Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

And suddenly it's Christmas again... what a year this has been!! A year full of cakes, cookies and brownies... And let's not forget about peanut butter ;-) All the things I'm baking - they come from the heart. And from the heart, I wish you all a merry Christmas and all the best for 2012. I'm looking forward to it.

Chai Cookies
(Source: Zimt & Sterne, 24 süsse Rezeptideen)

200g butter, soft
100g brown sugar
1 egg
6 bags of indian spice tea (I took vanilla roiboosh chai)
300g flour

Beat butter, sugar and the egg until you have a creamy batter. Cut up the tea bags and add the content to the batter. Fold in the flour and form the dough into a ball. Wrap in cling film and put in the refridgerator for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 190°C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Roll out your dough on a lightly floured surface (about 0.5cm thin). Cut out cookies in the shape you like and place them on the tray. Bake for about 8-10 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.

I decorated them with store-bought chocolate glaze.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Chocolate Pepper Cookies

That's what I call hot chocolate! These cookies are my favourite this year. I love the rich taste of chocolate. The addition of two kinds of pepper gives them a spicy twist.

(Source: Trish Deseine - I love Cake)

350g icing sugar
350g butter, soft
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teapsoon vanilla extract
380g flour
190g cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2/3 teaspoon black pepper

Beat icing sugar and butter with an electric hand mixer until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla extract while constantly beating. Beat until the batter is creamy. Sift in flour and cocoa powder and add the spices.

Form the dough into a flat cake, wrap in cling film and put in the refridgerator for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Take the dough out of the refridgerator and let it take on room temperature. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface (about 0.5cm thin). Cut out cookies and put onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper.

Bake for about 6-8 minutes. The cookies look pretty raw still, but this has to be like that. Let cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container. The cookies keep for about 6 days.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Peanut Butter-Chocolate-Slices

Renate, a good friend of mine from the office, gave me a little advent calender as a present which contains a recipe for each day. When I flipped the page lately and saw this recipe , I could not resist. Of course there had to be something with peanut butter for this Christmas ;-)

(Source: Zimt & Sterne, 24 süsse Rezeptideen)

75g dark chocolate
75g milk chocolate
200g butter
6 eggs
300g brown sugar
1 sachet of vanilla sugar
150g peanut butter
150g crème fraiche
200g flour
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
150g peeled almonds, coarsely chopped

Chop the chocolate and, together with the butter, put in a small saucepan and melt. Let cool. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Beat eggs, sugar and vanilla sugar until foamy. Add chocolate and peanut butter. Add crème fraiche and then, add flour, cocoa powder and almonds. Pour the dough onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper and spread out. Bake for about 25 minutes. Let cool.

For the glaze, melt 100g dark chocolate and 100g milk chocolate in a small saucepan. Mix with 100g peanut butter. Spread over your cooled peanut butter-chocolate-slices. Let cool and then cut into slices.

Keep the slices in an airtight container.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

STOP - Cookietime!

This weekend was all about cookies! And it even began to snow! It was perfect... My kitchen filled with all kinds of spicy smells, snowflakes outside and some good music.

Because of Matthias, though, I ended up baking with MC Hammer's U Can't Touch This as a soundtrack, but that's another story... Thanks Matthias, I can't get the tune out of my head anymore :-) Not even Wham's Last Christmas helps :-)

I have some fabulous cookie recipes for you... so stay tuned next week!

Chocolate and Almond Cookies with Maple Syrup
(Adapted from: Trish Deseine - I love Cake)

150g brown sugar
170g butter, soft
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 egg, lightly beaten
280g flour
40g almonds, coarsly chopped
60g milk chocolate, chopped

In a bowl, combine sugar, butter and maple syrup with an electric hand mixer and beat until foamy. Keep beating and add the egg. Then, add flour, almonds and the chocolate chips with a wooden spoon. Form the dough into a roll and wrap in clingfilm. Put in the refridgerator for about 5-6 hours.

Preheat the oven to 190°C. Take the dough out of the refridgerator and cut the roll into slices of about 0.5cm thick. But them onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the cookies are golden brown. Let cool an a rack.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Vanilla and Apricot Minicakes

This cake has been on my to-bake-list forever :-) I've looked at this recipe every Christmas ever since I have the book it's in. Time to give it a try this year. I'd say: Worth it. I like the slightly sour apricots together with the taste of vanilla and the smooth consistency of the cake. Like many cakes, it even tastes better after a day or so.

(From: Betty Bossi - Backen in der Weihnachtszeit)

200g dried apricots, cut into little pieces
3 tablespoons orange liquor (I used orange juice)
150g butter, soft
a pinch of salt
3 eggs
250g curd cheese
1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out
300g flour
2.5 teaspoons baking powder

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Mix the apricot pieces and the liquor/orange juice in a small bowl and let soak for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile beat butter in a bowl. Then add sugar an salt. Add one egg after the other until you got a pale and smooth batter. Add curd cheese and vanilla seeds. Then add the apricot pieces with the juice and mix well.

If you decide to bake one big cake, fill the batter into your prepared 30cm cake tin and bake for about an hour. If you use the small minicake papermoulds, fill the batter into 12 of these and bake for about 30 minutes.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Gingerbread Cantucci

It's time to let the Christmas-baking begin! Here comes the Christmas-version of an Italian cookie-classic.

(adapted from Betty Bossi Magazin 10/11)

3 eggs
250g brown sugar
2 pinches of salt
1 tablespoon of gingerbread spice mixture (got mine from Migros)
350g flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
150g hazelnuts (lightly roasted, cooled)
100g unsalted, peeled pistachios (since I spontaneously decided to make these cookies and had no pistachios at home, I used cashews, I guess you can use all sorts of nuts)

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Beat eggs, sugar, salt and gingerbread spice with the electric hand mixer for about 3 minutes. Mix flour and baking powder and add to the mixture. Add the nuts and knead until you got a moist and firm dough. Form two half-round loafs out of the dough which are about 2.5cm thick. Put them onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 20 minutes. Take them out of the oven and let cool slightly. Turn the heat of the oven to 150°C. Then, cut the loafs lengthwise into about 3mm thick slices and put onto the tray again. Put the tray back into the oven for about 20 minutes. Let the cantucci cool on a rack.

These cookies should keep, if stored in an airtight container, for about a month.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Pumpkin Cake with Cranberries and Walnuts

I bought a big piece of pumpkin this weekend which I originally wanted to use to make risotto. On Sunday morning, I spontaneously changed my mind and made a cake instead!

(adapted from here)

120g soft butter
150g sugar
2 pinches of salt
4 eggs
200g flour
100g ground almonds
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
600g grated pumpkin
I spontaneously added:
about 50g walnuts, chopped
about 50g dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 180°C. The recipe calls for a 28cm cake tin. I used a 24cm diameter springform pan.

Put butter in a bowl and beat until it's smooth. Add sugar and salt. Beat well. Add the eggs one by one and beat well. Beat for about 5 minutes until you have a pale batter. Mix flour, almonds, baking powder and cinnamon. Add to the batter and mix well. Then add the grated pumpkin and mix well. At this point, I added the walnuts and the cranberries. Pour your batter into the prepared tin and bake for about 50-60 minutes.

I decorated the cake with store-bought chocolate-glaze.
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