it’s time for Christmas… I know, but time is really running fast and a short time ago you still enjoyed autumn and nice colourful trees with falling leaves – and at the same moment you are in the middle of Christmas time. At least for me it feels every year the same and at the beginning of November I am always kind of shocked when every store is selling already Christmas cookies, Christmas chocolate, Christmas decoration and and and… In the first few weeks I am really able to ignore it, but then one day I am gripped by this strategy as well, and really enjoying it.
Besides that, I am also on vacation this week which makes me very happy. And as I decided to stay at home and enjoy the spare time for me myself and I, what else could be better than starting to fill up your Christmas cookie boxes? That’s what I did and even already had the chance to give them away, see evidence at the very bottom I got from a colleague..
To get warmed up a little bit (I don’t want to rush myself during my vacation) I thought to go for some ‘Leckerli’ cookies. Actually in Switzerland the ‘Basler Leckerli’ are very famous and I really love them. So I decided to open my good old classic Betty Bossi recipe book for the most famous Christmas cookies and surprise surprise, I found a recipe for ‘Leckerli’. At the same time I did as well my most favourite Christmas cookies, the ‘Chraebeli’. But I will tell you more about that in the next post.
So back to the Leckerli. They are not that difficult to make and if you have them in the oven, you definitely don’t want that Christmas time passes at all. You maybe wish that this smell stays all the day in your appartment and wherever you go… Ok now I got drifted away! But I don’t worry because I am very sure that if you will do them at home as well, you will have the same feelings and remember my words.
On this note, I wish to all of you a very nice start into Christmas time.
Leckerli (adapted from Betty Bossi, recipe adjusted):
preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and prepare baking sheet with parchment paper
pinch of salt,
mix in a bowl
1 tbsp ‘Birnbrotgewuerz’,
120g Orangeat (candied orange peel),
250g almonds grounded,
60g butter, melt slowly in a pan and cool down,
add to the bowl and mix well
250g spelt flour,
add and mix until combined
spread the mixture onto the baking sheet with approx. 1cm thickness (mine were about 2cm as my baking sheet I used has a smaller size than the common ones), put in the middle of the oven for approx. 20-25 minutes
150g icing sugar,
1 tbsp lemon juice,
2 tbsp water,
mix well, immediately after baking glaze the hot pastry and cut into pieces afterwards
…but I am still here!
I recently wondered when I published my last post and I really got terrified – it was March. Awwh.. Spring and Summer over already.
Even if I have checked my site regularly and apparently my readers did as well (very happy about this), I thought these days that this status really has to be stopped immediately.
In the last few months I went through some changes in my life. Good changes. Even if I was (sometimes still am) not a big fan of it, I really learn to cope with it, the older the better. I believe that changes are needed to evolve yourself. Sometimes it is your own decision to change something in your life, sometimes it is not. But in the end it is always your part to accept the change and especially your decision what you want to learn and how you want to continue. If you know and feel that deeply, the right doors will be opened for you. This is it.
Now I sit here, looking back to the past months…there is a smile on my face…positive feelings and happy still being able to share my thoughts with you.
I need to be honest, I was not very creative with baking in this time. Indeed, I tried some new things but mainly made the baked goods which I already did a lot times before. So there is actually not much to say about new recipes. But, in summer, I found the following recipe and thought, even if summer is now gone and I am a little tiny bit too late, this picnic bread is yummy in every other season as well.
The recipe is from Leila Lindholms book ‘Backen mit Leila‘ but I actually found it on the following blog ohhhmhhh. (funny name).
