Tag Archives: California

SOCAL German Day 2017 at UCI

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Yesterday on Tuesday, February 7 the UCI Department of European Languages and Studies invited to its SOCAL German Day 2017.  A day that started out with German weather in fact. But despite initial rain showers students and teachers came out in big numbers to learn what UCI’s German Studies Program had to offer.

German School campus students and the school’s founder Frau Ursula Schoeneich attended as well and joined in the three hours filled program whichUCI -German consul was put together by Glenn Levine, Professor of German and German Language Program Director at UCI. Before the crowd of students spread out to find their respective session, School of Humanities Dean Georges van den Abbeele as well as the German Deputy Consul General Kathrin Steinbrenner welcomed teachers and students to the event.

A variety of interesting and fun classes were offered including sessions led by Peter Zykowski of the Goethe Institute San Francisco, a workshop with Hanni Geist from the DAAD, and daad-workshop-with-hanni-geista class with Vera Dindoyal from the ZfA-Zentralstelle für das Auslandsschulwesen of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Students of German School campus won the German Trivia Quiz 1 with 20 to 11 against other High School students. They joined classes of “Getting a Degree in Germany”, “Step into German with Soccer and Music”, and a “German Theater workshop”.

At the end of the event everyone could enjoy a UCI Campus Tour led by UCI’s German Studies students in German or English. By that time California sun had come out again as well and begged for a visit at the university’s ‘Mensa’ (food court). Frau Schoeneich and her German School campus students took that moment to discuss the day’s exciting moments while going through their gift bags filled with information and enjoying California fare.

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Text/Images: German School campus & CaliforniaGermans

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Weihnachtsbäckerei – Part 5: Butterplätzchen

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Butterplätzchen – Butter Cookies

A classic in German Christmas baking is the Butterplätzchen (butter cookie). It’s a favorite for baking with children. They love using cookie cutters in all kinds of shapes to make these most classic Christmas cookie of all and decorate them later. The difference between American and German Christmas butter cookies might not only be the recipe but also the size. Usually the German variation is thinner and much smaller in size than its US counterpart.

Ingredients for the dough:

  • 250 g – flour
  • 200g – butter
  • 100g – Baker’s sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp – rum
  • grated skin of one lemon

Ingredients for the decoration:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • for decorating: chocolate sprinkles, colored sugar sprinkles or pearls, smarties , coarse sugar, etc.

Prepare a shortcrust pastry ( Knetteig) by sifting the flour on a board, adding the sugar and the butter cut in little flakes on top. Make a little depression in the middle of the heap of the flour mixture and add the egg yolk, rum and grated lemon.

Blend the ingredients by first chopping them with a large knife, then kneading them to a smooth dough with your hands.

Form a big round ball out of the dough, wrap it in parchment paper and let it rest for about 30 min in the refrigerator.

Dust your work surface and a rolling pin with flour and roll out the dough to about 3mm weihnachtsbackereibutterkekspixabaythin. Cut out different forms with your cookie cutters. Place the various cookie shapes on a lined baking sheet, and bake them for about 356-392 Fahrenheit in the pre-heated oven for about 8-10 minutes. They should look golden brown.

Before you start decorating your cookies, place the cookies on a cooling rack. Then whisk the egg yolk used for decorating with the 1 tbsp milk and brush the cookies with a thin layer. Decorate them with chocolate sprinkles, colored sugar pearls or coarse sugar.

…and you are ready to enjoy one of the most traditional German Christmas Cookies!

Happy Forth Sunday of Advent!

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Let us know your favorite German Christmas Cookie Recipe and send it to CaliforniaGermans(at)gmail.com !

Photo Credit: Pixabay.com


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Weihnachtsbäckerei – Part 4: Coconut Macaroons -Two different ways

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Coconut Macaroons – Kokosmakronen

Coconut macaroons are an absolute must for any holiday cookie baker. At least that’s what I was told by a very dear American friend, who has lived for years in Germany. When she saw my recent Friday posts on German Christmas Cookie baking, Weihnachtsbäckerei, she insisted that I had to include this old time favorite!

So here we go with her two recipes ! Yes, two recipes: One is with whole eggs and the other one is made only with egg whites. A great recipe, if you have excess egg whites left from your previous cookie baking, which you want to use.

Coconut Macaroons Recipe made with Whole Eggs

Ingredients:

  • 125g Butter
  • 375g Sugar
  • 1 package Dr. Oetker Vanilla Sugar or 1 tbsp of vanilla extract
  • 4 Egg yolks
  • 50g flour
  • 375g shredded coconut
  • 4 egg whites

Beat the butter into a foamy mixture slowly adding half of the 375g sugar, as well as the Vanilla sugar and the 4 egg yolks. After having mixed well add the rest of the sugar. Then gradually add the 50g of flour to the batter together with the 375g shredded coconut.

