I was thrilled to discover that they were Olive and Parmesan. Very moreish. Karen put up a "warning hot!!!" sign alongside her Parmesan and Chilli Biscuits and it was certainly needed. Her Mini Cheese Scones (cut with the aid of a shot glass) were fab with the chilli jam and would be even better warm.
Strawberry Chocolate Santa Cupcakes
Christmas Spice Cheesecake
Marzipan and Raisin Twist
Chocolate Reindeer Cupcakes
And so to the sweet treats. A huge selection of festive inspired creations including all the traditional flavours and symbols of Christmas. I think this month's star bakers award has to go jointly to Coleen's Christmas pudding two ways - Mini Christmas Pudding bon bons and Chocolate Macarons with Grand Marnier ganache filling and Shona's Gingerbread House. We were particularly impressed with her icing writing skills and she confessed she had served her time in Thorntons piping names on Easter Eggs.
Due to my upcoming trip to Munich for the Christmas Markets I was excited to see some German Christmas Bakery on offer with a traditional Stollen and bite sized Orange, Cranberry and Pistachio Stollen Squares. There were also some amazing Zimtsterne (Cinnamon Stars) and some Soft Liebukuchen Hearts.  I'm definitely going to give the stars a go and I'm intrigued by the method of making them.
Yet again our American bakers came up trumps with some fantastic offerings including peanut butter, pumpkin, candy canes and Hershey kisses.  I am a sucker for all things peanut butter and the pumpkin cupcakes were to die for.
Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Caramel Frosting
Candy Cane Peppermint Bark
The next meet is scheduled to take place on Wednesday 16th January and the theme is "Baby Shower" in celebration of founder member Emma who is due to give birth on 14th February.  Lets hope her bun stays firmly in the oven until then.
If you missed them I blogged about the inaugural Pinnies and Petticoats here and our second meet which was Halloween themed here. For event details and updates like the Pinnies and Petticoats Facebook page

2 comments :

  1. Fab round-up, Claire!
    The selection was quite phenomenal really.
    Your penguins were absolutely amazing! Love them so much.

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  2. Thanks Lou, I felt a bit of a fraud with the penguins as they in no way constitute a cake or a bake but they are very cute!

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