Monday, December 17, 2012

I'll Be Home for Christmas

It has been over three months since my last post, but I've been a little busy with freshman year and not to mention, have not had access to the best of kitchens.

That's not to say that I haven't been cooking, but I haven't been experimenting because of our communal kitchen's limitations, the cost of supplies, and a general lack of time. But every weekend, I make myself dinner and I've baked cookies...twice.

One of my first posts was about Pfeffernusse, the central European spice cookies commonly made around Christmas, and I bring you tidings of Pfeffernuse once again. I am proud to say that despite a mixer, all spice, nutmeg, lemons, extract, decent cinnamon, pepper, and an oven with a door that you can't see through, I managed to make better Pfeffernusse in my dorm than I was able to back home.

These cookies were moist and soft, and actually taste quite a bit like my commercial preference, Stella Dora, which seems to have magically disappeared along with eggnog this season.

To begin, I mixed 1 3/4 cup of flour with 1 tsp of baking powder, and then gradually incorporated this into a mixture of 2 eggs, 1/2 cup of butter, 1/2 tsp of every spice (allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom), a dash of pepper, vanilla or anise extract and the zest of one lemon.

Cream the butter first, and then fold the dry mixture into the egg mixture and stir until incorporated. I buttered a tin and spooned the cookies onto it, first rolling them into small 1 inch diameter balls (they tend to rise, so space with care).

They bake at 375 for 10 minutes and once they have been removed and allowed to cool for about 5 minutes, roll them in powdered sugar to completely coat the exterior.

I delivered them around my dormitory and saved one or two for my roommate and myself. As I take the first breath since August, I think about all my harried posts before I left for college and look back on myself, only three months younger and know that I've become so much wiser, and so, so much hungrier. Now for some real baking, so stay tuned...

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