Vanillekipferl

Vanillekipferl are said to have originated in Vienna, Austria, although they are enjoyed in many countries including Germany, Hungary, Czech Republic, Romania, and Slovakia. Made with ground almonds and flavored with vanilla sugar, these crescent shaped cookies are enjoyed mostly during the Advent and Christmas season. They are said to be in the shape of the…

Speculaas

Today is the feast of St. Nicholas and we are celebrating with Speculaas cookies, a spiced shortcrust cookie traditional to the Netherlands. Speculaas are usually cut using intricate wooden cookie molds with images of animals, plants, people, windmills and the bishop of Myra, St. Nicholas – although simple shapes decorated with almonds are also popular. Almost identical…

Spitzbuben

Christmas in Germany is the Christmas celebration of all Christmas celebrations. From mid-November through Christmas day, the streets of Germany are bedecked with Weihnachtsmärkte (Christmas markets) full of Glühwein, fragrant baked goods, handmade decorations, wooden toys, Bratwurst, and the list goes on. Everywhere you go you can feel the festivities of Christmas. The Christmas season I spent…

Shortbread Petticoat Tails

Scottish shortbread has a long history that can be traced back all the way to the 12th century. During the Middle Ages, shortbread was originally made from leftover bread dough scraps that were dried out in a low oven until they hardened into a rusk. Over time the yeast in the bread was replaced with butter…