Sonntag, 30. November 2014

1 dough - 2 kinds of cookies + "the sweet jingle of the cash registers…”

Just in time for the first day of advent I have 2 kinds of cookies for you today.
What’s special about them: they are both made with a super easy chocolate dough – which means you only have to make an effort once!
The dough is foolproof to make, always successful, doesn’t take long and, when cooled, can be rolled and cut out very easily – perfect for small kids’ hands.

I have always wanted to make the reindeer cookies – the Nutella-Spekulatius* bars are an invention of my own. 

Chocolate shortcrust pastry – basic recipe 

1 stick plus 3½ Tbsp Butter
1 egg
2 and 1/3 cups flour
½ cup cocoa powder
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch of salt

1. Mix egg, butter and confectioner’s sugar until frothy.

2. Sift the flour and cocoa powder and add to the rest of the ingredients – knead with an electric mixer just until everything comes together, knead briefly by hand, until the dough is smooth and shiny – not too long!

3. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and place into refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour or into the freezer for 30 minutes. 

4. Roll out between two layers of plastic wrap – a little thinner, if you are making the bars.  Cut out circles and bar-shaped strips.

If you do not have suitable cookie cutters you can simply cut strips by hand and cut out circles with the help of a drinking glass. 

5. Bake cookies at 350°F for about 5-10 minutes, depending on thickness. 

For the reindeer:

red chocolate M+Ms
a bit of dark chocolate

Melt the chocolate. Stick the M+Ms to the cookies with a dot of melted chocolate, fill the rest of the chocolate into a Ziplock bag, cut off a small corner and draw the antlers.

For the Nutella-Spekulatius*-bars:

Nutella-Spekulatius ganache:

3 Tbsp Nutella
about 1 oz dark chocolate 
½ cup whipping cream
5 spicy Christmas Spekulatius cookies

Heat the cream in a small pot on the stove top – it may boil briefly.

Take off the stove, add Nutella and chopped up dark chocolate, let sit briefly, then whisk until everything is well combined.
Fill into a bowl and place into refrigerator for about a ½ hour.
In the meantime roughly grind the cookies in a blender or place them into a Ziplock bag and crumble them with the help of a rolling pin.
Stir the cookie crumbs into the cooled ganache, spread about 1-2 tsp onto one of the bar-shaped cookies and top with another one. If you want, you can embellish the bars with sprinkles etc.

*traditional spicy Christmas almond cookie, with ginger and cinnamon

And in case you are in need of some more pre-Holiday spirit:
here is the video of a lovely campaign taking place in an EDEKA grocery store during a regular weekday with real customers – with 13 candid cameras, 9 cashiers and the beat boxer Robeat.

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Sadly, it was very disappointing today in the check-out lane at Edeka when I did not hear one single “Jingle Bells” or any other Christmas song.

When I persistently asked whether they couldn’t at least do one “Silent Night”, the cashier lady first seemed a little confused, but then assured me that she will work on at least this one until St. Nikolaus on December 6.

I will keep you posted!
*in cooperation with Edeka



Thank you to Ginell Studio for translating this post!

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