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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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!)

Friday letters (it’s all about Christmas)

Hello! How is everyone doing? Christmas plans coming along okay? I feel like now December has hit it’s all I can think about! Will I get my cards made and set in time? What will I get that final difficult person for Christmas? Should I bake biscuits this weekend? Question upon question…

Anyway, some letters are in order, I think.

Friday letters

 

 

Dear sunshine. How lovely to see you! Do you think you could maybe stick around for the weekend as well?

Dear Christmas gifts. I finally only have one more of you to get, then everyone I need to buy for is sorted. Next step: wrapping.

Dear Christmas markets. Thank you for making the dark, cold days so much more bearable! (Let’s not talk about what we’re going to do when it’s still cold and grey in January yet, okay?)

Dear Lebkuchen. Now it’s December, I think it’s about time I started eating you. Tis the season (to stuff our faces) after all ๐Ÿ˜‰

Dear 2017. I see you lurking! You’d better be planning good things for me ๐Ÿ˜‰

Happy weekend, dear readers! I hope you all have a good one.

Christmas stitching 2016

I should really do another travel post to try and catch up, but the thought of sorting out all those photos just makes me feel tired, so instead here is some of the Christmas stitching I’ve done so far this year. All of these will be made into cards.

Do you have any favourites among these? Personally I love the snowman most, although I do also like the bauble in the “JOY”.

Now I just have to make sure none of the people who occasionally read this blog receive the pictures featured here ๐Ÿ˜‰

‘Tis the season to cross stitch…

Okay, it seems like it’s always the season to cross stitch with me, but this time of year involves even more than usual! I’ve barely commented on any blogs lately, so I thought it was only fair to show you what I’ve been busy doing instead. Here is a small selection of the cards I’ve managed to stitch this year (a few photos are a bit blurry I’m afraid. Sorry!).

Rudolph comes bearing gifts:

I may not be able to decorate baked goods, but I can stitch them!

You can’t beat a bit of candle light at Christmas:

Anything automatically becomes festive if you stick a Santa hat on it. Or you could just go with a Santa hat by itself…

Star-shaped buttons allow great additional effects!

I’ve run out of leading sentences, so the final gallery is just a miscellany.

After all that I just hope at least some of them reach their destinations in time!

Why I will not be taking up biscuit decorating for a living…

Last night, I thought I would make biscuits for Jan to take to work with him. I still have loads of food colouring left over from when I made blue cake, so I decided to decorate them. The idea was to surprise him with something relevant to his company, plus some standard Christmas biscuits. Unfortunately, I was forgetting one very important thing: I can’t actually draw on paper with a pencil, never mind on biscuits with icing and melted chocolate! I’ve forbidden Jan from actually taking any to work because I’m so embarrassed by them. Which, of course, doesn’t prevent me from uploading them to my blog for the entire Internet to see. Logic… not my strong suit! So, everybody meet my baking/decorating fails:

First I made some Christmas biscuits:

DSCN4561

Then I attempted to make gingerbread robots. Bear in mind I don’t own a robot cutter so these were improvised. Very, very improvised.

DSCN4563

Jan’s comment was “It looks like you’ve been doing some baking with an eight year old.” I think he was being generous… personally, after making the Christmas ones, I thought “I wish we had a two year old who I could blame these on!”.

On the bright side, I now get to add almond biscuits and gingerbread to my tally of biscuits baked for my 35 before 35 challenge. And hopefully I’ve given you all a good laugh to help you get through the final two days of the week…

Merry Christmas!

I wasn’t supposed to get a Christmas tree… we had originally planned on going away for the holidays and Jan doesn’t believe in putting up trees any earlier than Christmas Eve. Then when we spontaneously decided to stay, I assumed there wouldn’t be time. But then Jan surprised me with this little fellow:

Christmas treeEven though it’s not very big, I didn’t have enough decorations to fill it and I have no topper because I’ve never had a tree before, but it’s cute and festive and looks pretty all lit up. I’m very happy with my first ever Christmas tree.

