Christmas Baking

We’re early birdies this year (with my flatmate Gesa):

Bethmännchen
(makes 30-40 cookies)

Ingredients:

110g whole almonds, peeled and cut into halves
110g almond meal
200g marzipan paste, crumbled
1 TS rose water
100g confectioner’s sugar
1 egg
50g flour
1 egg yolk for coating

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 175°C.

2. In a mixing bowl combine the crumbled marzipan paste, rose water, confectioner’s sugar, egg, almond meal and flour until well-combined and smooth.

3. From the dough shape small balls of the size of walnuts and press three almond halves into the upper, left and right side of each ball. Cover with the egg yolk and bake on a prepared baking sheet on the middle rack for about 15 minutes until golden.

 

Vanillekipferl
(makes about 40 cookies)

Ingredients:

50g almond meal
50g hazelnut meal
280g flour, sifted
70g raw cane sugar
1 pinch of salt
200g butter or vegetable margarine, cold
2 egg yolks
5 pckg. vanilla sugar
½ cup confectioner’s sugar

Directions:

1. In a mixing bowl, mix the sifted flour, almond and hazelnut meal, sugar, salt, butter/margarine and egg yolks and knead until well-combined. Wrap in foil and let rest in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.

2. Preheat the oven to 190°C.

3. From the dough shape small crescents of about 4 cm in length and bake on a prepared baking sheet on the middle rack for about 10 minutes until golden.

4. Mix the vanilla sugar and confectioner’s sugar und spread on a plate. Carefully turn each cookie in the mixture to cover.

 

Engelsaugen
(makes about 40 cookies)

Ingredients:

240g flour
150g butter/vegetable margarine
2 egg yolks
70g confectioner’s sugar and a bit more for dusting
2 ts vanilla sugar
zest of one organic lemon
1 pinch of salt
raspberry, black currant or blueberry jam (or whatever jam you prefer)

Directions:

1. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except for the jam and knead with your hand mixer (dough hook) until well-combined and smooth. Wrap the dough in foil and let rest in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.

2. Preheat the oven to 180°C.

3. With a teaspoon shape little balls from the dough and with your thumb, make little holes in the middle of the balls, being careful not to press all the way down to the bottom. With a small spoon, carefully fill the jam into the holes.

4. Bake on a prepared baking sheet on the middle rack for about 10-15 minutes.

5. Let the cookies cool and dust with the remaining confectioner’s sugar.

 

Albert Cookies
(makes about 40 cookies)

Ingredients:
250g flour
125g corn starch
1ts baking powder
125g sugar
1 pckg. vanille sugar
2 eggs
125g butter or vegetable margarine

Directions:

1. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and knead until well-combined and smooth. Wrap the dough in foil and let rest in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 180°C.

3. Roll out the dough on a clean surface dusted with flour and cut out cookies with cookie cutters.

4. Carefully transfer the cookies on a prepared baking sheet and bake on the middle rack for about 10 minutes until golden.

5. Let the cookies cool completely and decorate with colored icing, glitter etc.

 

Orangey Chocolate Christmas Cookies
(makes about 25-30 cookies)

Ingredients and Directions:
101 cookbooks
I replaced the peppermint extract with orange zest, orange juice and cinnamon.

 

Spice Biscuits
(makes about 25 cookies)

Ingredients and Directions:
Jerusalem: A Cookbook
As I didn’t find any candied citrus in the supermarket, I peeled an organic orange with a julienne shaver, covered the peel in sugar and baked in the oven on the middle rack at 200°C for 5 minutes.

 

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Busy November / Foodie Pen Pals October

November has been the busiest month of the year so far: Plenty of concerts, theater, cinema, exhibitions. I love being busy with all these things, but they also keep me from being online. Hence the silence.
Early in November I received my FPP package for October from Sarah over at Food Mag. She chose such lovely items: Chocolate and flower cake decoration, gluten-free macaroons, vanilla-spiced chai and smoked Cornish sea salt. I absolutely loved everything, especially the smoked Cornish sea salt. Thank you again, Sarah!

In order to make up for the long silence, you’ll find two recipes and a couple of links to things I loved this month below.

There’s going to be a Secret Santa Party at a friend’s house tomorrow and apart from bringing your present, everyone was assigned to bring some food, too. I decided to bring a pasta and pumpkin salad that’s really yummy and also really easy to prepare (as in the picture above, the pesto’s still missing though – going to be added tomorrow):

Pasta and Pumpkin Salad with Pistachio Pesto
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

Salad:
1 butternut squash, peeled seeded and cut into small dice
2 TS olive oil
2 ts paprika, ground
1 ts sea salt
a bit of freshly grated nutmeg
250-300g pasta of your choice
2 handfuls chopped baby spinach

Pesto:
2 small cloves garlic
zest and juice of one organic lemon
100g toasted, unsalted pistachio nuts and/or pine nuts
chili, ground, to taste
6 TS freshly minced parsley, cilantro and/or basil
6 TS grated pecorino
150 ml olive oil
a few pinches of salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 230ºC. Spread the cut squash on a prepared baking sheet, sprinkle with olive oil, paprika, salt and nutmeg and toss well to combine. Bake on the middle rack for about 20 minutes.

2. Cook the pasta al dente according to the instructions on the package.

3. In a food processor, blend the garlic, lemon juice and zest until creamy, add the pistachios and pine nuts, herbs, pecorino and olive oil and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. In a salad bowl carefully mix the pasta with the spinach, the squash and the pesto, let cool and serve garnished with additional parsley and pecorino.

The following recipe is not autumnal or winterly at all, but I felt like I needed to use up my lemons:

Lemon Tart  (as in the picture above)
for one 26cm spring form
adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients:

Crust:
1 crust as in this recipe

Filling:
1 organic lemon, rinsed and dried
300g raw cane sugar
115g butter or vegetable margarine
4 large or 5 medium eggs
2 TS cornstarch
1/4 ts salt

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 165ºC. Prepare the crust as described in the link and pre-bake for about 15 minutes (If you don’t want the crust to grow too much, fill it with raw lentils or beans and remove them before adding the lemon filling).

2. Cut the lemon into very thin slices and remove the seeds.

3. Transfer the lemon slices into a food processor together with the sugar and butter/vegetable margarine and blend until smooth.

4. Add the cornstarch, eggs and salt and blend until well-combined.

5. Pour the filling into the prepared crust and bake in the oven on the middle rack for about 40 minutes until well set. Let cool completely before unmolding the spring form. If you wish, you can sprinkle the tart with confectioner’s sugar.

Andreas Gursky at Museum Kunstpalast Düsseldorf
Theater “Der Keller Köln”
Michael Haneke’s “Amour”
Xiu Xiu live at Odeon Köln
Leipziger Baumwollspinnerei
DOK Festival Leipzig
Wild Nothing “Paradise”
Imbiss Hotel Seeblick Leipzig
Jonathan Franzen “The Corrections”