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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: November 2015

Monday, November 30, 2015

3D CARDBOARD STARS!

   This great diy comes from www.greylustergirl.blogspot.com.  Put some of these on your Christmas tree or anywhere around the house that needs a little decoration.


3-D Cardboard Star








I have one thing from my Fourth of July mantel done, wahoo! I better get cracken cause the 4th is just  around the corner! If you are in a Independence Day mode too, why not make one of these fun 3-D cardboard stars!

Here is what I did: Grab an empty box of cereal. Trace and cut out two stars. Score both stars from their tips to the indented parts (5 times each star). Push the stars out on the score lines by the tips and push in by the indented parts.









If that doesn't make sense to you, head over and follow this tutorial.

Glue the stars together. I used hot glue.









Once dry, spray paint them your color of choice. Distress with ink if desired.





ANTIQUE MUSIC ROSETTE ORNAMENT TUTORIAL!

  This comes from www.larkandlola.blogspot.com .  I thought these were really neat and very inventive. Enjoy making a few of these to go on that special tree or even give them to friends and family.  They will enjoy them on their three for years to come.


Today I made these decorative rosettes! They're ornaments. They are fairly easy to make and super charming. Here's how I did it...






I picked up some scrapbooking embellishments at Joann's. Michael's also carries this brand, K & Co.





And grabbed one of the old music books I buy on eBay all the time for $1 or so.





Tore out some pages. {No, I don't feel bad doing this at all. It's not worth anything and no one is going to sit down and play music from the 50s. I'm giving it new life!}





Trimmed each page down to a 4" x 8" piece.





Like so. {Don't mind my weathered self-healing mat. It's been with me through a million & one craft projects. Christmas gift hint?}





Totally optional, but I like the effect of scalloping the 8" edges. Zig zag shears work really well, too.





With a pencil, on one side only, I marked each 1/2 inch.





Use those marks as your guide to fold every 1/2 inch, accordion style. You don't want to use paper that is too old, I have some from the 1850s and it just fell apart when I folded it.





When you're done folding, your ends should both be folded in the same direction. The side they end on will be the back of the rosette.





Now, crease it in the middle by folding the strip in half both ways.





Should look like this. Now, it's time to glues the sides together.





Be gentle and take care not to rip the paper. I use Mod Podge to adhere the sides because, well, I use Mod Podge for pretty much everything... and pinch it together with mini-binder clips for 5-10 minutes, or longer if you want.





Not too hard, right?





Now is the fun part, decorating the rosette. Get creative. I simply glued on the embellishments. They are adhesive already, but I wanted a super strong hold so I used a little hot glue to get them to really stick.





Another option I love is to punch out scalloped circles from glitter paper.





And attach small embellishments to it...





and then attach that to your rosette! I love the sparkle!





These are so much fun to make, you can do them a million different ways.





Now you can add a bow with your ribbon hang by punching some small holes through your rosette and stringing ribbon through and securing it in front with a bow. But this is riskier and you're more likely to tear, so...






There's also this option, tie a knot to make a ribbon loop and simply hot glue it to the back.





They will look lovely on a Christmas tree but also just around the house, adding pretty to your decor.





OR attach one to each Christmas present to your friends & family! It would look lovely on a gift and they can also take it home and treasure it themselves.





I made 10 in a jiffy... now I'm off to make more...


Cheers!

TEN AGES OF CHRISTMAS, PART I !

   Some of the celebrations we associate with Christmas today began way before Christianity developed, so that by medieval times traditions of mid-winter feasting were long established. Later the Puritans banned some festivities, but other 'holyday' pleasures still survived. It was not until the reign of Queen Victoria that many of today's customs - such as decorating fir trees - really took off.





