the wonders of chocolate
We´ll, the old guy came through with the chocolate and I'm feeling sooo much better.
Here's our dear St. Nick courtesy of Boy12 and lots of scotch tape
This is part of a classic poem for St. Nicholas Day, or Nikolaustag as it's called in German. It's recited by Knecht Ruprecht who carries the sack of gifts for Nicholas.
Von draußen, vom Walde komm ich her;
ich muß euch sagen, es weihnachtet sehr!
Überall auf den Tannenspitzen
sah ich goldene Lichtlein blitzen,
und droben aus dem Himmelstor
sah mit großen Augen das Christkind hervor.
(I come from out there, from the forest
And I have to tell you
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
I saw tiny golden lights
Twinkling on the tips of the fir branches,
And over at heaven's gate
the Christ Child peered out with huge eyes.)
The rest is here, if you'd like to read it.
We dutifully hung up our stockings, quite an eclectic mix of colours and patterns. We don't do matchy-matchy around here.
Mine is on the top left. My mother made it for me when I was about 13, I think. I whipped up Mr. M's during our first Christmas holiday in Canada pre kids. Boy15's on the lower right was also made by my mother when he was a baby and I created Boy12's when he was just a little guy with a thing for trucks.
The kids got lots of goodies and a present or two and Mr. M will be enjoying his favourites, chocolates filled with Eierlikör.
As far as we're concerned, he can have those all to himself! Scary stuff.
Check out my loot
Milk chocolate with raspberries and coconut, bittersweet with ginger and bittersweet with slivered almonds and sea salt. I'm actually a plain chocolate girl at heart, but I'll try anything once and I'm sure these won't last long.
The boys also picked out a Christmasy plant to brighten the place up
And what's Nikolaustag without cookies?
We left a few out for Nikolaus on Friday night in case he got hungry on his journey and the rest were devoured the next day.
This isn't my usual sugar cookie recipe, but I love how it tastes like eggnog when there is no eggnog to be had (don't want to risk making my own with the dodgy German eggs!). The combination of rum extract, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla is lovely and I suppose you could use any cookie recipe you wanted and substitute those flavourings.
Eggnog Sugar Cookies (Canadian Living Magazine, December 1999)
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp rum extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp each baking powder and ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
1. Beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, vanilla and rum extract. Combine flour, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt; with wooden spoon stir into butter mixture in 3 additions. Divide dough in half; flatten each half lightly. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour or until chilled (Make ahead: refrigerate for up to one day.)
2. On lightly floured surface, roll out each half of dough to 1/4 in. (5mm thickness. Cut into desired shapes. Place 1 inch apart on parchment paper-lined or greased rimless baking sheets.
3. Bake in top and bottom thirds of 375°F (190°C) oven rotating and switching pans half way through, for about 10 minutes or until golden on bottom and edges. Let cool for one minute on sheet. Transfer to racks and let cool completely. Decorate with icing as desired. Makes about 30 cookies.