Cookies and gingerbread

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In 17 days is Christmas and the time is flying…in supersonic speed. At least that’s the feeling we have had for the last couple weeks and the coming weeks don’t seem to be better.

But we have started baking Christmas cookies and assembled our gingerbread house. So far we have baked 5 different kinds of cookies: coconut piles with marzipan, gingerbreads, spritz cookies, Berlin bread and today we prepared maple nutmeg sugar cookies. All cookies are delicious and it doesn’t take too long before they are gone. Our friends, neighbors and co-workers don’t mind if we share a cookie or two with them 😉 and our two munchkins help with this so important and difficult task to empty the cookie tins.

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Next week we are going to Germany and one of the things we have planned is to visit the Christmas market in Aachen. I love Christmas markets and I hope we are going to be smitten with the Christmas bug.

Last week we had friends over for dinner, a simple Thanksgiving dinner with chili and cornbread and a nice cherry crumb pie for dessert. Since one of the friends has a problem with gluten, I made the cornbread gluten-free and it turned out very well. But since it’s gluten-free it doesn’t stay moist for several days. It’s best if eaten as fresh as possible.

Here our new recipes…

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Gluten-free cornbread

  • 1.5 cups gluten-free mix for light bread
  • 3 tbsp psyllium or fiber husk
  • 1 cup polenta flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup canned corn, drained
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 113gr very soft butter
  • Preheat oven to 200C (400F) and mix all the dry ingredients.
  • In a food processor mix the ingredients except the butter.
  • Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ones and blend shortly, then mix in the butter.
  • Butter an oven pan and pour the batter in, smooth the surface.
  • Bake for 25/35min, let cool for 10min before you take it out of the pan. Serve lukewarm and with butter.

and now to the Christmas cookies. The coconut piles with marzipan are gluten-free too and just delicious. In Germany and the nordic countries coconut piles are a very popular and common type of Christmas cookie.

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Coconut piles with marzipan

  • 200gr dried coconut, shredded, NOT sweetened
  • 200gr raw marzipan
  • 250gr powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 5 egg whites
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Preheat the oven to 180C and place parchment paper on a baking tray.
  • Cut the marzipan into small chunks and mix it well with the powdered sugar, vanilla and coconut.
  • Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until firm and mix them under the marzipan coconut mix.
  • Place amounts of 2 tbsp on a baking tray with parchment paper, leave enough space between them and bake for 20-25min.
  • Let cool down completely. The coconut piles can be stored in an air-tight container.

Another classic among the Christmas cookies in Germany is Berlinerbrot or Berlin bread. This recipe is pretty old already and runs in the family. We prepare it every year and we just love it.

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Berlin bread

  • 4 eggs + 2 egg whites
  • 500gr brown sugar
  • 500gr all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground vanilla
  • 16gr baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2-3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 200gr hazelnut halves
  • 100gr chopped almonds
  • Preheat oven to 175C and place parchment paper on a baking tray.
  • Mix all the ingredients and pour the batter on the baking tray. Smoothen the surface, if it’s too sticky and stiff, use your clean but wet hands.
  • Bake for 35-40min or until cake tester comes out clean. Take out of the oven, transfer onto a cutting board and cut IMMEDIATELY into bars. Let cool completely before you store it in air-tight boxes.

M demanded sugar cookies. I’m not a big fan of them since they are usually kind of boring. You can have so many more exciting ones than sugar cookies… In the US they often even don’t bother to prepare the dough themselves but buy it frozen preformed. Their only tasks are to bake and spread icing thickly onto them. But how wants to eat sugar cookies with a thick layer of icing?? The cookies are already sweet enough just by themselves. I found this recipe on smittenkitchen.com and changed a couple things. M is very happy with the result.

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Maple nutmeg sugar cookies adapted from smittenkitchen

  • 226gr soft butter
  • 180gr coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • In your kitchen machine beat the butter with the coconut sugar until airy and light. Then add the egg yolk, scratch down the sides and while beating add the syrup in a fine stream.
  • Mix the flour with the spices and salt and blend it into the butter-egg mixture.
  • Transfer the dough into a freezer bag, close it and let it sit for a couple of hours in the refrigerator.
  • Preheat the oven to 175C. Place parchment paper on your baking trays.
  • Roll the dough on a lightly floured working space  out and cut cookies out. Leave some space between each cookie.
  • Bake for ca 12min or until slightly browned.
  • Let cool completely before they are transferred to an air-tight storage tin.

Btw all three men of this household loved the raw dough too. Just dig in! 😉

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That’s our newest piece of equipment for  traveling and it actually works very well at home too. Little munchkin sits in it like a little pasha, hovering above everything. He just loves it cause he can finally see more. So that’s what we use now when he wants to be around all the time and watch.

Somebody is very lazy

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We wish everyone a wonderful advent time and with delicious cookies and a looooot of snow.

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