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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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These straws are super easy to make.

And yummy!

 

Of course, they can be enjoyed as a nibble or finger food year-round, but I think they are especially welcome at Christmas and New Year’s parties.

Mmm. I can imagine them with drinks, salads or thick soups even.

Also, creating these savory treats makes a great project for you and your kids. Just try making them together. I am sure there will be loads and loads of fun.

 
 

Here’s what we need.

 
Yes, this is one of those recipe where you only need very few ingredients.

I am a huge fan of such recipes.
 
 

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

 

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

3. Combine the ingredients by hand just until a nice ball forms.

 
 

4. Place the dough onto a well floured surface.

 

5. Using a rolling-pin, roll out the dough into about 1/4 inch (0.6 cm) thickness.

If the dough gets too sticky during this process, just use more flour to make the work easier.

 
 

6. Now cut the dough into even strips. My ones were 3/4 inch (2 cm) wide and 4 1/2 inches (11 cm) long.

 

If you want them to look super fancy, use a fluted pastry wheel cutter.

Oh, and it helps a lot if you dip the cutter in flour beforehand.

 

7. Re-roll any scraps and cut more strips.
 
 

8. Lay the strips on the lined baking sheet. Brush them with a lightly beaten egg.

This will make them beautifully golden in color.
 
 

9. Lastly, sprinkle each strip with some salt, sesame seeds and cumin.

I only had ground cumin seeds on hand when I was making these cuties. I think that the whole ones would look even better.
 
 

9. Bake at 350 °F (175 °C) for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

 

Enjoy, dear friends!

 

(This recipe makes about 30 straws and takes 45 minutes to prepare.)
 

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I’ve been craving nice homemade rolls for quite some time.

The instant I saw the recipe for these heavenly Soft Garlic Knots over at AnniesEats I knew my fate was sealed.

With the recipe as flawless as this one, everything went perfectly.

Oh, and yes, there’s yeast. Please, don’t let that fact scare you off. The yeast in this recipe is nothing more than one of a few ingredients that creates the dough and that’s it. The magic will happen by itself, dear friends, there are no special tricks of trade involved.

This is a simple recipe which yields amazing results.
 
 

In case you really need to have these knots too, of which I am just sure, here are the ingredients.

 

 

These knots can be kneaded in an electric mixer or simply just by hand. That really depends on your decision.

1. To start, place the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, yeast and salt) into a bowl and stir them to combine.
 
 

2. Then add the wet ingredients (olive oil, milk and water) and stir again just to combine.
 
 

3. Now, using the dough attachment of your electric mixer, mix the dough for about 8 minutes.

If you want to do this by hand, the process will last a little longer.

What we are going for here is a smooth and elastic dough.
 
 

4. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turn once to coat…
 
 

…and cover with a plastic wrap.

 
 

5. Allow to rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in bulk.
 
 

6. Turn the dough onto a very lightly floured surface and divide it into 8 equal pieces.

To do that I used a knife. I first divided the dough into halves. Then I cut each half into halves again so I had 4 pieces. And finally I cut each piece into halves again which resulted in 8 equal pieces.

 

7. Use the palms of your hands to roll each ball into a 10-inch (26 cm) long rope.

If the dough is too sticky then use a little flour to dust it with. The ropes can’t be sticky because you wouldn’t be able to form the knots.
 
 

8. Now tie the rope into a knot.
 
 

9. Take the end lying underneath the knot and bring it over the top, tucking it into the center and take the end lying over the knot and tuck it underneath and into the center.
 
 

10. Transfer the knots on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cover with a clean kitchen towel.

 

11. Let the knots rise for another 45 minutes.
 
 

12. In the meantime you can prepare the glaze.

Melt the butter (microwave is perfectly okay) and press the garlic into it.

Instead of pressing the garlic through the press you can just mince it finely.
 
 

13. Add the dried oregano…
 
 

14. …and mix it all together.
 
 

15. When your knots are nice and puffy…
 
 

…brush the glaze onto them.

 

 

16. Place the knots into a preheated oven (350 °F – 175 °C) and bake for about 15-18 minutes.

This will smell like heaven, I’m telling you.

It’s amazing!

Your neighbors will come knocking on your door begging for the recipe.
 
