Christmas Cookies: Norwegian Christmas Cookies, Carrot Spiced Plum Preserve Crescents and Chocolate Orange

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December has crept up on me! It’s been a very busy and full few weeks. All good I must say and all very exciting – I am taking it all in and making the most of each new creative job and inspiring project I have been working on. Here I am now, the last month in 2014 and I inhale deeply - it feels good. I’ve done so much, learnt so much and met so many incredible people.

I’ve been recipe developing, travelling through the region, tasting my way through luxury restaurants and taking lots of photos for clients. At home we made a big change that demands a lot of intensive time spent with the kid. We finally decided to take Soeren out of the German school he was in for the past 2 years and put him back into his old (new) International School. Back to his old comfort environment and back to his old buddies. The first few weeks have been a challenge for him as classes are all in English instead of German and getting back into the groove took some getting used to. But … the move has been good. He’s a tough kid and always shows me how robust and versatile he is. We’ve been working hard to catch up at the same time staying on top of the current subjects. His friends have welcomed him back with open arms and he’s back with his “mates.”

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We’re now looking forward to the Holidays. We’ve all got a good 2 weeks break that will be filled with relaxation, long pyjama brunches, lazy sofa afternoons and cuddly movie evenings! The countdown to Christmas has also started. Surprisingly we’ve got most of the presents, which just need wrapping, my stollen is baked and ready thanks to a photo job and the house looks beautiful as a few Christmas decorations have popped up around the living room. 

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Now it’s time for cookies! I often push it to the last minute but when the cookie-baking craze hits we have a marathon of baking, spending hours on the weekend making several types of cookies in a go. Soeren made a Lebkuchen (gingerbread) house with his friends and I made some newly tested and the old favorite Christmas cookies. 
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Long time readers of my blog will know I love sharing cookies with my readers each year and this year I hope you enjoy my special selection for you. The recipes are adapted from a magazine I worked with last year. When I made the cookies for the first time to shoot them for the Christmas issue last year I knew I had to have them in my own Christmas cookie collection.  I hope you enjoy them.
I'd also like to welcome all my new readers who have found their way to my humble space in the past several weeks through the Thüringer Tourismus projects I have been working on, specially the Kulinarik Food Journey I have been on. Thank you for all the emails you have sent me and I hope you make yourself comfortable here and enjoy the ride with me!

Recipe: Carrot and Spiced Plum Preserve Crescents

By
Recipe adapted from Köstlich Vegetarisch Magazine
Prep Time:
Total Time:
Makes: 34 crescents

Ingredients

  • 200g carrots, finely grated
  • 300g spelt flour + more for countertop
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 250g cold butter
  • 4 tablespoons plum preserve (or your favorite preserve)
  • 3 tablespoons icing sugar

Method

  1. In a large mixing bowl sieve together flour and baking powder. Add carrots and cold butter and with your finger tips knead into a smooth dough. Cover in plastic wrap and place in fridge for approx. 40 minutes.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C. Divide the dough into 2 equal sized pieces and roll into a circle approx. 3 mm thick. Using a pizza cutter (or sharp knife) cut each circle like a pizza in 16 triangular pieces. Spread each triangle with a dollop of preserve, then roll each triangle from the long side to the short side. Place the crescents on a baking paper lined with baking paper and bake for 25 minutes or until lightly golden.
  3. Remove from oven and sieve some powder sugar over the tops.
Notes
In an air-tight container these will keep for about 1 week.

Recipe: Norwegian Christmas Cookies

By
Recipe adapted from Köstlich Vegetarisch Magazine
Prep Time:
Total Time:
Makes: 24 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 egg, hard boiled
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 75g icing sugar
  • 125g butter, soft
  • a pinch of salt
  • ½ vanilla bean, seeds removed
  • 200g spelt flour
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 60g sugar crystals

 

Method

  1. Separate the yolk of the hard boiled egg and press it through a fine meshed sieve into a bowl. Add the raw yolk, icing sugar, butter, and salt and using kneading hooks of your stand mixer (or hand mixer) knead into smooth mixture.
  2. Add the vanilla and flour to the mixture and continue kneading until the dough comes together smoothly. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees C. Using the cold dough straight out of the fridge, divide into approx. 24 walnut sized pieces. Roll each one into about 12 cm long rolls with your finger tips, bringing the tips of the dough together and pinching them to make sure they are sealed.
  4. Place the rings on a baking tray lined with baking paper about 6cm apart. Brush with some egg wash made by mixing the remaining egg yolk and a tablespoon of water. Sprinkle with sugar crystals and bake in the middle of the oven for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies are gorgeously golden.
Notes
Use the egg whites to make these Lebkuchen Spice Macarons with Quince Jam and Candied Ginger or these traditional German Zimtsterne

