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A Yule Log, Straight From Your Freezer?

Since I’m not doing anything other than alternating between feeling sick (stupid head cold) and frantically pulling together Christmas (stupid Christmas)… and I haven’t been writing, or even thinking about writing — at all — you get my Yule Log recipe instead of a well-thought-out, writing-related post.  YAY!

I love this Yule Log cake (also known as a Bûche de Noël).  It’s chocolaty and pepperminty and frosty and I delight in the irony of a fire log that I have to store in the freezer.  I’ve futzed with this recipe over the years, and finally have it how I like it.  This will be the first year I’m not making it, because we have no plans for guests… and I really don’t want to be tempted to eat the whole thing myself.  So you can make it, and then let me know how delicious and awesome it was, so I can live vicariously.

Yule Log Cake

1 batch Chocodoodles (recipe below – you will probably have some left over after making the cake)
3 3/4 c. heavy cream*
Crushed Candy Canes (about 5)
3/4 c. confectioner’s sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
1/2 c. cocoa powder

  1.  Beat 1 1/2c. cream, 1/4 sugar, peppermint and vanilla extracts until soft peaks form. Fold in crushed candy canes.
  2. Assemble log by placing cookies together on end, sandwiching them together with peppermint cream.  Make a long log, and then attach a couple of “bumps” on the side (see picture) Hint: I usually assemble my stacks on a foil-wrapped cutting board. It keeps things clean, and makes it easy to pop in and out of the freezer if needed. Work quickly and you won’t have much trouble.
  3. Pop this bad boy in the freezer for at least 5 hours. Hint: After an hour in the freezer, I usually cover the log with plastic wrap—do it too soon and it’s mess city.
  4. Beat remaining 2 1/4 c. cream with remaining 1/2 c. sugar and 1/2 c. cocoa until stiff peaks form. (This mixture should be a bit more firm than the filling was.)
  5. Slather the log with cocoa cream.
  6. Drag a fork all over the log to simulate tree bark, then freeze log for at least 3-4 hours (again, don’t cover it right away!  In fact, I don’t cover it.  Rather, I just prepare it 3 to 4 hours before we are planning to eat it.) Let it sit at room temp for 15-20 minutes before serving.

Dec 24 001

You can garnish the log any number of cute ways…spearmint “leaf” candies, powdered sugar “snow”, or little faux-mushrooms made with Hershey’s Kisses and nonpareil candies.  The one in the photo is garnished with leaves clipped from my orange tree, powdered sugar and redhot candies.

Dec 24 007* Depending on how big your chocodoodles are, or how big you make your cake, you may require more peppermint cream and/or cocoa cream.  Having extra cream, sugar and cocoa powder around the house is never a bad thing, so plan to make extra!
Dec 23 003Chocodoodles
1 cup butter
1.5 cups sugar
2 eggs
2/3 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cream butter and sugar. Blend in eggs. Stir in rest of ingredients until well mixed. Roll into small balls, about the size of a walnut. Place 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Flatten each cookie slightly. Bake for 8 minutes at 400 degrees. Be careful not to overcook. Makes 3 to 4 dozen cookies.

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