Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas Cookies...

Every year I make Christmas cookies, like I'm sure many of you do. Today I am going to share with you some of the cookie recipes. I have so many of them that I have a hard time trying to figure out which ones to use. I start on December 3rd and normally bake each day until Christmas Eve. We all gain some winter weight and I must say it is so worth it. One thing I don't do around Christmas is watch my weight I have just given up on the whole idea. Here is part of our list for Advent and Christmas goodies for Christmas 2011.

Dec 3rd ~ Shortbread Cookies  (This Shortbread Cookie recipe can be found at the Food network website). I have never made anything from Ina Garten I did not like.

Our second batch for the day is from again Food Network, Paradise Macaroons this cookie looks so easy and so good. (Here is the Paradise Macaroons video on how to make these along with the recipe).
We are learning about Germany and Poland this week and how they celebrate Advent and Christmas. This would be a great recipe for this. In Germany they make Chocolate Macaroons.

Dec 4th ~ Schwarzwalder Apfelkuchen (Custard-Apple Torte). A nice treat in the evening after dinner.
I will also make Pfeffernusse (One of my favorite German cookies).

I will be back later  to put up the recipes for the Custard-apple Torte, and the Pfeffernusse. We are on our way to a Christmas craft fair and my girls are all waiting for me.

The Custard- Apple Torte was just awesome. Super simple and it had a cream filling throughout. I cooked mine a little to long since I became busy with other things. I found the Custard- apple Torte recipe in a book I read to my children each year now called Christmas in Today's Germany.  

The pfeffernusse is a great German cookie, one I grew up with each Christmas. You can find a recipe for this cookie in many places. It does take time to make but I think worth every hour, and it makes about 15 dozen cookies.

You will need the following to make these cookies

1/3 cup of Molasses

1 1/3 cups of Honey or Bandy

1/2 cup of organic butter

4 cups of flour

2 Tbsp of Dutch cocoa Powder

1 tsp of baking soda

1/2 tsp of ground cardamom

1/4 tsp of Nutmeg and ground cloves

1/2 tsp of all spice

Some fresh ground pepper (about 1/4 tsp)

Juice of 1 lemon and 1 tsp of lemon zest

1 large organic egg

1/4 tsp of anise extract

Last the powdered sugar to be used after the cookies cool

The first thing you will need to do is combine your Molasses, honey, and butter in a pot over low heat. After everything is combined you can let it sit and cool down.
Next sift together the flour and all the spices, salt and pepper in a large bowl and set aside.
Mix the egg, anise extract, and the lemon and lemon zest in a small bowl put aside.
Pour the egg mixture into the Molasses mixture and mix well.
Combine the dry and the Molasses mixture all together now.
The dough is going to be sticky so don't worry. Now wrap your dough up in plastic wrap or place in a bowl tightly sealed with Plastic wrap.
Place the cookie mix in the fridge for about 8 hrs or overnight. It really is worth it :)
Next day or 8 hrs later you are ready to start making your cookies. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Line you’re baking sheets or grease up your cookie sheets with what you like to use.
Roll your cookies into a 1inch ball and place on you sheets. Cook for about 10-15 minutes, rotating the sheets a little while cooking. I normally will turn my sheets twice during the 10-15 minutes.
You will know they are done when you start to see small little cracks on the cookies. Sometimes the cracks won't happen and that’s fine. The cookies will look a little soft when you take them out and that's fine. These cookies harden as they cool and that's how it should be.
I let the Pfeffernusse cool just a few minutes, and then roll them in the powdered sugar. Put a nice layer on the cookie, the heat from the cookies will help the sugar stick to them better.
Store your cookies in a nice tin, or something with a nice lid on it. These cookies will taste better as they sit. I have made these in December and left them till January and they are even better then the first day. We normally eat them all month long because it makes so much.
Fröhliche Weihnachten!

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