December 30, 2012

52.2/52 Walnuss-Makronen/Walnut Macaroons

You guys! I can't believe that this is the last post of 2012!
I really did it! I baked my way through 2012 and it really was fun.

I must apologize for posting more (Christmas) cookies as the last recipes but after all that cookie baking I am just not baking anything special for New Year's, I'm sorry...

So now what? I haven't decided what my next 'project' for 2013 will be. I think I will keep up this blog for the occasional recipe posting (because it's not like I will stop baking now...) but not for another 52 cakes'n'bakes.

So without further ado, let me present you with my very last post for 2012:

Walnuss Makronen/Walnut Macaroons
Adapted from

4 egg whites
pinch of salt 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
200 g powdered sugar
400 g walnuts, coarsely ground
edible paper wafer discs (Back-Oblaten) (optional)
  • Beat egg whites and salt until stiff. Stir in powdered sugar. Add walnuts. 
  • Using two teapsoons, make little heaps (on the Oblaten or straight on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper). 
  • Bake at 150°C (300°F) for 30 minutes.
My modifications:
I used vanilla extract instead of butter-vanilla-aroma. I made half on Oblaten, half straight on baking sheet and I liked the ones without Oblaten better.

The taste:
But be aware that they are very crunchy in the beginning (and I was already disappointed) but they get better and more moist the longer you store them in an air-tight container.

What are your projects for 2013? Any 365 or 52 projects?

52.1/52 Chocolate Mint Thumbprints

Each Christmas, there has to be at least one cookie with mint, right?

Chocolate Mint Thumbprints
Adapted from Provecho Peru

290 g (2 cups) flour
75 g (2/3 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
227 g (1 cup) butter, room temperature
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
210 g (1/2 cup) sugar
120 g (3/4 cup) chocolate chips
3 tablespoons (45 g) butter
1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
  • Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
  • Combine flour, cocoa powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
  • Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add egg and vanilla. Gradually add flour mix and beat until just combined.
  • Place 210 g (1/2 cup) sugar in a small bowl. Roll dough into 2.5 cm/1-inch balls, then roll in sugar. Place balls on baking sheets and bake for 8 minutes. Take out of the oven and make a small indentation in the center of each ball. This works best using the bottom of a wooden cooking spoon. Bake cookies for another 5 minutes and let cool.
  • Melt the chocolate and butter and add peppermint extract. Let cool a bit, then put into small plastic bad, cut off a tiny corner, and pipe chocolate into 'thumbprints'. Allow chocolate to harden.

My modifications:
I omitted the 1 tablespoon of shortening in the chocolate filling (which didn't cause any problems).

The taste:
Very good! A bit like a brownie cookie with filling.

December 23, 2012

51.1/52 Eggnog Cookies

My grandma loves eggnog. And I have to admit that I like it more and more each year.
One of the gifts I will give my grandma this Christmas is homemade eggnog. I hope she will like it as I think that the rum I used was the kind that is actually too strong for eggnog...

These cookies were made with store-bought eggnog though.

Eggnog Cookies
Adapted from The Recipe Critic
250 g (1 1/4 cups) sugar
170 g (3/4 cup) butter, room temperature
150 ml (1/2 cup) eggnog
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon nutmeg
300 g (2 1/4 cups) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

200 g (1 1/2 cups) powdered sugar
3 tablespoons eggnog
  • Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F).
  • Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggnog, vanilla, and egg yolks. Beat until smooth.
  • In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add to the eggnog-butter mixture and beat until just combined.
  • Using two teaspoons, form small balls and put onto prepared cookie sheet, leaving enough room in-between balls. Sprinkle with nutmeg.
  • Bake 15-18 minutes. Let cool.
  • Combine powdered sugar and eggnog to make the glazing. Drizzle over the cookies and let dry.

My modifications:

The taste:
I wasn't so convinced right away. But after a couple of days: mmmmhhhh! I guess they just need some time to develop their full flavor. Right now still an 'infrequent-calssic'.

Do you bake any 'alcoholic' cookies for Christmas?

51.2/52 Lemon-Curd-Cookies

What's not to love about lemon curd?

