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Zimtsterne

Zimtsterne

Zimtsterne (cinnamon stars) are very traditional German Christmas cookies. They are a must on every Christmas cookie platter. You can get them at any grocery store in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, but the cookie is also making its way farther across the borders. Some of the international stores of Lidl and Aldi already sell them.

Easy homemade

Zimtsterne are a macaroon-like cookie made with ground almonds and topped with a thin layer of meringue. They are slightly crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside and spiced with cinnamon. It is a very delicious little cookie. If you can’t get them where you live, they can easily be made at home. read more

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All Recipes, Cookies, Dairy Free, Gluten-Free

Healthy Oatmeal ‘Kruidnoten’

Gezonde Haver-Kruidnoten

Kruidnoten are a traditional spiced, bite-sized cookie that is eaten around ‘Sinterklaas’ in the Netherlands. Sinterklaas is based on Saint Nicholas, who was the patron saint of children. Sinterklaas is the feast that celebrates Saint Nicholas’ name day on the 6th of December. It is often celebrated by giving presents and sweet treats to children on the 5th of December, Saint Nicholas Eve.

While ‘Sinterklaas’ is celebrated in other countries as well, Kruidnoten are typically Dutch and have almost become an integral part of the festivities. The last couple of years, more and more varieties on the traditional cookie are hitting the stores. The most exotic combinations can be found. If you happen to get the chance, check out Van Delft Pepernotenfabriek, they have several stores now across the Netherlands. But be warned, they have so many great and unique flavor combinations (and they let you taste test them), your self control will be put under a lot of pressure there. I tried a few and managed to leave with ‘only’ three bags… Limoncello, Sweet Chili and Seroendeng (Seroendeng is used in Indonesian cooking and is a mixture of seasoned and roasted coconut with peanuts). read more

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All Recipes, Cookies

Star Wars Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies

StarWarsCookies

Star Wars Cookies? For real? Yes, for real.

That’s kind of the short version of my conversation with the boys when I showed them what I had made. Their eyes almost popped out of their heads when they saw them. Followed by questions and remarks in the range of ‘are these Star Wars Cookies?’, ‘are they edible?’, ‘are those real cookies?’, ‘can we have these cookies?’, ‘are they really for us?’, ‘wow, how did you do that?’, ‘you really made these yourself?’, ‘WOW’, ‘COOL’, etc. And now imagine two excited boys jumping up and down, talking simultaneously, that my ears started ringing. Get the picture? read more

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All Recipes, Cookies, Snacks

Rice Krispies Easter Nests

Rice Krispies Easter Nests

These colorful little Easter Nests are definitely a kid’s favorite and so easy to make!

This can hardly be called a recipe, it’s more an edible DYI idea. Since it was such huge hit in our house, I simply have to share. This is really easy. You don’t have to be a good cook or baker to do this. And the kids will be so thrilled! The adults too, believe me. Had a hard time keeping my husband away from them 😉

Now I made these for Easter, adding green to resemble grass and add Easter themed M&M’s as little eggs. But you can adapt this to any occasion. Change the type of chocolate, add a different color (if any at all), add different cereals or smashed cookies. read more

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All Recipes, Cookies, Gluten-Free

Banana Oatmeal Cookies

Banana Oatmeal Cookies

Crunchy Banana Oatmeal Cookies!

Love banana oatmeal cookies? I do. I’ve made loads of banana oatmeal cookies, but more of the breakfast cookie type: thick, chewy cookies, that are rather soft. Not crunchy at all. That’s of course perfectly alright. I love those breakfast cookies to grab and run out of the house in the morning, when you don’t have time to sit down for breakfast. Or take them with me as a snack while traveling.

