It's Christmastime at the Best Little Bakery in Texas
The annual Fredericksburg Christmas parade marks the beginning of the Texas Hill Country's holiday season, which means the Pastry Queen is kicking into high gear at her Rather Sweet Bakery and Café. As party invitations pile up in the mailbox, Rebecca Rather is up to her elbows in sticky meringue, creamy chocolate, and a sleigh full of savory treats to meet the entertaining needs of her neighbors.
In The Pastry Queen Christmas, Rebecca shares nearly 100 traditional recipes reflecting her made-with-love-from-scratch philosophy and the tastes of small-town Texas. Show-off desserts such as Chocolate Cookie Crusted Eggnog Cheesecake, Sticky Toffee Pudding with Brandy Butterscotch Sauce, and Warm Pear Ginger Upside-Down Cake with Amaretto Whipped Cream are the perfect toppers to a family-style feast of Texas Spice-Rubbed Roast Pork, Baked Apple Pear Chutney, Brown Sugar Bacon, and No-Peeking Popovers. Still hungry the next morning? No problem-this country girl does an impressive breakfast, too: Bite-Sized Sticky Buns, Sweet Potato Scones, Cast-Iron Skillet Potatoes, and Mexican Ranch Chilaquiles ought to fill you up.
And if you're still looking for excuses to entertain this season, you'll find ooey-gooey baked goods wrapped up as gifts, homemade craft and décor ideas to make your home sparkle, and holiday-worthy menus guaranteed to make your gathering a Texas-sized success. Tree-trimming, cookie decorating, and Santas running down Main Street . . . Christmastime is here.
Though Rather is kno with Alison Oresmanwn as the Pastry Queen, the author and baker-owner of the Rather Sweet Bakery and Caf in Fredericksburg, Tex., covers a lot more than baked goods in this comprehensive collection of holiday recipes from her native state. Organized by event (holiday open house, brunch, Christmas Eve, etc.), Rather offers an array of ideas sure to keep table legs groaning and belts loosening. Red velvet cupcakes get a jolt of sour sweetness from mascarpone cream cheese icing, and a delicious Wild Mushroom and Goat Cheese Quesadilla is topped with a colorful pecan and cranberry salsa laced with orange zest, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard and jalapeno. Decadent Creamy Chicken Lasagna, Oysters Rockefeller Soup and Chocolate Cookie-Crusted Eggnog Cheesecake each guarantee a memorable event, and Rather's Texas roots shine through in a duo of holiday martinis featuring prickly pear syrup, tamales with a tomatillo sauce, and a corn bread dressing (Mother's Best) so loaded with flavor that diners will forget any other kind exists. Helpful advice on advance preparations and clever variations abound; rounded out with packaging ideas for edible gifts and complete instructions on baking, assembling and decorating a gingerbread house (including templates), this is sure to become a holiday favorite.