Recipe: Chocolate Orange Cookies

By Recipe adapted from Köstlich Vegetarisch Magazine
Prep Time:
Total Time:
Makes: 60 cookies

Ingredients

  • 100g dark chocolate - 70% cocoa
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 organic orange, zest and juice
  • 250g butter, soft
  • 125g icing sugar
  • ½ vanilla bean, seeds removed
  • Pinch of salt
  • 350g spelt flour

Method

  1. Coarsely chop 50g of the chocolate and finely grate the other 50g. Mix the finely grated chocolate with the cocoa powder and keep cool.
  2. In a stand mixer whisk the soft butter until thick, then sieve in the icing sugar and continue whisking. Add the orange juice, zest, vanilla and salt and mix well. Fold in the flour and coarsely chopped chocolate then refrigerate for 45 minutes. Remove from fridge form 4-5 rolls and wrap each roll individually in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees C. In a large flat plate or on a wooden board spread the cocoa and finely grated chocolate and roll the dough rolls in the mixture until they are nicely covered in chocolate. Cut cookies about 1 cm thick with a sharp knife from each roll.
  4. Lay the cookies on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes.

Verdict

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Each one of these cookies has a unique flavor and will take a lot of will power in resisting. But then December is a month of indulging. The soft and moist carrot crescents filled with spices plum preserve are moreish, while the crispy Norwegian cookies are irresistible and those chocolate orange cookies are elegant and full of divine aroma.

What do you bake for Christmas? If you are looking for more cookie ideas this Christmas I’ve listed a few of my favorites below.

Have a great week!

You might like these ideas from WFLH:

Christmas Cookies: Almond Peanut Florentines, Chocolate Brushed Lebkuchen and Hazelnut Gianduia Spritz Cookies

Sugar and Spice Cookies – Cardamom, Lavender, Pistachio and Sprinkles

Christmas Cookies: Hazelnut Marzipan Macaroons, Jam Drops with Morello Cherry Preserve and German Sptizbuben


All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2014 Meeta Khurana Wolff unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

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17 comments:

  1. I'm happy to hear that you are having a blast!

    Lovely seasonal pictures and cookies! All three recipes are wonderful.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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    1. Thank you Rosa. Yes things are good at the moment - maybe I am just enjoying it all more consciously after the terrible 2013!

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  2. Sounds like you have a wonderful, relaxing time planned. Beautiful cookies. Happy Holidays.

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    1. Thank you so much Lail! WIshing you too Happy Holidays!

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  3. I have to dash off to the kitchen to bake some chocolate-orange cookies! Thanks for the adorable recipe and warm. festive pictures.

    I gotta browse all your cookie recipes now. You got me hooked!

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    1. Hope you enjoy them. They really are awesome with a big burst of flavor!

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  4. Good that Soeren is settling back into his old school... ;) As for jobs; it's been a crazy ride the last couple of weeks hasn't it? For me the projects are now finally getting to the end, just some tying up of loose ends, editing all the stuff that is left and than - hopefully - some relaxing time as well! I hope you and your family have a wonderful (white) Christmas and send some of that stollen my way.. ;)

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    1. I know it really has been wild. But I am not complaining as I have been loving every minute of it. Meeting some very cool people as I go along. Simone I wish you all the best for 2015 too! Look forward to seeing you again!

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  5. All three recipes are just wonderful, great choice really. I hope to manage to squeeze at least one of these into my cookie schedual.
    Just one thing, in the recipe for carrot crescents, you say to roll the dough out to 3 cm thick - I'm supposing you meant to say 3 mm, am I right?

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    Replies
    1. Dajana - yes of course I meant 3 mm ... golly thank you for spotting that. Let me know what you think of them!

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    2. I made the Carrot and plum jam crescents yesterday, and they really are lovely. Very nice, I'm glad I made them.

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  6. I wonder if I have the skill and ability to make these delicious looking biscuits? Probably not to be honest but I might have a play and see what happens!

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    1. Baking is not everyone's first love ... I prefer the cooking part but at times I like to indulge.

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  7. Mmm, I think the chocolate orange ones are my favourites:) So glad to hear Soeren is settling in well back at his new-old school and your relaxing holiday plans sound like a dream (although our plans to be soaking up the sun in South Africa don't seem that bad either ;o)

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    1. Yeah mine too ... although the Norwegians are pretty good too ;)

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  8. Delicious snaps. I hope to grab all the cookies at once.. Just loved it...

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Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.

Hugs
Meeta