Well, it’s unavoidable to have no crunch if baking cookies with bananas. Right? Needless to say, I do like a challenge. And after a few trial and errors, I think I’ve managed to bake a banana oatmeal cookie that IS pretty crunchy. It’s not the cracker kind of crunchy, obviously. It is still a bit chewy, but also a little bit crunchy. And I am totally happy with the result. You don’t really taste the banana with every bite, it’s more a hint of banana throughout the cookie. Totally optional, but I added mini dark chocolate chips, which makes them taste rather like an oatmeal chocolate cookie. But you can leave them out. Other add-ins will work as well, like chopped nuts or dried fruits (raisins, cranberries…). read more

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All Recipes, Cookies

Cut-Out-Cookies & a birthday party

cutoutcookies22

This week was all about our oldest son’s birthday. He turned 8 on the 27th of January and we had a birthday party with his best friends at an indoor playground, we went to a restaurant of his choice (sushi!), he shared homemade dino-cookies at school and we celebrated at home with family and friends. So there was a lot of cooking and baking going on this week.

We started on Wednesday right after school with hot dogs at home. Then we took 8 boys to this awesome indoor playground, called Discovery Bay. It’s like a pirate world complete with ship wreck, waterfalls, a suspended bridge (very cool!), sandy beaches, rocks to climb etc. We adults (i.e. mom and dad) actually had some quiet time, as the boys went off right after changing into their swimming clothes and only came to us for food and drinks (and the occasional FYI of ‘I’m going to the bathroom now’). They had the time of their lives! read more

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Vanilla Pudding Cookies & A Christmas Tag

Vanilla Pudding Cookies

Yes, I know what you’re thinking… ‘please, not another Christmas cookie recipe’. You can’t open any of the social media without being slammed with recipes for Christmas cookies. Or posts and ads for crash diets to get you in shape, just in time for Christmas. Never knew you needed to be ‘in shape’ for Christmas. No thank you, I’ll prefer all those Christmas cookie recipes.

And yes, I do have another one for you. These cookies are super cute and unbelievably delicious. AND… they only need a few ingredients and hardly any prep time. You’ll be able to munch on these lovelies in about 30 minutes, from start to finish. read more

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All Recipes, Cookies, Gluten-Free

Snowball Truffles

Snowball Truffles

Snowball Truffles are definitely the most decadent ‘cookie’ on our Christmas cookie plate each year. I still remember when my mom made them and I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth in them. And up to this day, we make them every year.

Back in 2001, I moved to Copenhagen with my husband. When the first Christmas came around, I got really homesick. And I wanted the comfort of my mom’s and grandma’s Christmas cookies.

German cookbook

Years before, my mom had given me an old German cookbook, full of traditional and, back then, modern baking recipes (I wouldn’t call the latter modern now). I had never baked anything before, but I so craved those cookies that I started browsing that book and tried my luck at baking. We had Vanillekipfel, coconut macaroons and Butterplätzchen, and they were GOOD! read more

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All Recipes, Cookies

Vanilla cookies

Vanilla Cookies

This recipe is actually based on the famous ‘Vanillekipfel’, crescent shaped vanilla cookies. Tasty and oh so pretty. At least, they can be pretty. I used to shape them into crescents, and most of them were… pretty. Didn’t always succeed though. They were never uniform. Too big, too small, too thick, too thin. And as they are very delicate when they come right out of the oven, many broke in half when I tried to sugar coat them (which has to be done straight from the oven).

Easy basic recipe

The basic recipe is actually quite easy recipe. First, kneed all ingredients quickly into a firm dough. I usually shape them into 2 logs, with a diameter of about 5 cm. Then I wrap them in cling film and refrigerate for at least an hour. Then I cut then into rounds, about 0,5 cm thick. read more

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All Recipes, Cookies

Butterplätzchen – German Christmas Cookies

Butterplätzchen

It’s half December, which means… COOKIE TIME. And not just any cookies. But Christmas cookies with a long family tradition. I remember my grandmother baking loads and loads of cookies. Especially German ‘Butterplätzchen’. I would always hang around the kitchen when she was baking. I loved the smell of freshly baked cookies. The smell meant that it was almost Christmas. And of course I always tried to get my finger into that bowl of cookie dough whenever my grandmother wasn’t looking. read more

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