Tag Archives: Christmas cookies

Xmas Baking Recipe #4 – Gingerbread ‘Leicht Gemacht’

It’s not Christmas without Gingerbread Cookies!

As a child, I loved using my little cookie cutter forms and produce a variety of differently shaped butter cookies, which I later decorated wildly.  But as much as I enjoyed making butter cookies, I really, really loved to eat Lebkuchen! In fact, I couldn’t get enough of them. My favorite was the Elisenlebkuchen, made by my aunt from a family recipe, which was quite elaborate and required not only ample time but also lots of attention.

On a mission to find a recipe that would combine the easiness of a butter cookie recipe but encapsulate a flavor reminiscent of my cherished Lebkuchen in the final product, I came across this delectable and easy-to-make recipe for gingerbread cookies. And, the fun thing is…I can use all my cookie cutter forms with this kind of dough as well. Bingo!

Dive into our last Christmas cookie recipe for this holiday season!

Bon Appétit!

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INGREDIENTS:

70g  Sugar

180g  Honey

1 Egg Yolk

1 Pinch of Salt

1 tsp  Cinnamon

1 tsp  Candied Orange Peel (orangeat)

5 tbsp  Water

375g  Flour

1 tsp  Baking Powder

PROCEDURE:

Step #1 – First put the sugar and the honey in a pot and heat it up until it turns into a creamy mixture (don’t cook!). Put aside and let cool down. Preheat the oven to 356 Fahrenheit.

Step #2 – Add egg yolk, cinnamon, salt, and water to the mixture and mix well. Put flour and baking powder into a separate mixing bowl and add the honey mixture to it. Blend well. Cover the mixing bowl and let the batter rest for 24 hours.

Step #3 – Roll out the dough and cut out cookies in a gingerbread man shape for example. But any shape works fine. Bake at 350 Fahrenheit (top and bottom heat) for 11 minutes. Sugarcoat or decorate with icing or sprinkles.

Step #4 – Enjoy as a savory Christmas treat with friends and family, or use as a special decoration on your Christmas tree!

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!

Image: Pixabay.com


 

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Xmas Baking Recipe #3: Bad Ischl Jelly Rings à la Dieter Kermas

JELLY RINGS FROM BAD ISCHL – The No-Eggs Xmas Cookie

In our Christmas Cookie Baking Series, we share today one of Dieter Kermas’ favorite ‘Weihnachtsplätzchen’ that he has baked for years! It’s a straightforward recipe that doesn’t need any eggs.

The cookies make for a beautiful looking and deliciously tasting Christmas treat. In fact, this cookie and some with slight variations (different jams & jellies) belong to the traditional staple of Christmas cookies in Germany and shouldn’t miss on any Christmas cookie platter. A variation of this cookie is called ‘Spitzbuben’, a cookie that looks similar but sometimes incorporates an egg in its cookie batter.

Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

300g   Flour

100g almond flour

185g powdered sugar

2 packets of vanilla sugar

1 pinch of salt

225g Butter

some flour to roll out the dough

75g raspberry jelly

PROCEDURE:

Step #1 – For the dough, mix the flour with the almond flour and the 125g powdered sugar.

Step #2 – Make a well in the middle. Add the Vanilla sugar and the pinch of salt to it.

Step #3 – Spread the butter in little flakes around it. Quickly prepare to a smooth batter. Cover and allow to cool for 30 minutes.

Step #4 – On a lightly floured work surface  roll out the dough about 3mm thick. Cut out round cookies with a diameter of 6cm. Turn half of the cookie batch into circles by cutting out a hole of about 2cm in the middle.

Step #5 – Put all on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 8 minutes at 392 Fahrenheit.

Step #6 – Once baked, remove the circles with the holes from the baking sheet and dip them still warm in a mixture of powdered sugar and the rest of the vanilla sugar.

Step #7 – Cover the full round cookies with the raspberry jelly and place the powder sugared circles on top of it.

Tastes delicious with a hot cup of coffee, hot chocolate or spiced tea!

Merry Christmas!

