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 come 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 cookies 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

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.

Very Chewy Pecan Brownies { Brownie Quest }

Hey there,

That I am a chocoholic is no secret. That I love me some brownies isn’t either since I started the brownie quest. The brownies were much needed the morning after I was laid off work. And not even I can eat an entire pan on my own and they were sitting on the counter for three days with temperatures high in the 30ies. The last bite was still so moist and yummy! I say that’s making it a contender and a reason to pass on this recipe!

chewy pecan brownies

What you need for those Chewy Pecan Brownies:

♥ 200 g dark chocolate
♥ 250 g butter
♥ 300 g sugar
♥ 4 eggs
♥ 125 g flour
♥ 1/2 tsp baking powder
♥ 45 g cocoa
♥ a handful pecans, shredded

very chewy pecan brownies

1. Preheat oven to 160°C

2. Melt butter and chocolate and let cool.

3. Combine remaining ingredients and mix well. Add chocolate butter and nuts.

4. Fill dough in a greased or with baking paper lined pan (20×20 cm).

5. Bake for about 30-35 minutes.

So what is your favorite brownie recipe? Lets hear it!

Happy baking,

Tobia

Kermakakku – Finnish Sour Cream Cake

Today we celebrate!
Mr. ♥ and I are celebrating our first wedding anniversary today. Oh what a great day we had a year ago. Curious? Read more here.

And for every celebration you need a cake! A Kermakakku!

Kermakakku - Fisnish Sour Cream Cake

Now you might wonder why I baked a very unspectacular cake?! It’s a Finnish cake. So what, you might wonder…
A year ago we were surprised with a really great and amazing gift: a surprise honeymoon to Finland. To the arctic circle with ice hotel and glass igloo and reindeers and huskies! It was a great trip. And today we start a tiny trip to Finland by having cake.

Kermakakku - Fisnish Sour Cream Cake

Ingredients:

2 eggs
2 cup(s) sugar
470g sour cream or clotted cream (1 pint)
2 3/4 cup(s) flour
1/2 Tsp cardamom
1 Tsp cinnamon
1/2 Tbs baking soda
1/2 Tsp salt
2-3 drops almond flavor, alt. 3 Tbs amaretto

Kermakakku - Fisnish Sour Cream Cake

Directions:

1. Cream the eggs, sugar, sour cream, almond, and ground cardamom.

2. Sift together the flour, salt, soda, cinnamon and mix with egg mixture.

3. Butter a tube or Bundt pan and sprinkle with granulated sugar.

4. Pour batter into pan.

5. Bake at 350° for 1hour or until toothpick comes out clean.

6. Cool before removing from pan.

7. Sprinkle turned out cake with powdered sugar.

Kermakakku - Fisnish Sour Cream Cake

Now make this cake and come back next Saturday and I take you on a trip through Finland’s north.

Happy baking,

Tobia

Yummy Pumpkin Guglehupf :: Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers and friends of this American Holiday.

Now comes another story of my year in the USA. If you are here to get the recipe you could skip ahead but I dare you not to.

Thanksgiving made me forget about my vegetarianism!

pumpkin gugelhupf

When I came to the US in ’99 I was a vegetarian going on 9 years. I never really cared much for meat. Most the times I didn’t like the taste. So it was no big deal to me to skip the meat. Honestly though it wasn’t merely about the animals. Of course I felt sorry for the coneys my grandpa farmed and which ended up on the table every holiday. And when I started back then it was a big deal to me. But it was never the main reason.

So coming to Idaho did change me quite a bit. Soon after I arrived you could see me hunting, climbing hills up and tracking down quail or going fishing. I loved to be outside and enjoyed the countryside, lots of family vacations were based on hiking and so I felt happy. And it was all about the American way of life for too, right?

I was also impressed about the attitude of the Idahoians (is that even a word). They hunted because they ate the meat. Elk hunting was to have meat for winter! If you didn’t shoot one – tough luck. They knew about wildlife, didn’t shoot the young ones and observed a lot. During hunting season lot of people at school were missing but that was just the way it was. It was a healthy way and I didn’t vehemently condone hunting and eating meat. It changed my attitude.

So it was all the American experience right? And Thanksgiving was around the corner. This was to be the time for me to eat meat again. And it was delicious this turkey! It was so delicious that I ate turkey at every house I came by. All this turkey eating resulted in me receiving a smoked turkey in the mail a year later back in Germany.

But you might wonder now what with the pumpkin gugl? Well pumpkin pie is just as important as the turkey. And I hated it! Yes I did hate pie!

pumpkin gugelhupf_

But a couple weeks I gave pumpkin pies second chance when being in Munster – but what can I say… Not my kinda pie. But I was intrigued with pumpkin and pie and veggies in sweet stuff.
So I looked at my go to carrot cake recipe and made something up on the go. And this will be my pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving!

But now let’s bake! Get the following ingredients:

5 egg yolks
250 g sugar
250 g almond (grinded)
250 g mashed pumpkin
100 g flour
3 tsp baking powder
1-tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
5 egg whites
1 pinch of salt
icing sugar

1. Combine egg yolks and sugar into a bowl and beat until foamy. Then combine almonds and pumpkin mash.

2. Add flour, nutmeg, cinnamon and baking powder and combine well before mixing into punmpkin-sugar-mixture.

3. Whip egg whites and salt until foamy. Fold into dough.

4. Grease pan with butter or oil and coat with flour. Fill dough into cake pan. Bake at 175-200°C for about 50 min. Don’t forget to proof dough throughout with a wooden stick.

5. Let coal and remove from cake pan. Sprinkle with icing sugar and enjoy your Pumpkin Gugl.

How to do mashed pumpkin:
Cube pumpkin and boil in water until soft. Blend it well and let cool before using. You can add a pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon already.