Christmas Cookies Part III – Springerle

 

SpringerleA lot of people love Springerle, an aniseed flavored Christmas cookie – and a lot of people are really scared to bake them by themselves. But to be honest, you won’t need any witchcraft to succeed, just a beautiful Springerle mold, time and as always a lot of love while doing it. It is essential to dry the unbaked cookies overnight, or at least 12 hours before baking. Otherwise the beautiful patterns will not stay stable and run away in the heat. Well done Springerle need to “pop-up” during baking in order to get a little foot, in german we say they need to jump and that is also where the name is from (“little jumper”).

Springerle There are a lot of recipes with aniseeds or aniseed extract in the dough. For my taste this is to intense, so I prefer to just set the cookies on a greased and aniseed sprinkled baking tray. But this is a bit up to your taste, just try it out. While rolling out, work with small amounts of the dough, so the moisture stays inside. Take care to finely dust the molds with flour, to get sharp pictures and to be able to lift the mold without destroying the pattern. Cut the dough into pieces.

SpringerleThe baked biscuits are hard. Put them into a tin can, best with a ripe (but not to aromatic) apple for 2 – 3 weeks until they “ripe” and get tender. Springerle are little beauties! You will always get a “wow” for nicely made Springerle so don’t be scared, just try it out! They also make a beautiful small gift, if you are invited for a tea afternoon during advent season.

Springerle

homemade Springerle

SpringerleOne word to my recipes. I know, it would be much easier and a lot more convenient to a lot of you, if I would not only write in grams and millimeters… I am a bit of a perfectionist and I really want to do it soon, but it is a big step for me, to just write the recipes down like it is now. Normally I would not even start doing something, I know it won’t be perfect. So I am quiet happy I am ignoring this feeling and posting the pictures and recipes anyway, although they are not “perfect”.

 

Christmas Cookies Part III – Springerle
 
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A classic german Christmas cookie
Author:
Recipe type: Christmas cookies
Cuisine: bakery

Ingredients
  • 4 eggs (220g without egg shells)
  • 500g extra fine sugar
  • fresh zests of one lemon
  • 500g flour all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon aniseeds
  • butter for the baking tray

Instructions
  1. Divide the eggs into the whites and the yolk.
  2. Whisk the whites
  3. Slowly add sugar and egg yolks and whisk until the sugar dissolved
  4. Add the fresh lemon zests and the flour
  5. Knead the dough and put it into the refrigerator for 2 hours
  6. Take the still slightly sticky dough and roll it out on flour so that it is 8-10 mm thick.
  7. Lightly dust with flour. The dough feels very smooth.
  8. Now press the finely dusted mold evenly into the dough.
  9. Cut out the pattern with a knife or pastry roller.
  10. Place on a baking tray that has been buttered and sprinkled with the aniseeds.
  11. After a drying period of 12-24 hours (room temperature), bake the Springerle at approx. 150-160ºC at the very bottom of the oven for about 12-15 minutes. Be careful not to overbake them, they should remain white (you can put some tinfoil on top as soon as they start to darken in order to keep them nice and bright).

 

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Happy Friday

winter branch

Life has been faster then me… The friday christmas cookie post is not yet written, and as I will have a girls only week end with two of my best friends, this has to wait until next week. I am so sorry, but I decided rather to wait and to write the post with some time and not to rush. I guess you all know that feeling, when your head is almost exploding and full of ideas and then there is just not enough time to do all of it. So I wish you all a lovely friday and week end!

Christmas cookies part two

It is still Friday, although already friday evening in Germany. But anyway, I wish anyone a happy friday of course!

“Spritzgebackenes”: I have no idea how to translate the names of the cookies… But I guess you will get an idea by watching the pictures. This is another one of my favorite recipes. I got it from a very good friend and she got it from her mum, and she got ist from her school, and…. It is traditional, as it can be traditional….

grinderFlour

My boys love to help. The trick is to use a grinder (classically for meat, but with a star cap), this helps a lot and is the fun part for the kids. Mine is a beautiful vintage one, I got through my father from an old lady. I wish this grinder could talk, I am sure it has seen a lot of kitchen stories! Anyway. It is important to cool down the dough. Otherwise it is going to be impossible to work with it. There is quiet an amount of butter inside (which makes the cookies so yummy), so do yourself a favor and work only with the portion you’ll need, and keep the rest in the refrigerator. Depending on the warmth in your kitchen, especially when the oven is preheating or already baking, the dough can get too smooth within minutes.

hazelnutsI love to use fresh hazelnuts, of course best collected by ourselves. But it even makes a big difference to buy already cracked ones and grind them yourself. For me, my lovely Kitchen Aid does all the work and that is the first fun moment for the kids. They just love to start the machine…. We made the dough in the morning and then went out for some skating and outdoor fun for a couple of hours.

