In der Weihnachtsbäckerei – Christmas Baking

Gingerbread Christmas Biscuits Baking 011 Weihnachten 2013 006

Hi everyone. Christmas is for me the most important time of the year. I love the atmosphere. Listening to Christmas music, decoration, candles, lights, chocolate and biscuits. Christmas is a time were all the little things surrounding me make me very happy. J This is (I fear a German) recipe for gingerbread biscuits. My new housemates and I had a lot of fun baking last week. I hope you enjoy the biscuits as well. For all the English people, or more not Germans, I will try to make clear what the especially German ingredients are and maybe you can also get them on the internet. But before you start: Never do Christmas baking without Christmas music. You see I take Christmas very seriously! 😉

This is what you need:

For the doughMobile 08 December 092

1 kg of flour

185 g of sugar

250 g of butter

125 g of walnuts (ground)

500 g of honey

2 eggs

1 tablespoon of cocoa powder (for baking)

65 g of almonds (ground)

1 package of gingerbread spice (coriander, cinnamon, ginger, clove and cardamom)

5 g of potash (potassium carbonate)

5 g baker’s ammonia (Ammoniumcarbonate)

For the decorationMobile 08 December 093

2-4 lemons (or water)

Icing sugar

Sprinkles, and other decoration like silver balls or smarties

  1. It is easiest to knead the dough on the working surface in your kitchen. Clean the surface and put some flour on it. You can also use a large bowl.
  2. Now put the flour, sugar, nuts and cocoa powder onto the surface. In the middle of it you form a little mould. In it you put the eggs and the honey. The butter you distribute around the mould. Now add the spice and the baker’s ammonia. The potash has to be solved in cold water (but use as little water as possible) and added to the other ingredients.
  3. Now knead the dough. This will take some time.
  4. The dough then has to go into the fridge for a few hours or over night. But take the dough out of the fridge 2 hours before you want to use it.
  5. Now take about a handful of dough and knead it again.
  6. Now roll out the dough and use christmasy cutters to cut out the biscuits.
  7. Put them onto a baking tray with baking parchment.
  8. The remaining dough you can knead again, roll out, etc.
  9. Put the biscuits in the oven for 15-20 minutes at about 200°C.
  10. When they have cooled, you can decorate them.
  11. Make icing by stirring icing sugar into the juice of 2-3 lemons until it is very thick.
  12. You can now decorate your gingerbread cookies with icing and sprinkles in all variations.

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Für den Teig

1 kg Mehl

185 g Zucker

250 g Butter

125 g Walnüsse (gemahlen)

500 g Honig

2 Eier

1 EL Kakao (zum Backen)

65 g Mandeln (gemahlen)

1 Paket Pfefferkuchengewürz (Koriander, Zimt, Ingwer, Nelke und Kardamom)

5 g Pottasche

5 g Hirschhornsalz

Für die Verzierung

2-4 Zitronen (oder Wasser)

Puderzucker

Streusel oder andere Dekoration wie Silberkugeln oder Smarties

  1. Am einfachsten ist es den Teig auf der Arbeitsfläche eurer Küche zu kneten. Macht sie gründlich sauber und bestreut sie mit Mehl. Sonst kann man auch eine große Schüssel verwenden.
  2. Häufe nun das Mehl, den Zucker, die Nüsse und den Kakao auf der Arbeitsfläche an. In der Mitte forme eine Mulde. Hierein kommen die Eier und der Honig. Verteile die Butter auf dem Rand. Gebe jetzt das Pfefferkuchengewürz und das Hirschhornsalz dazu. Als letztes löse die Pottasche in etwas Wasser auf und gebe sie zu den restlichen Zutaten.
  3. Knete nun den Teig. Das dauert etwas.
  4. Der Teig muss jetzt für mehrere Stunden im Kühlschrank ruhen oder aber sogar über Nacht. Du solltest den Teig zwei Stunden bevor du ihn verarbeiten willst aus dem Kühlschrank nehmen.
  5. Nun nehme etwa eine Handvoll des Teiges und knete ihn noch einmal gut durch.
  6. Rolle ihn anschließend aus und steche mit weihnachtlichen Formen die Kekse aus.
  7. Lege sie auf ein Backblech mit Backpapier.
  8. Den restlichen Teig kannst du wieder kneten, ausrollen, etc.
  9. Die Kekse müssen für 15-20 Minuten in den Ofen, bei etwa 200°C.
  10. Wenn sie ausgekühlt sind kannst du mit dem Verzieren beginnen.
  11. Stelle Zuckerguss her indem du Puderzucker in den Saft von etwa 2-3 Zitronen rührst bis der Guss schön dickflüssig ist.
  12. Jetzt kannst du die Plätzchen mit Zuckerguss und Streuseln in allen Variationen verzieren.

