Spicy Chai Cookies – My all Time Favorite

You know how much I love this season by now. And I might have mentioned here and there that I am totally baking crazy.

spicy chai cookies the best

I remember one year where I bought 12 kg of flour and baked it all in one weekend. It was insane. I am not doing that anymore but I am still baking way too much. I mean there are just so many fun recipes out there. But than there are the all time favorites. And the repertoire gets larger with every year…

baking spree
I have this unwritten rule with myself: For every known/proofed/favorite recipe I bake there must be an unknown one. This way it is not getting too boring but at least 50% of the cookies taste good.

One year I made 12 different cookies. So it was a surprise the other day when I realized there is not one Christmas Cookie Recipe on this blog. Time to change that and today I spill my most favorite recipe of recent years.

Spicy Chai Cookies

spicy chai cookies

While I love cookies and sugared goodies this time of year it just sometimes gets too much. And that is when those cookies com in. They change up the cookie jar with it’s spicyness and a bit savory taste.

What you need:
∗ 125 g butter, soft
∗ 75 g sugar – I usually use about 50 g
* 1 pinch of salt
* 1 egg
* 4 bags of Yogi tea / chai tea – I only use the ones based on black tea and found this one to be the best
* 1/2 tsp grounded pepper – sometimes I add more
* 100 g brittle
* 250 g flour
* 1 egg yolk
* 2 tbs milk
* 2 packs of vanilla sugar

Directions:

1. Whisk butter, sugar and salt until smooth. Add the egg.

2. Cut open tea bag and put into a bowl. Add half of the tea, pepper, 50g of brittles and flour to the butter mix. Knead until you have a smooth dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and let the dough rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Try not to eat too much dough.

3. Preheat oven to 160-180°C. Roll dough onto floured surface and either cut cookies with knife or use a cookie cutter. Put bookies on baking sheet lined with baking paper.

4. Mix egg yolk and milk and coat cookies. Add remaining brittles and vanilla sugar to the remaining tea and cover cookies. Bake for about 7-10 minutes until golden and crunchy.

spice cookies

This makes for approx. 100 cookies. And they usually don’t last long. Unfortunately! My supply this year is already gone. Maybe I make another batch.

What is your favorite cookie recipe? Please share I always want to try new recipes.

Happy baking

Tobia

Cozy French Knitted Advent Wreath :: Tutorial

french knitted adevent wreath

It’s this time of the year…

The crazy wreath making time of the year. I was going to show you a different one from what you see right now. The one I planned (for two years), made and then I realized I can’t show you because my mom reads along… So I had to come up with another idea.

Looking around in my chaos that is my craft lab the idea of a cozy advent wreath hit me. Well maybe it was because I am all crazy about my french knitting lately. So why not combine the two and make a nice simple french knitted advent wreath, right?

Let’s make this french knitted advent wreath:

1. You need: a wreath form, glue (gun), wool and a french knitting tool.

2. First you have to make your yearn thread (or as I call them sausage). I used a ball of 50 meter yarn for a xx cm wreath form.

3. Decide your layout. You could wrap it around the form or you could layer it starting in the middle. I decided on the latter.

french knitted advent wreath details

4. Next one is simple. Glue to the form. You can pull the thread a bit if you need. I did that towards the end because I thought it might not be enough. In the end I was left with a bit extra to make the little bow.

5. Time for decoration and candle attaching. You need four nails, candles and deco material to your liking.

6. I clipped of the nail heads with pliers. Then I heated the nail over a candle flame and drove them into the candle. I learned that the candle will not break as easily if you heat the nail. Due to the wick it is often tough to place it directly in the center. If you manage that would be preferable so that the candle will be straight on your wreath. Otherwise it could be a bit tilted.

french-knitted-adevent-wreath-details

Now comes the fun part of decorating your wreath. I already liked the clean look of the braided style of the thread so I just added a few sparkles by glueing little bells onto the wreath. (As you can see I didn’t use the lavender ribbon I originally intended.)

And done.

french-knitted-adevent-wreath_

As this wreath is made of wool and tall candles it’s really nothing I want to leave unattended in a room. So maybe I would add some metal candle holder in a future project.

Now I am curious. Have you made your advent wreath already? What does it look like? Please leave a link if it is on your blog/Instagram. I always love looking at other creations.

Lovely crafting y’all,

Tobia

Need more ideas for wreathes? Check out the 2015 Snow Wreath, 2014 Snowball Star Wreath or the 2013 Walnut Wreath. Still not enough? Here are some collections of inspirations with different themes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

Submitted to creadienstag, Handmade on TuesdayDienstagsdinge, Herzlich eingeladen, Herzblut, sonntagsglück and Kreativas.

WOCHEN(GLÜCK)-RÜCKBLICK :: MY HAPPINESS REVIEW #19

Good Morning to you all,

it’s Saturday! How much I needed this day to come. And we are right in the middle of my happiness review. I am off work for the rest of the year! I am so happy about it. I am so needing this. And the great thing: Mr. ♥ is too. So we actually have a few days to spent, have movie marathons, hot chocolate and just relaxing. Well a few things need to be done but right now it’s all about imagining a quiet and peaceful time.

apple cinnamon oats and reindeer sweater

And of course I also had the joy to open my DIY advent calendar every morning. Here is what I found:

DIY advent calender 13 & 14 & 15

#13 a notebook by Sabine | liebesseelig #14 lavender pillow Patricia #15 a short break and some hot chocolate made by Debbi | fräuleinshafi

DIY advent calender 16-19

#16 key chain by Ulrike #17 reindeer noses by Kerstin | fräuleinkaos #18 star ornament with beads by Guido | tischundgarten #19 a star garland made by Merle | fraumasulzke

And my planner for 2016 arrived! I told you about my investing in a crowdfunding project already and I am thrilled to start writing down some thought I kept in my mind because I wanted to put them in the new planner. I love love love the end of the year and the thinking, reevaluating and making of new plans.

