Monday, 19 December 2011

Only one more week!

To be exact, less than one more week, since it's December 19 today already. Good thing my ImageJ macro now is working soundly, since there are only four days left to go before Christmas!

For those of you who don't know (or are wondering about my counting skills), I did not count today, and German Xmas starts on December 24. The evening of this day is when celebrations begin, and it's also the time when presents are given (and unwrapped). No waiting until Christmas Day in Germany.

And now a little bleg: I have been wondering yesterday about how widespread the tradition of baking Christmas cookies really is. I know there's some baking in America, and I know it's a firm tradition in Germany, but I really have no clue about the rest of the world. Will you let me know in the comments if seasonal baking is done in your place of the world? In exchange, I will let you know how to get really sticky fingers and a really sticky knife.

Buy a packet of marzipan paste, a packet of dark chocolate (or two) and a packet of dates (or two). I like to buy the "raw marzipan paste" with less sugar in it, and the black very sweet and soft fresh dates (not the drier Deglet Nour, which are the most common dates hereabout).
Cut the dates open and replace the pit with a date-pit-sized piece of marzipan. Press date closed again (the sticky fresh dates are malleable, making this easy) and dip the date into molten dark chocolate, covering it completely. Set aside to set. Enjoy.


Gillian said...

German Australians do cookies (except if we're only 1/8 German and maybe don't have Christmas) , but my childhood was full of people making puddings and cake and Christmas pudding icecream. Cherries are also very much Christmas food in Canberra.

I have my Christmas on Christmas Eve because that's when I'm invited to the big dinner with the presents. When I was a kid I used to be invited to my aunt's on Christmas Day, but the evening meal makes a lot more sense in summer. We also have Boxing Day and (in Canberra) the day after Boxing Day. That's when sales start, and the Sydney/Hobart Cup and the cricket.

me? I get (as I said) Christmas Eve with friends, and every evening I light candles for Chanukah, but the rest of the time is pretty much work. Except taht this year I seem to have a wild social life planned (but no plum pudding icecream! and also none of my aunt's recipe for mini Christmas cakes that take five minutes to pull together).

Harma Piening said...

We bake for Santa, december the fifth. Pepernoten, small irregular cubes of "Lebkuchen". Kruidnoten, small crunchy balls with spices and figurines of this same dough, called speculaas. Speculaas is sometimes filled with marzipan. For New Years eve we bake oliebollen, (round Berliner with currants and raisins). A local tradition for New Year around here is the baking of Speckendicken", just like they do in Ostfriesland. And to tease the company it was a game to put a bit of an old sheet in some of the Speckendicken to see someone chew and chew and chew.