Christmas Cookies I


Christmas Cookies (5).JPG

I’m taking a break from my postings about my latest travel to Colombia, in order to focus on my favourite “season” of the year: Christmas.

I love everything about Christmas: The Christmas markets with its mulled wine, the get-togethers with friends, the in-house decorations. I do not only love every bit, but also every bite of it – especially the traditional German Christmas Cookies (called “Plätzchen”).

It is a tradition that begins with childhood, the kitchen becomes the center of different scents… all the yummy Christmas spices are filling the room with their pleasant aroma – from cloves to cinnamon to vanilla – and you will gather with your mom or granny to cut out the cookies. When I was young it was like magic to me: Watching my mother forming something out of dough that turns into a delicious treat. How I miss those times.

Now I am baking cookies on my own, I even have my own recipes – or: Had my own recipes. They are all stored on a computer that won’t switch on anymore. Nevertheless, I’ve tried to reinvent them with my memory. One of the Christmas Cookies that I make are actually not really cookies, its more a kind of confectionary and they are called “Heinerle” (in other regions also called “Schokoladinchen” or “Schokoladina”). I believe that they are originated in Franconia, a region in Bavaria. My grandmother already made these confectionary and they are super delicious. This is the recipe:

250g Palm Fat/Coconut Fat
250g Icing Sugar
200g Medium-Dark Chocolate
1 sachet of Vanilla Sugar
4 Eggs

Square Baking Wafers (about 21-28)

Melt the fat in a casserole in a medium heat, add the icing and vanilla sugar while whisking. Then add the chocolate to the mixture, continue whisking. Sieve the mixture into another casserole aside the stove to eliminate any chunks of sugar. Let it cool down a bit, beat the eggs and add them to the mixture while whisking. Then put the casserole back on the stove and heat up the mixture until its nearly boiling, but always keep whisking. Then again sieve the mixture into a bowl and let it cool down. When it has cooled down to a moderate temperature, spread the mixture in a thin layer on the baking wafers and put another wafer on top, which I will repeat until closing it with the 7th wafer. This can get really messy as the liquid chocolate mixture will not only stay within the layers. Wrap the layered wafers in foil and put it in the freezer overnight, always storing a heavy plate or book on top, so that they stay in shape. The next day you can cut them into shape. The most traditional shape is the one that you can see in the picture above. I will also cut off the edges as they are covered with the chocolate and are not nice for presentation, but of course tasty to eat right away 🙂

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