I love this bread because you can decide by yourself which ingredients you want to fill in. I liked the version of ‘ohhhmhhh’ and decided to go with the same, but unfortunately I forgot to add the cheese. However, it was delicious anyway and perfect for bringing it to a great picnic with friends at the lake. The cheese can be separately added afterwards as well. Wohooo
Tomato bread with olives and pine nuts (adapted from Ohhhmhhh):
50g pine nuts,
roast in a pan until golden, put aside
300ml warm water,
1 tbsp honey,
2 tbsp olive oil,
1 tbsp coarsely sea salt,
mix together in a big bowl
15g fresh yeast,
add in small pieces into the water/oil/salt mixture and let dissolve properly
400g spelt flour,
add until dough is well done kneaded, let rest for approx. 40 minutes or until double-sized
put the dough onto a floured surface and roll out into a rectangle with approx. 1cm thickness
approx. 7 pieces dried pickled tomato, coarsely chopped,
1 tsp liquid honey,
1 handful of black olives, chopped,
put these filings along one edge and spread some water on the other edge, roll it up and combine both ends together, put a glass into the middle to keep the hole while baking
flour the top, cover and let rise for approx. 30 minutes
preheat the oven to 250 degrees Celsius and put a cup of water into the oven, put the dough into the oven and reduce the heat to 200 degrees Celsius, bake for approx. 25 minutes in the middle rack
After my pretty long phase of baking cakes or candies or energy bars I was ready again for my real passion, the Cookies. I have found the following recipe long time ago on David Lebovitz’ homepage but these cookies never made it to my blog until today. Why that? Why have I waited so long to share my experiences with this recipe? Well, there is a simple reason for that: They were never stored longer than one day in the cookies boxes. Unfortunately I never had the time to take a photo of them as they were too fast gone again. But things need to be changed and improved constantly and I am happy to have had the chance to store them one day longer this time.
What I also like very much here is the simplicity of the recipe. They are so easy to make and the result is just very tasty. In the original recipe it says to melt dark chocolate and dip the cookies into it. I like this version as well but prefer to mix in some chopped white chocolate. I love the combination of coconut and white chocolate and I really think that they go perfect together!
What is your perfect cookie combination? Think about…
White chocolate coconut cookies (adapted from David Lebovitz):
preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius
4 egg whites,
220g cane sugar,
pinch of salt,
240g fine shredded coconut,
mix together in a medium size pan and stir constantly over low/medium heat until it begins to scorch at the bottom of the pan
remove from heat and let cool down to room temperature, mix in 100g of chopped white chocolate and 1/2 tsp of vanilla sugar and make balls with your hands of about 2cm diameter, bake for approx. 18-20 minutes (mine are perfect at 18 minutes)
Do you still remember the sailor man Popeye? I am sure you do who can forget that he always have eaten spinach to get energy. I really like spinach but today I have something which I like more and gives you lot of energy as well. That’s why I call them the ultimate energy bars.
As January is almost over I am sure that some people could need a little energizer. It seems that this is the month which is pretty difficult for a few people. Starting into the new year, having lot of New Year’s resolutions, trying to stick to them, failing, starting again, failing again and ending up in a bad mood because of failing. Why can’t people have resolutions in any other month instead of January? I am sure that it would be much easier in any other month, for example some when in summer. ;) I also had two resolutions in 2012 and I am still successful with both of them. I think I made them because I just realized that it was the right moment for having a change. I don’t believe that it needs New Year for making a change, even it can help some people. In the end, this is fortunately a self-decision.
The following recipe can be used as an energizer, a healthy and even a vegan snack. I love to store them in my airtight can as they even look very good in there. And isn’t it much more inventive if you store some self made bars in your kitchen instead of buying any in a store? It is definetly…
Healthy Energy bars adapted from The Bojon Gourmet (adjusted):
120g chopped dried sour apricots,
put together in a bowl
stir together in a large bowl
I still don’t want to become vegan but I am still trying new vegan recipes. That’s the positive thing about being not a vegan nor a vegetarian, you have loads of recipe possibilities… but as already mentioned in a previous post, I am not thinking about becoming vegan, but I very much like to try different kinds of baking recipes. The most important point here is to give my vegan friends some new ideas, even if they probably have already enough. And secondly, I also like to inspire many other people in my surrounding as I believe that this keeps their minds open. Most of them are very surprised when I tell them that they are eating now a vegan brownie. Please get me correctly, I am not on a mission or something like that and I don’t have to satisfy someones mind. But if I only can take people’s criticality away to try something new, something which they are not used to eat, then I have reached my personal target.
