Friday, December 31, 2010

Santa barf Bark & Dec's LOL Posts

Is it me or is that what this looks like?

I'll bet most of you were thinking the same thing.  At the risk of being all Scroogee on New Year's Eve, have we all not had it up to here with holiday baking? I noticed how many bloggers brilliantly cooked and baked their asses off this month. It all was amazing and sometimes simultaneously exhausting to read.

Ok, mostly I loved every minute of it but I am looking forward to making non red and green things in January.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sekt Torte for Your New Year's Celebration

This torte is from the book my husband bought me called Großmutters Kleinen Gebäcke (Grandmother's Little Pastries). I made an Apple Dream Torte for the fall from this book and was saving this recipe for New Year's. It's a perfect dessert suggestion. It's light, not too sweet and perfect with champagne.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Aachener Printen & Christmas Market

Aachen, Germany is known for Printen cookies. This lovely city also has a beautiful Christmas market every year sprawled around the town hall and well worth visiting.

Giant Printen cookies guard the entryway to the Christmas market. 

Even more closely guarded are Printen recipes by companies that have been making them for generations. My MIL who is from Aachen loves Printen. Most times when we are there we pick up her favorite variety.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Cranberry Spice White Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream

Happy Christmas eve everyone! 

We are having a raclette dinner tonight and just in case everyone hasn't had enough dairy, we can top it off with this perfect dessert. Dr. B is stuck in Iraq over the holidays so I send out big love to him from all of us here at home in Germany. We all miss you!

This is my version of cranberry ice cream. I brought on the spice and added white chocolate chunks.

Cranberry Spice White Chocolate Chunk 
Ice Cream

The recipe is based on THIS ONE over at Fig & Kindle. The result is a thick, heavy, creamy and very custardee (is that a word?) consistency.  My tweeks are the following:

1) Instead of using all fresh cranberries, I used half fresh and half dried. The latter I soaked in spiced rum for a few hours. Seems like I'm soaking everything in rum these days, including me.

2) I added 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper to the simmering cranberry sauce.

3) At the mixing stage, I threw white chocolate chunks into the custard.

Have a wonderful Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Marzipan Filled Mango, Pistachio, Cashew Stollen Bites

I never was much interested in stollen until I moved to Germany. Now I love it. Marzipan especially is my favorite.  When I saw the idea for stollen bites on the King Arthur Flour website. I knew I had to create my own version and fill them with marzipan.

I have tons of stollen recipes here in my German cookbooks. I borrowed bits and pieces from several of them but my spins were switching up the flavors and using colored marzipan.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Gingerbread Camels & Palm Trees

At the beginning of the month I promised gingerbears in jeans, a cookie design I made previously and one I was looking forward to creating a better version of.  Well, the cookie cutter thief has struck my house. I looked high and low for my bear cutter and could not find it anywhere.  This led to a further reorganization of my (too many to mention) cutter collection . But still no bear anywhere. I had already decided to make my own bear cutter while I was sorting through the last pile when I pulled out this camel and got inspired. 

As I held it in my hand, I remembered all our beautiful trips to Egypt and one especially cranky camel I rode into the Sinai desert.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Honey Mustard Macarons - A MacTweets Challenge

Baking bloggeresses extraordinaire Jamie and Deeba over at Mactweets threw down the challenge this month of making a savory and sweet macaron for the holidays. One that combines both flavors. I admit I was a bit stumped in the beginning but after rifling through my cabinets, I found my stockpile of Monschau mustard and an idea started to form...

Monschau is a very old city in Germany very close to the Belgium border. The city was spared bombing in WW2 and has unique timber houses.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Mint Glazed Mini Doughnuts

I had a heck of a time with making doughnuts. The first two recipes I tried were for baked chocolate ones and both were fails. This left me with no choice but to overcome my fear of frying them. So I did.

And to be honest. It wasn't anything to be afraid of. Easy peasy.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Holiday Shaped Poptarts with White Chocolate Filling

I never ate pop tarts as a kid. I discovered them in my 20s. Hello Brown Sugar Cinnamon Frosted!

Over the years I've lived abroad I have occasionally seen the strawberry flavored ones in the "American" section of our German supermarkets. I was tempted to buy them once or twice but when I started seeing recipes for them on other food blogger sites, I knew I would try to re create them. The best part of making them is not only being able to pick the fillings and toppings but what color and shape as well.

I apologize to poptart purists everywhere for this desecration. What started out as putting a few holiday themed decorations on them turned into Christmastize overkill.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Chocolate Dipped Lebkuchen Caramels

For some time now I have been gawking at other blogger's gorgeous caramels. Caramel is one of my favorite flavors. I also love the flavors of lebkuchen. So I married them and dressed them in Tiffany blue for a Christmas wedding.

These are outstanding. My only regret is that I didn't make a bigger batch.

Here is my German Holiday spin.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Rice Krispie Treat Presents & Foodies Sans Frontiéres

Before I get to the treats, something more important first -  Ruby over at Tomayto Tomaaahto has launched  Foodies Sans Frontiéres. I think it's the best thing I've seen come out of Project Food Blog. You can read about her eureka moment on her brilliant post HERE:

Foodies Sans Frontiéres is a fundraising site that benefits The Hunger Project. Visit the site, grab one of the beautiful badges she's created (check out mine to the right), donate or just help out brainstorming fundraising ideas.

She has created a beautiful idea to make a difference, now it's up to us to keep it going.

On to the treats:

I had the idea to make bite sized rice krispie treats dipped in chocolate and decorated to look like presents.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Pine infused Honey Chocolate Truffles & Giveaway Winner!

First order of business today..... Meine Damen und Herren - we have a winner!