Spritzgebackenes Making of 1And then the real fun starts. One is pulling the grinder, the other one is forming the cookies. And of course the boys need to test the quality of the dough by tasting it once in a while…. This year, I almost had no chance to do some shapes on my own, but that’s ok. I think they did a great job and I consider myself very happy to have such good helpers!

SpritzgebackenesSpritzgebackenes _45A3381

The next step will be to dip them in chocolate, but I will wait a bit longer to do this….and maybe without the boys… because in their believe, chocolate can always turn bad and needs to be tasted every 3 seconds… and what should I put on the cookies then????

Recipe again later, probably tomorrow….!! Ok, it took me more than a week, but here you go:

 

4.0 from 1 reviews

Spritzgebackenes
 
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A classic german Christmas cookie
Author:
Recipe type: Christmas cookies

Ingredients
  • 375g butter
  • 190g sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 500g all purpose flour
  • 125g hazelnuts

Instructions
  1. If using whole hazelnuts, peel them and grind them in a blender.
  2. Mix all ingredients together, until well combined.
  3. Put into the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  5. If you are lucky and have a meat grinder with a cookie attachment, press the dough through ist and form the out coming dough-strips into desired forms.
  6. You can also use a piping bag with a wide opening, but be prepared to use you muscles to get the dough through.
  7. Bake on a with parchment paper covered tray for about 10-12 minutes, depending on your oven. You want the cookies just in a light golden brown, don’t overbake them.

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Fried Quinoa

FriedQuinoaIngredientsGingerFried QuinoaWhen I was sitting at my desk today, I was realizing that I started snacking around unhealthy food. It took me a moment to realize that I was really hungry and that the better option would be to make myself a fast lunch, full of vitamins and other good stuff. I opened the fridge to see what I could make and found some leftover quinoa from yesterday. Perfect.

It is a bit weird, but the moment my little one goes to sleep for his nap, I have the feeling I want to use every minute in the most effective way to do something useful. And you know, there is always a huge TO DO list, no? So sometimes I just don’t want to take the time to make myself lunch. WHAT? How can that be? As a food stylist? No way! But I am not shooting everyday and chances are high that I make lunch for my toddler, but forget about myself. There are so many easy and tasty recipes out there, I really want to change this.

As winter is around the corner, it is also the time for sore throats, the flue…. So I added a good knob of ginger to my fried quinoa and it turned out quiet spicy. But I really believe that ginger is good for me :-). You don’t have to stick to the recipe, just take what is in your fridge. Is is a double or triple satisfaction to cook yourself a healthy and tasty lunch with ingredients which are already waiting to be used! Love it!

Fried Quinoa
 
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A healthy but delicious bowl of quinoa and vegetables
Author:
Cuisine: Asian inspired

Ingredients
  • 200g quinoa
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 handful champignons
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cm ginger
  • 1 glove of garlic
  • 2 handful edamame
  • 2 handful portulak (a winter salad)
  • 3 eggs
  • salt & pepper
  • 3 green onions
  • soy sauce to taste

Instructions
  1. Cook the quinoa as instructed on the package, or use the leftover like I did.
  2. Heat the sesame oil and roast sliced carrots and champignons for 4 minutes.
  3. Add the sliced onion and minced garlic and ginger and roast for another few minutes.
  4. Cook the edamame and peel them.
  5. Wash the portulak.
  6. Add the quinoa to the vegetables, heat up and add the lightly beaten egg.
  7. Add salt, pepper and soy sauce to your taste.
  8. Sprinkle with the chopped green onions and the peeled edamame.

 

Christmas Cookie Kick Off and Happy Friday

To start the christmas cookie season is a highlight in our family life! We all love to bake together, and it is a good tradition to start the week after Luis birthday, so in the second week of November. We want to have a good range of different cookies at the end of the month to start eating them on 1st advent.

christmas cookiesWhen I was kid, I can clearly remember sitting in my grandmas kitchen, right next to the fire oven and watching her baking “Gutzel”. When I close my eyes I can almost smell the most delicious mixture between fire wood, melted chocolate and fresh baked cookies. Mmh. So the passion for good christmas cookies comes from my grandmother and so are most of my cookie cutters. I love them. And my kids do too. So hopefully you will see a little series of our making of the cookies this year…

When we woke up yesterday, there was a tiny little bit of snow on the cars, and my boys went almost crazy about it. They can’t wait to play in the snow and they want to do everything they can to let it snow. So we started with snowflake cookies, to show the sky what we desire….snowflakesnowflake cookieI will post the recipe later on… Have a happy friday!

