Jeremiah's Christmas Tree And Presents Recipe

By Marisa Dabney | Dec 2nd, 2016

During "Cookie Week" on The Great American Baking Show, Jeremiah Bills uses his homemade honey to give his Tree and Wreaths recipe some soul. He uses honey gingerbread cookies to create a tree trimmed with classic Portuguese spice filled wreath cookies. Watch the full "Cookie Week" episode from season two episode 2 of The Great American Baking Show to see if Jeremiah's soulful, 3-D showstopper bake is enough to keep him in the tent.

INGREDIENTS: 

Honey Gingerbread Cookies:

525 gr bleached all-purpose flour PILLSBURY

1 tbsp cocoa powder

4 tsp ground ginger

1.5 tsp ground cloves

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground mace

1 tsp ground black pepper, fresh

baking soda

1 tsp salt

225 gr unsalted butter, softened

170 gr white sugar

50 gr egg

185 gr honey 

Royal icing:

84 gr meringue power

1 tsp cream of tarter

320 gr water

2 kg icing sugar, sifted

0.5 tsp fine sea salt

2 tsp pure almond extract

Green, red, yellow food coloring gels 

Water

Spice Filled Wreaths:

Espécies dough:

250 gr bleached all-purpose flour 

57 gr unsalted butter softened

50 gr white sugar

1 tsp pork lard

25 gr egg

pinch salt

cold water

White Sugar

Espécies filling:

.5 cup water

145 gr unbleached all-purpose flour KING ARTHUR

1 tsp baking powder

.5 tsp salt

.5 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp preground cinnamon

1 tsp fresh ground nutmeg

2 tsp ground anise seed

0.5 tsp ground cloves

0.5 tsp white pepper

pinch of salt

56 gr unsalted butter

50 gr egg beaten 

1 zest of lemon

sugar

120 gr water

1 tbsp anise liqueur

METHOD

Honey Gingerbread Cookies:

1. Whisk together all dry ingredients 

2. In a stand mixer with the paddle mix the butter on medium speed until smooth

3. Add sugar and mix until smooth on medium

4. Add the egg and mix on low

5. Add the honey and mix

6. Scrape down as needed

7. Add flour mixture and beat on low speed until it comes together 

8. Divide dough into two portions

9. Flatten into squares, cover and place in refrigerator 

10. Preheat oven to 325F/163C

11. Roll each dough out on a silpat mat sprinkled with flour and freeze

12. Use stencil to cut tree shape

13. Bake for 15-17 minutes until set

14. Cool on rack for 10 minutes

Royal icing

1. In a stand mixer with the paddle beat all ingredients except for the icing sugar and extract for  10 minutes until stiff peaks

2. Add powder sugar a little at a time until combined

3. Raise speed to medium high and beat for another 10 minutes until stiff peaks

4. Mix colors


Spice filled wreaths:

Espécies dough:

1. Place flour, salt, sugar, butter and lard in food processor

2. Blend until combined

3. Add egg and water and blend until it comes together

4. Let rest in refrigerator while making filing 

Espécies filling

1. Mix all flat bread ingredients together 

2. Knead until smooth

3. Place in 8 by 8 inch square cake pan

4. Bake for 20 minutes until golden

5. Process into crumbs a food processor 

6. Melt butter with spices, sugar and lemon

7. Add water and bring to a boil

8. Add bread crumbs

9. Cool

10. Mix in beaten egg and liqueur

11. Place in piping bag

Espécies assembly

1. Oven at 350F/175F

2. Take a small amount of dough and roll into an oval shape .05 inch thick

3. Using a pasta rolling machine roll dough gradually thinner until quite thin

4. Lay on work surface

5. Pipe filling on surface leaving 1 to 2 inch space between

6. Using fluted pastry cutter cut dough between rolls

7. Remove each roll and cut small slits with pastry roller

8. Replace filling roll

9. Roll dough over pressing against the roll

10. Trim extra 

11. Form into a circular shape intending between each slit opening

12. Place on silpat lined baking sheet

13. Bake for 15 minutes until set and barely starting to brown

Assembly

1. Heat sugar until caramel stage 

2. Use to attach wreaths to tree

3. Decorate with royal icing using water to achieve correct consistencies 

4. Decorate Espécies with royal icing

5. Stand trees together

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