The following brownies recipe is my personal favourite. I just LOVE them. Don’t wait with making them if you already have all ingredients at home. The faster the better! ;)
preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line a 20×20 cm baking tray with parchment paper
240g spelt flour,
120g coconut flour,
100g cane sugar,
1tsp baking powder,
1 tsp salt,
mix together in a big bowl
3 large ripe bananas,
375ml almond milk,
1 tsp vanilla sugar,
mash the bananas in a medium bowl, add the milk and vanilla sugar, stir until well combined and add to the flour mixture
70g dark chocolate chips,
fold into the bowl, power the batter into the baking tray and bake for approx. 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the batter
it’s been again a very long time since my last post but in the weeks before Christmas I was very busy. It seems that everything still wanted to take place in the old year for finalizing. To get kind of cleaned up for the upcoming year. However, my awareness was more ore less always in place and therefore I really enjoyed the past few weeks. Even if I hadn’t lot time to bake. Indeed I made some Christmas cookies, but no time for documentation and therefore no proof for the blog.. awwwh…Maybe I will find one or two pictures of the vegan cinnamon cookies and will post it afterwards, but I am not sure if anybody is still interested now when Christmas is already over. But since it is over I had again more time and that’s why I am happy to provide two recipes which I had already since longer time but never had a chance to post them.
On one side I would like to share with you a recipe from David Lebovitz. When I have seen the recipe for the first time I was already curious on the taste of the Date Bars. I am not a good date eater but used for baking I was sure this must be wonderful. The original recipe says that the dates have to be tossed in Rum, but this is a liquid which I never had and still not have in my appartment. Instead of Rum I took Whiskey, and not just one Whiskey. Actually I am not a Whiskey connoisseur or something like that. But last year a friend of mine opened a Whiskey shop. This was the time when I got in contact with it and I really have to say that I like it. I mean, its not an everyday drink is it But sometimes for good occassions it’s absolutely worth it. So, when my friend had his opening of the shop I thought that I have to purchase also one bottle of a good Whiskey. I took advice from him and two other good Whiskey drinkers decided to go for the Port Askaig Single Malt. Everyone said to me that this is one of the better ones and for my taste it was just perfect.
So coming back to the date bars. As I hadn’t any Rum left I was kind of forced to take the good bottle of Whiskey. One of my friends was kind of shocked when he got to know that I used such a good bottle for ONLY baking the date bars. haha But I still believe in my principles –> high quality ingredients, good product! I am sure that these bars are also so good because of the fine Whiskey flavour which comes through eating. I am sure the bars will be good as well with Rum. But the one thing I would like to give and take along with you is to use always a very good bottle of Rum or Whiskey.
The second recipe I used just yesterday. I made them early in the morning just after I woke up. I really love staying early in the kitchen for baking. Well, it wasn’t actually baking, it was making caramelized Macadamia nuts. (I really don’t know in which category caramelizing comes into, is it cooking, baking or anything else?) However, as I still had some good Macadamia nuts in stock I thought that they must be used for this beautiful ‘staying at home’ day. And not to forget the Caramel flavour in my appartment…mmmmmmmmmh!!!
I already got the recipe from last year, seen in a newspaper of a Swiss grocery called Coop. They looked just perfect and they already had me when I read the word Macadamia. The recipe says to use salted nuts but this time I used unsalted ones and I must say that I like them more in the end. The nuts are perfect for a present and even if this recipe was in the newspaper during Christmas time I think that this is also good for every other occassion during the year.
I really hope you will try at least one of them as both recipes are easy to do and tastes so good in the end. They are already in my standard repertoire, maybe in yours as well soon?
I would like to wish everyone of you and also to myself a very good start for the year 2013! Hope the recipes and posts will be continued with even more passion and satisfaction! Good luck on your projects and see you next year!
Date bars (adapted from David Lebovitz, recipe adjusted):
225g diced pitted dates,
1 tbsp Whiskey,
toss the dates in the rum and let them sit for a few hours
preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius and line a 23 cm square pan with foil and coat the inside with non-stick spray
140g spelt flour,
1 1/2 tsp baking powder,
whisk together in a small bowl
1/2 tsp sea salt,
2 large eggs, at room temperature,
whisk together in a large bowl until smooth
1 tbsp melted butter,
1 tbsp hot water,
1 tsp vanilla extract,
mix into the large bowl, then add the flour mixture
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped,
the tossed dates,
stir in with a spatula
Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
let cool down and then cut into bars
Caramelized Macadamia nuts (adapted from Coop Newspaper):
60 g coconut flour,
1 tsp fine rose salt,
1 ⁄4 tsp coarse pepper,
mix in a bowl
1 dl water,
400g macadamia nuts, unsalted or salted,
in a pan let boil on mid heat, stir constantly, until the sugar gets dry, stir further until the sugar gets liquid again and the nuts get glossy (you need to be patient, trust me)
immediately put the nuts into the coconut flour mixture and mix well, let cool down on a baking sheet
note: the nuts can be stored in a box up to 4 weeks
I really love different styles of baking cups. Even if it’s in the end very important that your baked goods are tasteful it is also important to represent them nicely. I think you can catch your friend’s or client’s eyes much more faster.
