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December 9th is National Pastry Day

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If you're looking for something to do today then let me help you pack on the winter pounds with National Pastry Day!  Just one won't hurt, right? ;)  So, let's get right into celebrating National Pastry Day!

WHY IS THIS A HOLIDAY?  

Because people can't get enough desserts and there are so many different kinds of pastries out there that it's kind of hard to say you hate them. It's one of those things where they're so good that you really have to limit how much of them you eat; too much goodness ain't so good! But hey, pastry lovers are smart enough to set up a holiday so that you can binge on the goodness for 24 hours, if you want!  And pastries have been around since the ancient Mediterranean times... The people in Northern Europe can thank the Crusaders for bringing pastries back from the Mediterranean. And of course, the French and Italians caught on and started perfecting all kinds of different pastries, during the Renaissance period. But in order to be called a pastry, all you really need is some kind of dough that will end up nice and flaky when it's baked.  There are shortcrust pastries, phyllo pastries, flaky pastries, puff pastries and choux pastries. And the pastry shell or crust from all these types of pastries, have close to the same basic ingredients: water, flour, some type of fat and maybe some eggs. A shortcrust is what you would use for a pie, phyllo pastries are really thin and have a bunch of layers, a flaky pastry is crisp and expands a bit because of its layers, a puff pastry expands quite a bit too but it's a little more on the tender side and a choux pastry is a light pastry that is usually filled with a cream.  Which kind will you choose?

HOW TO CELEBRATE
So, how can you celebrate today?  Well, it's not going to be that hard at for you to celebrate... heck, Pop-Tarts are considered a pastry! Do you have any of those? If you don't, then a better option might be to head to a local diner and order up a slice of one of their best pies. Ask the waitress for a suggestion, or a choose type of pie you know you'll like or go all gangster on the place and order a slice of each. No one's holding you back!  But, as always, you are welcome to make your own pastries, at home. You can make some pies or get really fancy and start baking up all kinds of pastries. How's a strudel sound? What about a Danish pastry? And you know, with you making all these sweet treats, you might be able to get someone else to cook dinner tonight. You did take care of making some awesome desserts, after all!  But if you're a bit on the creative side then try to come up with your own kind of pastry today. You could go with sweet or savory, but you have plenty of options. You'll want to start out by making some kind of dough, and all you really have decide is what kind of fat you want to use and if you want to add in eggs, salt or maybe even baking powder. If you want a little lift and expansion in your dough, then you might just need those extra ingredients. But think of all the fillings and glazes and toppings you can use in your pastry. I bet it would be pretty awesome if you took a cake pan, put a layer of pastry dough on the bottom, spread a cream cheese mixture over that, topped with another layer of pastry dough, spread a layer of pie filling on that and kept going back and forth until you reached the top. Heck, you could use different kinds of pie fillings and cream cheese mixtures all the way up, just don't forget to bake it!  Have a great day and enjoy that flaky goodness!





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