Monthly Archives: December 2011

Happy New Year!!!!

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December 24th

Ingredients

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

2 1/4 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

pinch of salt

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (1 12-oz package)

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375 Degrees Fahrenheit
In a small bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In an electric mixer beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract until the mixture gets creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually sift in flour mixture and stir in chocolate morsels.  Drop by rounded tablespoon onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. To make them more festive for Santa Clause or for you, use a cookie cutter to make an imprint. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Giorgio likes them too!

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December 21st

 

Finally some gingerbread cookies. They taste a little different from the American gingerbread version, but just as good. I really wanted to build a gingerbread house, but time wise that would have been impossible. I already had to do some night shifts baking some of the cookies, but when I look back, I am really satisfied how this Adventskalender looks. Christmas is almost here….

Ingredients

1 pint honey

1 cup light brown sugar

3 eggs

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon allspice

pinch of salt

1 pound sifted flour

2 tbsp. baking powder

1/2 cup powdered sugar or sprinkling sugar

Preparation

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. (the original recipe I am using from a German baking book says to grease the baking sheet with butter). In a small saucepan combine honey, sugar and spices and stir until everything melts together. Remove from stove and let cool slightly. Add the egg and sift in the flour gradually. Cover and let stand for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees. Roll the dough into balls about the size of golf balls. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until they are golden. Normally the powdered sugar would be heated on the stove with some water and be used as a glaze, but since I was short in time, I just rolled the hot cookies in decorating sugar and they came out quite nice.

 

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December 20th

This would be the same basic recipe as yesterday adding hazelnuts, chocolate and spices instead of walnuts. I like to chop the hazelnuts to give the cookies a little bit more bite. It tastes really festive with the spices and is not as sweet as other cookies. I will preserve them for Christmas Eve.

Ingredients

2 sticks butter (cold)

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon allspice or nutmeg

pinch of salt

2 cups chopped hazelnuts

1 1/2 cups flour

1 cup dark chocolate chip morsels

1 tablespoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Preparation

It is the same basic dough as yesterday and can be also made with an electric mixer. Sift the flour in a bowl and make a hole in the middle. Add sugar, eggs, salt, spices and chopped nuts. Cut the butter in pieces and add on top of the flour mixture. Combine with your hands until mixture forms a dough. If the dough is getting to hard, add 2 tablespoons of milk. Preheat the oven and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. If you have a cookie press, you can make beautiful professional looking cookies, but of course I did not find the attachment for mine, so I used a piping bag (or even a ziplock cut off in one corner). Pipe little dots, forming a flower or wreath.  Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven and stick a piece of chocolate in the middle. Return to the oven until chocolate is melted, about 5 more minutes.Combine powdered sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over warm cookies.

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December 19th

Thus far I have used almonds quite often. So I decided to post a recipe with walnuts today and one with hazelnuts for tomorrow.

Ingredients

2 sticks butter (cold)

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

pinch of salt

1 cup ground walnuts

2 cups flour

Preparation

Sift the flour in a bowl and make a hole in the middle. Add sugar, eggs, salt and nuts. Cut the butter in pieces and add on top of the flour mixture. Combine with your hands until mixture forms a dough. Let it rest for 1 hour in the refrigerator. Preheat the oven and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out dough. You can cut out squares or rounds with a cookie cutter or cut the dough with a knife in even squares. Top with walnut halves and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until golden brown.

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December 18th

Aren’t they pretty and sweet? I love raspberries… and cookies too. So this is the perfect combination. I guess the heart shapes makes them more “Valentine” looking, but who doesn’t want some love for Christmas 🙂

Next time, I might do some stars with apricot jam or really daring (not sure how this would taste) Christmas trees with lime jelly…

Which jam do you suggest?

Recipe coming shortly…

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December 17th

This is also a typical German cookie recipe and one of my favorites. Vanille Kipferl are very delicate and will melt in your mouth. Such a delight! They originate from Vienna in Austria, but are a staple in Christmas baking in Germany. They are made with almonds and would be called vanilla crescents in English. They taste sooooooooo good.

Recipe is coming soon…

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December 16th

 

I received this mini skillet from my husband a couple of weeks ago and couldn’t wait any longer for using it. This recipe is only for 1 skillet cookie. If you don’t have a skillet, you can still bake the cookies, but also would only get a few.

Ingredients

1 cup flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup), softened

1/4 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375 Degrees Fahrenheit.  Lightly coat the skillet with cooking oil and wipe off with paper towel.
Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer combine the butter and sugar until mixture becomes light and fluffy.  Add the egg and vanilla.  Carefully fold in the dry ingredients and last, but not least the chocolate chips until everything is combined. Place the dough in the prepared skillet,until the dough nearly touches the edges. Place the skillet on a baking sheet before placing in the oven, in case the cookie might bake over the top. Bake for 15 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the center is set. Remove skillet from the oven using an oven mitt, since the handle is very hot. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.  It can also be served with ice cream and drizzled with chocolate sauce. But it tastes just as good by itself. It was gone, before I could even open the freezer.

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red car Piñata inspired by the Lightning McQueen car from Disney

For the 3rd birthday party of Kian, one of the best friends of Luca, I created a custom red car piñata inspired by the Lightning McQueen car.

If you are interested in a custom party piñata, please contact us at info@thepartyevent.com with all the information for us to determine if we are able to customize your request or simply fill out the request form on our website. Every piñata we make is custom-made to order from start to finish. Depending on the size and difficulty, we require one to four weeks notice before the event. Please contact us or me directly for prices and more information.

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December 15th

This weekend was really busy and I had several projects going on. I also didn’t have all the ingredients and had to go to the supermarket first. Therefore I am posting the Adventskalender posts a little late. But I am ready now. Hopefully I will be up to date by tonight or tomorrow.

When I was 6 or 7 years old, I joined the local girls scout group in Waldalgesheim, a little village where I grew up. I have great memories, like going on a one week camping trip ( I was already a bit older) without my parents with camp fires, singing, earning badges and night walks, which were soooooo adventurous at the time for me or having butterflies in the stomach shortly before the annual Christmas show in the village hall. When I start thinking about it, the memories are coming back and I could go on and on about it. It was such a great time, but to make a long story short… I remember baking different cookies together one year and this recipe kind of stuck. I made these crunchy chocolate clusters afterwards (or maybe even before) with my family, but when I think about this recipe, I always think about this day…

It is easy and fast and lots of fun to make with the children.

Ingredients

1 cup corn flakes

8 ounces chocolate morsels ( I used dark chocolate)

Preparation

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Cover the bottom of a saucepan with water and heat it over low heat until it begins to simmer. Place a bowl with chocolate morsels over the water and let the chocolate melt. (You want enough water to provide heat, but not so much that the bottom of the chocolate bowl touches the water.)

Add the corn flakes and stir until they are completely covered with chocolate.

Using two tablespoons drop small clusters of chocolate mixture onto prepared baking sheet. To speed up the process, let it cool 20 minutes in the fridge.

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