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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

I am making loads and loads of these delicious rolls for this year’s Christmas.

There are many poppy seed addicts in our family and I’ll try my best to satisfy them all.

 

These rolls are amazing and fun to make yeast-based pastries filled with a scrumptious poppy seed filling.

If you are still looking for a nice Holiday recipe then you should definitely give these a try.

They’ll make you happy.
 
 

Here’s what we need to prepare them.
 
 

Let’s start with the dried yeast.

Dried instant yeast is an awesome thing! Your baking will always be a success if using this kind of yeast.
 
 

1. Mix the yeast, warm milk and sugar in a bowl.
 
 

2. Place the flour, salt and butter into a large bowl.

 

3. Pour in the yeast mixture.
 

4. Using your hands or an electric mixer, combine the ingredients and then knead until you form a ball. You should knead until the dough ball is no longer sticky. It should be nicely smooth and elastic.

If you think that your dough is a little too dense to work with, add a little more milk. Start with one tablespoon of milk and if that’s not enough, add some more.
 
 

This is the kind of dough that likes a lot of attention (read: kneading). I love kneading dough – it’s the most wonderful way of relax for me.

 

5. Place the dough into a bowl, cover it with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.
 
 

In the meantime, we can prepare the poppy seed filling.
 

Of course, you can replace this filling with the canned, store-bought one.

But why would you?

Okay, I may know why… it’s simpler. But still – making your own filling will be a lot more fun!
 

6. So, for the adventurous ones – grind the poppy seeds.
 
 

7. Combine the sugar with hot water. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
 
 

8. Then stir in the ground poppy seeds, lemon zest and vanilla extract.

And that’s it – your poppy seed filling is done and ready to be used.

 

9. Preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
 
 

10. Turn the risen dough onto a floured surface.

 

11. Using a sharp knife, divide the dough into four (4) equal parts.

 
 

12. Take one of the four parts…
 
 

13. And roll it out into a circle.

The circle should be about 10 inches (25 cm) in diameter.
 
 

14. Cut the circle into 8 equal triangles.
 
 

15. Arrange 2 teaspoons of the filling crosswise at the wider end of the triangle.
 
 

16. And roll it up, starting at the wider end.

 

17. Pinch the edges to seal.

 

18. Let the rolls rise for another 10-15 minutes.
 
 

19. Then transfer them onto the lined baking sheet.

Work in batches here.

 

20. Beat the egg lightly. Brush each roll that you’ve transferred onto the sheet with the egg mixture.
 
 

Just like this.
 
 

21. Bake at 350 °F (175 °C) for 16 minutes.

Then repeat the process with the rest of the rolls.
 
 

Yum!
 
 

Double yum!

 

Enjoy, dear friends.

This is very, very good.

 

(This recipe makes 32 rolls and takes about 2 1/2 hours to prepare.)

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I am sending you warm greetings from my kitchen.

Because I luv ya!

And because the running oven makes it really, really warm in here.

 

The time before Christmas has a sweet and magical impact on me. I find myself in the kitchen even more often than usual.

Which actually means that instead of 14 hours a day I spend 20 hours here now.

Like yesterday, for example, I made 82 cookies and I don’t even know how that happened to me.

Strange.

 

Anyhow, these lovely Bowtie Cookies were one of those I made yesterday.

The dough has cream cheese in it. It remotely resembles puff pastry, but it is less layered and less fatty. And oh so delicious!

The dough is filled with jam. You wouldn’t believe how gorgeous that combination is.

Let me show you how I prepared them…
 
 

Here’s what we need.
 
 

1. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, butter, sugar, and salt on medium speed until light, about 2 minutes.

 
 

2. Then on low speed, gradually beat in the flour just until mixed. A crumbly mixture will form.
 
 

3. Using your hands, pat the crumbly mixture together to form a dough ball.

 

Oh, and the face – I had to. Again. It’s addictive. Sorry!
 
 

4. Preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

 

5. Now, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a square or rectangle about 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick.

 

6. Cut the dough into even 2.5 x 2.5 inch (6 x 6 cm) squares.
 
 

I’ve found out that my pizza cutter works best when it comes to cutting pastry.

It’s perfectly sharp.

And pink.

I’m in love with it!
 
 

7. Place 1 teaspoon of the filling in the center of each square.

Use a really thick jam. There are even jam brands out there that are meant for baking. Get one of those, preferably.

Also, when I was making the first batch of these cookies I was a little too generous and placed a little more than one teaspoon of the filling in the center. And I also spread it.

 
 

I don’t recommend that.
 
 

Although the cookies looked amazing before baking, if there’s too much jam, it has a tendency to leak while baking.

 
 

In the second batch I was less generous.

 
 

And the cookies leaked less, they almost didn’t leak at all.

 

7. Back to the instructions… pull 2 opposite corners of the square into the middle, and pinch the edges together to seal.

Pinch the edges well, don’t give them a chance to open back into the square shape while baking.
 
 

8. Place the cookies on the prepared cookie sheet, spacing them about 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) apart.

 

9. Bake at 350 °F (175 °C) for about 12 minutes or until lightly golden.
 
 

10. Let cool on the cookie sheet for 1 to 2 minutes, then transfer to wire racks.
 

11. Dust the tops with sifted confectioner’s sugar while still warm, then let cool completely.

 

Enjoy, dear friends!

 

(This recipe was loosely adapted from Epicurious.com and makes 40 cookies.)
 

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We visited Vienna on Sunday.

The point was just to wander around a little.

 

Oh, how I love that place.

It’s simply stunning!

Frankly, there are two reasons why visiting Vienna is always a pleasure for me – the buildings are unique, magnificent and so full of history and the ice-cream is just lovely.

