Day 11: Christmas baking

One of the things the duck and I look most forward to in the days leading up to Christmas is baking. We love to bake cookies in December and we used to bake lots of different varieties. When we were living in Japan, unfortunately, we had to find out that having an oven in a classic Japanese kitchen is not very common. So, we had to resort to other kinds of Christmas ‘baking’.
This year, however, the duck and I made use of having an oven in our kitchen yet again when we assembled our Berlin Baking Buddies and, accompanied by non-stop Christmas music, spent an afternoon and evening baking. Christmas cookie duckThe duck is pretty proud of the Vanillekipferl and decorated butter cookies we made. Well, was. They are all in the duck’s tummy now. Considering that we went shopping first and then spontaneously looked up specific recipes on the day (which was a Sunday, meaning that the grocery stores were closed), we are pretty happy with how our Christmas cookies turned out:

♪ In der Weihnachtsbäckerei

[In the Christmas bakery] is the title of a popular German children’s song about baking Christmas cookies and all the things that can go wrong. And, I have to admit, a few things did go wrong during our first baking adventure this Christmas season, like realizing that we only had one and a half baking trays, which, on solo baking adventures, is the perfect amount.

Christmas baking 1

Cookies awaiting their moment in the spotlight oven

When there are at least three people rolling and cutting out dough and shaping Vanillekipferl that turn out way too big in the end (and too sweet) one and a half trays are not enough. After a while we had several plates with raw cookies awaiting their turn in the oven. But, well, that gave us some time to fully appreciate the music playing in the background and to realize, in shock, that we had gone over to Christmas songs that sounded almost like Schlager music and to share our thoughts on how to live a healthy lifestyle… against the backdrop of dozens of sugary cookies waiting to be baked and later decorated – with even more sugar!

Christmas baking 2

Oversized and oversugared

Once the last batch of butter cookies was in the oven it was time to make some icing. Because we love recycling, we used some of the leftover vanilla powdered sugar the Vanillekipferl had been bathing in beforehand, added some water and then started a lively discussion about how liquid the perfect icing needed to be. A few minutes and sips of tea/mulled wine later we had found a compromise and could finally start decorating the first batch of cooled off cookies by soaking them in icing (which was a bit too liquid, but NOBODY WANTED TO LISTEN TO ME!) and then throwing, or meticulously placing, pretty sprinkles on top. I prefer plain icing with lemon juice instead of water and no sprinkles (don’t like them, don’t know why). But that’s not fun. So, the duck and I gave in to the peer pressure and extensively reveled in creative cookie coating!

Christmas baking 4

Sad friend, sad cookie

This is hands-down our favorite cookie! We decorated it in the likeness of a very special friend who we caught sadly observing our cheerful baking session… through the window. I’m not sure if the duck or I will ever be able to eat this cookie – it would feel like a repetition of our first betrayal. What do you think?

We hope your Christmas baking endeavors end on a more cheerful note!

One thought on “Day 11: Christmas baking

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