I know I called this blog post “Winter Wonderland” without having any snow on my pictures but I think Christmas is a Winter Wonderland even without the snow because Germany just doesn’t get white in December. Nonetheless, it’s still beautiful, enchanting and powerful.
What does Christmas mean to me? I am a person that starts listening to Christmas music in October and is fully excited for all the festivities that are to come. To me, it means being with your family, your loved ones and come together in a group. You might see all the people that you don’t see all year. My mum was able to make this such a special day, she made it magical and this holds on until today. I can’t explain the moment when my brother and I come downstairs and it still feels like Santa was there! I can’t thank my mum enough for such an incredible childhood. I think that’s why I still love Christmas so much! I love decorating the house, getting my presents together and doing lots of festive baking.
This year everything is going to be different. My grandma is not coming, my godmother is not coming and my grand-cousin isn’t either. So, we are going to be in a group of four and my boyfriend will join us later. At first, I was quite sad, because Christmas means a lot to me and changes make me scared but I think it’s still going to be as magical because we have each other and that’s what counts most.
What we do on Christmas Eve:
We are this kind of family that puts up their Christmas tree on the 23rd which means we are going to decorate it on 24th, actually, my mum and I usually do it. Then, everyone just does their thing until we go to church. This year my brother and I are actually taking part in the nativity play. He is the narrator and I just helped throughout the rehearsals and read the bible sections for the play. Since my brother still holds onto the idea of Santa Clause, even though we told him that he doesn’t really exist, we do the distribution of presents before dinner. So, my brother and I go upstairs. When he was younger we were looking for Santa through the windows, and when Christmas music starts playing we are allowed to go downstairs and see the tree with all of the presents. Although I am old now I still love this moment because I see my brother’s eye glistening. After that, we start eating turkey, red cabbage and dumplings. This is our tradition, we have never eaten anything else on Christmas Eve. We bring the day to a close by sitting together, occupying with our presents and watching Christmas films.
I told you I love baking around Christmas time and I asked you on my Instagram if you would like to see recipes on my blog, hence I have made 2 different pastries. I’ve made some macadamia cookies and some candy cane cupcakes. Last year on St. Nicolas Day I got a beautiful New York Christmas Baking book and I love all the recipes in there. I’m going to put you my two favourites down below so that you can try and bake them at home!!
Christmas Macadamia Cookies:
40g macadamia nuts
1-2 tbs. honey
100g white chocolate
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
a pinch of salt
130g soft butter
60g brown sugar
Chop the macadamia nuts and almonds coarsely and roast them in a pan. Put the honey in and caramelise the nuts. Put the pan away and let it cool.
Chop the white chocolate. Mix the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together in a bowl. In another bowl mix the butter and the sugar until it’s creamy. Put the egg in and mix it together with rest. Then take the flour mixture and mix it in. Subsequently, put in the nuts and the chocolate and fold them in the dough mixture. Cover the bowl and put it in the fridge for 30 min.
Preheat the oven up to 180 °C and put some baking paper on a baking tray. Make 3 cm big balls out of the dough and put them on the tray with 3 cm space between them and flatten them a bit. Afterwards, let the cookies cool down on a grid.
P.S.: Don’t judge me they are a bit darker than they are supposed to… I’m not the best at baking but they tasted soo good!!
Candy Cane Cupcakes:
For the dough:
2 tbs. cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
a pinch of salt
100g fine sugar
For the frosting:
50g soft butter
150g cream cheese
350g icing sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3-4 candy cane (mince them)
Preheat the oven up to 180 °C. For the dough mix flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt together. Melt the butter and mix it with the milk, then let it cool. Beat the eggs and the sugar in a bowl until fluffy. Mix in the butter and then the flour mixture as well.
Take a muffin tray and put in 8 paper baking cups. Fill the cups 3/4 with the dough and let them bake for 18 min. Afterwards, let the cupcakes cool down.
For the frosting, mix butter and cream cheese in a bowl. Put in the icing sugar little by little. Then, mix in the vanilla extract. Spread the frosting on the cooled down cupcakes and put the chopped candy canes onto it.
I loved writing this blog post even though it took me ages to edit all the pictures and put everything together.
I am so curious to know how you spend your Christmas time and who you spend it with. Let me know in the comments below!
I wish you all a very merry Christmas!!
Lots of love