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Medieval

Fire, light and evergreens

   Pre-Christian, northern societies used to enliven the dark days of the winter solstice with a celebration of fire, light and jollity, to create relief in the season of nature's dormancy and to hurry along the renewal of springtime. Christmas, as the celebration of the birth of Christ, was also a winter festival which gradually incorporated many pagan traditions, one of which was the burning of fires to ward away dark and evil spirits.
   The tradition of decorating the home with native evergreens is a truly ancient one. Since pagan times evergreens have been valued for their ability to retain signs of life in the middle of winter - even in some instances producing berries and flowers.
   Early Christians displayed evergreen plants in the home to symbolise everlasting life. Holly, ivy and evergreen herbs such as bay and rosemary were the most commonly used, all with symbolic meanings that were familiar to our ancestors. Rosemary, for remembrance, and bay, for valour, are still well known. Holly and ivy were a particularly popular combination, the holly traditionally thought to be masculine and ivy feminine, giving stability to the home.
    A kissing-bough was often hung from the ceiling. This would consist of a round ball of twigs and greenery, decorated with seasonal fruit, such as apples. It was the precursor to the bunch of mistletoe, under which no lady could refuse a kiss. Mistletoe was sacred to the Druids and was once called 'All Heal'. It was thought to bring good luck and fertility, and to offer protection from witchcraft.
   In the medieval period, the Yule log was ceremoniously carried into the house on Christmas Eve, and put in the fireplace of the main communal room. Often decorated with greenery and ribbon, it was lit with the saved end of the previous year's log and then burnt continuously for the Twelve Days of Christmas, providing much needed light and warmth.





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Elizabethan

The banqueting course

'Sugar, spice and everything nice ...'

   The exhortation to 'eat, drink and be merry' epitomised Christmas in Elizabethan England. A highlight of the season was the Christmas feast, which, in those households that could afford it, culminated in a 'banqueting course' of sweet and colourful delicacies.
   A banquet, or sweetmeat, course allowed the host to display his wealth and status. It also provided its creator, often the lady of the house, an opportunity to show her culinary and artistic skills. Sugar, very expensive at the time and considered to have medicinal properties, was the key ingredient of most of the elaborate dishes.
   They were prepared and displayed to dazzle the guests with their beauty, delicacy and wit. The latter was provided by the creation of whimsical foods designed to deceive the eye. 'Collops of bacon', made from ground almonds and sugar, were a great favourite, as were walnuts, eggs and other items made from sugar-plate, a substance of egg, sugar and gelatine which could be moulded successfully into almost any form the cook might conceive. Another popular sweetmeat was 'leech', a milk-based sweet made with sugar and rosewater, which was cut into cubes and served plain or gilded, arranged as a chequerboard.
   Spectacle was of great importance, with pride of place going to a marchpane - a round piece of almond paste which was iced and elaborately decorated, sometimes with figures made of sugar. Crystallised fruits added colour. Gold leaf was used to gild lemons and other fruits and also gingerbread, which added to the rich and splendid appearance of the banquet.
    All of this would be accompanied by hot drinks, including 'lambswool'. This was made from hot cider, sherry or ale, spices and apples, which when hot exploded, to create a white 'woolly' top. Spiced wines and syllabubs were also popular. Guests were flattered and impressed by such extravagant expenditure.





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Restoration

The restrained restoration of Christmas

'More mischief is that time committed than in all the year besides ... What dicing and carding, what eating and drinking, what banqueting and feasting is then used ... to the great dishonour of God and the impoverishing of the realm.'

