Ginger Chocolate Cookies

At last I got around to baking the cookies I’d wanted to bake this weekend. Mum helped with mincing the candied ginger, I chopped the dark chocolate, both of us cut raisins into small bits. All the ingredient required by the recipe:

Ingredients for the dough:

  • 250g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 125g candied ginger, minced
  • 125g butter or margarine
  • 200g sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 200g ground hazelnuts
  • 200g raisins, minced
  • 250g whole meal wheat flour

For the icing:

  • 1 lemon
  • Some icing sugar
  • 50g dark chocolate
  • 50g almond slivers
  • 50g candied ginger slivers (cut them yourself from bigger pieces)

Mix the butter, sugar and eggs until fluffy. Then add one after the other: chopped chocolate, minced candied ginger, ground hazelnuts, minced raisins and last, the flour. The dough turns into a stiff sticky mass. Butter a baking sheet and spread the dough evenly onto it. Bake it in the oven at 175°C for 25 to 30 minutes.

Cut into squares on the baking sheet while still warm. Wait until the cookies cool (don’t remove them from the baking sheet) and then decorate half the squares with lemon icing (mix a bit of lemon juice with icing sugar) and candied ginger slivers, the other half with melted dark chocolate and almond slivers. Transfer to a cookie box when the icing is dry (should be air-tight, so that the cookies don’t dry out).

These are non-vegan (obviously). I make an exception for Christmas cookies. We otherwise bake only vegan cakes and cookies, but the Christmas cookies are traditional in my family and I don’t want to change the recipes.

It was quite cold today and, at least in the afternoon, sunny. We had our usual walks with Curious Dog. I did a lot of reading but am still not finished with Black Lamb and Grey Falcon. Turns out that there’s a really long epilogue for which my Kindle version doesn’t count the pages. Very strange! I should get finished tonight. We watched the next Mandalorian episode (good) and tonight we’ll be watching the Tatort crime series as usual. It was a nice, quiet day. Restful and not too busy.

Mum’s Stollen was yummy. We had some for afternoon coffee. For dinner we had a leek, potato and celeriac cream soup, made by Partner, also delicious and warming. With the Tatort, we’ll treat ourselves to some hot spiced wine. Maybe it will knock me out (wine makes me sleepy) and then I won’t be able to finish my book, but who cares.

Keep safe, world

Procrastinating Again

Last day of work for the week, what a relief. I had a good productive day and crossed off all the tasks on my to-do list. I even managed to do a complicated quality check that involved applying a script to a lot of documents. A colleague showed me how to do this yesterday and I thought I’d better try it before I forgot how it worked. Luckily, we had recorded the session in which they demonstrated what had to be done, otherwise I would already have forgotten what to do. It was a bit nerve-wracking but seems to have worked fine. I’ve now written down the steps that need to be done, so that next time I can do it without having to watch the recording.

While I was doing my time-recording for work, which I do once a week usually on Thursdays, it really struck me that there aren’t very many workdays left in this year. November is almost done and although I am working until the 23rd of December, that’s just 15 days (not counting Fridays, on which I don’t work). Three and a half weeks until Christmas! Time I panicked about presents. What on earth shall I get Mum and Partner and Cousin 1 and Cousin 2??? Usually it’s books and DVDs all the way. I’m not very good at presents, except occasionally. But maybe I’ll yet have a brainwave or two. Each year I fantasize that next year I will organize all my Christmas presents in Summer, but so far this has never yet happened. Unlikely to ever happen.

It was quite cold walking with Curious Dog today. Not freezing, but close. Just 2-3°C, but sunny and bright at least in the afternoon. It’s almost cold enough for me to dig up my woolen scarf. I’ve been wearing a woolen hat for weeks, because I easily get freezing ears and temples, but I’m still wearing a cotton scarf. I should also fetch my winter boots from the basement.

Partner’s gone up north for a couple of days, to do some last gardening since the weather is currently nice at his place. He had 9°C today. He’s either coming back on Saturday or Sunday. Tomorrow I need to do some grocery shopping and also get some ingredients for some more cookies. We’ve only got a handful of Lebkuchen left. I think tomorrow I’ll bake some ginger, nut, raisin, chocolate cookies. Like the Lebkuchen, the dough is spread on a backing sheet and cut into pieces after baking while still hot. Then half of the cookies get a chocolate, the other half a lemon glaze. The chocolate ones are decorated with almond slivers, the lemon ones with candied ginger. They are delicious. And maybe Mum will make another Stollen, as we’ve already scarfed the one we made two weeks ago. Partner will be back in time to enjoy the baked goodies and we will have something nice for the first Sunday in Advent.

I desperately need to do some cleaning. The place is looking very grungy, but I hope I still have time to do a good bit of reading, despite all the stuff I need to do. Tomorrow I also have to organize an official inspection for my car, as the certification is running out in December. Maybe I’ll schedule it for January, as I think one can be a couple of months late, but I will call the car repair shop tomorrow. There’s also a chip in my windshield that will probably have to be fixed before the inspection. What a pain. Maybe they won’t notice it? It’s off to the passenger side, not very noticeable. But who am I kidding, they will notice it. That’s a new windshield, as I think the chip is too deep to be glued (it’s a little crater). I’m fortunate in that the car is a company car and repairs are paid by the company. I should have organized the windshield repair or replacement weeks ago. That’s me, procrastinating again. I guess I’ll call the hotline tomorrow and find out what I should do.

