…and what have you done?
Well, here we go, in no particular order:
Shop for Christmas presents
Send out Christmas wishes
Watch Zürcher Verlobung, an old romantic comedy… (a must, although I have a suspicion that Oliver’s sudden disappearance has to do with it)
Wrap Christmas presents and tag them
Pack Christmas packages/gifts and ship them (after waiting in line at the post-office for more than half an hour)
Decide on our menu for Christmas eve
Sautéed duck foie gras with brioche and caramelized apples
Homemade pasta with white truffles
Granny Smith sorbet
Venison braised in port wine with celery puree and baby carrots
Bread and butter pudding with cinnamon ice cream
Shop for Christmas eve dinner (well sort of, still need to get Granny Smiths and lamb’s lettuce)
Set up an iTunes Christmas playlist
Have a merry little Christmas – Perry Como
Santa Baby – Louis Armstrong & Eartha Kitt
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire – Nat King Cole
Baby It’s Cold Outside – Dean Martin
Christmas Day – Dido
Once upon a long ago – Paul McCartney
Blue Christmas – Elvis
The first noel – Jaci Velasquez
Walking in a Winter Wonderland – Dean Martin
Winter Wonderland – Doris Day
Feliz Navidad – Celia Cruz
White Christmas – Bing Crosby
Christmas – Darlene Love
Sleigh ride – The Carpenters
I’m gettin nuttin for Christmas – Eartha Kitt
Driving home for Christmas – Chris Rea
Mistletoe and Holly – Frank Sinatra
I’ll be home for Christmas – Barbara Streisand
Rudolph the rednosed reindeer – Harry Connick Jr.
Merry Xmas Everybody – Slade
Last Christmas – Wham
The river – Robert Downey Jr.
So this is Christmas – John Lennon
The power of love – Frankie goes to Hollywood
… anything missing?
Bake Stollen (baked 4 – 3 to go…)
Clean up apartment (got to be kiddin’ me)
Visit friends and family
Baking this years cookies was a story in itself. One thing I learned was that reliable recipes aren’t easy to find. Two of my newly acquired recipes were a total letdown, so I reverted back to known and actually working ones and made them over and over again. But even with those, there is still room for error (see below). Either my imagination played a trick on me (about the correct baking time) or I got distracted and simply forgot. Anyway, more than one tray ended up getting just a little too much heat…
And if that didn’t teach me a lesson about being a little too confident, my self developed poppy seed Stollen turned out pretty weird looking (like exploded), on the brighter side, it did taste great.
But this year’s absolute favorites were the chocolate coconut cubes. How so you think? Well, I had to make them four times and considering the yield of one batch, that’s quite impressive. Extremely yummy I find, so, by the way, do our neighbors!
Anyhow, we wish you all very happy holidays, some deserved down time and of course many culinary highlights with the extra cookie!
Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F). Line a baking dish/tin with parchment paper (mine is about 20×20 cm/8×8 inch).
Combine butter, sugar and honey until foamy, then add the egg. Mix cocoa, flour and baking powder. Now add flour mix and milk and blend well.
Pour the rather gooey dough in the prepared baking dish and evenly spread out using a knife or similar. It helps to occasionally dip the knife in cold water and the dough won’t be clinging as much to the knife. Bake for about 25 minutes, then check if it’s done by poking in a wooden skewer – it should come out quite dry and almost clean. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
Cut the cake into ~3x3cm (~1.2 x 1.2 inch) large pieces.
Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie. Please see here for proper melting (tempering) instructions for chocolate or simply do it by guess and by gosh. The only possible drawback of not having the chocolate tempered would be a little less crisp chocolate coating.
Dip cookies in melted chocolate & make sure you don’t miss a spot, finally roll them in coconut flakes. Chill all cookies at a cool place for about an hour, then store them in an airtight container. I like to store mine in the fridge, since they give such a nice “cracking” sound with every delicious bite…
Chocolate Coconut Cubes
Recipe source: unknown, old note of mine
Prep time: 10min., baking: 25min., finishing: 20-30min.
Ingredients (yield: around 50 pieces):
75g butter, at room temperature
2 tsp honey
100g white sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp baking powder
75g cocoa powder
~400g milk chocolate coating
250g coconut flakes (shredded) for coating