Choco chip cookies

Well, now that we figured out how to make chocolate chip cookies in Germany (successfully) I better really pick up my work out routine.

On Saturday, Sandra had her birthday party so I figured that was a great reason to make another batch. This time, I made a full batch, and I think they were a hit. A Konditor himself (a profesisonal dessert chef in Baden Baden) even gave me some compliments. I was very pleased.

Sunday we slept in and had brunch on the patio, it was a fabulous weekend in BB. Happy Birthday to Sandra!


Back in Europe! Schwarzwald, blueberries, and schwarzwälder Kirschtorte

Hi guys! Last weekend we arrived back in Germany and spent the weekend with Miljan’s dad. On Sunday we went for a nice long walk in the Schwarzwald (black forest). It was a great way to get some fresh air and help us adjust back to the local time zone.

Along the way the men spotted some wild bluberries. And naturally….

These reminded me of the ones we picked on Sand Island in the Apostles…tiny and delcious, although about a third of these were mouth-puckering not-quite-ripe. I had an extreme urge to go home and make pancakes…

I attempted to take a picture of the forest, to show how dark it is, thus supporting my theory of why it is called the black forest, but my camera adjusted and it appears to be well-lit. Just try and use your imagination like the Grimm Brothers.

After our indulgent US trip, we were craving healthy and light veggie oriented food, but somehow in the middle of our walk we ended up at a log cabin and ordered a piece of Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte aka Black Forest Cake. It was a sugar bomb- fun to try (first time for me!) but not something I have to repeat soon. I didn’t take a picture at the cabin, but saw it again at the lodge by the lake and snapped a photo.


Blondies for Mom

Happy Birthday Mom!

I baked you some blondies! Well, at least I think they’re blondies. And they are delicious, I took the liberty of eating some for you as well. Good thing I bake half recipes.

Here’s the (half) recipe, for future reference:

Sift together 1&1/3 C Flour, 1&1/4 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt.  In another bowl, smush together 1/3 C soft butter and 8 oz brown sugar. Add an egg to the butter/sugar and mix well. Because I only had one egg, and technically for the half recipe you need one and a half eggs, I added a splash of butter milk. Then add 1/2 tsp vanilla and a half package of choco-chips and mix it up. Then add in the flour mixture a bit at a time and mix it up. Put it in a dish and bake at 350 F for about 20 minutes.

If want to make the whole recipe, you can find it here at one of my favorite baking blogs. But be warned – Bakerella’s recipes and photos might make you drool.

sea salt fudge

Or maybe I should more accurately describe it as Nutella fudge with sea salt sprinkled on top. I was in a holiday baking mood, and who doesn’t love fudge, so I thought I would give them a try. They were really easy to make, no marble countertop required! The funny thing is this:

Sweetened condensed milk is not quite as popular in Germany as in the US, but I was able to procure some…in a TUBE. Yes, I took a picture just so you could see what I mean.  I used two tubes worth, hoping that was about equal to one can. I think it worked just fine. The easiest ingredient to find was Nutella, seeing as how that seems to be the breakfast spread of choice around here.

I don’t have a brownie pan, but I fashioned my own mold out of a cereal box and tinfoil. It worked out perfectly because there was no baking involved, just refrigeration (after it was all melted together of course). I brought some fudge to work today and the verdict was: “Oh YUM, they taste like chocolate!”

If you also want to make some, you can find the recipe here.


Weihnachtsgebaeck aka German Christmas cookies

Or shall I say my attempt at German Christmas cookies. I was all geared up to bake my favorite gingerbreadmen and sugar cookies. Milo requested Zimtsterne and Vanillekipferl, so I figured it was a good chance to learn something new.  


 Vanillekipferl can best be described as a russian tea cake shaped like the letter C. Ingredients are flour, sugar, butter, and ground hazelnuts. I am not sure if it was because I halved each recipe, or because the last time I used a metric scale to measure flour was 20 years ago with Leslie from upstairs in Frat 154. For some reason, Milo says they don’t taste “right.” I’m not really sure what they are supposed to taste like, but I admit they aren’t as yummy as I hoped. But maybe that’s a good thing.

Milo helped cut the shapes out. Apparently I was not clear when I mentioned, “space them evenly on the cookie sheet.”

The “cinnamon stars” (Zimtsterne) turned out as “almond fish and airplanes.” That was my fault because we didn’t have almond liquer, so I made my own with some grappa and about 20 drops of almond essence. Turns out 2 drops would have sufficed for the entire recipe. Needless to say, the cinnamon was a bit overpowered. And we don’t have any star-shape cookie cutters, but that’s beside the point. They aren’t bad, just different. They are covered with a merengue icing.

Almondy airplanes and fish

We still have a week ’till Christmas. Gingies might make an appearance.

crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside

Happy Baking and Merry Christmas!