Posts Tagged 'Germany'

Rando Tuesdays: German Bakes

Since I’m back in the country and I have a bit more time, I felt I should go back to posting four times a week. I just have a lot of feelings (name that movie). Speaking of movies, one of the deep realizations I had about myself this past year at Bible school was that I only quote from three movies: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and The Princess Bride. I don’t know why; I just know that it is true and that barely anyone my age knows quotes from those movies, which makes me one of those unfunny people who doesn’t know all the hilarious YouTube quotes/Will Ferrell quotes everyone quotes all the time. Whatever. I’m fine.

Anyway, this week’s Rando Tuesday is devoted to all the neat German bakery items I observed when I visited Nüremberg and Röthenberg. Every European country I visited had a different feel to its baked goods. In Germany, there were a lot of heavy breads and pretzels and things. This bakery was one of the famous ones in the area, and my sweet relative took me there one morning for breakfast.

We also had afternoon coffee and cake on days that we were out. I was in Bavaria, so there were a lot of cream cakes like this.

And also, basically every country I went to did croissants. I didn’t eat one here, though; I was saving it for France.

The other bonus about having foreign relatives is that they make a whole bunch of traditional, nice things for you. This is stollen, which is a traditional family Christmas bread. It was a heavy bread filled with dried fruits. Delectable!

Reveling in the random,

L

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Pipe Dream #106: To Find Something “Too Rich” – Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Blondies

Hello, dear friends.

This recipe is wonderful if you need to use up all of that canned pumpkin you have left over from, oh November. Personally, I buy canned pumpkin in March in case I have a craving. You know, one of those pre-fall cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin cravings. This recipe may seem a little off, given that summer is about to begin, but I make no excuses. I love pumpkin. I love blondies. Nothing is ever “too rich” for me.

Which reminds me. One thing that bothers me is when people say, “Oh, this dessert is too rich for me right now.” Like, they can’t eat it because it’s too heavy or sugary or something. I don’t really bother about the person’s opinion; it mostly just bothers me because it points out to myself that nothing is too rich for me. I’ll eat it all no matter the time or season or if I’ve just eaten the best fresh pasta with truffle cream sauce you ever saw. So I have no Richness Rectifier, and I’m jealous of people who do.

Returning from that rabbit trail. The key key key to these is to underbake them. Please just hear me on this. Underbaking is essential. No one likes a crispy blondie.

If you are perhaps feeling like these need a little more richness, please go ahead and pipe on a little bit of leftover cream cheese icing to make them look pretty. It’s what I would do.

That’s rich,

L

Oh p.s. you can find a walnut version of these blondies here.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Blondies

Adapted from How to Cook Everything, found at smittenkitchen

8 tablespoons (1 stick, 4 ounces or 113 grams) butter, melted

1 cup (218 grams or 7 3/4 ounces for light; 238 grams or 8 3/8 ounces for dark) brown sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Pinch salt

1 cup (4 3/8 ounces or 125 grams) all-purpose flour

½ cup pureed pumpkin

½ to 1 cup chocolate chips

Butter an 8×8 pan.

Mix melted butter with brown sugar – beat until smooth. Beat in egg and then vanilla.

Add salt, stir in flour. Mix in pureed pumpkin, then mix chocolate chips.

Pour into the prepared pan. Bake at 350°F (180°C) for 20-25 minutes, or until set in the middle. Don’t overbake; always underbake. Cool on rack before cutting.

Pipe Dream #102: To Spend Time Around The Table – German Waffles

One thing that really astonished me when I visited my friends in Germany was the amount of time we spent around the table. It didn’t happen every meal, but occasionally we would sit there for hours grazing on food and chatting. One more morning we started breakfast at 9:30 and didn’t get on the road until noon.

And I was bothered! I’m embarrassed to admit it, because obviously I’d like to paint a picture of myself as extremely chill and happy to be around people making small talk for hours like I don’t have a care in the world. Probably one part of my unease was that much of the small talk was actually in German. And the other part is that my culture is messed up and we rush around like crazy fools for the better part of the day. So nurture, not nature.

Anyway, I eventually relaxed and had the wonderful feeling that I really didn’t have to go anywhere or do anything. It was very nice.

We spent one of the nights in a flat drinking Christmas tea and making waffles. German waffles, from a cookbook that all good German girls have, so my friends said. If you can interpret the recipe, feel free to look at the ingredient list. Otherwise, translation follows below.