Lit Christmas treeMerry Christmas everyone! I hope you’re all having a wonderful time, wherever and however you’re celebrating. And now I’m off to eat pancakes filled with mince and vegetables followed by apple crumble. Christmas is for eating, after all!

Final Friday letters of 2014!

What with Christmas and New Year, I’m not going to be around much over the next couple of weeks, so this will be my final Friday letters for the year. Today is my last day at work, tonight we have a birthday party to go to and tomorrow we head North to visit Jan’s family for the holidays. Hopefully I can get my final Christmas card finished before the party tonight (for his mum), then I can actually relax for a while! For now, though, I give you letters…

Mail box

Dear German bakers. Why must 90% of your sandwiches have remoulade in? And so much of it as well! If I can’t taste the cheese properly you’re doing something wrong!

Dear life. When did you become so complicated?! Please stop it!

Dear Christmas. For something that only lasts two days, you bring an awful lot of work with you! Thankfully I’m pretty much finished now.

Dear final Christmas gift. You never did turn up, so now the package for my dad’s household isn’t going to arrive til after Christmas. Thanks for that!

Dear gift recipients. I hope you all like what I’ve got you.

Dear 2014. Although I’ve had some amazing experiences (Taiwan!), you haven’t been my favourite year. Honestly, I’m glad you’re ending even if I do feel like you only just started!

Dear 2015. All I know about you right now is that you’re going to be very different to 2015. Here’s hoping the adventure is a good one!

No links this week because I’ve been to busy to gather anyway. Instead I shall wish you all a very merry Christmas and all the best for 2015. Here’s hoping it’s an amazing year for all of us!

A photo an hour: 14 December 2014

This month, Jane’s photo an hour took place on a Sunday. The day before, I had been out and about, but on photo an hour day I didn’t actually do a great deal, so it’s another boring one I’m afraid ๐Ÿ˜‰ I didn’t even go grocery shopping because everything’s closed on a Sunday in Germany!

11 a.m. We were out watching a friend’s band the night before, so my day got off to a late start. First things first, must make a cuppa!

12 noon. Turning a cross stitched design into a Christmas card.

1 p.m. Back stitching.

2 p.m. Another card finished!

3 p.m.(ish) Out of the shower, time to get dressed.

4 p.m. Time to clean the kitchen.

5 p.m. Starting to cook tea. This is the second month in a row that this picture has shown a pumpkin – I swear we do eat other things!

6 p.m. Time to eat.

7 p.m. Second attempt at reading a book by a local author for the winter reading challenge. This time it actually does have enough pages.. I checked!

8 p.m. “If I’m going to post these cards tomorrow I should probably actually address the envelopes…”

9 p.m. I’ll just try and get one more card finished before I go to sleep…

10 p.m. Bed time! (Except I forgot to actually take a photo so here’s a bonus one of another completed card to avoid ruining my symmetry…)

Friday letters and links

Hello there! It’s Friday again, and after today I only have one more week at work before the Christmas holidays. I’m very much looking forward to not having to get up at 6 a.m. for a couple of weeks! We’re visiting Jan’s parents for Christmas then for New Year… well, as of right now we’re doing nothing! Iceland is out because flights were too espensive. Bruges was on the table, but other than me looking up train prices and letting Jan know nothing has been done about it and by now it may be too late to even book somewhere to stay. So we may end up staying in Karlsruhe and having fireworks thrown at us all night. We’ll see… Anyway, Friday letters!

PostkastenDear final Christmas present. Please hurry up and arrive so I can finally finish wrapping stuff!

Dear post office. I think I’m only going to have to visit you one more time this year (unless I end up having . Yippee!

Dear Deutsche Post. I can’t believe stamp prices are going up again in January! I still have some left over from last year when it cost 58 cents to send a letter within Germany… now it’s going up from 60 to 62 cents. It isn’t even that long since said stamps only cost 55 cents! And as for putting the price of an international letter up from 75 to 80 cents… well, I don’t even know what to say to that!

Dear Speyer. We’re coming to visit your Christmas market tomorrow! ๐Ÿ™‚

That’s all I can think of this week, so here are some links: