Tag Archives: Holidays

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: Christmas Rum Cake à la Merrill Lyew Emanuel

Christmas Rum Cake

This is the recipe for a delicious rum cake that our CaliforniaGermans contributor Merrill grew up with. It’s a treasured recipe from his mother, who used to make many smaller cakes from this recipe instead of one big one. It stayed a tradition for him and his family and every holiday season they are the delight of everyone in his family.

Enjoy!

LIST OF INGREDIENTS:

1. 1/2 Pound Cake Fluor
2. 1/2 Pound Sugar
3. 1/2 Pound Butter
4. 5 Eggs Separate the yolks from the egg white
5. 1/2 Cup Evaporated milk
6. 2 Tea Spoon Baking Powder
7. 1 Tea Spoon Vanilla
8. 1/8 Tea Spoon Salt
9. 3 Table Spoon Burned Sugar (see procedure)
10. 3 Table Spoon Raisins and cut Prunes soaked in Rum for several weeks
11. 1/3 Cup Chopped Walnuts
12. 1/4 Cup Red Cherries cut into Halves
13. 1/4 Cup Green Cherries cut into Halves
14. 1/3 Cup Dark Beer
15. 1/8 Tea Spoon Grinded Nutmeg
16. 2 Table Spoon Orange Juice
17. 1 Orange Skin Grated orange peel

PROCEDURE:

STEP #1: Burn the 3 tablespoons sugar to a dark syrup then add 1 tablespoon of water, keep to a thick consistency. Let it cool down.

STEP #2: Mix butter with sugar, add dark syrup from STEP #1, grated orange peel, vanilla, nutmeg, orange juice. Add egg yolks one at a time. Add evaporated milk little by little.

STEP #3: Strain flour, baking powder, and salt together in separate bowl and add to the batter.

STEP #4: Add the cherries, prunes, chopped walnuts.

STEP #5: Whip the egg white apart and add to the batter at low speed. Add the dark beer.

STEP #6: Pour into a buttered 9-inch mold.

STEP #7: Bake at 350 ° F for around one hour

Bon Appétit!

Image: Pixabay.com
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Merrill Lyew EmanuelAs a recent retiree, Merrill Lyew Emanuel now has time for his old and new hobbies. Within his hobbies are writing fan fiction in German, solving chess puzzles, repairing things at home that are not broken, doing a little bit of social media, reading every and anything that looks like a book, traveling a little, and taking snapshots with his mirrorless camera.

Having lived in Germany, Costa Rica and the USA, he is fluent in the languages of these countries. As a professional geographer he traveled profusely throughout Latin America. He is living in Southern California for over thirty years. Find more of his work at http://www.merrillius.net


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Thanksgiving

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THANKSGIVING

One of my favorite holidays since living in the U.S. has definitely been Thanksgiving.  I love getting together with friends to cook, chat, eat, and just have a great time. We do have Thanksgiving in Germany as well, but it’s not being celebrated the way the Americans do, at least when I was still living there.

When I was a child in elementary school, I remember that our class hosted a play for the parents at a farm in the forest on the actual Thanksgiving Day.  The families gathered at the school in the morning before everyone, including teachers, kids, and parents participated in the approximately 20-minute walk towards the forest.

Once we reached the destination, the entertainment part started.  I don’t remember many specific details except all of us singing songs together and the kids performing a play for the parents, praising all the great things the earth provided us with.  That was pretty much all we did for Thanksgiving.

Coming over here, I really started seeing Thanksgiving more as a holiday and opened up to celebrating it.  I mean, I moved all the way over here to get used to a different culture, might as well indulge in the American customs.  I have celebrated in Texas a couple years and in California.  Sometimes, my friends put together a Friendsgiving a couple days before the actual Thanksgiving Day, so I got to celebrate it twice in one year.

This year will be the first year where I won’t be celebrating on the actual day.  Fortunately, my dear friend Katy (name changed due to privacy) put on a wonderful Friendsgiving celebration this past Saturday.  It had an interesting twist giving the fact that my friend is vegan.  I personally don’t eat meat myself and am pretty open to different diets and loved the various dishes.

Another Thanksgiving “tradition” I had to get used to as well was Black Friday.  It is so crazy to me how people are lining up in front of stores for hours just to get a great bargain, when Thanksgiving should actually be all about being thankful for what we have.  I love that there are certain stores that advertise the importance of being with family instead of shopping and keep their doors closed.

But however all of you are spending your Thanksgiving, I hope you are having a wonderful time.

Happy Holidays!

Image: pixabay.com
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Anne-KathrinAnne-Kathrin Schulte, is a contributor for CaliforniaGermans.com. She writes on 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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Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

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Wishing you Joy and Peace
at the Holidays and
throughout the New Year.

Merry Christmas!

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German Christmas Eve Family Services in California

St. Matthew’s Lutheran in San Francisco

Heiligabend / Christmas Eve at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church.          German Candlelight Service at 4:00 p.m.
Bilingual Candlelight Service  at 6:00 p.m

Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Santa Monica

Christmas Eve – 3:00pm.  Family German Christmas Service – a service of readings, carols, organ music, a children’s message and a Kinderkrippenspic (Children’s Nativity play) entirely in German.

St. John’s Lutheran in Orange

Christmas Eve – 3:00pm – The Christmas Story in German, German Christmas Carols, Sermon in English

First German United Methodist Church (Christuskirche) in L.A.

Heiligabend, Dienstag, den 24. Dezember 2013, 18:00Uhr in der Christuskirche. Der Gottesdienst ist in deutscher Sprache mit engl. Untertiteln on screen. Mitgestaltet von den Solisten und dem Chor der Christuskirche.

First Lutheran Church of San Diego

German Service at 7:30pm