Snowflake cookies
 
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Delicious cookies to start the christmas cookie season
Author:
Recipe type: Bakery
Cuisine: Chrismas cookies

Ingredients
  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 100g superfine sugar
  • 1 egg (medium size)
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh lemon rind
  • 250g plain all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 160g icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon boiling water

Instructions
  1. Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer for about 6-8 minutes or until light and creamy.
  2. Add the egg and lemon zest and beat for another 3 minutes until well combined.
  3. Add the flour and beat just for 1 minute or until you have a smooth dough.
  4. If you think it is to smooth, add a little bit of flour.
  5. Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour, I did mine overnight.
  6. Preheat the oven to 140°C.
  7. Roll the dough out and cut your shapes with assorted snowflake cutters.
  8. If you want to hang the cookies, make a little hole at the edge of each cookie before baking.
  9. Place on backing paper covered trays and bake for 8-10 minutes, until lightly golden.
  10. Let the cookies cool for a few minutes, before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  11. Combine the icing sugar with the boiling water and mix until smooth.
  12. Decorate with a 2mm piping nozzle as desired.

 

 

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Happy Halloween Friday

Happy Halloween

To be honest, I completely grew up without halloween! I guess thats why I never was very excited about this special day. But I know it is a HUGE thing… The first time I really experienced the trick or treat action is 8 years ago. We lived in a furnished apartment these days in a neighborhood with lot’s of kids. And it was on this evening, that I realized that the birth of our first kid couldn’t be to far away… I was sitting (or lying like a huge whale) on the couch, counting the time between two contractions, when the kids started to ring the bell and ask for sweets. In the beginning I found it quiet funny (like, I was just hours away from becoming a mum on my own and to see how fun it was for the kids to get the sweets…). But after an hour of opening the door, laying back down, jumping (not exactly, but…) again to the door and so on, I started to be a bit annoyed. Those kids were ringing the bell without mercy, we lived on the ground floor, so they could see the lights… Finally we hid and switched off all the lights, because I was no longer in the mood for ghosts and mummies… There was something bigger going on… Our first son was born the 1st of November, so we are always preparing the birthday party in the halloween night.

Halloween TreatsBut this year, the two big boys are with their grandparents for the week and the middle one missed his halloween party in kindergarten! Of course he was complaining and in a weak moment I promised him some kind of halloween party, when they come home today. I cut out some bats for decoration and a bit of black vinyl to put a ghost face on the little milk bottles ( I love these bottles, they are just perfect for kids party). To get the pearls on, I dipped the bottle into some melted white chocolate. Very easy and fast, but it makes such a difference. With a colorful paper straw and a bat sitting on it, it is a easy last minute halloween decoration. The little ghost are even easier to make. Just take a lollipop and cut a kitchen roll paper into 4 pieces. Cover the lollipop and paint a little ghost face on it. Done! We will have some more fun food, like baked witch fingers, spooky pizza and so on, but as there is also the birthday party to be prepared, I decided to take it easy and only shoot what is ready right now. I hope you all have fun on this years halloween! Happy friday!

Halloween sweet table

 

Happy Friday and two easy flower tutorials

Erica

Happy Friday all together! I never was a huge fan of erica, but when I crossed this flower pot yesterday, I had to buy it. The colors are so vibrant and as it was a rainy and dark day yesterday I appreciated this little color boost! In the mountains the first snow is falling. So I decided we need to make our home cozy for these long dark winter afternoons and nights. I did a little tea light holder, to get some autumn decoration into our apartment. It is a made quickly, just take a little glas and put a elastic strap around it. Cut some erica branches and stick them to the elastic strap like in the second picture below. When you have completed the circle, put some very thin flower wire around the erica. That makes the elastic strap needless and you can cut it away. That’s all just light a tea light candle and enjoy your work!
Candle light with ericacandle light

candlelight with erica

Erica is also predestinated to make little chaplets, crones or bracelets. It is so easy, just take a thin ribbon and add the erica branches with the thin flower wire to it. You decide how thick and how large your chaplet will be. You can make big ones for your house door or tiny little ones to top a present. I thought how lovely it would be to make myself  a fresh flower braceletevery day? I mean, not that there is time for it, but wouldn’t it be great? To treat yourself with just 5-10 little flowers and meditate while doing your bracelet of the day. Maybe one day, when the garden is right in front of my door and when the kids are out of the house! Have a happy friday and a wonderful weekend everyone!

ArmbandErica love

Falafel sandwich

This was a perfect lunch break. Gathering for an easy but tasty AND healthy meal with friends – a perfect combination. We had falafel sandwich with loads of micro greens and it was pure joy to eat together. I had a stroll with my youngest to the market to get all the lush and lovely greens. I don’t know, but I find it really hard to stop myself from buying almost everything, once I am at the market. In Munich, we have the famous “Viktualienmarkt”, quiet a special place. It is beautiful, like you can walk around and just indulge all the food and flowers. But it is as well a little microcosmos with it’s own rules! Never, ever try to serve yourself, no way! Take some time and go with the flow, that’s the way you need to behave at this place. Otherwise, you might end up always the last to be served.