   So wrote the strict protestant, Philip Stubbes, in the late 16th century, expressing the Puritan view that Christmas was a dangerous excuse for excessive drinking, eating, gambling and generally bad behaviour.
   This view was made law in 1644, when an Act of Parliament banned Christmas celebrations. Viewed by the Puritans as superfluous, not to mention threatening, to core Christian beliefs, all activities to do with Christmas, both domestic and religious, including attending church, were forbidden. The ban, however, was unpopular and many people continued to celebrate privately, albeit in a far more restrained manner than in Elizabethan times.
   A more openly festive, if slightly subdued, spirit returned following the restoration of the Monarchy in 1660. Old customs were revived, and Christmas as both a religious and social festival was celebrated throughout society. The writings of Samuel Pepys provide a fascinating insight into Christmas in London during the decade following the Restoration.
   A civil servant best known today for his diaries, Pepys' observations about Christmas give us a feeling for what the season was like for Londoners at the time. In common with his contemporaries, Pepys worked on Christmas Eve, and often for part of Christmas Day itself. He attended church without fail on Christmas Day and, in 1660 and 1664, he went to both morning and evening services.
   The Christmas meal was also an important part of the day. Pepys noted with pleasure, or otherwise, what he ate each Christmas. In 1662, he made do with 'a mess of brave plum porridge and a roasted pullet ...', a rather frugal meal owing to his wife's illness. This was supplemented by a bought, rather than home-made, mince pie.
    In other years he enjoyed richer food, including a 'shoulder of mutton', and in 1666 'some good ribs of beef roasted and mince pies ... and plenty of good wine'. For entertainment, Pepys attended theatrical productions when possible, and read and played music at home. Visiting with friends and family was frequently mentioned.




Georgian and Regency


Georgian and Regency

Twelfth Night

   Twelfth Night, the 5th of January, has been celebrated as the end of the Christmas season since the Middle Ages. One of the most important days in the Christian calendar, Twelfth Night also marked the Feast of the Epiphany, when the three wise men, or Magi, arrived in Bethlehem to behold the Christ child.
   The word 'epiphany' comes from the Greek word for manifestation, and was chosen because this was the night on which the Christ child, called 'the King of the Jews', was manifested to the Gentiles.
   Most ancient writers agreed that there were three wise men. Over time they became known as the Three Kings - Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar. Caspar was thought to have brought the Christ child frankincense for divinity, Melchior gold for kingship and Balthazar myrrh for humanity.
   The custom of offering these things as Epiphany gifts was common for centuries. In 1756, The Gentleman's Magazine reported that: 'His Majesty, attended by the principal officers at Court ... went to the Chapel Royal at St James' and offered gold, myrrh and frankincense'.
   It is easy to see how kings and queens thus became the characters that traditionally represented Twelfth Night. During the 18th and 19th centuries, Twelfth Night parties were popular and usually involved games-playing, drinking and eating. A special Twelfth Cake, the forerunner of today's Christmas cake, was the centrepiece of the party, and a slice was given to all members of the household.
   Traditionally, it contained both a dried bean and a dried pea. The man whose slice contained the bean was elected King for the night; a Queen was found with a pea. For the rest of the evening, they ruled supreme. Even if they were normally servants, their temporarily exalted position was recognised by all, including their masters.
   By the early 19th century, the cake itself had become very elaborate, with sugar frosting and gilded paper trimmings, often decorated with delicate figures made of plaster of Paris or sugar paste. It remained the centrepiece of the party, although the bean and pea of earlier times were usually omitted.
   Twelfth Night was popular until the late 19th century. As the antiquarian William Sandys then observed, 'Twelfth Night ... is probably the most popular day throughout the Christmas, thanks to Twelfth Cake and other amusements'.




