Monday, 19 November 2012

In der Weihnachtsbäckerei - Plätzchenzeit

Schönes Leckerei
"In der Weihnachtsbäckerei
gibt es manche Leckerei
Zwischen Mehl und Milch
macht so mancher Knilch
eine riesengroße Kleckerei.
In der Weihnachtsbäckerei

In der Weihnachtsbäckerei"

This time of year, just before Advent is 'Plätzchenzeit' - the time in which the baking of Advent and Christmas biscuits is undertaken, the cookery magazines are full of recipes for the varying types of Plätzchen and the ingredients are often on special offer in the shops - or at the very least grouped into a seasonal display along with biscuit cutters, special baking trays and all the other accessories and implements one might need to bake these delicacies with.

A & H hard at work in the Weihnachtsbäckerei
The words above, come from a traditional children's song and it's title translates as "In the Christmas Bakery", each year, as I read the recipes for these biscuits, or see them in the shops, I can't help but start humming the song to myself - it's one of the sure-fire signs that Christmas is on the way - and I love it!

So, what of the biscuits themselves?  This year, A has been busy biscuit baking for us, we've had Vanillekipferl, a crumbly almond and vanilla biscuit shaped as a half moon; coconut macaroons - very yummy and moreish, and I'm not even a big fan of coconut and finally, black & white cookies - a chocolate/vanilla swirled cookie.

Schwarzweiß Gebäck / Black & White Biscuits
Coconut Macaroons
These biscuits are very traditional to Germany at Christmas time, although the style and flavourings are anything but.  Of course, there are the traditional Kipferl or Lebkuchen recipes, but a quick look on one of the German recipe sites Chef Koch brings up almost 5000 different 'Weihnacht Plätzchen' recipes - there's certainly no shortage of choice on shape, flavour, ingredients and so forth. There are variations from plain butter biscuits, to poppyseed or marzipan or nuts or dried fruits or rosehip paste.  The shapes and decorations are endless - and what's more, in my experience they all taste pretty yummy too!

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