27. Dezember 2007
20. Dezember 2007
lets start the second day of this overnight adventure, shall we?
now, while the dough must be chilled thoroughly i left mine out on the deck overnight - silly me - and sure, it was frozen. -3°c out on the deck does not equal "chilling", it equals "freezing", stupid! it's not intended to end up like that and i had to thaw the lump of dough for a couple of hours inside before i proceeded with the recipe. what an unnecessary step, right? plus, it added a couple of more hours in this loooong baking adventure to begin with ... i suggest you handle that one differently. i don't think there was any harm done to the dough, but according to the recipe you need to only chill it overnight. i will definitely use the fridge next time too.
i rolled out a few smaller portions to about 3 mm thickness. i cut with christmas cookie cutters and placed them on a cookie sheet before baking the cookies at 175° c for about 10 minutes. i finally put them on a rack to cool. you have to work quickly when you roll out and cut the dough because it is very crumbly and handling it can become somewhat nerve-recking!
the last step of assembling the cookies is easy but somewhat time consuming (aaaaw, again?): spead black current jelly on a flat and round cookie and put a zig-zag one on top. coat the cookie-stack with melted chocolate and decorate with half an almond.
as you can see, i used different shapes too. i was assembling only equal shapes though you're supposed to put a smaller cookie on top of a big one ...
mh, nevermind. they still taste perfect this way! i might do a little more "mix and match" as far as the shapes are concerned the next time. no, wait, next time? there is no way in hell i am going to make such sumptuously cookies again!
yes, i took pictures. so here is my fotolove/hate-story:
too much of a hassle, let me tell you!
don't try them at home!
18. Dezember 2007
in my venture to make traditional christmas cookies with healthier ingredients i took on österreichische brabanzerl today. neither do i have a clue what brabanzerl actually are, nor have i ever heard the word brabanzerl itself. it might be something from tirol or vorarlberg or even switzerland ... some similar christmas baking originated here in the bohemian forest, but we use ground hazelnuts instead of the almonds, we don't add chocolate either and we don't have to store the dough overnight (huh, it looks like our recipe is totally different after all!) ... we simply call those cookies biscuits that are stuck together. sounds equally silly - i don't even know if they have a real name. they probably do, but we've never called them anything else than zusammengepickte kekse. i am really curious if the original recipe will taste any good with spelt flour and brown sugar ...
150 g spelt flour (original ingredient: wheat flour)
50 g ground almonds
50 g brown sugar (original ingredient: white caster sugar)
50 g melted dark chocolate
150 g soft margarine (i suppose you could substitute margarine for butter)
mix all ingredients together and store overnight in the refrigerator. out on my deck it's minus 3°c so i'll store the dough outside overnight.
now stay tuned! while my cookie dough rests outside in the cold i am in here with a nice cup of tea waiting for another update tomorrow with baking, glazing and decorating ... oh, and eating!
11. Dezember 2007
beat one egg white with a pinch of salt until stiff. gradually add 30 g of sugar, keep beating constantly. fold in 30 g ground and roasted hazelnuts. spoon on wafers on a baking sheet and bake in preheated oven at 180 °c for about 20 minutes. place on a rack and let the macaroons cool.
i am steering clear of many processed foods these days. the (radical) changes in my diet with a focus on MS-related nutrition had a pretty positive effect on my body. i feel stronger and more active and i lost quite a few inches around my waist - i had to buy an entire new wardrobe this winter because not a single pair of pants from this spring fits anymore. not keeping groceries like white sugar in my pantry these days (if any, i use brown sugar instead) is quite a handicap when it comes to christmas baking. i still have to figure out how to make all those gorgeous and sugary xmas-kekse without going completely overboard on the healthy ingredients.
lots and lots of sugar, chocolate and grease are mandatory in xmas-keksen, i could never abandon that! as you can see, my new nourisment is not completely radical! using only spelt, whole wheat or/and honey would probably be a mistake - as a child i could detect "healthy" christmas candy blindfolded - and i would never eat it! healthy baking still tastes good, but i didn't quite get the knack of that yet. so i better stick to what i know and love!
but this first attempt in christmas baking was almost a disaster, mostly traditional ingredients and all ... my macaroons where pretty asymmetric and much too brown when i pulled them out of the oven so i decided to cover them in chocolate - entirely - instead of just the bottoms. tastes yummie and covers up my botched work - what more do i need? turns out, only a good cup of tea! thank god i bought a tea-advent calendar again this year, how kitschy am i?!
let me give you another quick update, since once again things have turned around pretty unexpectedly for me! your comments and emails gave me so much perseverance and hope and it looks like this stamina paid off!
yes, i am still single. while i was heartbroken for quite a while it turned out to be okay in the end. life goes on. after all, i am used to function better on my own because i am not so distracted! more room for food-blogging and adjusting my camera while munching my food! after all, this is dinner for one!
i also found a very cool job as a marketing assistant (where i am mostly pushing around pixels in graphic programs) and i am also back at university, and that is the most unexpected thing of all!
when i applied for a student grant in september things where not looking good at all, i honestly thought i will never again go to university because i simply can't afford it. i had already made my peace with it, i was looking for full time jobs - and two days after i got this incredible part time thing in marketing i got the news from my advisor that she recalculated my file again ... and it turns out that i actually am eligible for a scholarship after all! i tell you, this truly is a miracle!
while all these thoughts about my uncertain future at first caused quite some inner turmoil and quite some sleepless nights with the disease flaring up again too it finally looks like i hit the ground running!
look forward my friends, this will not be my only post today! i will go grocery shopping after university later today and i plan to treat myself to some christmassy sweetness!