Congratulations Carapace! Among other things Cara is a wonderful artist. You can check out her work on one of her blogs HERE. A big thank you to all of you who left a comment. I have so much fun giving away things, it won't be long before I do it again.

Now onto the truffles...

I bought this pine scented honey at the Christmas Market in Cologne.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Giveaway Reminder- Handmade Spekulatius Molds


I am giving away these hand carved wooden Spekulatius cookie molds I bought here in a Christmas market in Germany.

They are hand carved out of wood, wash easily and on the back there is a hole where you can hang them on a hook or nail on the wall. So if you are not inclined to make Spekulatius, they still make a lovely piece of handmade German art for your kitchen or home. They can also be used to mold butter. They each measure approximately 7+1/2  X 3+3/4 inches. The molds will be shipped anywhere. No geographic restrictions.

To enter to win, leave a comment on this post below by the end of the day today. Using that random generator thingie, I will announce a winner here tomorrow December 14th.

 To enter to win leave a comment HERE

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Sexiest Christmas Market is in Hamburg, Germany

After living in Germany for 10 years, I have been to Christmas markets in many cities all across the country. This market I visited recently was one of the most fun. Two weeks ago Dr. B attended a medical conference in Hamburg and I tagged along. We booked a cute hotel right on the Reeperbahn which is the infamous red light district of the city. 

I have been to Hamburg several times over the years but never at Christmas time and the only time I had been to the Reeperbahn in the past was in the evening for drinks with a group of work colleagues. 

Dr. B had the evenings free and we had a blast attending a musical, a drag dinner show, dancing at a club and embarked on a two hour historical prostitution tour of the Reeperbahn.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Cookie Word Jumble

I came up with this idea when I was looking to make something special for one of Dr. B's nurses in Baghdad. Ruwaida is just the sweetest person and every five weeks Dr. B arrives home usually with a gift for me from her tucked into his suitcase. She has sent me so many lovely things. Her thoughtfulness is all over my home.

I am especially grateful to her for something I will never forget she said to me shortly after Dr. B had arrived in Iraq to start work.  I was on pins and needles those first months, especially anxious for his safety. Ruwaida got me on the telephone one day and said Don't worry pretty lady. I am right by his side. No one will dare touch him. I can't even explain how that made me feel better but it did. She's tough, funny, beautiful and caring.

The idea is this -  I made extra spicy gingerbread rollout cookie dough and cut out small letters that spelled out "Lovely Ruwaida".

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Spectacular Spekulatius & a Giveaway!

Here in our little corner of Germany Spekulatius are a holiday cookie tradition.  Gilding them is a new Mad Hausfrau tradition which will probably be frowned upon by every German within reading distance of this blog. 

Sorry.  I am a Spekulatius rebel.

Last year I bought three Spekulatius molds at the Aachen Christmas market.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Poinsettia Cupcakes

Yesterday was my mother-in-law's birthday. Germans are already following the advent calender and celebrating Christmas. So instead of making her a cake, I made these Weihnachtsstern (Christmas Star)  Poinsettia cupcakes to celebrate.

I was admiring THIS version by Rose over at All about Cakes. Her beautiful cupcakes inspired mine.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Star of David Chinese 5 Spice Latkes & Hannukah Gelt Chocolate Cookies

Jews and Chinese Food. They go together like The Captain and Tennille, like Fred and Ginger, like Kermit and Miss Piggy, like Frankenfurter and Rocky, like .. enough already..

If you are not following me, here's the deal, I don’t know about Jewish people in other parts of the USA or the world for that matter but my people in New York love Chinese food. It’s an important part of being culturally Jewish. Where I come from Jews consume massive quantities of Chinese food.

For Channukah, I included the Jewish Chinese Food connection in a traditional dish. Potato Latkes with an Asian twist.

I used a cookie cutter to shape them into a Star of David. I did stop short of putting a fortune in them. But don’t think I didn’t think about it.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Electric Snowflakes - Clove Sugar Cookies with Mint Royal Icing

I was that annoying kid who immediately after I received a box of chocolates,  took a bite out of each one and put it back. I would also open all my holiday candy at once and taste everything.

I don't do that any more.


Maybe sometimes.

On my recent trip to NYC I loaded up on hologram and luster dusts. Instead of using them one at a time for different baking projects, I busted 'em all out and once and had myself a big ole glitter orgy. 

I can't help it. I am powerless over my addiction to all things sparkly.

This is also what happens after one month of brown. I just reviewed my November posts, and although I thought the posts featured delicious Fall/Thanksgiving worthy recipes, but omg I noticed how everything (except for the WAD macarons) was so brown brown brown...

...and more brown.

It made Mama just want to throw some sparkle down!

So I promise December will be filled with explosions of holiday colors. The Mad Hausfrau will create the fun, the fanciful and the pretty. There will be doughnuts, truffles, cupcakes, printen, ginger bears in jeans, visits to German Christmas markets and oh so much more.

Now for my first attempt to shake off the November brown blues.....

Last year I did these blue, white and silver pastel snowflakes out of a plain sugar cookie recipe.

Pretty, huh?

Time to take it up a notch.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Chocolate Curacao Smoked Paprika Truffles and November's LOL Food Blogger Posts

For the chocolate truffles, I used this basic recipe from Joy of Baking

I added two tablespoons of Chocolate Curacao I brought home from a scuba diving trip to Curacao and rolled them in a mixture of cocoa powder, powdered sugar and smoked red paprika.

The smoked paprika added a little bitter bite to all the sweet chocolatelyness.

Tomorrow is World AIDS Day. Check out the macarons I made HERE to commemorate it.

On a lighter note, below are the posts that made me smile, giggle, laugh or all three this month...