Posted by loavesandstitches
Hello friends! It’s been a crazy busy couple of months here as we continue to adjust to our high school/middle school schedule. We were not prepared for the increased work load and all the issues that come with that. It kind of threw us all off mentally and left hardly any time for extra things, especially during the week. Oddly enough, now that the older one is swimming 2 hours everyday, our schedule seems to be settling down. Maybe he just needed regular exercise to help his mind focused? Or maybe we’ve all just adjusted our expectations. Anyway, I’ll take it and run with it for now!
And now, it’s time for Christmas baking to begin! Squeee!!! I’m super excited this year for all the baking. I think the early Thanksgiving holiday really helped us to get a head start on all things Christmas. Already this week, I have tried three new cookie recipes:
Pfeffernusse from Classic German Baking by Louisa Weiss
Springerle, also from Classic German Baking
and Bakery Style Butter Cookies from Deb Perelman at Smitten Kitchen
I have literally been waiting for months since I got Classic German Baking to start baking some of the recipes in the Christmas chapter. I love that that she has a special section for Christmas! I chose to make Pfeffernusse and Springerle first because they are long keepers. In fact, they are supposed to get better as they age. This is perfect for including in packages that might go a long distance, like to a different country. Neither one of these cookies has any butter in them, which makes them a different texture than most cookies out there, but we don’t mind that. Actually, it’s probably better for our waistlines at this moment! Both cookies are really yummy.
The Pfeffernusse are like a dry, bready, and chewy gingerbread. The lemon glaze on that one really compliments the cookie well. It was a very stiff dough. Next time, I might try a cake flour to get a softer dough.
We also made Springerle last year, but I used a different recipe, which I actually like better. These are drier, but that could be because I baked them too long. Next time, I will pull them out earlier. That being said, those of us who like anise, preferred this recipe. I preferred the fruity/floweryness of the recipe from King Arthur Flour.
The third cookie I made mostly because I had two egg yolks lying around and a container of sprinkles I wanted to use up. These were a bit of a fiasco to make, only because of my choice of equipment. I did not have a big star tip for piping and I actually dislike piping anyway (it hurts my hands). Instead, I decided to use my cookie press. We had a hard time getting them to press out evenly (a lot of them curled into strange shapes) and making them a uniform size was also quite challenging. Not to mention, loading the press was a three person job (one to unscrew it, one to hold it, and then one to fill it). Good thing there were three of us! Anyway, despite all that, they are quite delicious. I could do without the chocolate dip and sprinkles. I left some plain, with just jam sandwiched between and those were my favorite. The kids prefer the sprinkled ones, so everyone is happy, really.
This is a great start to the Christmas baking season. There’s still a lot left. So far, we are up to 9 different breads/pastries and 10 different kinds of cookies. We just need to add a few more and we’d have enough to populate an advent calendar!