Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy New Years with Kniepertjes!

Wauw, it's been a while hasn't it? Last month December was way too busy for me to even leave a note to say I'm busy. Christmas can be a busy time right? I'm sure everyone was busy with preparations...

That's not what kept me busy though. Oh, surely the weekends were filled with that. But there were another 5 days in every week on which I was going to work for my apprenticeship. That meant waking up before 5, coming home at 7 and going to bed before 10 and working loads in between. There was no time or energy left to even look at my blog. Which killed me little bits every time. 

Now I'm done! Well, nearly done. But at least I don't have to get up so early any longer. So now I can start the new year freshly with more posts!

This recipe is from my grandma: traditional Dutch kniepertjes! This kind of recipe is handed down from mother to daughter. You won't really find kniepertjes anywhere but in peoples homes these days. These thin crunchy 'cookies' with an anise flavour are made and eaten on New Year's Eve and New Years Day. Add some whipped cream and you're all set for celebrating the new year!

lots* - recipe by my grandma

500 grams flour
250 grams sugar
2 eggs
250 grams butter
2-4 tablespoons liquor (optional)
25 grams anise powder
25 grams anise seeds
about 1/2 liter milk

1. Melt the butter. Combine it with the eggs, sugar, flour and anise in a large bowl.
2. Add the liquor with as much milk as needed to form a creamy dough. It should be quite runny.
3. Pour a small spoon of batter on a cookie/ice cream cone/pizzelle iron and close for about a minute until golden brown.
4. Take the cookie out with tweezers or a spoon, and roll! This needs to happen quickly as the cookies turn hard very fast. A slightly warm surface helps. And heat-proof hands. And a cylinder stick of about a fingers thickness to roll it on.
5. Leave to cool (that goes real fast!). Eat plain or fill with whipped cream**.

* According to my grandma you can make 120 kniepertjes in roughly 3 hours with this recipe. I think both the amount and time are slightly exaggerated, but it's safe to say 'lots'.
** Seriously, fill it with cream.

My grandma explained how, on New Year's Eve, people would eat kniepertjes in the shape of flat circles. It would represent the whole previous year, which would be all over (round) and clear to you (open). On New Year's Day the kniepertjes would be rolled up, 'the contents invisible', as you do not yet know what is ahead of you the upcoming year. I didn't know there was quite so much symbolism behind these cookies!

I really hope you enjoy the recipe! I'll be back with more very soon and hopefully I can get back into my routine of posting once weekly when I've got all the deadlines over and done with!

Happy New Year everyone! I wish you guys all the best :)

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Flour (Part I) - The final ingrediƫnt

So I’ve touched on butter, sugar, eggs and milk. We’ve almost got a full (Quarter) Pound Cake. We’re just missing one very important and essential ingredient: flour. Which baked good doesn’t use flour? Honestly. This stuff is important and you know it.

Components of flour
First if all, what IS flour? To understand the purpose of flour it’s crucial to know where it comes from. Flour is milled from grains such as wheat. The wheat grains are made up of several layers:
 - Endosperm. The center of the grain. It contains starch, protein, carbohydrates and small amount of oil.
- Brain (bran). The outer husk of the grain. Contains mostly fiber, but also adds texture and colour to flour.
 - Germ. The reproductive epicenter of the grain. It contains the most nutrients. Flours with germ are rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber. It also contains a small amount of fat.
All flours contain the endosperm. Quite frankly, most (white) flours only contain this part. The bran and germ are found in whole wheat flours.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Rest of the world in my oven: Sauces & condiments

After all the beverages I wanted to share some condiments. Heaven knows where I got the idea, but I wanted to try making some classic sauces myself - mayonnaise, mustard and ketchup just to name a few. How did it go?

The home made Mustard was the greatest success - soooo easy! I was really surprised by how well it turned out. I completely nailed the Sweet & sour chilli sauce as well - they're a weekly request now! (come to think of it - my mom eats a whole jar of sauce per week?!) The only thing I couldn't do was mayonnaise. Why is that so hard? It turned out as a solid oil which was completely inedible. Do you think you can do it better?

Thank you so much to all the lovely bloggers who let me share their posts! I wish I could taste all of your amazing recipes, but they're on my list now and I'm sure they'll find a way into my kitchen soon!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Busines & birthdays~ (scroll down to see the cake!)

Oh life is so hectic again. Every time I have to put my blog in second place a part of me screams and shouts and halfway dies. On top of that - right now is the most blog-worthy time of the year! Halloween is coming up and I just love the whole theme of pumpkins, bats, spiders & vampires and so on.. It's a pity we don't celebrate it here.

AND it's ALMOST Christmas! Thinking of that literally gives me a near heart attack - that's how excited I am! I feel like a little kid on Christmas eve just DYING to open presents, but I've still got so so sooo long to wait!!

While I'm waiting for Christmas, I'm waking up every morning at 5 to go to work and coming home at 7 in the evening again. I give myself some time to eat and rest, and then it's off to bed otherwise I won't be able to make the crazy time schedule I suddenly have. (That picture was from when the sun just came up at 6 in the morning - there's none of that happening anymore now!) Blogging has suddenly become a luxury like never before...