Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Joy of Baking!

Let the Season of Sugar officially commence!

Every December, as far back as I could remember, I bake Christmas cookies - a lot of them. I have done the tried and true recipes (the chocolate chip, the oatmeal, and the holiday staples - sugar cookies and snickerdoodles). A few years ago, I dove into Mom's cookbook collection and selected the Betty Crocker Cooky Book from the 60s or 70s. I cannot praise that masterpiece of baker's delight enough!

I have tried to recreate a couple German cookies that I fell for during that year: Zimtsterne and Pffernusse. Hubster and I love spiced cookies and these two have a real zing! Zimtsterne, so heavenly-cinnamony,  are rolled out then cut into star-shapes and basted with an eggwhite-wash before baking. I have also seen them iced.* Pffernusse have a good dose of black pepper in them, but that heat is subdued by the dusting of powder sugar on the outside (after baking). The cloves, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg make this a real warming treat in a white snowball.

*My Zimtsterne were a bit different because I do not own a cookie cutter that is not in a Halloween shape. So I made mine into a drop cookie, making them a softer-pillowy texture unlike the hard and crunchy texture they are "supposed" to be. Also, the photo above is from (I am writing this at a time inconvenient for plugging my camera into computer... tee hee hee)

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