I hope all of you had a lovely Christmas!
This year, H and I had a small Christmas Eve dinner party with my family. Learning from the experience we had last Christmas, we went with a bone-in store-bought traditional Christmas ham, a large roasted chicken (instead of a huge turkey which would have barely been touched and probably gone into a pot of rice porridge on Christmas day), salami and hawaiian pizza (yes, I know, not exactly a Christmasy sort of dish, but for some reason, my sister really wanted this), homemade Schwaebisher Kartoffelsalat (a German potato salad), tossed greens and a homemade apple pie.
H also made a huge pot of Gluhwein (mulled wine) with a bag of Gluhwein spices sent to us from H’s sister (thank you, N and H!) by way of his mum who was here for a visit a short while ago.
Back home in Germany, this aromatic hot wine would be enjoyed in the winter evenings with our familly, along with a huge assortment of Christmas cookies (Plaetzchen). These Christmas cookies would be lovingly baked in the weeks leading up to Christmas; believe me when I say it takes huge restraint (mostly on H’s part!) to resist all the delicious cookies just so there would be some left by Christmas day!
Sadly, cookies, of the Christmas-sort or otherwise, don’t keep very well in our humid Asian climate, so I went with just one type to go with the Gluhwein - Vanillekipferl. These crescent-shaped cookies are a quintessential part (in my opinion, anyway) of any Christmas Plaetzchen platter and are made with ground almonds, butter, flour, sugar, egg yolks and scrappings from a vanilla bean.
I used the recipe here from Nicky of Delicious Days. The end result was a lovely crumbly, almond-ny, buttery cookie. I would have preferred them to be a little less crumbly and this would probably have been the case if we lived in a dry climate and left the cookies to sit for a few days in a container. Still, H enjoyed them immensely (can’t exactly say the same for the rest of my family), which was the most important part for me!
I also finally got round to assembling the 3D gingerbread Christmas tree as a decorative piece for the dinner. I found that drying the humidity-softened decorated cookies in the oven does help. The dried decorated Christmas ornament cookies are now happily sitting in a container with a couple bags of desiccant. I wonder how long they’ll keep…
My next project is a macaron croquembouche, but before that, I intend to give myself a nice long rest to recover from the crazy hectic time that was Christmas.
Have a wonderful year ahead, everyone!