I hope you didn’t expect any more sophisticated reasons.
 
 

The folks over there seem to take pride in their deep and colorful history.

Don’t they look nice?
 
 

I also found these girls.

They are undergoing construction and look all excited about it.

I had never thought I’d ever find this much beauty under scaffolding.
 
 

Oh, and look what I found!

The Christmas Market has already started.

There’s punch, mulled wine and gingerbread overload.

Holy yum!

 
 

And then there was this cat.

I just had to show it to you.
 
 

And this inspirational felted bag.
 
 

And this crafty happy birdie.

Love it!

 

Dear Vienna,

I am really glad that you exist.

Hope to see you soon.

 

Petra

Your devoted and maniacal visitor.

 

<img class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-8478″ title=”vienna” src=”https://zoomyummy.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/vienna-2.jpg&#8221; alt=”” width=”510″ height=”340″ />

&nbsp;

This is artificial mistletoe that shines at night.

Isn’t that fun?

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I am very thankful for the peaceful Holiday me and my family just had.

I was lucky enough to meet and spend lovely time with all the people that are closest to my heart.

And when I was given this most delicious box of chocolates ever invented my heart started to sing.

Oh, how I wished it had been bottomless.

So I kept trying to find out…

But – what can I say – it was there.

I found it – the bottom.

Nevertheless, I tried to go on and be strong…

And then the New Year arrived.

We all found ourselves contemplating what it would be like.

And that’s when my Mom said: “I like the number, I know it’s going to be very good.”

You know what?

When my Mom says something, it has to be that way.

So I wish you all a wonderful, joyous New Year full of love and prosperity.

May all your dreams come true.

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I wish you all a warm and joy-filled Christmas!

Love,

Petra

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Thumbprint Cookies – you may also know them as Polish Tea Cakes or Butterballs.

Combining all things people love so much – butter, nuts and jam – they are classic and favorite cookies for any occasion.

And you know what? They are also really easy to make –  just have a look!

~~~

To prepare the Thumbprint Cookies you need:

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup (140 grams) all-purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup (100 grams) walnuts (or hazelnuts or almonds or pecans)

1/2 cup jam (any flavor you like)

~~~

1. Preheat an oven to 350 F (176 C).

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the nuts on the sheet.

3. Toast the nuts for about 10 minutes.

4. Remove the nuts from the oven and let cool.

Then chop them finely and place them into a bowl.

Nice!

5. Now let’s make the dough.

In the bowl of your electric mixer mix the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

6. Separate the egg and add the egg yolk to the batter.

Add the vanilla extract.

And then add the flour and salt to the batter and beat until just combined.

7. On a lightly floured surface form a log from the dough and cut it into about 12 – 15 equal pieces.

8. Form a ball from each piece and refrigerate for about 30 minutes (the balls will be easier to work with when refrigerated).

9. In a bowl whisk the egg white until frothy.

10. Dip a ball into the whisked egg white…

11. … and then roll in the nuts lightly.

Place the balls onto the prepared baking sheet spacing about 1 inch (2,5 cm) apart.

12. And now the funny part!

Take one well-built thumb and make an indentation into the center of each cookie.

13. Using a teaspoon, fill the cookie with the jam (if you want to make it more neat you can use a pastry bag or – like me – a small plastic bag with one corner cut off).

14. Bake for about 13-15 minutes.

Remove from the oven, place on a wire rack and let cool.

If you are planning to make these cookies in advance, you can bake them without the jam filling (in that case, reduce the baking time by a few minutes). They can be stored for about one week and filled with jam the same day as serving.

This recipe makes about 15 cookies.

Enjoy!

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These cookies might possibly be the easiest cookies in the whole universe…

They contain just a few ingredients and are great fun to make.

And let me tell you that they taste just wonderful.

There is also one magical trick involved – Melting Moments Cookies replace some of the flour with cornstarch (corn flour) so they literally “melt-in-your-mouth”.

Yum!

~~~

To prepare the delicious Melting Moments you need :

1 1/2 cup (210 grams) all-purpose flour

1/2 cup (60 grams) cornstarch (corn flour)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (60 grams) powdered (or confectioner’s or icing) sugar

1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping:

1 cup (110 grams) powdered (or confectioner’s) sugar, sifted

~~~

1. In a bowl whisk together the flour, cornstarch and salt.

Set aside.

2. In the bowl of your electric mixer mix the butter and sugar …

… until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).

Beat in the vanilla extract.

3. Gradually add the flour mixture.

Beat until incorporated.

Cover and refrigerate the dough for about one hour.

4. Preheat an oven to 350 F (175 C).

5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

6. On a lightly floured surface form a log from the dough.

Cut the log into two halves.

And then cut each half into two halves, and then again and again, until you have 36 equal pieces.

7. Form a ball from each piece (it is going to be about 1 inch/2,5 cm in diameter).

(Hey, palm readers, what’s my fortune? Making many cookies, right?)

8. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet spacing them about 1 inch (2,5 cm) apart.

9. Bake for about 12 – 14 minutes or until the edges of the cookies start to brown.

Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes.

10. Now we are going to cover our lovely cookies with some sugar.

Line a baking pan or a tray with parchment paper and sprinkle about half of the confectioner’s sugar onto the bottom of the pan.

Then place the slightly cooled cookies on top of the sugar.

Thus we’ve covered the bottoms of the cookies and we can place them back on the cooling rack.

11. Put the remaining sugar in a strainer or a sieve and sprinkle the tops of the cookies.

Nice!

These delicious cookies store very well (up to two weeks – in airtight containers between sheets of wax paper) so they are very good for those who like to make their Holiday baking in advance.

This lovely recipe was adapted from joyofbaking.com and makes 3 dozen cookies.

Enjoy!

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