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I hope you have as much fun as we had baking. I wish you a very merry Christmas!

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April Fool’s Day

Hello!

It’s 1 April and today I will start with my first recipe! I thought we begin with something that is easy to do and that I think everybody likes: Chocolate Chip Cookies! I found the recipe on the internet but I only make half a recipe. For the original recipe look here !

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This is what you need:Absciedsparty und backen 073

200 g butter or margarine

100 g sugar

100 g brown sugar

1 packet vanilla essence

1 egg

220 g flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

200 g chocolate coating (full-cream milk)

Firstly, you put the margarine or warm butter together with the sugar into a mixing bowl and stir it with a mixer. Add the vanilla essence and the egg and stir it in. Then add the flour, baking powder and salt. Now cut up the block of chocolate, but not too small. Stir again. If the dough is too dry you can add a bit of milk. Now you can form walnut-sized balls and put them on a baking tray with baking parchment. Put them in the oven (oven with upper and bottom heat: ca 170°C and ca 15 minutes, fan-assisted oven: ca 150 °C and ca 10 minutes). Keep sight of the cookies in the oven so that they do not get too dark. Depending on your oven the baking time varies.

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200 g Butter oder Margarine

100 g Zucker

100 g brauner Zucker

1 Päckchen Vanilleextrakt

1 Ei

220 g Mehl

1 TL Backpulver

1/4 TL Salz

200 g Vollmichkuvertüre

Zuerst gebe die Margarine oder warme Butter zusammen mit dem Zucker in eine Rührschüssel und verrühre die Zutaten mit dem Mixer. Nun gebe den Vanilleextrakt und das Ei dazu und rühre. Jetzt kommt das Mehl, Backpulver und Salz hinzu. Zerkleinere die Schokolade. Es ist nicht schlimm wenn größere Stücke dabei sind. Nun verrühre alles. Sollte der Teig etwas zu trocken sein, kann noch etwas Milch hinzugefügt werden. Jetzt können aus dem Teig etwa walnussgroße Kugeln geformt werden und auf ein mit Backpapier belegtes Backblech gelegt werden. Dann ist das Blech bereit für den Ofen (Ober- und Unterhitze: ca. 170°C und ca. 15 Minuten, Umluftherd: ca. 150°C und ca. 10 Minuten). Behalte die Kekse gut im Auge, damit sie nicht zu dunkel werden. Je nachdem welchen Ofen du hast, variiert die Backzeit!

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Because today is April Fool’s Day I just realized that I have no idea where this holiday originates. After some research I found a few theories. The most popular theory is that of the changed calendar. They changed the beginning of the year from April or end of March to January, as we know it today. When people forgot that New Year’s Day was not on 1 April anymore, or insisted on celebrating it in April, they were mocked by their friends and family. Another theory says that April Fool’s Day originates in early European spring festivals in which pranks and dressing up were common. I learned something today! Great!  😉 If you want to read more on the history of April Fool’s Day look here!

During my research I found some really funny April Fool’s Day pranks. These are my top 3:

No. 1: I really enjoyed the 1957 BBC prank. They broadcasted a feature about the spaghetti harvest in Switzerland and even showed women who were picking spaghettis from a tree. Some viewers fell for the prank and wrote to the BBC asking where they could buy their own spaghetti tree! 😀

No. 2: In 1962 the only TV channel in Sweden, which broadcasted in black and white, reported that they had found a way for everyone to watch television in colour. All the viewers at home had to do was to pull a nylon stocking over their TV 😀

No. 3: 1982 the Daily Mail reported that a local bra manufacturer had sold 10,000s of bras that would interfere with radio and television broadcasting. They claimed it was made out of copper that was originally used for fire alarms and when it came into contact with nylon and body heat it would send an electric signal that interfered with the reception. When the British telecom chief engineer heard about the problem he had checked whether his female laboratory employees were wearing this bra 😉

For more hoaxes look here!

Well, I hope you do not fall for any hoaxes today or at least play some pranks yourself! Enjoy the cookies!