Keep safe, world.

Lebkuchen

Curious Dog got an early birthday present today. When I was at the pet store, I noticed that they had a new line of simple leather collar. His old collar was always a bit clunky and it’s quite hard to find plain collars. Mostly they are padded and studded and either too long or too short or to wide or not wide enough. This new one is almost perfect and so I went for it. It’s actually his first birthday present, as I don’t usually get him presents for his birthday. The fact that I found the collar today was a coincidence. Every now and again I have a look at the collections when I buy his dog food and today, I was just lucky. I’m keeping the old one in case of emergencies. It’s worn, but still going strong.

Otherwise I did the usual grocery shopping, first at the little village shop, where I ordered some bread and buns for tomorrow – tomorrow will be the last time shopping there, as it’s closing at the end of November. So far, no news of someone else taking over. We’re haven’t given up hope yet. It would be such a bore to have to drive to the next village every time we need something. After the little village shop, I stopped off at the bank, and then drove on to the county town for the pet shop and drugstore and some additional groceries. I picked up the ingredient for the Stollen Christmas cake that we plan to bake tomorrow and also for some Lebkuchen cookies, which Mum and I baked tonight. They are easy, because the dough is just spread on a baking tray and the flat cake is cut into diamond shapes straight after baking, while it is still hot. Then it gets a light lemon icing. It’s very spicy, with a Christmas spice mixture that you can get in every supermarket in Germany around Christmas. It’s made up of cinnamon, orange and lemon peel, coriander, cardamom, star anise, fennel, cloves, nutmeg and mace. The newly baked Lebkuchen smells delicious but the spices need a few days to develop their aroma and taste properly. Our first cookies for this Christmas! Early, but the first advent weekend is already in two weeks, so not that early.

The photo shows the Lebkuchen after it has been cut, but before I the applied the icing, which is anyway only a thin, slightly shiny glaze. After the cookies have cooled down and the icing has dried, they are stored in a biscuit tin or tupperware box.

Apart from grocery shopping and doing CD’s morning and afternoon walks, and a bit of baking at night, I didn’t do anything. I spent most of the afternoon surfing the internet and watching YouTube videos. A sad waste of time. I didn’t sleep well last night. Somehow, I kept thinking about Christmas baking. But now I’m totally sleepy, so hopefully I’ll sleep better tonight.

The weather was nice today, only a light fog that dispersed around noon so that we had a sunny afternoon and a bright sunset that was visible through the trees on CD’s afternoon walk.

Corona numbers are still rising in Germany, but perhaps at a slightly slower rate. Austria and Italy aren’t looking good. Very worrying.

Keep safe, world.

Baking and Weeding

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After my morning walk with Curious Dog on our usual route through the woods, I killed some time surfing the net. But at around 11 a.m. I pulled myself together and baked a cake for afternoon tea. A nice and easy one:

  • 250g ground almonds/hazelnuts (it was a mix, because we had open packages of each that needed to be used up)
  • 250g flour
  • 250g sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 250 ml mix of rum and soymilk

Put all the dry ingredients in a bowls and combine. Then add the liquids and stir it quickly. Spoon the mixture into a floured baking pan (I use breadcrumbs instead of flour) and bake at 180°C on the middle rack for at least an hour, slightly longer if necessary.

I got the recipe from Partner who found it online. It’s quick and easy and turned out very well, even though I left it a bit too long in the oven.

While the cake was baking, I mowed the lawn. Not a very successful endeavour. The long stalks of the gone-to-seed dandelion basically got flattened, not cut off (at least not all). And there’s almost more bare earth than grass. Still it looks marginally better than before. I still have to cut around the edges of the lawn, where the mower can’t go. Maybe I’ll do that tomorrow.

Then, after lunch I kept up the good work and weeded the driveway in front of the garage. Took about an hour and I’m almost done. I didn’t quite finish, because I wasn’t sure if some of the weeds could have potential. Since they were on the side of the driveway I don’t use, I let them stay for now. After an hour I didn’t feel like continuing.

So, I spent the rest of the afternoon reading David Copperfield. I’m almost done. Maybe I’ll get done tonight. Then we had tea – or rather Mum had green tea and I had Caro-Kaffee, a hot drink that I’ve recently rediscovered. It’s a coffee-substitute without caffeine made from roasted barley, malted barley, chicory and rye; a powder. You add two slightly heaped teaspoons (or more) into a cup, pour boiling water over it and stir. It looks dark like coffee and I drink it with a shot of plant milk. I like it, but it doesn’t taste like coffee. I like drinking it at night, too. It doesn’t keep one from sleeping, as coffee might. Anyway, we had our drinks and the cake, which was lovely and will last the next couple of days.

Then I did my afternoon walk with Curious Dog in the woods again.

A nice quiet day.

I’ll do some meditation tonight and watch TV or read (if nothing’s on).

Keep safe, world.