Early Victorian

Early Victorian

The Christmas tree

   The image of a glittering fir tree, with its lush dark-green branches illuminated by twinkling lights, at the centre of a happy domestic scene is today one of the most powerful and recognisable images of a 'traditional' Christmas. For many, the Christmas tree is also firmly associated with the Victorians, and indeed with those great advocates of Christmas, Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert.
   The custom, which originated in Germany, was introduced into England during the Georgian period. Queen Charlotte, German wife of George III, is known to have had a decorated tree for her family as early as the 1790s, and there is also a record of a tree at a children's party given by a member of Queen Caroline's court in 1821. Queen Victoria herself remembered such trees in the 1830s, happily describing potted trees placed on round tables 'hung with lights and sugar ornaments'.
   So, although Prince Albert is generally given credit for introducing the Christmas tree to England, he in fact simply popularised and made fashionable an already existing custom. Victoria and Albert shared a heart-felt enthusiasm for Christmas and each year of their marriage, decorated trees provided a focal point for their domestic celebrations.
   In 1848, a print showing the Royal couple with their children was published in the Illustrated London News. From this time onwards, the popularity of decorated fir trees spread beyond Royal circles and throughout society. Charles Dickens referred to the Christmas tree as that 'new German toy'.
   Trees were generally displayed on tables in pots, with gifts placed unwrapped underneath. The tree was decorated with wax candles, baskets of sweets, flags and little ornaments and gifts. The imported German Springelbaum was the tree of choice until the 1880s, at which time the home-grown Norway Spruce became available. This made a larger tree more affordable, and people began placing trees on the floor.

Friday, November 27, 2015

THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS!




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  Christmas brings a new life to the believers. Much before Christmas comes, the mood around the world changes. It is the anticipation of lovely days ahead of giving joy, meeting friends and family and feeling the spirit in the air that changes the most negative person to positive moods. Chistmas makes a person different. The same man, who you never see smiling, laughs during Christmas. That is the festive spirit of Christmas and that is why it is a lovely festival.
    The most important part of Christmas is of course celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Another ritual of Christmas that makes it so special is giving. We send so many cards to friends and family that we lose the count. Similarly giving gifts is very important. Selecting the right gift for everyone, wrapping it lovingly and sending it across, all this is joyful. This joy cannot be described in words.
    As said earlier, it is the giving that is the major reason of happiness. If we look at our moods and behavior, we find that we always derive greater joy in giving compared to receiving. Can we not celebrate this spirit of giving everyday? Can we not get this joy everyday? Can we not make someone happy everyday? We can. With conscious effort, we can do one act a day that makes somebody genuinely happy. Why not carry the spirit of Christmas all the year and enjoy the happiness of giving. One is blessed when one gives. Let us get these blessings round the year.





The Spirit Of Christmas




   Many of us have difficulty enjoying the holidays for a number of reasons, but usually, in one way or another, the reasons have to do with family. It is, however, possible to regain a sense of peace and to find enjoyment in the season. The first step is to let go of feeling like you have to do the holiday in a certain way. Sometimes this can feel challenging, but you really can do it.
    The most common reasons people have trouble with Christmas is it may mark the anniversary of the loss of a loved one, there may be a lot of family discord or alcoholism in the family, or there may be great loneliness. If any of these reasons describe your situation, you will need to find new ways of passing the holidays so that you can find more joy. Going along with the way things have been in past years will not help you to find peace.
    Give yourself permission to avoid or limit exposure to people who make you unhappy over the holidays. Family pressures can be intense, so if you need to, you can change your participation in family events by stages. Even shortening visits will help you reclaim some of your time but perhaps even more importantly, you will start to regain a sense of control over your own life by making choices for yourself instead of passively going along. This will help you a great deal to feel better.









    Also, find old or new activities on or around the holidays that have meaning for you, no matter how unconventional they may be. You really do not have to spend Christmas any particular way. 'Holiday' literally means a day of freedom from labor, as well as 'holy day.' The word 'holy' in turn, means 'belonging to God' but it is interesting to note the word 'holy' comes from root words meaning sound, whole, and happy. Holidays should be your days of freedom, and a chance to feel whole and happy, not distressed and burdened. Find activities that help you feel this way.

TRIPLE CHOCOLATE PUMPKIN PIE!

  This recipe is from www.marthastewart.com.  What doesn't go better for a Thanksgiving dessert than chocolate and pumpkin??  Nothing I can think of at this moment.  Make this for one of your holiday happenings and I guarantee there won't be any left over or to take home.





