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Christmas

Simple Hot Chocolate

Heiße Schokolade in einer süßen Emaille-Tasse

I had a weird quirk for a while, every time I went to a café, I would order hot chocolate if they had it, regardless of the season. I was often amazed as to what I was served. I remember eating some sort of custard one time, another time it seemed to be pure melted chocolate, and many times it was something in between. Today I am going to introduce to you some simple hot chocolate I do enjoy and which is very easy to prepare. If you so desire, you can also make it vegan. I have been meaning to publish this recipe here and finally I have gotten around to it, let’s have some hot chocolate!

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Tips for Making Your Cake Look Festive

Winterlich dekorierte Torte mit Lebkuchenhäusern

Today I am going to share a lot of tips and tricks for your cake to look all festive and perfect for winter. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I really don’t like fondant. I find it very sad that a baker spends so much time working on fondant and in the end about 99% of the people eating the cake will leave the fondant aside since it is so utterly sweet. This is so very sad! In my opinion there are so many other options out there. Instead of fondant, how about decorating with buttercream, cute little gingerbread houses, cookies or something else you may eat afterwards and which tastes better than fondant. If you would like your cake to look all festive for Christmas or for a winter-themed occasion, this is the perfect place for you. The good thing is that I will only talk about the decoration, which cake you are going to use, is entirely up to you. But of course, I will also provide a lot of cake recipes in case you are looking for inspiration.

Winterlich dekorierte Torte mit Lebkuchenhäusern

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Cute Nutcrackers with Royal Icing

Süße Nussknacker aus Mürbeteig mit Eiweißglasur

Today I have some ultra-cute nutcrackers for you guys made from sugar cookies with royal icing. Yes, they do require a bit of work, but for me that’s the best way to relax. Especially since you can make each step on a different day (like make the dough, bake, decorate), which I find super convenient. I love the fact that these cookies keep and will look great in any cookie box. You can also wrap them individually and give them as a gift to somebody. What do you say? You can of course use other cookie cutters, such as ugly sweaters and the like…

Süße Nussknacker aus Mürbeteig mit Eiweißglasur

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Colombian Christmas Traditions and Recipes

Buñuelos aus Kolumbien

Today I have the honor of introducing to you Colombian Christmas, rituals, and customs. Of course I am going to introduce to you typical Colombian recipes for Christmas as well. I by no means consider this extensive and is more based on my personal experience. As a German I can say though that Colombian Christmas is happier, louder, and more carefree than German Christmas. Maybe it has to do with the fact that Germans usually meet with their nucleus family; during these short winter days you need to be at home behind closed doors. Colombians, on the other hand, are found travelling in large groups to relatives, Christmas celebrations can start at 30 people or more, you may encounter a birthday cake for Jesus and see Colombians dancing Salsa happily. Of course the food plays an important role as well. Usually you will find a large amount of people being involved in some food preparation as it requires many hours of labor. By the way, New Year’s Eve is not that different from Christmas, usually Colombians will visit one side of the family on Christmas, and the other on New Year’s. Prepare yourself for eating large amounts of food. But let’s first get started with Christmas in Colombia!

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My Favorite Hazelnut Cookies Shaped Like Squirrels

Haselnussplätzchen als süße Eichhörnchen

Today I am going to introduce you to a delicious hazelnut cookie in the shape of a squirrel. You need to know that I have tried several hazelnut cookies. I wanted to get a nice cut-out cookie, in my opinion the squirrles should have some nutty flavor, don’t you think? I have been trying since the time I got this adorable squirrel cookie cutter! So far no success, but finally, when I made this recipe, I was so happy with the result and alas, today you get this recipe as well.

Haselnussplätzchen als süße Eichhörnchen

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Natilla from Colombia

Natillas aus Kolumbien

Do you want to make a Colombian happy during the holidays? I have a very simple solution for you, just make him or her natilla, this is an easy milk custard, which doesn’t require you to turn on the oven. Natilla is, and this was confirmed by many Colombians, beside the deep-fried cheese balls buñuelos THE most Colombian Christmas snack. Yes, you read right, Colombians don’t necessarily have a main dish they associate with Christmas, instead it is the snacks, which are served beforehand which are dear to them. The most common ones being said milk custard named natilla or the buñuelos, which are deep-fried cheese balls. These are served throughout the season and on the 24th the very latest.

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My Nine Favorite Holiday Cookies

Alfajores marplatenses aus Uruguay

I am not the conventional German cookie maker. Yes, of course I have all the traditional German cookies on my blog, such as vanilla crescents, cinnamon stars, gingerbread aka Lebkuchen and Linzer. However, my favorite cookies, even during the season, are usually not the traditional Christmas cookies. I usually prefer cookies you can eat all year round. Many German cookies are based on some version of sugar cookie or even pie crust, if you are looking for tips how to deal with this type of sugar cookie, check out this blog post. I also have one full blog post on how to freeze leftover egg yolks and egg whites. If you are looking for some different cookie, below list may be for you. I usually make a full plate with different cookies and many times one of the below cookies was declared the favorite from the receiver of the cookie plate.

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Classic Frisian Cookies

Klassische Friesenkekse

If you are looking for a plain cookie that goes well all year round, look no further, these Frisian cookies are for you. They are prepared with a simple dough, containing constarch to make them extra tender. They go well with a nice cup of tea (normally black in the north of Germany). The cookies remind me of the Argentinian or Uruguayan cookies called alfajores as they also contain cornstarch. Classic Frisian cookies are also related to Heidesand cookies, which are also rolled first and then sliced into cookies and are also from the north of Germany from the region Lüneburger Heide.

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Peanut Butter Truffles from Brazil

Erdnuss-Trüffel mit Schokolade wie von Garotto

OK, this post is all about childhood memories. So I was born in Uruguay, in Latin America, right? Meaning that I also experienced Uruguayan Christmas. And one thing we always had for Christmas in Uruguay were these peanut butter truffles. There is a Brazilian brand named Garoto that sells these truffles. All old-fashioned, wrapped in yellow paper with a large red logo saying “Serenata de Amor”, I mean if this is not a poetic name for a truffle, I don’t know. Usually I hoped that my sister would be kind enough to give me some of her truffles since she is into savory stuff (yeah, I don’t get it either). Sometimes this plan worked out, sometimes it didn’t and so on December 26th I was often out of truffles. Rationing sweets has never been my thing, especially as a child.

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Espresso Parfait with Cranberry Sauce

Espresso-Parfait mit Cranberry-Soße

Today I am introducing a fast espresso parfait, which is served with cranberry sauce. In case you are looking for a festive dessert you can prepare in advance for Christmas, this may be for you. Since it is frozen, it is up to you to decide when to make it. Also, you can make the cranberry sauce up to two days in advance. I think it is perfect for Christmas as you will have one less thing to worry about. The creamy espresso parfait is delicious on its own, however, if topped of with the tangy cranberry sauce, you have a winning team. Let’s get started!

Espresso-Parfait mit Cranberry-Soße

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