Usually I first have a recipe in my mind. According to that recipe I am thinking about of which mould or cup to go with. But this time it happened the opposite way. My boyfriend’s mum recently visited England and came back with a very nice present. She definetly know what I like and so she brought some beautiful baking cups. It was really a big surprise to get an absolutely unexpected present and therefore I was even more happy when I’ve seen the baking cups. Thank you my dear!
So some days ago the time has finally come. I thought to go with one of my favourite lemon cake recipes. And as I think that a lemon cake goes with every occasion I am happy to share my favourite recipe with you again. I am sure your next occasion to bake a cake is coming soon… These were the little stars and they really made my day!
Lemon Cake (adapted from Cake & Kuchen by Ilona Chovancova):
- recipe reported under following post
- baking time reduced this time to 22 minutes as baking cups were smaller than usual
In my last post I told you how much I like Dulce de Leche and also added the recipe for it. Unfortunately I forgot to make pictures of it because I was so focused on the Alfajores. I could have done the pictures afterwards, but if you like it as I do you know that a glass of Dulce de Leche is not staying very long in your fridge. This was a good moment to make a new glass and this time I didn’t forget to capture it with my camera. I usually think that seeing something in a picture is inspiring me much more than just reading a recipe. I hope that’s the same for you, hope you enjoy.
Last week I’ve been inspired by two posts from different blogs. Both present the South American cookies called ‘Alfajores’ which are very famous over there. When I’ve seen them and imagined how they taste I couldn’t resist to try them immediately. This was one of my plans for the weekend. I especially love the weekend time to use for baking as you don’t have such time pressure compared of doing something after work. But even last weekend was more or less fully booked, but in the end I found some time in between those plans to go for them which made me pretty happy.
Mostly ‘Alfajores’ are filled with ‘dulce de leche’ which is very famous in South America. About two years ago I travelled to Argentina. I didn’t know this cream before but if I’d have known I’d just have gone for ‘dulce de leche’. There is not much to add here, but only that I simply love it… It’s kind of: I am in love with it! But I was also in love with Argentina, especially Buenos Aires. The city offers you lot of activities, very nice shops, bars and especially nice people. I really struggled when this journey ended and had to fight with my tears. But I know I will once go back again… so it’s fine now…
However, over there I made my benefits of this lovely cream and back home I immediately had it in my fridge. Anyhow it came never into my mind to make it myself. For some recipes it’s sometimes just not the right time, maybe because of other important things you have in your mind. But priorities can change and last weekend it was finally the right time to make it at home.
Alfajores de Maizena:
200g butter, smooth,
120g fine sugar,
3 tsp vanilla sugar,
mix in a bowl until creamy
3 egg yolks,
add one after another while mixing
200g corn starch,
150g spelt flour,
½ tsp baking soda,
2 tsp baking powder,
mix first in a separate bowl, then add small portions into the butter/sugar bowl until the dough is smooth, wrap into a cling film and put into the fridge for at least 30 minutes
preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius
roll the dough with approx. 7mm thickness onto a little floured surface, cut out the cookies with approx. 5cm diameter and put on the baking sheet and then into fridge for at least 10min
put into oven for approx. 12-14 minutes, and then let cool down
Dulce de Leche:
1 vanilla bean,
1 liter milk,
220g cane sugar,
boil up in a big pan on low heat, take off from heat
½ tsp baking soda,
1 tbsp water,
dissolve the baking soda in the water and stir into milk/sugar, put back to low heat and stir occasionally, it takes about 3-4 hours until the brown pasty Caramel is done
when ready remove the vanilla bean and fill into a prepared clean glass