   Chocolate shows up in three guises throughout this dressed-up pumpkin pie. A layer of bittersweet chocolate coats the cinnamon-spiced graham cracker crust, semisweet chocolate adds depth and smoothness to the pumpkin custard filling, and melted milk chocolate is drizzled over the top just before serving. Make this pie the day before Thanksgiving (minus the milk chocolate topping) to give the filling time to set in the refrigerator.

Yield Serves 12

Ingredients

  • For the Filling

    • 2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs (about 16 crackers)
    • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
    • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
    • 2 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate (preferably 61 percent cacao), finely chopped
    • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate (preferably 55 percent cacao), chopped
    • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
    • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
    • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
    • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
    • 3 large eggs
    • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
    • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • Ground cloves
    • 1 ounce milk chocolate, melted


Directions

  1. Make the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugars, salt, and cinnamon in bowl. Firmly press mixture into bottom and up sides of a deep, 9 1/2-inch pie dish. Bake until firm, 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Remove from oven, and sprinkle bittersweet chocolate over bottom of crust. Return to oven to melt chocolate, about 1 minute. Spread chocolate in a thin layer on bottom and up sides. Let cool on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
  3. Make the filling: In a large heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, melt semisweet chocolate and butter, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat.
  4. Mix pumpkin, milk, brown sugar, eggs, cornstarch, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and a pinch of cloves in a medium bowl. Whisk 1/3 pumpkin mixture into chocolate mixture. Whisk in remaining pumpkin mixture until completely incorporated.
  5. Transfer pie dish to a rimmed baking sheet, and pour pumpkin mixture into crust. Bake until center is set but still a bit wobbly, 55 to 60 minutes. Let cool in pie dish on a wire rack. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 8 hours (preferably overnight). Before serving, drizzle melted milk chocolate on top. Serve immediately.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

THE YULE LOG, A TRADITION EVERYONE CAN ENJOY!



   Burning Yule logs is a tradition dating back long before the birth of Jesus. In pre-Christian times, the Yule log was burned in the home hearth on the winter solstice in honor of the pagan sun god Odin, known also as the Yule Father or Oak King.
The winter solstice, known amongst pagans as Yule or Gwyl Canol Gaeaf, falls on December 21 or 22, whichever is the shortest day and longest night of the current year. The Yule festival symbolizes a battle between the powers of light (Oak King) and powers of darkness (Holly King). A Yule log, typically a thick branch taken from a oak tree, would be burned in the hearth beginning on this night as a celebration of the Oak King's triumphant defeat over the Holly King.



Burning the Yule log

    The traditional Yule celebration would begin at dawn with the cutting of the oak branch, which was then ceremoniously carried into the house. Lit by the father or oldest member of the family, the Yule log would be left to burn for the next 12 days. When evening arrived the family would gather for dinner, which would typically included mutton, goose, pork, beef, special Yule breads, porridge, apples, sweets, nut and Yule ale.
As Christianity spread throughout Europe the traditional Yule celebration became associated with the celebration of Christmas and the birth of Jesus, the Yule
Father being replaced with Father Christmas. In Serbia, the Yule log, or badnjak as it is called there, is cut and burned in the hearth as part of its Christmas festivities. In years past, the head of the family would go into the forest on Christmas Eve morning to cut down the badnjak. Before bringing it home he would take the log to the church for a special blessing. In more recent years, the badnjak ins usually gotten at marketplaces or form the churches.

Oak King

    The Yule log is a part of French tradition as well, especially it's Yule Log Cake or Buche de Noel. This traditional Christmas dessert is made from a sponge cake that has been baked in a shallow pan. After baking, the cake is filled with a creamy frosting, rolled up into a cylinder, and frosted with the remaining frosting along the top and sides so as to resemble a tree log. A small portion of the cake is usually cut off and placed alongside or on top of the larger piece in order to reveal the bark-like appearance of its insides. For some bakers, adding meringue mushrooms for that extra woodsy look not only enhances the realism of their Yule log but also is a lot of fun. "The Bouche de Noel" is a very favorite, traditional French cake during the holidays.
The creation of this culinary Yule Log, now baked throughout the world, dates back to Napoleon I. A stern believer that cold air caused medical problems, Napoleon issued a proclamation requiring households in Paris to keep their chimneys closed during the winter month, preventing resident from burning the Yule log.



