Christmas Around the World

Day 3 of Christmas Ideas week on TBA! Around the world is the theme.

Well I'm 1/2 German and we do celebrate a few things the German way. One is advent wreath with candles and the 4 Sundays before Christmas we sing songs and light them (well we haven't the past few years) but I would play piano and my mom the guitar.

We also did St. Nikolaus, on the night of Dec. 5th, you put out your shoe(s) outside yoru bedroom door. In the morning of the 6th, you hopefully have treats and not coal. My treats would be little things like bracelets or a movie, or some candy. So I loved it because it was like a mini-Christmas!

I also make traditional German cookies now, based on ones my Oma makes. Linzer  cookies are so yummy!
My Oma makes them 3-tiered sometimes! She makes heart ones with a circle cut out on top so you can see the jam. The 3-tiered ones are ruffly like flowers.

These are mine from last year!

I plan on making them again this year. Here is one of the recipes I use:

  • 2/3 cup hazelnuts (3 oz)
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 12-oz jar seedless raspberry jam
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.

Toast hazelnuts in a shallow baking pan until fragrant and skins begin to loosen, about 6 minutes. Rub nuts in a kitchen towel to remove any loose skins (some skins may not come off), then cool to room temperature.
Pulse nuts and 1/4 cup brown sugar in a food processor until nuts are finely ground.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a small bowl.

Beat together butter and remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes in a stand mixer (preferably fitted with paddle) or 6 minutes with a handheld. Add nut mixture and beat until combined well, about 1 minute. Beat in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture, mixing until just combined.
With floured hands, form dough into 2 balls and flatten each into a 5-inch disk. Chill disks, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 2 hours.

Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 350°F.

Roll out 1 disk of dough into an 11-inch round (1/8 inch thick) between 2 sheets of wax paper (keep remaining dough chilled). If dough becomes too soft to roll out, rewrap in plastic and chill until firm. Cut out as many cookies as possible from dough with larger cookie cutter and transfer to 2 ungreased large baking sheets, arranging about 1 inch apart. Using smaller cutters, cut out centers from half of the cookies, reserving centers and rerolling along with scraps (reroll only once).

Bake cookies, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until edges are golden, 10 to 15 minutes total, then transfer with a metal spatula to racks to cool completely. Make more cookies from second disk.

Spread about 1 teaspoon jam on flat side of 1 solid cookie and sandwich jam with flat side of 1 windowed cookie. Sandwich remaining cookies in same manner.

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