Chocolate Christmas biscuits

Since this first December weekend was a rare one in which we had no plans, I decided it was time for some Christmas baking. After all, it is the month of all the sweet treats! I used Nigella’s recipe for Chocolate Christmas Biscuits, but I added in some cinnamon and vanilla along with the cocoa powder because I don’t see how just sticking some sprinkles on top magically makes a biscuit Christmassy! You can’t really taste the cinnamon, but I know it’s there and that’s what counts 😉

Here are some of the biscuits fresh from the oven:

Instead of making cocoa powder/icing sugar/water icing, I decided to melt white chocolate for the decoration. My initial plan was to make some of the biscuits look like Christmas puddings and just put some white chocolate in the middle of the others and then decorate with sparkly things, but I quickly got bored of that and started drawing random patterns with white chocolate. When you bear in mind that I did all my drawing with a teaspoon I think they came out okay!

Apart from the Christmas puddings, I think the Christmas trees are my favourite!

Have you done any Christmas baking yet this year? What’s your favourite Christmas biscuit (I still have 3 more types of biscuits to bake for my 35 before 35… give me ideas!)

Christmas baking – round 3

On Sunday, a friend invited us over to his place to bake biscuits. Obviously I jumped at the chance – all the fun of baking without getting flour all over my own kitchen again? What’s not to like! There were 9 of us in all, but we managed to do a pretty good job of not getting in each other’s way.

First we baked biscuits

biscuits in ovenThen we decorated them:

Christmas tree biscuitsWe had many different types. These are some traditional German biscuits known as Vanille Kipferln (Vanilla Crescents is the best translation I can come up with).

VanillekipferlThese ones were waiting to go in the oven when I took this – somehow I failed to take one of them after they came out.
These chocolate-coated biscuits are gluten free for the sake of one of the group. Can you tell I had fun decorating the teddy bear?

Gluten free teddy biscuitOnce we’d finished baking, we settled down to feast on our creations with a nice cup of Glühwein.

Christmas biscuitsA fun afternoon, but I don’t think any of us will be wanting a sugary snack for a while!

Christmas baking – round 2

Gingerbread men, baked in 2011
Gingerbread men, baked in 2011

Question: What do you get if you turn a gingerbread man upside down?

Rudolph!
Rudolph!

Answer: A reindeer of course!

I saw this idea on Facebook a while ago, and knew that as soon as the time for Christmas baking came around (November is not the appropriate time!) I would have to try it out.
The picture I saw used white icing for the details, but I preferred to make mine with chocolate icing. I think they worked out quite well, considering I only bought the thing for putting on the icing yesterday (no idea what it’s called – it looks like a syringe!). Technically, my reindeer aren’t upside down gingerbread men, because they contain no ginger! I put cocoa powder in, and now wish I’d gone with vanilla or something so the icing would show up better. But overall I’m pleased with them.
Here are some more Rudolphs:

Rudolph times four (And you thought there was only one!)
Rudolph times four (And you thought there was only one!)

(This was actually supposed to be last night’s post, but by the time I’d finished icing it was midnight and I was exhausted! Since I’m working from home today, I can post this before I log on to work and still start at my usual time… and it’s still last night somewhere in the world, I’m sure!)

Friday letters on the last day of November

Letters
Letters (Photo credit: paul-simpson.org)

The end of the week has come, and with it the end of the month. Tomorrow is the first day of the last month of the year – scary! Here are my Friday letters for this week.

Dear flu jab. I was told that the arm the needle had been stabbed into may be a little sore the next day, but why did nobody see fit to inform me that every muscle in my body would be aching as well? I was so glad to sink into my bed on Tuesday night! And just so you know, my arm didn’t stop hurting until today!

Dear December. With all the activities we have planned, I am either going to have an amazing time or you are going to be the death of me. I’m hoping for the former!

Dear Heidelberg English shop. I am not impressed that you’ve moved away from opposite the train station. Now I’m actually going to have to go into town for the things I need to make Christmas dinner. So much for my “quick” trip to Heidelberg this weekend!

Dear Christmas biscuit recipes. It’s December tomorrow, which means I’m allowed to start baking! Can’t wait to try you out at the weekend.

Dear brain. There are only 3 more working weeks before I’m off for Christmas. I know you’re tired, but please don’t give up on me now!

Dear Eddie Izzard tickets. I was planning to buy you this month, but I can’t afford you as well as Christmas (and everything I have planned over the next few weeks). Please, please, please don’t sell out before I get paid next!

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