Yuel log cake or Buche de Noel

    French bakers invented the Buche de Noel as a symbolic replacement. In England, according to the Pennsylvania Forest Stewardship Program, On Christmas Eve, members of the household ventured into the woods to find and cut a great tree, preferably an oak. Size was important, because the Yule log had to burn throughout the twelve days of Christmas. Once cut, the log was dragged home with much celebration. As many people as possible grabbed onto the ropes to help pull, because doing so was believed to bring good luck in the new year. Even passersby raised their hat in tribute.
The Yule log was dragged to the hearth of the great open fireplace, a common household feature in old England. The log was lit with a scrap of burned log carefully preserved from the previous year, a practice that ensured the continuity of good fortune not only from year to year, but also from generation to generation.



    As a Christmas tradition, burning the Yule log eventually spread from England to America. It's more popular fame as a tradition in the U.S., especially in New York, comes in the form of a televised Yule log broadcasted first in 1966 at the WPIX television station in New York when Fred Thrower, the then General Manager for the television station, brought the tradition of burning the Yule log into viewers homes. Inspired b a Coke commercial he had seen depicting Santa Claus in front of a fireplace the previous year. Thrower, and then WPIX-FM programming director Charlie Whittaker, created the Yule Log, a Christmas program featuring an actual Yule log burning in a fireplace. The crackling wood fire, accompanied by the music of Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops, Nat King Cole, Johnny Mathis and others, played non stop for two hours on Christmas Eve. Filmed at Gracie Mansion, the Yule Log was Thrower's Christmas gift to New Yorkers who hadn't a home hearth. The program aired continuously from 1966-1989.


Buche de Noel Recipe

Picture of Buche de Noel Recipe



Total Time:

        9 hr 23 min


Prep:

     1 hr 0 min



Inactive:

          8 hr 0 min


Cook:

       23 min

Yield:
       12 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients

Walnut Biscuit:

  • 5 eggs, separated, room temperature
  • 100 grams granulated sugar
  • 25 grams granulated maple sugar
  • 125 grams cake flour, sifted
  • 3 ounces toasted walnuts, finely chopped

    Directions

    Pastry Cream
    • 4 large egg yolks
    • 55 grams cornstarch
    • 40 grams sugar, plus 75 grams sugar
    • 75 grams maple syrup
    • 2 tablespoons whiskey (recommended: Jack Daniels)
    • 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
    • 2 cups milk
    • 28 grams butter
    • 1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon maple extract
    • 1 cup heavy cream

    Buttercream:

    • 113 grams sugar
    • 3 large egg yolks
    • 1 whole egg
    • 1 to 2 tablespoons whisky (recommended: Jack Daniels)
    • 1/4 teaspoon maple extract
    • 12 ounces butter, room temperature

    Sugared Cranberries:

    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 2 cups cranberries (cannot have been frozen)
    • Candied walnuts, store-bought
    • Candied orange peel, store-bought
    Maple Tuiles
    • 225 grams butter, at room temperature
    • 350 grams maple syrup
    • 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 240 grams egg whites
    • 225 grams all-purpose flour
    • Luster dust, optional

    For the walnut biscuit:

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a half sheet pan, line with parchment paper, butter the paper and dust with flour.
    Whip the egg whites to soft peaks. Beat in both sugars and whip to a stiff, glossy meringue.

    Alternately fold the cake flour and egg yolks into the meringue in 3 batches, starting and ending with the flour. Fold in the nuts.

    Spread the batter evenly in the pan, and bake until the cake is pale gold, the center springs back when you press it lightly with your finger, and the edges start to pull from the sides of the pan, 10 to 12 minutes.

