Some of the front-runners stumbled last week (i.e. Oyaks and Raufikat) as bread week got the most of them. While my favourite Sheldon is still in the baking tent, he really needs to step up and bring his A game in more than just presenting great flavours. Sheldon’s bakes need to look as great as it tastes. Cookie Week is always one of my favourites as I love making cookies.
The Bake: 18 Linzer cookies. A sandwich cookie with a jam window. It can be any shape or flavour but must look like it is part of the same family.
The Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
What I would bake: I would make a cardamom shortbread Linzer cookie with a strawberry rhubarb jam. I would love to use strawberries from my own garden. To catch the judges eye, I would use my Death Star cookie cutter with the hole being where the laser would be for the jam to peek through.
What the contestants baked and judges thoughts:
Once again Raufikat has bakes with flavours that I love and really want to try her Linzers.
Sheldon: Mosaic Linzers with apricot rosewater creme de Noyaux marmalade. Bruno noted it was too big. Kyla wanted more jam but the tahini works. Bruno called it an innovative approach to the Linzer.
Tanner: Crown Jewels Linzers with strawberry jam. Bruno noted the inconsistent bake but says the lime brings brightness to the flavour.
Dominike: Double Linzers with blackberry dark rum jam and strawberry orange coriander jam. Bruno noted her strawberry Linzer was underbaked
Maggie: Great Grandma’s Linzers with apricot lekvar and lemon curd. Kyla calls them beautiful. Bruno noted a good balance of acidity and it was a buttery cookie.
Larry: Hazelnut and Jam Linzers with orange cranberry jam. Kyla wished the filling went more to the edge.
Raufikat: Vanilla Sun and Mocha Moon Linzers with coffee ganache. Kyla loves the wimsy. Both noted the inconsistent bake. Bruno liked the coffee ganache but says it lacked texture.
Oyaks: Mango Jam Linzers with mango brandy jam. Bruno also noted inconsistent baking and both wanted more jam.
Mahathi: Classical Linzers with mulled wine jam. Kyla said the spices of the mulled wine complemented the chocolate.
Last week’s technical bake was pretzels and I attempted to make in the same time limit that our bakers had. You can read how well I did over at my Go to Bread blog.
The Bake: Dutch stroopwafels
The Time: 1 hour and 45 minutes
How I would have fared: My younger brother likes these cookies as he has gone several times to the Netherlands and brought some back with him. So I have had these and I do know what they look like. I think I might have an issue in cutting the stroopwafels in half but overall I think I would do pretty good.
This recipe calls for the use of a pizzelle maker which I will not buy as I will never use it again. But thanks to Google, there is a workaround to making these without buying a pizzelle maker that will never use again. A quick search says that using a griddle and a pot lid will do the trick. The only thing that I wont get is the distinctive markings that would make it a stroopwafel.
How the bakers did:
The Bake: Family portrait in cookie form. Make at least two different types of cookies in any 2-D or 3-D shape and contain an element of royal icing.
The Time: 3 hours and 30 minutes.
What I would bake: This is easy. I would do our annual New Year’s Day hockey game that my family and I do used to do every year in our cul-de-sac. My two doughs would be a chocolate mint sugar cookie for one team and then other would be orange spiced shortbread. The royal icing element would be decorating the cookies with jerseys. I would also make the hockey nets out of royal icing too. I would add in a few cars to truly replicate playing road hockey.
What the contestants baked and judges thoughts:
I am intrigued by Dominike’s sparkling wine sable as I like sparkling wine!
Sheldon: Immigration Story. Cookies are orange sugar cookies, honey chai cookies and coconut macaroons. Kyla called it colourful and bright and loved the flooding of the icing. Bruno liked the honey chai cookie and his coconut macaroons.
Tanner: Postcard from the Falls. Cookies are peach sugar cookies with blueberry meringue. Bruno called using the meringue as the foam was a good idea. Bruno also liked the peach cookie.
Larry: Family Meal. Cookies are shortbread and gingerbread. Kyla liked Larry’s decorating skills. Bruno liked the flavour but called it too restrained for a showstopper.
Dominike: Cozy Home. Cookies are gingerbread and sparkling wine sable. Bruno thinks the gingerbread flavour is flat. Kyla can’t taste the sparkling wine and the cookie comes off too sweet.
Maggie: Holiday Farmhouse. Cookies are gingerbread and orange cardamom sugar cookies. Both judges were impressed with the details in the decorating. Bruno loved the molasses in the gingerbread. Kyla liked the choice in the spices Maggie used.
Raufikat: Knock-Knock Giggles. Cookies are orange 4 spice shortbread, chocolate black pepper shortbread and coffee macarons. Kyla would have liked more detail and cleaner work. Bruno liked her macarons and Kyla liked the flavour.
Oyaks: Dad’s Library. Cookies are orange chai shortbread and vanilla sugar cookies. Bruno says that perhaps Oyaks should have made one book. Bruno noted the cookie has not baked. But the sugar cookie both judges liked.
Mahathi: Diwali Cookie Celebration. Cookies are gingerbread, Tutti Frutti and cashew shortbread. Kyla calls this a true showstopper. Bruno says the gingerbread was cooked to perfection. Kyla liked the tutti frutti calling it festive.
Up for Star Baker: Maggie, Mahathi, Sheldon
In danger of going home: Oyaks, Raufikat
Star Baker: Mahathi
Going Home: Oyaks
Quick Thoughts: Larry is emerging as a front runner and so has Mahathi. Sheldon saved himself with his showstopper. I think I said Oyaks and Raufikat would be in the final but that was too premature. With a few more weeks now, I think the final three will be: Larry, Mahathi and Maggie. Those three have so far been the most consistent bakers.