But I wanted to talk about lunch: especially about juicy, greenish falafel sandwiches! Take a look:

Dillfresh foodfalafelfalafel sandwichfalafel sandwich

We were happy enough that one of us brought the falafel and some pita with her, so we were ready to build our falafel sandwiches once all were here. You can find tons of recipes in the internet to make them fresh, or you can use a ready steady go falafel mix, that you get at your local organic food retailer. just add water, let sit for a couple of minutes and start baking them. Sometimes there is just not enough time to start from the scratch, although it is always preferable… We had a lovely green smoothie as a starter from my neighbor above… Very satisfying!

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Happy Friday and Homemade Crispbread

I got some homemade crispbread from my godmother (who is norwegian) a couple of weeks ago. We haven’t seen each other for a long time and it was so much fun to spend some time together (although I would say it was way to short). I know in Scandinavia, crispbread is a big thing and there a tons of recipes out there. We really, really loved the one we got as a present and when it was finally over, I couldn’t wait to get the original recipe from my godmother. I just had a look into my kitchen and took what I got. And it turned out really good. It is fun to do with kids, because they can measure and mix the ingredients together so easily.

CrispbreadMaking crispbread

And now take a look at this old pair of scales I got from a dear friend of the family! Isn’t this a beautiful one? For the last decades it was hidden in a barn, you can still see the dust! I guess there are many stores behind and I would love to hear them…

WaageBut coming back to the crisp bread. You can take my recipe as an inspiration and then play with all you like to have in a bite of your very own crispbread! I can only encourage you to play around a bit, the only really important thing is, that you absolutely need to cut the bread into pieces after 10 minutes of baking! Otherwise you’ll have a HUGE crisp bread :-).

Mit MarmeldaTo serve there are millions of variations… Sweet or savory, there are no limits. I had mine with some soy crème fraîche (wich was surprisingly good) and some blackberry jam. Mhh, so yummy, I can only recommend it. Honey or agave syrup are great with it, but I can see it as well with some salmon and fresh herbs… cheese…. there are to many options popping up!

crisp bread with jamIMG_0085It is also a lovely gift. at least I was so pleased when I got it. You can store it in airtight container for up to 2 weeks, but I bet it won’t last as long! My kids love to eat them like crisps, without anything… So, now I have given you something to try on this happy friday and to enjoy on a hopefully lovely weekend!

5.0 from 1 reviews

Homemade Crispbread
 
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Crispy, crispy crispbread – easy but so tasty. Perfect as a snack, for breakfast or as a little gift.
Author:
Recipe type: Bread

Ingredients
  • 120 g whole grain flour (I used spelt)
  • 120 g oat flakes
  • 100 g sun flower seeds (peeled)
  • 50 g sesame (I only had black one , but you can use white one of course as well)
  • 2 Tb chia seeds
  • 50 g flax seeds
  • ¾ TS kosher salt
  • 2 Tb Olive oil
  • ½ l water

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven 170°C (circulating air)
  2. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
  3. Let sit for 15 minutes.
  4. Put parchment paper on two baking sheets and add a bit of olive oil to grease the paper.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes, than cut your bread in your desired shapes.
  6. Put it back to the oven, lower the temperature to 130°C and bake for approx. 60 minutes, until crisp.
  7. Let cool completely on a rack and store in airtight containers

 

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Garden Impressions and Happy Friday

It’s friday again!!! I can’t believe how time is rushing at the moment. But take a look at some garden impressions yesterday. We have beautiful days here in Munich, it’s warm and dry and the colors are amazing. The orange is boosting on every corner and there are still leaves on the trees. It won’t be long and the first autumn storm will bring the wind to blow them all away. I am always a bit wistful at the end of summer, but there was no reason for it the last days We were able to harvest the last raspberries and even some potatoes. Our kids love the search for them, it is each year like they are searching for real treasures! So sweet. I love that they can see how vegetables and fruits are growing. I was able to pick some last flowers, I will miss them during winter time. Each time I leave the garden, I need to take at least a tiny bouquet with me ( so often my hubby is rolling his eyes, when the kids are ready to leave ( after calling them 14374385628 times that they should get ready to jump on their bikes) and then I need to pick some flowers! But hey, I need my personal garden impressions at home, and I love them to be fresh and colorful, so I NEED FLOWERS… I hope you all enjoy a happy friday and a wonderful weekend!HerbsternteHerbst RoseBorretsch

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