    For the pastry cream:

    Whisk the yolks, cornstarch, and the 40 grams sugar in a medium bowl; the mixture will be very thick, but try to whisk enough to remove most of the lumps.
    Put the 75 grams sugar in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until dark brown; don't worry if it crystallizes a bit. Turn the heat to low and whisk in the maple syrup, then whisk in the whisky, turn up the heat, and let simmer for 1 to 2 minutes to boil off the alcohol.

    Whisk the milk and vanilla bean scrapings into the caramel mixture and bring to simmer. Slowly whisk about half of the hot mixture into the yolks, then whisk that mixture back into the pot, bring to a boil, whisking, and cook, still whisking, until thickened. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter, salt and maple extract. Pour into a shallow dish, press plastic wrap onto the surface, and chill until set and very cold, about 4 hours.

    Beat the cold pastry cream in a standing mixer until smooth. When ready to use, whip the cream until it is very stiff, then beat into the pastry cream. Chill until ready to use.

    For the buttercream:

    Put the sugar in a medium pot and add enough water just to moisten; use your fingers to wet the sugar evenly. Bring to a boil. While the sugar is heating, start beating the yolks and egg in a standing mixer with the whisk attachment.
    When the syrup reaches about 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer (softball stage), pour it into the yolks with the mixer still running, taking care not to pour it onto the whisk.
    Beat until cooled to room temperature. Beat in the whisky and the maple extract.

    Cream the butter in another mixing bowl using the paddle attachment. Beat in the cooled egg mixture until smooth. You can use it right away, or chill it overnight; if you chill it, rebeat when you are ready to assemble the cake.

    For the sugared cranberries:

    Have a cookie sheet or shallow dish and a slotted spoon next to the stove.
    Put the sugar in a medium pot and add enough water just to moisten; use your fingers to wet the sugar evenly. Add the cinnamon stick.

    Bring to a boil, add the cranberries, and immediately pull from the heat. Transfer the cranberries to the cookie sheet with the slotted spoon. Cool.

    For the maple tuiles:

    Cream the butter, maple syrup, vanilla bean scrapings and salt until smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl and beat in egg whites until smooth. Beat in the flour. Let the batter rest and hour or so at room temperature, or overnight in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before baking.
    Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with a silpat. Using a stencil, smear the batter thinly on the silpat and bake until dark golden brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the pan while still warm. If you want to shape the cookies, put them over a bottle or rolling pin while warm; let cool. If desired, brush lightly with luster dust.

    Assembly:

    Turn the cooled cake onto a piece of parchment or waxed paper with a long side near you. Spread the chilled pastry cream evenly over the surface, leaving a 2-inch border across from you. Using the parchment paper to lift, roll the cake as tightly as possible. Set seam side down on a platter or large pan, and chill for an hour or so.
    Frost the cake with the buttercream, smoothing the surface so it looks like bark.

    Decorate with candied cranberries, walnuts, orange peel, and tuiles.

    Ingredients

    Walnut Biscuit:

    • eggs, separated, room temperature
    • 100 grams granulated sugar
    • 25 grams granulated maple sugar
    • 125 grams cake flour, sifted
    • 3 ounces toasted walnuts, finely chopped

    Directions

    Pastry Cream
    • 4 large egg yolks
    • 55 grams cornstarch
    • 40 grams sugar, plus 75 grams sugar
    • 75 grams maple syrup
    • 2 tablespoons whiskey (recommended: Jack Daniels)
    • 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
    • 2 cups milk
    • 28 grams butter
    • 1/2 teaspoons salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon maple extract
    • 1 cup heavy cream

    Buttercream:

    • 113 grams sugar
    • 3 large egg yolks
    • 1 whole egg
    • 1 to 2 tablespoons whisky (recommended: Jack Daniels)
    • 1/4 teaspoon maple extract
    • 12 ounces butter, room temperature

