Sunday, December 18, 2011

Baking Cookies

One of the nicest activities during the Christmas season for me is baking cookies with my daughter. Usually we don't get around to make more than two sorts - the MIL cookies and Vanillekipferl - but those are the important "must haves" in this house.

The MIL cookies - I received this recipe from my mother-in-law when I first met her right after Christmas in 1996 when we visited her in freezing cold Erfurt - have lots of marzipan, almond meal, cocoa and of course flour, butter and sugar.

They're super easy to make - throw everything together for the dough, roll it in a log, put it in the fridge for 30 minutes and then slice and bake it.

Here you can see Kaefer slicing the dough log: 

And this is what the cookies look like when they come out of the oven - they don't look very interesting, but I tell you, they're YUMMY.

Those Vanillekipferl were a must when I was a kid, and my mom's Vanillekipferl tasted a bit better than the ones Kaefer and I bake, although we use her recipe. They're rather delicate, and when they come out of the oven you immediately have to put them face down into a mixture of powdered and vanilla sugar. At this stage they can easily break.

Here they are - the yummiest cookies ever. I'm so glad I have this recipe - it reminds me so much of my mom, and how we used to bake together when I was a child. Those are some of the most precious memories I have of her. 

What are your favorite cookies to bake for this special season?


JoZart Designs said...

Ooooh Carola! I can almost smell those cookies. Such a lovely post keeping up family traditions.
My favourite Christmas baking tradition is Mince Pies and now it is n extra special memory as last year when I visited DD in Germany (just before the little one took ill), I took the ingredients with me and we baked them together. We took part in the local event when each day of Advent a local house was host to sing carols, give readings, and provide a little treat for the neighbours. The mince pies were a great success and not one person had ever tasted them before!
Lovely photographs!
Jo x

Frida said...

They look really tasty :-) But the first thing I noticed was the seasonal red Kitchen Aid *lol*

Sally H said...

mmmmmmm! My mouth is watering! They look delicious! Any chance of posting the recipes, pleeeaaase?! I tend to back Scottish shortbread at this time of year, otherwise known as petticoat tails. Megan has a range of cupcakes planned too. I too have precious memories of baking with my Mum, and I know she would be proud of me for encouraging Meg too. I am sure your Mum would be the same x

windrock studio said...

Love the colors in this image ~ Kaefers kerchief and the happy red mixer! Looks like yummy cookies, too.
Hope you all have very happy holidays, Carola.

Kay L. Davies said...

Oh, yes, a KitchenAid. I wanted one desperately, and my husband bought me a different kind, which isn't as good at mixing. I'm also not very good at mixing any more, so nothing much gets baked, unless I buy cookie dough at church. I have lots of their chocolate chip cookie dough this year!
I used to bake a lot, so did my sister and my mother and my grandmother. Nanny always did the shortbread and, after she died, my brother-in-law took over making the shortbread. I have fond memories of mince pies as well as shortbread, and of tree decorations made of decorated sugar cookies.
One year, when I was still living at home, my sister and I made Christmas cakes. That was the only year we ever tried to do that. Talk about mixing! LOL
When my parents and youngest brother were spending winters in Mexico, the Christmas favorite was empanadas.

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

Randy said...

I have never heard of these but they look marvelous!

Christine E-E said...

what do we bake for the holidays?
well, JPE (husband) bakes biscotti - cranberry biscotti, double chocolate biscotti & a new recipe (this afternoon), candy cane biscotti. OH, during the summer JPE makes strawberry, apricot, raspberry & blackberry jam to give as gifts, also.
I make Lemon Bread (made in mini-bundt pans this year), Christmas Cutout Cookies (sugar cookie) decorated w/butter cream frosting & sparkly sugars & Thumbprint Cookies (JPE's mom's recipe)... other favorites are Mexican Wedding Cakes & Cranberry-Orange cookies (recipe from Sunset Magazine).
We tend to give home-baked goods & jams as holiday gifts - which suits our friends & family just fine!!
Some of the recipes are posted on my blog.

foxysue said...

Sweet life story....

Have a lovely run-up to Christmas with your family.

Love Sue x

Chantal said...

Oatmeal raisin and nuts cookies... with cinnamon

Nancy C said...

What a sweet photo of your daughter, Carola. And I love your red mixer -- I have the same one, only it's white. :)

Ginnie said...

I hate to say how long it's been since I baked cookies, Carola. Since forever? But if I did bake them now, it'd be gingerbread cookies. :)

Maria Ontiveros said...

Love that first picture! So emotive and great colors! I don't have a favorite cookie really - but nothing says Christmas to me like fudge and pound cake.

Creatissimo said...

I'm not good at baking... Maybe I need easy-peasy recipes like yours ;)?
A good way to spend family-time together.

Silvia(Barnie) said...

Mmmh, die sehen sehr lecker aus, vor allem lesen sich die Rezepte gut. Die MIL-Kekse werde ich mir mal für nächstes Jahr auf den Kalender schreiben. Heute haben wir Spritzgebäck gemacht (nach dem Rezept meiner Oma)... es duftet immer noch :)

Lynn Cohen said...

Such sweet memories you are making for her.