Auf Wiedersehen meine Freunde,

Lauren

German Waffles

Adapted from German Linda’s recipe

250 grams butter

250 grams sugar

5 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

500 grams self-raising flour

500 milliliters milk

Cream butter and sugar with a stand/hand mixer. Add the eggs, mixing to combine. Next add the flour flour, then stir in the milk and vanilla. Pour batter into a hot waffle iron, and use as directed.

Pipe Dream #91: To Develop My Manners In Case I Ever Eat With The Queen – Pumpkin Cupcakes

I realize this cupcake looks like a cross between my brain on a Friday and a stylized flower. Unattractive.

I realize that this mount of spice looks rather unlike a mount of spice and instead looks more like a bit of carrot soup with someone’s beard shavings from an electric razor. Unattractive.

I realize that this looks like some puke caught in a bowl with lentils mixed in. Unattractive.

I realize that I love pumpkin a lot and post about it continually, and that I have extremely inadequate manners which I’m sure are the reasons you read my blog. Attractive.

But seriously, I don’t regret these at all. Despite looking awful in a bowl, these babies are gorgeous in a mouth. They are the cupcake version of every wonderful pumpkin cake slash bar you have had. Oh, and if you follow the frosting recipe I put below, yours won’t turn out like the gloppy mess I had. Go Germany!

Please and thank you,

L

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Adapted from SweetandSavorybySarah

4 whole eggs
1-⅔ cup sugar
2 cups pure pumpkin puree
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt

8 ounces, weight cream cheese, softened
½ cups butter, softened
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with liners if you are making cupcakes.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, pumpkin and vegetable oil. Mix for a couple of minutes until it’s well mixed and some air is incorporated. Set aside.

In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

By hand, stir the dry ingredients in with the wet ingredients just until combined. There will be some lumps.

Pour mixture into a greased 9×13 pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

While the cake is cooling, make the frosting.

In a large bowl combine the softened cream cheese and butter. Mix on high until fluffy.

Add the confectioner’s sugar and mix on low until incorporated. Then turn on high and whip the heck out of it. Add the vanilla and continue to whip. I wanted a light and fluffy frosting so I had mine running on high for a few minutes after the ingredients were all added.

Once the cake is cool, frost the cake (or cupcakes).

Pipe Dream #86: To Explain The Exclaim

I went to Neurnberg! It was sweet! There were cathedrals!

There were lonely people!

There were vistas!

There was music!

 

There were castles!

And there were friends.

What a happy day,

L


Favorite Shots: Jesus Clouds

This shot is for my sessy. She takes advantage every opportunity to take pictures of clouds and sunsets on her phone. Even if she is driving, and I fear for her life. We call this particular phenomenon “Jesus clouds.” It’s what the clouds are going to look like when Jesus comes back. It’s a little taste of heaven shining through. And so I love them.

You can’t stop the music,

L

Favorite Shots: Smile Upon Me

This post is heavy on some geeky history, so if you’re here to see some frou frou cupcakes, think again. You have been warned.

When I visited Germany in December, one of  the neat historical places we stopped was Nürnberg Castle. It was kind of like a time share property for the Holy Roman Empire. Visiting dignitaries would stay there if they were passing through, and all the local nobles would donate their best furniture to deck out the castle. After the emperor (or whoever was staying) left, all the furniture would be returned.

The castle had a 50 meter well dug straight into sandstone (it probably took them ten years), but the most interesting part to me was the double chapel. It is called a “double” chapel because there were two levels, the main level for the nobles, and the lower level for the peasants. There was no direct access to the lower level (which is literally beneath the feet of the upper class) because the nobility thought it horrible to associate at all with the lower class. There was only a big hole in the floor through which the peasants could hear what was going on above them. It is thought that this practice was the beginning of the phrase “to hear mass.”

Technically, though, this is a triple chapel. The above shot was taken from a landing made specially for the emperor, above the nobility level. You can see the face of Christ above the archway there? When viewed from the peasant level, he looks like he is frowning. When viewed from the nobility level, he has a straight face. And when viewed from the emperor level, he is smiling. So weird! But what interesting architecture.

Sidenote: this whole situation is so far from how the church is supposed to function. Jesus loves everyone the same, and no one has limited access to him.

Someday this will all be made right,

Lauren

 


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