When thinking about holiday baking that could be prepped or even baked ahead, they had three suggestions: sables, sticky toffee pudding bites and gougeres.
Their Cheddar Black Pepper Sables are “nice, crumbly, herby savory cheese coins that are perfect for parties,” said Thomas.
Their Sticky Toffee Pudding Bites give a nod to “The Great British Bake Off” and British steamed puddings.
“These feel very festive for the holidays,” said Perkins, “but they’re easy, flavor-packed and can be done ahead of time. A full serving of sticky toffee pudding is so rich, really too much, but these bites are just right.”
The gougeres are made with a choux dough, which is the basis for eclairs, cream puffs and profiteroles. “They are made with good shredded cheese, and black pepper and mustard powder to give it some interest. They sound so fancy, but they’re surprisingly easy to make,” said Thomas.
Ashley Thomas and Morgan Perkins, co-owners of Galette, offer three recipes that can be prepped ahead of time and baked the day of, or right before, your holiday gathering. Note that they use Diamond Crystal kosher salt. If you use Morton’s kosher salt, cut the quantity to about 3/4 of what is in the recipes, and if you use table salt, cut the quantity in half.
Cheddar Black Pepper Sables
Make ahead: These sables can be made ahead of time and stored for up to 5 days. Or if you would like to bake on the day of your party, prepare the dough ahead of time and freeze until firm, storing for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, thaw dough just enough to be sliceable and proceed to bake as directed.
Do not use pre-shredded cheese in this recipe because of the starch used in processed shredded cheese. If you don’t have Piment d’Espelette, substitute sweet smoked paprika with a dash of cayenne.
If you want to make this into a more substantial bite, serve with cream cheese or chevre and pepper jelly or tomato jam.
Sticky Toffee Pudding Bites
Make ahead: Bake the bites, allow them to cool and freeze them in a covered container or food-safe plastic bag. When ready to serve, arrange the frozen bites on a parchment-lined baking sheet and heat in a 350-degree oven until warmed through, about 5 minutes.
No coffee extract? Brew some strong coffee and use that to soak the dates instead of using hot water and coffee extract.
If you only have one mini-muffin pan, bake half the batter, then allow the pan to cool, wipe out, grease the pan and bake the rest. And if you have no mini-muffin pans, bake the batter in a rimmed baking sheet until just done in the center, about 25 minutes, allow to cool, and cut into 1-inch squares.
Sticky Toffee Sauce
Make ahead: Make the sauce and cool completely, then store in a covered jar in the refrigerator. When ready to use, warm in a small saucepan.
Make ahead: Bake, cool and freeze gougeres on a baking sheet. When frozen, move to a food-safe plastic bag. To refresh, heat oven to 350 degrees, arrange puffs on a baking sheet and bake until heated through, about 5 minutes. If you prefer, you can freeze the puffs before baking by forming them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freezing. Once frozen through, store in a food-safe plastic bag. When ready to bake, arrange frozen puffs on a baking sheet and follow directions in recipe, allowing 2 or 3 more minutes of baking time.
These puffs are delightful fresh from the oven. If you bake ahead, freeze and then warm before serving, the center will not have the original creamy texture but will be perfect filled with a wedge of apple and slice of brie or with a piped filling of whipped goat cheese.
Thomas and Perkins say do not use pre-shredded cheese in this recipe.
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