Adapted from freundin special 23/2009

1 teaspoon vanilla extract
150 g butter, room temperature
75 g powdered sugar
1 egg
pinch of salt
150 g ground almonds (without skin)
150 g flour
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon Limoncello
125 g lemon curd
1-2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • Beat vanilla, butter, and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and salt. Add almonds, flour, lemon zest and Limoncello and knead until you have a smooth dough. Let cool in fridge for about 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F). Roll out dough on a floured surface and cut out about 70 hearts (or any other shape). Cut out a smaller heart in the middle of half of the already cut out hearts (these will make the top ones later when you put them together). Bake for 10-12 minutes and let cool.
  • Put a small amount of lemon curd on each bottom heart (without hole), put top hearts (with hole) on top. Dust with powdered sugar.

My modifications:

The taste:
Very good! But they could be even more lemony. Maybe add a bit more lemon zest to the dough or even lemon juice instead of Limoncello?

December 16, 2012

50.2/52 Cardamom Cookies with Rock Candy Sugar / Kardamomkekse mit Kandis

If you read my last post you might wonder what my 'classics' are, the cookies I make every Christmas including this year:
Basler Brunsli (chocolate cookie from Basel, Switzerland)
Vanillekipferl (vanilla crescents)
Witwenküsse ('widow kisses' - merinuges with chocolate and almonds)
Feenspitzen ('fairy tips' - the best EVER! cookie with Toffifee candy with meringue...)
Lebkuchen (the German classic, no need for translation I think)
Zimtsterne (cinnamon stars)

Then there are some 'infrequent-classics' that I don't make every year but every 2 to 3 years. Of those I made this year:
Kokosberge (coconut mountains)

You can see (almost) all cookies I made this year in this post.

And one of the new recipes this year:

Cardamom Cookies with Rock Candy Sugar / Kardamomkekse mit Kandis
Adapted from some magazin that I unfortunately don't remember. And it doesn't say on this one page that I ripped out. If anyone knows, please comment. Thanks!

75 g (1/3 cup or 5 tablespoons) butter, room temperature
50 g (1/4 cup) sugar
1 knife point lemon zest
1 egg
110 g (1 cup) flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
80 g (2.8 oz) brown rock candy/sugar
vanilla sugar
  • Beat butter with sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy. Add egg and continue to beat. Quickly work in flour and cardamom. 
  • Grind rock candy/sugar coarsely (works best in a mortar), fold into the dough. Cool dough for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 200°C (390°F) (180°C (350°F) convection).
  • Make small balls and put onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Leave enough room between the balls. 
  • Bake for about 12 minutes until golden brown. Roll in vanilla sugar when still warm.

My modifications:
None. Except for the recipe just saying 'flour' without the measurement. I just guessed/tried.

The taste:
Very good. I'm still a little undecided about the rock candy/sugar though. I hope you have good teeth as they make the cookies quite crunchy... Could be one of those 'infrequent-classics' but I'm not quite sure yet.

What are your 'classics' to bake every Christmas?

50.1/52 Schoko-Marzipan-Makronen / Chocolate-Marzipan-Macaroons

Are you like me when it comes to Christmas cookie baking?
I always want to bake my 'classic' cookies, those that everyone loves and that I bake every year.
But then I come across so many new recipes that look so good so that I need to try some of them as well, and decide if they could become one of those 'classics'.

So this is the one of the cookie recipes that I tried for the first time this year.

And the ingredients are a little harder to translate than usually.
For my German speaking readers I put the German words in parentheses because they just make a bit more sense...
To all my English speaking readers: I am sorry if something doesn't make sense. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Schoko-Marzipan-Makronen / Chocolate-Marzipan-Macaroons
Adapted from Für Sie 23/2012

6 egg whites
200 g (1 cup) sugar
200 g (7 oz) marzipan paste (Marzipanrohmasse)
50 g (1.8 oz) chocolate shavings (Vollmilch-Raspelschokolade)
250 g (2 1/2 cups) ground almonds
70 g (1/2 cup + 1 teaspoon) flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder, unsweetened
pinch of salt
35-40 edible paper wafer discs (Back-Oblaten)
100 g (3.5 oz) white coating chocolate (weisse Kouvertüre)
  • Combine egg whites and sugar in a cooking pan. Grate marzipan into the egg-sugar mix. Heat on low heat, stirring constantly until marzipan is melted. Let cool a bit. Add chocolate shavings.
  • Combine almonds, flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Add marzipan-mix and stir to combine.
  • Using two teaspoon, put small heaps of 'dough' on each paper wafer. Bake in prehated oven at 160°C (320°F) on second lowest rack for 12-14 minutes. Let cool.
  • Melt white coating chocolate. Transfer to a freezer bag, cut off very small tip and decorate as you wish. Let dry.

