With it being the fourth Sunday of Advent, the time has come for some reflection. Over the last days and weeks, people have been posting Christmas bakery in such an abundance that it would be a crime not to present you with my personal highlights, and thus next year’s biscuit and cookie treats. Have a look at these glorious treats – I wonder ifI can get the hang of all of them in time for next year!
Vanillekipferl – Vanilla-scented shortbread crescents
I’ll start with the Vanillekipferl – deliciously brittle almondy shortbread crescents … which I never got round to making this year. Instead, I present you with Mila’s version, which I found on her blog Milk and Bun:
They are like shortbread, but better: the ground almonds give them a delicate crunchy texture, and coating them in vanilla sugar creates a subtle and christmassy je ne sais quoi – just imagine the scent!
Mila’s blog is full of wonderful Continental European treats – having spent a most amazing school trip in Russia I am very keen to give her savoury recipes a try in 2015!
Pfeffernüsse – Spicy Gingerbread
I loved London Eats Pfeffernüsse – peppernuts – not just because of the amazing photograph, but also because I remembered a fairy tale I had read as a child: ‘Of the Queen who could not bake Pfeffernüsse and the King who wasn’t able to play the Mouth Harp’. Like the eponymous heroine, I have never made any Pfeffernüsse either, but looking at Russel’s instructions I will clearly need to make more of an effort next time round:
Russell’s blog is full of European goodies, even Aachener Printen, the speciality of my old university town. They might just about make it on my bucket list, too, as they give flavour to the local roast beef, or Sauerbraten, and I have been playing with that idea, too, for 2015 …
Hutzelbrot, a Dried Fruit Bread
Ninive Loves Life as well as bread, and her traditional Swabian Hutzelbrot took me back many years and reminded me to dry some pears next year, in order to bake my own:
Made from dried fruit, it resembles the traditional English Christmas cakes, but the taste is more bread-like. If you find fruit cakes too sweet, this one’s the recipe for you. I will need to remember to keep a few pears and dry them in time for Advent! Ninive’s breads are amazing, she even makes her own Brezels … I’m dying to give that a try, too!
Biscuit Decorating Masterclass by Brooklyn – Portland
Finally some highly aspirational decorating skills: Anja and Lauren of Brooklyn – Portland are engaged in what I can only describe as a regular bake-off. Anja’s white dove design was incredibly delicate:
Just look at those beautiful lines! What I like about Brooklyn – Portland is the friendly competitiveness, which led Lauren to respond in kind, with these beautifully swirled snowflakes:
As you can see, there’s still a lot to do for me before next year’s Christmas baking!
Which recipe has impressed you in the run up to Christmas 2014? Have you got any cookies on your bucket list? And, most importantly, are you all done?! I’ve got one more gingerbread up my sleeve, or rather in the oven …