Image: Pixabay.com

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Dieter Kermas, CaliforniaGermans Author and a true Berliner, turned to writing after he retired from his profession as an engineer. Family and friends urged him to document his many experiences during his childhood in wartime Germany. This made for a collection of various essays which have been published here at CaliforniaGermans. (You can find the stories here on CaliforniaGermans.com by putting “Dieter Kermas” into the Search Box.) Apart from his childhood memories, he is also sharing some of his short stories and poems on CaliforniaGermans. Dieter Kermas, who loves to write, has published his first novel “Kolja. Liebe im Feindesland” in 2016, available at Amazon. Some of his work has been included in anthologies.

To get in touch with Dieter Kermas, please send an email with subject line “Dieter Kermas” to californiagermans@gmail.com
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Xmas Baking Recipe: Peanut Butter Blossoms à la Anne-Kathrin

 

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Peanut Butter Blossoms

Growing up, baking cookies for Christmas was an established tradition by my grandmother and me. We used to bake a specific kind of sugar cookies and then decorate them with fun stuff like edible glitter and chocolate lentils. When I was older, the tradition continued with friends. During the month of December, a couple of my girlfriends and I would meet at one of our homes and bake the afternoon away, making about 3-4 batches of our favorite cookies.

Nowadays, I am still an avid cookie eater during the Holidays, but I have been researching some healthier options.  I still love to indulge and don’t believe in depriving myself of anything I like, but I do prefer to have a healthier alternative here and there. So today I’d like to share a recipe that I discovered from Tone It Up, a fitness community for women who I have been a part of for several years now.

The recipe doesn’t require many ingredients and is quickly made, two things I am a big advocate for as I personally don’t enjoy standing in the kitchen for hours and hours.

Happy Baking!

LIST OF INGREDIENTS:

1 Cup Unsweetened Creamy Peanut Butter

2 Scoops Vanilla Protein

¼ Cup Egg Whites

1 Tea Spoon Vanilla Extract

Pinch of Salt

18 Chocolate Kisses

Coconut Oil Spray

 PROCEDURE:

STEP #1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

STEP #2: Combine all ingredients, except the chocolate kisses, in a large bowl and stir.

STEP #3: Form one tablespoon sized balls and put them on a cookie sheet greased with coconut oil.

STEP #4: Bake the cookies in the oven for 10 minutes. Once you removed the cookies from the oven and let them cool for a couple minutes, press one chocolate kiss onto each cookie.

Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Image: Anne-Kathrin Schulte

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Anne-KathrinAnne-Kathrin Schulte, is a contributor for CaliforniaGermans.com. She writes about her personal experience of the American Dream as well as on working as an au pair in CA. She was born and grew up in Düsseldorf, Germany, where she completed her degree as a state-approved Kindergarten teacher. After her au pair engagement in the US and a quick return to Germany, she decided to attend university in California and moved back to the United States. She has been living in Southern California since 2011.

If you would like to contact Anne-Kathrin, please send an email to californiagermans(at)gmail.com and place her name in the subject line.

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Christmas and the First Sunday of Advent Is Near- Are Your Christmas Cookies Ready?

It’s Holiday Baking Time!

This Friday marks the 1st of December and while we can start opening the first door on our advent calendar (Yay!), we still have to wait a few days to lighten the first candle on our Advent wreath. The first Sunday of Advent is near however and on December 3rd we will officially enter the 4 weeks of Advent before Christmas Eve.

Typical for the Christmas season in Germany is having an Advent calendar helping you countdown to the 24th December, an advent wreath that is the centerpiece in the dining room or living room, and… lots of homemade Christmas cookies to share with family and friends! And some families do take holiday baking really seriously! It’s not uncommon for some families to sport up to 15 different cookie varieties. No kidding!

So…, how is your holiday baking coming along this season?

If you are still struggling with deciding what to bake and want to get inspired, check out our posts on Thursdays. Every Thursday until Christmas one of our CaliforniaGermans contributors will let you in on his or her favorite baking recipe for the holiday season. 

We hope you’ll discover your favorite one among them!

Image: Pixabay.com

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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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