Archive for December, 2012

More Christmas cookies

So, amongst the big three Christmas items – the gingerbread house, the buche de Noel and the stollen, I have yet to decide which one I want to make this year. I have made stollen before and you should make gingerbread months in advance, so this year the most viable thing to do appears to be a buche de Noel. But oh wow how complicated can it get? I am shocked to say the least. At the same time, after gotten so into cookies with the Gourmet cookie book, I have now stumbled upon this article. Dangerous!

I know they are not very shapely, but there is a taste-looks-tradeoff here!

This year, I asked Shii for recipes and this is the result: 43 Vanillekipferl (even though I halved the original recipe) and 9 macaroons. The Vanillekipferl recipes call for egg yolks, so I decided to make some coconut macaroons with the egg whites. All in all, everything came out quite well. I mostly eyeballed the macaroons and they came out a little overly sweet (I didn’t realize I used sweetened coconut flakes), and the Vanillekipferl turned out so much better than the ones I made years ago. I think the reason is that this time I made them in the food processor and with vanilla extract, creating a nice and crumbly cookie with a strong vanilla flavor. Excuse me while I get another one of these cookies…

Christmas time is Plätzchen time

I have recently purchased the Gourmet Cookie Cookbook on a whim, as it was on sale. Unlike what people say on Amazon, I find the cookies absolutely delicious looking and loved the historic aspect of it. Considering that Gourmet magazine died, the cookbook will always stay up to date, which is a bonus in my book. It already is a little piece of history. I am in the process of making a list of recipes I want to make from the book, and I already know that it will be quite a lot. I cannot wait!

In the transparent cookie box these cookies look like a million eyes.

The one recipe which inspired me to buy the book in the first place is precisely these little trios. I have always loved cookies with jam, and these come in such stylish presentation. Taste-wise they were almost what I expected. The dough itself is extremely buttery, making this the perfect butter cookie not unlike the ones you can buy in stores – except they are so much more delicious and hold their texture so much better. After 3-4 days, they still taste wonderful and the texture is almost unadultered. It took quite a bit of time to make them, but it’s so worth the result which is pleasing to both the eye and the tongue.

Happy Hanukkah!

For the longest time, I have not really been as smitten with the smitten kitchen blog as most people seemed to be. I think I made a few things based on her recipes, and they didn’t turn out that well. But, for some reason those recipes always sound so immensely good, hence I am giving it another go. I have been inspired to make some Jewish dish to celebrate Hanukkah, and what is better than a cake?

I actually have a proper cake stand now. Next time!

The original inspiration actually came from this article and the fact that I had 2 Granny Smith apples in the fridge. I have been wanting to make something with them for awhile, and now finally found a good opportunity to. All in all, I used the smitten kitchen recipe except I used a variety of apples (Granny Smith, Gala and something else) and heavily decreased the amount of sugar. 2 cups sugar for a cake with 2 3/4 cups flour? Are you kidding me? I think I put in just a little bit over 1 cup.

OK I should have had my coffee black. But café au lait goes better with the cute mug!

I also have a tendency to cut apples very economically, or so it seems. Whenever I make something with apples and stick to the amount given in the recipe, I end up with way more apples than needed. So I ended up using 5 apples instead of 6 (having eaten apples on the go while cutting them). All in all though, the cake came out perfectly. It is really just as moist as they all say, and it goes absolutely perfectly with a cup of black coffee. This recipe IS a keeper.