Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth,
for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire:
it is the time for home.
– Edith Sitwell
The first of December. The land was covered in snow and the sun shone in all its glory. It shone so bright that I had a hard time to see the road as I drove to work (read: hazard driving). "What a perfect start for this exciting month!", I thought to myself.
December will be filled with all sorts of cookies – some will be traditional, like these ones, while others will be more on the experimental side. Baking will be inevitable – fresh yeast will be sitting in my fridge on a regular basis. There is also a big chance you will be served a pot of meat stew if you happen to stop by. As you see, it's all about flour in your hair, the smell of cinnamon & cardamom in the air, and joyous moments of creating and recreating memories.
This is a traditional German Christmas cookie recipe. I make several batches every year. They are absolutely delicious and quick to make. How flat or fluffy your cookies will come out, depends on how long you whip your meringue. I usually whip the egg whites and sugar for 4 to 5 minutes. This way the cookies will be fluffy but the top will even out as it bakes.
I would love to hear what you are baking for the holiday season. So please, leave a comment!
(I made these for a special someone. But SHHHH, he/she doesn't have a clue yet. It's supposed to be a surprise.)
German Hazelnut Macaroons
slightly adapted from Ruokaposti 8/1985
makes about 20 cookies
160 g (5.6 oz) hazelnut flour (I grind mine from whole, unblanched hazelnuts)
2 egg whites (M)
130 g (4.6 oz; 1 ½ dl; 0.6 cups) granulated sugar
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
whole hazelnuts, for decorating
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°C). Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, mix together both flours and baking powder. Set aside.
Place the egg whites and sugar in a clean & dry medium-sized bowl. Whip on full speed or until stiff. With a stand mixer this takes 4 to 5 minutes. With a rubber spatula, fold in the dry ingredients.
With the help of two spoons, portion the macaroons on the lined baking tray. Top each one with a whole hazelnut. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes. The macaroons should now still be light in color and the center slightly soft to the touch (they will get firm as they cool down). Take them out and let cool completely. The macaroons can be stored in an airtight container for 2 to 3 weeks.
I wish you all HAPPY COOKIE BAKING!