Sunday, November 28, 2010

A bunch of Christmas cookies

Yesterday, together with the first snow here in Basel, we made a batch of Christmas cookies so that we're prepared for the season. We did Zimtsterne (Kaltenbach), Totenbeinli (Le Menu), Gewurz Sables (Le Menu), and Schokomakronen (Andrea's mother). Recipes are below

We ended up with quite a spread:
Should last a few days at least. :-)

100g hazelnuts, toasted in a heavy pan, peeled, and coarsely chopped
100g almond slivers
2 egg whites
75g sugar
200g dark chocolate (we used 60%)

Whip the egg whites to soft peaks, add the sugar, and whip to stiff peaks.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, mix in the nuts, and let cool a bit.
Fold the egg whites into the chocolate.
Drop spoon fulls onto baking parchment and then bake at 150c until they're done (10-15 minutes?).

2 egg whites, beat to stiff peaks with a pinch of salt
250g sugar
1 Tbs cinnamon
250g ground almonds (I used 200g ground almonds, 30g flour)
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 tsp minced lemon zest

Add the sugar and cinnamon to the beaten egg whites and stir for a few minutes (supposed to be 10...). Set aside 5Tbs to use as a topping (I forgot to do this).
Add the other ingredients to the egg whites and mix to form a even dough. Let this rest 15 minutes.
Roll the dough out to the thickness of a pencil on a surface covered with sugar.
Cut out star shaped cookies and place them on parchment-covered baking sheets.
Let rest 30 minutes.
Top with the reserved egg whites (if you remembered to reserve any).
Bake at 200C for 6-8 minutes. They're better when chewy, so don't bake too long.

Gewurz Sables
125g butter, softened
50g raw sugar
1tsp vanilla sugar
a pinch salt
2-3 Tbs water
200g flour
1 Tbs cinnamon
1 Tbs cardamom (1-2 tsp would have been better)
1 Tbs ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Beat the butter until it forms peaks.
Add the sugars, salt, and water and beat a bit more
Sift in the flour and spices and work into a smooth dough.
Form a 3cm roll, wrap in plastic wrap, and let rest in the fridge for an hour.
Cut 5mm thick slices and put on a parchment-covered baking sheet.
Bake at 200C for 20-12 minutes.

200g walnuts
100g butter, softened
175g sugar
a pinch of salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
250g flour

Toast the walnuts in a heavy pan until they're aromatic. Let cool and then chop coarsely.
Beat the butter until it forms peaks.
Beat in the sugar, salt, cinnamon, and eggs and beat until it lightens.
Sift in the flour and mix to form a smooth dough.
Add the chopped nuts, then wrap in plastic and let rest in the fridge for an hour.
Roll out to 1cm on a floured work surface.
Cut into 7-8cm strips and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and let rest 30 minutes in the fridge.
Brush with egg yolk, then bake at 180C for 10min. Let cool a couple of minutes, then cut into sticks and bake another 12-15 minutes, until golden brown.

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