Alfajores

Alfajores

I first came across alfajores [alpha-ho-ress] when I worked at a Mexican coffee shop, an unusual offering amongst chocolate chip and sugar cookies in downtown Ottawa. With simple ingredients, alfajores are a magical creation of a simple cookie base with a hint of lemon and a rich dulce de leche filling. Traditionally rolled in shredded coconut, the alfajor is both elegant and intriguing.

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Mille feuille

Mille feuille

Traditionally, the mille feuille is made up of three layers of rich, flaky puff pastry with pastry cream sandwiched between two layers. A glaze can be added to the top layer. It's a beautiful creation that is almost too alluring to eat. Just kidding: that won't stop me. But as the trend is with pastry, the mille feuille is infinitely adaptable. Flavour your pastry cream any whichway. To glaze or not to glaze? Decoration is up to you. Go bold or stay true to classic designs.

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Religieuses with flair

Religieuses with flair

Just like eclairs, religieuses have a choux base and are filled with a crème patissière. The difference, though, is in the presentation. Stack a smaller choux bun on top of a large one, and these little pastries start to resemble... well, people. In fact, religieuses, which translates literally to "religious" or to "those who are religious", were originally created to look like nuns in their habits. Traditionally, religieuses are filled with a chocolate or coffee pastry cream, dipped in the matching flavour of ganache, and piped with buttercream.

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Classic holiday shortbread

Classic holiday shortbread

My grandma was not a very serious person, except when it came to her bridge game and her shortbread cookies, a 6th generation family recipe from Scotland. I've never questioned this recipe because these cookies are straight-up delicious. They're buttery and flaky, and the recipe showcases the power of basics like butter, flour, and sugar.

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Dough lamination

Dough lamination

A lot of recipes on gingybakes focus on pastry, and where there's pastry, there's dough lamination! Making your own pastry can be intimidating. It's full of folding and turning and books. Since when do you need books to make pastry? What is even happening?

For any recipe you're using that requires dough lamination, you can check out this guide below. Visuals are key to understanding what's going on. I should add that there are so many different methods to laminate dough. I really think you should use what methods work best for you because there isn't really one tried and true. The purpose of this guide is to take you through the steps I've been using for a few years with what has worked best for me.

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