In a separate bowl beat the 4 egg whites until you get a firm and stiff consistency, then carefully fold it into the coconut mixture.

With 2 teaspoons take out some of the batter, form little heaps of dough and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Preheat the oven to 420-430 Fahrenheit and bake the cookies for about 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Makes a batch of deliciously golden looking coconut macaroons!

Quick Coconut Macaroons Recipe made with Egg Whites only

Ingredients:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 250g sugar
  • 350g shredded coconut
  • A few drops orange peel aroma by Dr. Oetker or McCormick
  • 150 g hacked pistachios for decorating

Beat the egg whites to a firm, stiff consistency gradually adding the sugar while you keep beating the mixture until it takes on a glossy consistency and has stiff peaks. Fold the shredded coconut together with the orange aroma carefully under the batter.

Form little heaps of dough, put a few hacked pistachios on top and put them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake the coconut macaroons in a preheated oven (320 Fahrenheit) for about 10-15 minutes.

Makes beautifully white coconut macaroons with a green pistachio top!

Enjoy!

Let us know your favorite German Christmas Cookie Recipe and send it to CaliforniaGermans(at)gmail.com !

Image: Pixabay.com

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Weihnachtsbäckerei – Part 3: Chocolate Wasp Nests

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Chocolate Wasp Nests – Wespennester

Today we are adding a chocolate macaroon with slivered almonds and a touch of cloves to our Weihnachstbäckerei. A very light but intensely flavored Christmas cookie satisfying your chocolate cravings. Thank you Christine R. from San Diego!

Ingredients for 60 pieces:

250g slivered almonds

2 tbsp sugar

250g bittersweet chocolate

4 egg whites

250g sugar

1 pinch ground cloves

Directions:

  1. Spread the slivered almonds on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with the 2 tbsp sugar. Bake them in the oven at 392F degrees for about 15 minutes to let them get golden brown.
  2. In the meantime melt the bittersweet chocolate over a hot-water bath
  3. Let both chocolate and almonds cool down.
  4. Beat egg whites until stiff. Carefully add the sugar and the ground cloves while continuing to beat the egg whites.
  5. Continue to mix the mixture with the electric mixer (on a lower level) for about another 10 minutes until the mixture takes on a glossy and thick appearance. Slowly add and fold into the mixture the slivered almonds and the melted chocolate.
  6. With 2 teaspoons make little heaps of dough and put them on a greased baking sheet.
  7. Bake the cookies on the lowest rack in the preheated oven (302 F ) for about 15-20 minutes.

Enjoy!

Let us know your favorite German Christmas Cookie Recipe and send it to CaliforniaGermans(at)gmail.com !


Image: CaliforniaGermans.com

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Saint Martin’s Day – Lanterns, ‘Weckmänner’ and more

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Laterne! Laterne! Sonne, Mond und Sterne…

A ‘Sankt Martin’s Tag’ lantern parade is a beloved tradition for children in Germany. Saint Martin’s Day is celebrated on November 11th and I remember it as a day that rang in the joyful winter season that culminates in the year’s most festive celebration, Christmas. As a tasty precursor to all the delicious Christmas cookies, kids are offered “Weckmänner”that day, a pastry that’s made of sweet leavened dough, in the form of a man.

GermanPacificSchool in San Diego and GermanSchoolCampus in Newport Beach, both had their lantern parades already early this year and they sent us some cool pictures. While GermanSchoolCampus celebrated in Irvine and walked along Woodbridge lake, GermanPacificSchool had its lantern walk on Mission Bay combined with a bonfire on the beach.

To get you in the right holiday mood here in sunny California we have put together a little compilation of Saint Martin’s Day celebrations in SoCal for you! 

If you live in Northern California, watch out for lantern parade happenings this weekend! Two we have listed for you right here:

1 ) German Language School of Marin has its Laternenfest in Novato & Santa Rosa on Saturday, November 12 at 5:30pm!

2 ) Bay Area Kinderstube in Albany has a Laternenfest for all, who live in the Berkeley/San Francisco area on Saturday, November 12 at 4:00pm. (Check out our earlier post on this topic that offers more details on where & when)

Get in the right mood for Saint Martin’s Day with our slide show:


Slide-Show Images: GermanSchoolCampus & GermanPacificSchool
Image: “Kinder beim Martinssingen”, © Superbass / CC-BY-SA-4.0 (via Wikimedia Commons)

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