    Sugared Cranberries:

    • 1 cup sugar
    • cinnamon stick
    • 2 cups cranberries (cannot have been frozen)
    • Candied walnuts, store-bought
    • Candied orange peel, store-bought
    Maple Tuiles
    • 225 grams butter, at room temperature
    • 350 grams maple syrup
    • 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 240 grams egg whites
    • 225 grams all-purpose flour
    • Luster dust, optional

    For the walnut biscuit:

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a half sheet pan, line with parchment paper, butter the paper and dust with flour.
    Whip the egg whites to soft peaks. Beat in both sugars and whip to a stiff, glossy meringue.
    Alternately fold the cake flour and egg yolks into the meringue in 3 batches, starting and ending with the flour. Fold in the nuts.
    Spread the batter evenly in the pan, and bake until the cake is pale gold, the center springs back when you press it lightly with your finger, and the edges start to pull from the sides of the pan, 10 to 12 minutes.

    For the pastry cream:

    Whisk the yolks, cornstarch, and the 40 grams sugar in a medium bowl; the mixture will be very thick, but try to whisk enough to remove most of the lumps.
    Put the 75 grams sugar in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until dark brown; don't worry if it crystallizes a bit. Turn the heat to low and whisk in the maple syrup, then whisk in the whisky, turn up the heat, and let simmer for 1 to 2 minutes to boil off the alcohol.
    Whisk the milk and vanilla bean scrapings into the caramel mixture and bring to simmer. Slowly whisk about half of the hot mixture into the yolks, then whisk that mixture back into the pot, bring to a boil, whisking, and cook, still whisking, until thickened. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter, salt and maple extract. Pour into a shallow dish, press plastic wrap onto the surface, and chill until set and very cold, about 4 hours.
    Beat the cold pastry cream in a standing mixer until smooth. When ready to use, whip the cream until it is very stiff, then beat into the pastry cream. Chill until ready to use.

    For the buttercream:

    Put the sugar in a medium pot and add enough water just to moisten; use your fingers to wet the sugar evenly. Bring to a boil. While the sugar is heating, start beating the yolks and egg in a standing mixer with the whisk attachment.
    When the syrup reaches about 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer (softball stage), pour it into the yolks with the mixer still running, taking care not to pour it onto the whisk. Beat until cooled to room temperature. Beat in the whisky and the maple extract.
    Cream the butter in another mixing bowl using the paddle attachment. Beat in the cooled egg mixture until smooth. You can use it right away, or chill it overnight; if you chill it, rebeat when you are ready to assemble the cake.

    For the sugared cranberries:

    Have a cookie sheet or shallow dish and a slotted spoon next to the stove.
    Put the sugar in a medium pot and add enough water just to moisten; use your fingers to wet the sugar evenly. Add the cinnamon stick.
    Bring to a boil, add the cranberries, and immediately pull from the heat. Transfer the cranberries to the cookie sheet with the slotted spoon. Cool.

    For the maple tuiles:

    Cream the butter, maple syrup, vanilla bean scrapings and salt until smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl and beat in egg whites until smooth. Beat in the flour. Let the batter rest and hour or so at room temperature, or overnight in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before baking.
    Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with a silpat. Using a stencil, smear the batter thinly on the silpat and bake until dark golden brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the pan while still warm. If you want to shape the cookies, put them over a bottle or rolling pin while warm; let cool. If desired, brush lightly with luster dust.

    Assembly:

    Turn the cooled cake onto a piece of parchment or waxed paper with a long side near you. Spread the chilled pastry cream evenly over the surface, leaving a 2-inch border across from you. Using the parchment paper to lift, roll the cake as tightly as possible. Set seam side down on a platter or large pan, and chill for an hour or so.
    Frost the cake with the buttercream, smoothing the surface so it looks like bark. Decorate with candied cranberries, walnuts, orange peel, and tuiles.