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I’ve been really, really busy these past three weeks and I haven’t had the time to update you on what’s been going on. We’ve had our calendar filled every day with play-dates and afternoon gym classes for Anna, several afternoons of Kaffeeklatsch with friends and family, appointments at the dentist and the doctor, you name it, almost every afternoon for three weeks straight we’ve been on the go and now I am looking forward to relaxing at home and doing nothing but preparing for Christmas. As of late I’ve been filling in every spare moment of my time making Christmas presents for Thomas’ and my family. And now I’m looking forward to our trip home to NY to see my family at the end of next week! We’ll be heading there at the end of the month and staying with my family through mid January! In the meantime I’ll be knitting like crazy, sewing and baking, too. Yesterday and today Anna and I went over to our neighbor Joachim’s house (the one we made sauerkraut with) and baked and decorated Spekulatiusplätzchen, a special kind of spiced cookie for the holidays. Here are some photos of what we made and I’ll include the recipe for these Weihnachtsplätzchen or Christmas cookies that were so much fun to make.

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The Preparation

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The Mix

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Anna and Joachim Mixing

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More Mixing

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Spice-Cookie Seasoning Mix

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The Dough

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Rolling It Out

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Measuring
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Cutting Squares

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Laying Them Out on the Baking Tray

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Waiting for the Cookies to Bake and Bringing Joachim’s Christmas Tree

The next day we came back to decorate the cookies. We painted them with a glaze of powdered sugar and lemon juice and then added sprinkles and chocolate shavings and painted designs on them with chocolate sauce.

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Anna Had Lots of Fun Decorating and Eating

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Joachim had decorated some the night before with fruit syrup, nuts and candied fruits.

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Weihnachtsplätzchen (Christmas Cookies)

For the Cookies:

125g Soft Butter

120g Sugar

1 Egg

Pinch of Salt

1 teaspoon Grated Lemon Peel

250g Flour

1/4 teaspoon Baking Powder

1-2 teaspoons Spekulatiusgewürz (seasoning mix)*

50g Ground Almonds

Cream the butter and sugar with a blender until light and fluffy. Add the egg, salt and lemon zest and continue to blend until well blended. Blend in the flour, baking powder, seasoning mix and ground almonds. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead until a smooth ball forms. Roll dough to 3-4mm thickness and cut into 5mm x 5mm squares. Transfer cookies to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in a 175°C (350°F) preheated oven for 30 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack and then glaze and decorate.

*For the Spekulatiusgewürz

If you can’t find this at the store you can try a mix of:

3/4 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground Piment
1/2 teaspoon ground Cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground Nutmeg
1/2  teaspoon ground Ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground Cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground Coriander

For the glaze:

Juice of one Lemon

1/2 – 1 cup Powdered Sugar

Mix the juice of half a lemon with powdered sugar until a thick paste forms that just barely runs off your spoon. Reserve the juice from the other half of the lemon to thin the glaze if it dries out as you are decorating the cookies or if you need to make more glaze. Brush an even layer on the tops of the cooled cookies and decorate with sprinkles, chocolate shavings or whatever you like.

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