While you are reading these lines, I will be busy packing my suitcase for Christmas. We are going to visit my parents in law in Spain and I will probably be debating which baking utensils to take along for the trip. I am really looking forward to celebrating Christmas with my Colombian family. Colombian Christmas is very different from German Christmas. There is going to be a lot of dancing, a lot of joy, sparkle and food, so much food. I can’t tell you for how long my mother-in-law has been talking about what she is going to make as a special treat for us and what her ideas are for the Christmas menu. In Colombian culture food is extremely important. I am going to suggest to her that we make Uruguayan flan as the Christmas dessert. Why? Because flan needs to be prepared the night before as it has to be chilled. Perfect in my opinion, one thing less to worry about on Christmas. Flan only requires only a few basic ingredients and is prepared in a jiffy, if this is not enough reason, I don’t know what is.
These are the easiest and simplest cinnamon stars! I know, I am posting this recipe pretty late, you probably are all done with your Christmas baking. The reason I am doing this, is because I posted an Instagram story with several tips for making these. You all asked which recipe I was using and why the recipe is not on my blog yet. For that reason I decided to post this traditional German Christmas cookie: cinnamon stars! The recipe is completely gluten-free and only contains a few ingredients. The dough can be a bit finicky, my German bakers know what I am talking about. Below you will find several tips how to make them and for the recipe to turn out great.
It was the end of November, we were living as poor university students at that point in Dresden, in the east of Germany. We had no clue what to do. Everybody around us seemed to be busy decorating the apartment with wood handcraft from the close Ore mountains. Nutcrackers, smoking manikins, “Schwippbögen”, these are usually showing the nativity, were unwrapped and placed throughout the apartment. We simply couldn’t afford German wood handcraft from the region and therefore only had bare walls to show. Our Christmas decorations? Nil, nada, inexistent. What to do if you can barely make ends meet? My solution was simple: gingerbread or German Lebkuchen. Gingerbread is perfect if you want to use it as decoration. Regardless if you wish to use it for a gingerbread house (or even village?), to decorate your Christmas tree with, or to make an advent calendar. Gingerbread was my solution to our Christmas decoration.
These cookies from Uruguay are called yo-yo as they actually look exactly like the toy yo-yo. When I took them to my colleagues as my first batch of test eaters, they got raving reviews. According to a few colleagues, I should bring more often treats from Uruguay if they were as tasty as these cookies. What I like about them is the fact that you can easily mix together the batter fairly quickly. It does contain a small part of cornstarch that makes them extra soft. Obviously it does contain the caramel cream names dulce de leche and is covered in chocolate. This is my sixth recipe in my cookie week.
Espejitos or small mirrors is the literal translation of these cookies from Uruguay. They are made as a shortbread cookie, filled with jam and the caramel cream dulce de leche and have a chocolate covering. Sounds good? I just love these cookies, jam PLUS, caramel, PLUS chocolate, who can say no to that? Unfortunately it never takes long and they disappear so quickly whenever I make them, I simply can’t say no. These are my fourth recipe of my Uruguayan cookie week, check out the other recipes here.
Uruguayian salchichón de chocolate or chocolate salami is one of my favorite cookies from Uruguay. I decided to introduce this cookie during my cookie week. This is recipe number 2. You will find something similar in Italy, but since we are in Uruguay, of course we have to add the Latin American touch to it: dulce de leche. How to make dulce de leche from scratch I do explain in this blog post. And don’t you agree, doesn’t it look for real? If Uruguayans are good at something, it’s magically making something special out of the ordinary. Just like these salami cookies. You know, you basically throw together the ingredients, chill them, and then you cut off your salami slices. Well, OK, my version has you roast the hazelnuts, melt the chocolate and crush the cookies, but then you are actually good to go. Doesn’t this sound awesome?
So you are looking for cookies that melt in your mouth, have a slight hint of rosemary and taste lemony? Then look no further. These buttery lemon rosemary Heidesand cookies are for you. You do require a bit of chilling for these, but I personally think they are so worth the effort. And once you got them chilled, these are your typical slice and bake cookies. I actually once took a shower in the morning while they were baking, just to be sure I had them all fresh on that day.
Baci di dama are heavenly cookies, a touch like a feather. These Italian cookies literally translate as a kiss by a lady. If you look at the profile of these cookies, they look like a set of lips wishing to kiss you. I really like this picturesque name which does tell you a lot what these cookies are going to taste like. Roasted hazelnuts are combined with buttery shortbread, which is sandwiched together by delicious melted chocolate. Baci di dama are perfect as a giveaway, superb for a coffee break and simply to enjoy.
Today I am introducing a delicious orange cranberry bundt cake. I just love that this bundt cake is so moist, contains real fruit and is just perfect for winter. The batter is fairly easy to prepare and I am sure that you can serve this cake either for Christmas or any kind of get together you have planned in your future. Heck, you may even try it for breakfast!
Since Christmas is just around the corner, I decided to spice this cake with some traditional Christmas spices, such as cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and the like. I am sure the cake will also taste without, but seriously, I put quite a bit of effort into making this cake look pretty. I mean, for me the taste of a cake will always overrule its prettiness. Seriously. I don’t understand how people find cakes made with ultra-sweet fondant georgeous. Sure, they may be from the outside, but it really saddens me that you cannot eat fondant. So what’s the deal? Why do people say these cakes are gorgeous if you can’t eat half of them? In this instance I decorated my bundt cake with some oranges, cranberries, and rosemary to make it extra special. So I figured it wouldn’t hurt to also make the batter have some secret ingredient. Hence the spice plus fresh cranberries and orange juice. I can assure you, this cake definitely tastes as good as it looks!
Snickerdoodles with brown butter are a cinnamon surprise from the U.S. I decided that they are perfect for the season. In case you don’t know, snickerdoodles have a similar base as sugar cookies, but are then formed into balls which are then rolled in a mixture of sugar and cinnamon before you bake them. As far as I know you can find snickerdoodles in the U.S. throughout the year, however, due to their cinnamon flavor I decided to make some during the season.