 

These cuties taste best when still a little warm.

They perfectly accompany a delicious soup, or, when I think about it, they perfectly accompany just anything.

Enjoy, dear friends!
 

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These bite-sized cookies are perfect for having with tea.

(Psst, coffee is all right too.)

They taste wonderful and are very, very simple to make.

I like to prepare them when my sugar craving strikes out of the blue. Or when friends call unexpectedly saying they will come soon.

These cookies just save lives.

 
 

Here’s the list of ingredients.
 
 

1. To make your own Tea Cookies, first preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

 

2. Sift the flour and sugars into a larger bowl.
 

 

3. Add the softened butter, two egg yolks and lemon zest…
 

 

4. …and use pastry cutter or just a plain fork to turn the ingredients into a crumbly mixture.

 

5. Then use your hands to form a ball.

 
 

Like this one.

Though creating a face is not necessary.

But it helps.

Kidding!

But it really does.

Kidding again!

 

Now I’d like to tell you this: Please, be patient when you find yourself in the phase in-between the crumbs and the dough ball. It only takes patience and trust that those crumbs will eventually come together. Give it five minutes or so and you’ll see success!
 

 

6. Place the dough ball on a very, very lightly floured surface.

This dough is almost not sticky at all so you really need very little flour, if any.

And besides that, the more flour you’d be using the firmer the cookies would get. And we don’t need that.

 

7. Using the palms of your hands, roll the dough until you form a log which is about 1.5 inches (3.5 cm) wide in diameter.

 

8. Then cut the log into about 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick rounds.
 
 

9. Place the rounds onto the sheet and bake in the preheated oven (350 °F – 175 °C) for 10 minutes.

The cookies should still be very pale in color when baked.
 
 

10. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.

Enjoy, dear friends.

(This recipe makes about 30 cookies and will take you about 40 minutes to make.)
 

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I’d love to reveal a little secret about our monkey household of two.

We love biscuits! All sorts of them!

Unbelievable, huh?

 

Biscuits are especially enjoyed by the male monkey over here.

You should see his smile each time he finds out they are in the oven.

It’s the widest and most content smile I’ve ever seen.

And when the biscuits are done my boyfriend immediately grabs his plate of at least fourteen and hurries to watch his favorite sitcoms.

I love to make biscuits because somehow they make the world a perfect place.

They are magical.
 
 

Here are the ingredients.
 
 

And here’s the bacon.

It’s a crucial part of the magic.
 
 

1. To make your own Bacon and Cheese Biscuits, first preheat the oven to 390 °F (200 °C).

 

2. Then slice the bacon thinly.
 
 

3. In a large pan, fry the bacon over moderate heat until crisp.

This will take a couple of minutes.
 
 

4. When beautifully crispy, remove the bacon from the pan and crumble it finely.
 
 

5. Grab the cheese and grate it.
 
 

Just like this.

This is a lot of cheese.

 

The cheese mostly will constitute the flavor of your biscuits. So choose the one you really like.

It’s completely up to you.

I used Leerdammer. Next time I’ll try Cheddar, I think.

It’s fun because the biscuits can be different every time.
 
 

6. Now we need a large bowl.

Using a pastry cutter (or just a fork), combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cayenne pepper and butter until crumbs form.
 
 

7. Stir in the grated cheese and the bacon.
 
 

8. Then add the milk…
 
 

9. …and stir together just until the dry ingredients are well moistened.
 
 

10. Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface and make a Halloween face out of it.

Sorry.

What I really mean is that now you should knead the dough 4 – 5 times.

To make the biscuits perfectly soft, the trick is not to over-knead the dough.

 
 

11. Roll it out to about 1/2 inch (1 cm) thickness.

When it gets sticky use some flour to make the job easier.
 
 

12. Cut out rounds using a 2-inch (5 cm) cutter.

Pat the scraps together, re-roll them and cut out some more rounds.
 
 

13. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Arrange your biscuits on the sheet about 1/2 inch (2.5 cm) apart.
 
 

14. And bake them for about 15 minutes.
 
 

These are so yummy.

Enjoy, dear friends!

 

This recipe makes about 36 biscuits.

(The recipe was adapted from LeitesCulinaria.com.)
 

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