Ein Guter Plan - my planner for 2016

And I was visiting the Christmas Market with my old boss. We had lots of fun. Had one too many of the punches and yummy food to eat. It was just a great evening of talking and enjoying the atmosphere. I still have a few things of fun to cross off of my advent wish list. So maybe I start sewing my bling bling shirt for the holidays today. What are you up to?

Happy 4. Advent,

Tobia

WOCHEN(GLÜCK)-RÜCKBLICK :: MY HAPPINESS REVIEW #18

Saturday mornings are quiet around here. We sleep in and wake up when we feel like it. Mostly I am up way earlier than Mr. ♥ and its my time to write blog posts, take pictures or just think.

Last week was exhausting (I fell asleep at the couch twice) but yet filled with happy moments.

It started of with a nice get together at my parents house and my mom went crazy on baking cookies. Since I haven’t come around to it this year it was great and we even got a little bag to take home. Dad also introduced me to whiskey.

Of course every morning I am excited to open my DIY advent calendar by my fellow blogging friends and it’s just so amazing. All those ideas. Lets have a look what I found:

DIY advent calender 6 & 7

#6 some fabric tags by Undine | undiversell #7 was my number and I packed my Lettering Christmas Cards and was given this red crochet heart key chain. Unfortunately I don’t know by who.

DIY advent calender 8 & 9

#8 3D paper tags with heart by Michaela | michaelavoit #9 a hazelnut necklace (I love it!) makes one feel like Cinderella and sugar for my tea and a DIY bookmark by Madeleine | dekorausch

DIY advent calender 10 & 11

#10 Christmas ornament made by Steffi | hauptsachemeer #11 tomato herb pesto kit by Miri

DIY advent calender 12

#12 a tiny wooden house ensemble with candle and star by Karin | fadenspielundfingerwerk. I am so in love with this one. It made it to my winter wonderland on the window sill and I will light it tonight when it gets dark.

I also had some nice lunches this week. And a lunch can make so happy, no?

Lunchtime favorites käsespätzle and reuben sandwich

Traditional Käsespätzle and a Reuben Sandwich.

And then there was St. Nicholas last weekend. I was part of the #DIYnikolauswichteln Annett hosted on her blog. My secret santa was Verena blogging on hamburgvoninnen. Unfortunately the package only arrived on Wednesday. One happy moment for sure. Look at all the goodies!

Nikolauswichteln von hamburgvoninnen

Thank you Verena I really enjoy them all. The stars will make it to my Christmas Tree, the Gingerbread man however will not live to see Christmas Eve. The pompoms complete my little winter wonder land on my window sill and the notebook waits for its calling. And the rum cake… well I still need breakfast.

My week was spoiled with little gifts of people I don’t know. And that is the real happiness right here. In a world where lot of terrible things happen, where often you wonder what will become of mankind those little gestures to people you do not know can make all the different. I believe in it but I often forget.

Wishing you a wonderful advent weekend and i will hop over and see what Denise has been up to.

Happy candle lighting,

Tobia

PS For some happiness yourself make sure to enter my giveaway I am hosting!

Baked Apple Pie with Pudding Filling | Bratapfelkuchen

It’s Saint Nicholas Day! Did you clean your shoes?

I used to think as a kid that you were only supposed to clean your shoes one day in the year – the night of December 5th. I now know it can happen more often but I find myself on the floor and cleaning all my shoes just that night every year.

Back when we were kids we usually had more than one pair out and of course the biggest boots we could find. Unfortunately we only had one pair filled. One boot was usually candy and chocolate and the other shoe was kinda boring with nuts, apples and if we were lucky an orange. But even though this wasn’t too exciting I was so sad when one year my apple was missing.

baked apple pie | bratapfelkuchen

Today I didn’t find an apple in my shoe. It’s ok though. In case you didn’t have one let me share this wonderful baked apple pie | Bratapfelkuchen recipe with you. It is wonderful. And even though quite heavy it doesn’t feel like it and is nice change in all the ginger bread and chocolate-sugar covered cookies.

Ingredients for the dough

♥ 250g flour
♥ 100g sugar (I only used 70g)
♥ 150g butter
♥ 1 egg
♥ 1/2 tsp baking powder

Ingredients for the filling

♥ 8 small apples
♥ 1 glass of cranberries (I used dried cranberries)
♥ 125g marzipan (optional)
♥ 2 packages of vanilla pudding pullover for cooking
♥ 250 ml milk
♥ 500 ml cream
♥ 125 ml sugar ( I used 100g)
♥ 1 package of vanilla sugar
♥ 1 tbs powdered sugar
♥ almonds

baked apple pie | bratapfelkuchen top

Now lets get baking:

  1. Combine all ingredients for the dough. Wrap in plastic and cool about 30 min in the fridge. Then put the dough in your baking pan and don’t forget to go up the sides. Just like any pie.
  2. Peel your apples and use this fancy tool to make holes * in the middle of an apple. When you are done fill with marzipan and cranberries and almonds. Place apples on your dough.
  3. Heat milk, cream, sugar, vanilla sugar and pudding powder in a pot and stir continuously until boiling. Remove from heat and pour over your apples so the gaps are filled. Add a bit of brown sugar and almonds.
  4. Bake in preheated oven (180°C / 350°F) for 40-50 minutes. Let cool for 4-5 hours before serving.

I am usually no fan of pudding in my cake but this one is a great exception. What is your favorite cake during advent?

Happy St. Nicholas and cake munching,

Tobia

PS: and don’t forget to enter my give-away for a self-created calendar or notebook.