Further to my Advent Advent post, here is the result of our weekend baking activity.
Lots of wonderful Christmas biscuits – called Plätzchen in Germany.
The word Plätzchen (according to Wiki) comes from either the diminutive of Platz – round flat cake – or from the latin word placenta which means cake. Placenta means CAKE? Why had I never heard of this before? It makes sense though, because in Germany the placenta is called the “Mutterkuchen”.
At the beginning of Advent, many families in Germany bake Plätzchen, often using old family recipes. My mother-in-law uses the same recipe for the Xmas Plätzchen as she does for the Easter biscuits, a Mürbeteig made out of sugar, butter and flour. She takes out her big green baking bowl, measures the flour in a measuring jug, which she passes to my father-in-law because she has mislaid her glasses again. He ensures she has the right amount of flour and hands it back and with swift, practised movements she forms the dough. It is rolled out on the kitchen table, and all the children are given forms to cut out the shapes of Xmas. My husband baked with the children when we were there last, three generations of Plätzchen bakers.
The Zimtsterne were tricky to get right. Leave them a moment too long in the oven and they are too brown, and I didn’t have the Oblaten for the Kokosmakronen so made them on the base of very thinly rolled out basic biscuits. These were incredibly good, much better than normal Kokosmakronen.
They are in a box in the cupboard. Now to see if we can get to Christmas without them running out. Unlikely.
What are your Christmas traditions and favourite recipes?
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