Posts Tagged ‘baking’

I am so excited about this Christmas. Germany definitely breeds the Christmas spirit with its busy Christmas markets, fresh white snow, and variety of Christmas traditions. What it doesn’t foster is that crazy Christmas materialism that so often comes in the US. Instead, I have been sweetly knitting gifts and crafting thoughtful tidbits for the people I care most about.

Here are the ravelry links to what I have knit; these could all be whipped together in one night if you were a quick knitter (unlike me):


Gingerbread House Kit

Label from Giverslogs



My coworkers are getting little gingerbread house kits. The idea and recipe are from Martha, but the label was adapted from the Giverslog. These are easy to make and could be pulled together in one evening. I hope they like them.

Merry Christmas.


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I love granola bars or more specially protein bars. It boils down to this: I’m a girl of habit and I’m not a morning person. So granola bars are perfect. They are my morning staple. Through the years, I have gone through some phases. I loved the crunchy granola bars, cliff bars, homemade granola, but here in Germany there really aren’t many options. There are tons of muesli options, which I do like, but requires doing dishes afterwards. There just aren’t a lot of option for breakfast bars. The only widely available option is called “corny”– with no granola in it at all.  So this week’s challenge was to make something delicious, filling and easy — that wouldn’t need to be supplemented by scrambled eggs like last weeks ginger scones.

I started with this granola bar recipe from smitten kitchen (found via domestifluff and originally adapted from King Arthur). I made some changes, partially because of what was available here in Germany and partially cause, well, I made some mistakes that actually ended well.

Rather than copy the recipe here with my simple changes, just follow the links above, but keep my substitution in mind. I didn’t have a food processor so I substituted “oat flour,” which is just processed oats, with finely ground coconut (readily available here) and two tablespoons of wheat flour.  For dried fruits, I used 1 cup chopped prunes. For nuts, I used a package of “salad seeds” which included pumpkin seeds *highly recommended,*  sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds. After baking, I realized these are too sweet and a little too thick, so make your own call, but maybe less than a 1/2 cup of sugar and thinner. With a wax paper or tin foil lined pan, these come out really easily. Just cut them up when cooled and enjoy.  I know, I will.

Hopefully, they will make it so I can enjoy more sleep and have a hearty breakfast. These bars could have saved me on Friday, when I woke up a 5am for work/breakfast and stayed out until 4am. Ug.

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Ginger SnapsI am making little thank you packages for the lovely professors reviewing my thesis. The first cookie in their package is gingersnaps. I bet they would be great with the mango sorbet from yesterday and the recipe makes more the enough for the three packages.

The good thing about making something classic like gingersnaps is that there are a million recipes. I got the idea from this ginger strips recipe from Betty Crocker online. Then, I looked in Joy of Cooking and my Better Homes and Gardens books. I mixed and matched the three recipes, but I think it most closely resembled the Better Homes recipe. Anyway, I recommend you do the same. Mix and match recipes to get what you want. I wanted to use whole wheat flour and extra ginger. And of course I wanted to roll them in sugar.

Gingersnaps (based most closely on Better Homes and Garden Recipe)

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. ginger
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
a sprinkling of clove
1 1/4 cup white flour
Sugar for dusting

Mix all the ingredients together (except the white flour and sugar for dusting). Add white flour slowly to mixture. Form dough into 1/2 teaspoon size balls. Roll in sugar. Bake for 6 minutes at 375 degrees. Enjoy!

And the clothing remake story is coming tomorrow maybe… I promise.

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Good bread made fast. It sounds right up my alley. After reading people from angry chicken to the NY Times talk about no-knead bread for years, I decided to join the craze. I am not usually a bread person. Bread=sandwiches, in my mind.   And I hate sandwiches. Still, I felt like a slice yesterday, so I quickly whipped together the dough. And waited… waited the 20 hours until baking. (A long time I know.) I followed the simple instructions for no knead bread from not martha. Next time I will cook it for 20 minutes without the lid because the crust was a little soft and not the prettiest color (as you can tell). Either way, this bread was great. And I think I’m hooked. Might even make some more dough for pizza this week.

If only I could check out Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking from the library, then my house could become a mini-bakery. Sadly, I caught this craze a little late and there are already 120 people waiting for a copy to be returned. I might just have to buy it.

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