The Good Wife

07 Dec


Do not be alarmed. I did not eat them all. But it’s hard to wander around the central squares in German cities these days without being accosted by the smell of roasting meat, mulled wine, candied nuts. It’s enough to drive you mad. I gave in finally during a business trip on Thursday in Nürnburg. We waited for the train and the Christmas market was just outside the station. Needless to say, we needed to sample a few of the famous Nürnburger sausages. With sauerkraut. Alas, without the spicy warm wine. I was so tired from the travel this week that had I taken a sip, I would have been out cold on the spot.

Well, in case you hadn’t noticed – and it would be awfully hard to not notice – Christmas time is upon us here in Germany. There is no escaping it. Last weekend I in fact *did* drink my first mulled wine, and this weekend finds me…baking cookies.

A good (German) wife must certainly have some cookies lying around during the holiday season. And my ridiculous travel/work schedule in the last two weeks hasn’t allowed for anything beyond me begging the cleaning lady to bring some of her “Plätzen” (cookies) to us so we could munch a few of them in the in-beween-work moments. In fact, I need her recipe. They were delicious.

Not one to settle for some simple “Vanilla Kipferl” (sugar cookie crescents), I sought out the weird and wonderful for baking this weekend. Two kinds. Results: weird, not sure about the wonderful.

What did we end up with? For starters, I decided to go weird with a gluten-free thumbprint cookie. I like buckwheat, I like thumbprint cookies, I had some delicious plum mousse to fill them with from a colleague…what could go wrong? Nothing went wrong, per se. But damn it. BUCKWHEAT? No. Never again.


Don’t get me wrong – all the right stuff there – nice crunchy nutty texture, rich buttery crumble, the various jams fit well, but the overcharged flavor of buckwheat flour doesn’t do it for me. I like buckwheat meanwhile, as a whole grain risotto – delicious with lemons, greens, cheese. I love savory buckwheat crepes with a glass of cider. But buckwheat cookies? Nope, never again.

Ok, so cookie number two you ask? Have a look here:


A perfect and surprising flavor combination – chilis and chocolate – yuuuuum. And I was gifted one of those chilies after expressing strong interest in them. Let me warn you – not for the spicy averse. They were edible, but not enjoyable. But I still love chocolate chili, so these spiced chocolate cookies looked like a match for me.


Much better. A relief after the disappointment of the buckwheat bonanza. I did swap out regular flour for the oat and rice flour, I admit it – I wanted a slightly more “normal” ingredient list. And that worked without a hitch. These are chocolaty, although not over the top, soft and rich and slightly chewy because of the raisins, and they have a slow but strong burn entering after a few seconds from the chipotle chili powder I dosed them with. A worthwhile cookie.

Wishing you all a very lovely second Advent Sunday.




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Posted by on December 7, 2014 in Christmas markets, Holiday Foods


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