My modifications:

The taste:
Very good and very moist. But they're not on top of the list for next year. Let's call it an 'infrequent-classic' (can be made again but not every year).

Which cookies did you make for the first time this year?

50/52 Christmas Cookies pt. 1

Details to follow...

December 9, 2012

49/52 Gingerbread Muffins with Chocolate Glaze

Let's start the Christmas baking extravaganza with something other than cookies.
Mini muffins, for example. Almost the same, just less crispy.

I made these mini muffins for a Christmas get-together from work and everybody seemed to like them.

Gingerbread Muffins with Chocolate Glaze
Adapted from Martha Stewart (muffins and glaze)
Makes 12 regular or 36 mini muffins

2 teaspoons baking soda
340 g (2 1/2 cups) flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
114 g (1 stick) butter, room temperature
150 g (2/3 cup) brown sugar
250 ml (1 cup) molasses
2 eggs, room temperature

80 g dark chocolate
125 ml (1/2 cup) heavy cream

  • Preheat oven to 170°C (350°F). Line muffin tin with paper cups. 
  • Bring 250 ml (1 cup) water to the boil, add baking soda, set aside.
  • Combine flour, spices, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl and set aside.
  • Cream the butter until light. Add the brown sugar and beat for 1 to 2 minutes until fluffy. Beat in the molasses, baking-soda mixture, and flour mixture. Beat in the eggs.
  • Fill muffin paper cups 3/4 full, then bake for 20-25 minutes (regular muffins) or 10-12 minutes (mini muffins). Let cool completely before decorating.
  •  For the glaze, break the chocolate into smaller pieces. Heat up the cream, and pour it over the chocolate. Let stand for 5 minutes, then stir until smooth. Let the glaze stand for another 10 minutes.
  • Dip the muffins into the glaze, let them drip for a couple of seconds, then turn right-side up. It does take a couple of hours for the glaze to completely set, so please plan ahead to avoid disappointment.

My modifications:
I added 2 additional teaspoons of gingerbread spice (the spice mixture used for German gingerbreads). To me, it just didn't taste gingerbready enough before.
I also added 1 teaspoon of gingerbread spice to the glaze.

The taste:
Good. But I somehow expected more. But they were good. But nothing more.

What would you bring to a Christmas get-together from work?

December 2, 2012

48/52 Banana-Apple-Oatmeal-Muffins

I'm back from a beautiful vacation in sunny California, being thrown right into Christmas.
And snow. Today.
There is no sign of Christmas or even advent in our apartment yet but I hope to change that today. Happy 1. advent, by the way! Hope y'all will do some candle burning today.

So before all the christmas-cookie-baking-and-eating-extravaganza commences, I thought that baking something quick and light and healthy would be good. Oh I know, that's totally not how it works, 1. advent and all. But that's just the way it is this year. I promise you will get to read tons of Christmas recipes right here, just starting next week.

Until then I will (hopefully) enjoy some healthy muffins, take endless trips to the basement to make this apartment look christmassy....

Adapted from Jess Jones

250 g (2 1/2 cups) oats
250 g (1 cup) yoghurt (low fat if you like)
2 eggs
150 g (3/4 cup) sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 banana
1 apple
  • Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F).
  • Blend all ingredients in your food processor or blender or blend with your immersion blender until oats are smooth.
  • Pour batter into muffin tin (greased or sprayed with non-stick cooking spray) or silicone muffin pan. Try to avoid paper liners as the muffins will stick to those.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes.
My modifications:
I used 1 banana and 1 apple instead of 2 bananas. Just felt like doing that. But you can of course use 2 bananas and no apple like the original recipe suggests.
The cinnamon is also my addition.

The taste:
Like solid oatmeal (if that makes sense). I love the taste of apple in them, so I would definately use the apple again. It's a perfect breakfast muffin and it tastes healthy but very good.

What's your favorite healthy snack at the moment?