Sunday, December 18, 2005

Christmas cookies part 1

The Christmas cook-a-thon has started! I'm currently at home in The Netherlands and we have just started with the preparations for Christmas. This morning, we put up the tree and nativity. Then this evening, my dad wanted to bake some biscuits so I gave him a hand. The recipes came from a Swiss colleague of his they visited last week. She had a huge tin of cookies that her family baked each year for all the family members. We picked two recipes from the list of Hedwigs Weinachtsbackerei, Ochsenaugen (oxes eyes!?) and Monikas Schokoherzen (chocolate hearts).

Both were very easy doughs to mix up, the balls were left in the fridge to harden slightly and then it was just a matter of rolling it out and cutting shapes. For the Ochsenaugen we used a homegrown/made jar of redcurrant jelly my mum still had in the fridge and as we didn't have a heart shaped cutter, the chocolate hearts became stars instead. We baked both types of cookies for 20 min at 180 degrees Celsius and they came out looking shiny from the egg yellow put on top. Although I have to admit, on the chocolate biscuits this wasn't the best of looks (I improvised...oeps). Both tasted good though, in the jam ones as the tangy jelly nicely complemented the sweet biscuit and the chocolate stars had a lovely rich flavor. Perhaps we can just hide the icky yellow on top under some sugar icing :-) That's it for today, but no doubt there will be more to follow soon.

Oshenaugen (makes 60)
375g Plain flour
250g Butter
125g Sugar
2 eggs (+1 for brushing)
Mix all the ingredients, let the dought rest then roll out and cut shapes of about 5cm diameter. Brush half with egg white and put a bit of red currant jelly in the centre. In the other half, make a small hole and put these on top of the ones with jelly. Brush with egg yolk and bake 20 min at 180C.

Monikas Schokoherzen (makes about 50)
125g Plain Flour
75g Cornflour
100g Sugar
1 Packet of Vanilla sugar
1 Tsp Cocoa
65g Ground almonds
100 Ground chocolate (preferably 70% cocoa)
125g Butter
1 Egg

Mix everything to make the dough, roll it to about 5mm thick, cut out shapes and put these on a buttered baking tray. Bake 10 min at 180C (I backed mine for 15min as they were still quite soft)

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