Germany

Vanillekipferl: Austrian Christmas Biscuits

Vanillekipferl, or Vanilla Crescents, are among the many traditional festive biscuits baked each year at Christmastime by home cooks in Austria, Germany and a number of other European countries. For most families in these countries, Vanillekipferl are an essential part of their Christmas fare.   Baking festive biscuits (called Keks in Austria, Plätzchen in Germany) […] Read more…

Brotlaibchen: Festive chocolate biscuits

These wonderful little chocolate biscuits are called Brotlaibchen, which is German for “little loaves of bread”. Because of their shape, dark colour and crunchy cracked sugar crust, they look just like little loaves of (German) bread. But unlike bread, these little treats are sweet and chewy on the inside.   Brotlaibchen combine grated dark chocolate, […] Read more…

Weihnachten: Christmas in Germany

Advent traditions, Christmas markets, traditional German Christmas food, Christmas trees, stars and nativity scenes, Christmas Eve celebrations … and the cold! These are the things I remember most about Weihnachten, Christmas in Germany. At Christmastime in 2015 my husband Tony and I visited our family in Germany. We arrived in late November 2015, just before […] Read more…

Zimtsterne

Last year, while visiting my family in Germany, I learnt how to make Zimtsterne, that is, Cinnamon Stars. Zimtsterne are traditional German Christmas biscuits sold at Christmas markets and in grocery stores in Germany, Austria and Switzerland during Advent, the 3-4 weeks leading up to Christmas. During Advent, many folk in these German-speaking countries bake their […] Read more…

Snow Angels in Cottbus

My husband Tony and I arrived by train at Cottbus (Chósésbuz) at 12.40 pm on Tuesday 5 January. The outside temperature was -7 degrees Celcius and it was snowing. The sky was grey and visibility low in the dull light. Everywhere we looked the landscape was covered by a thick white blanket of snow. Tiny splashes […] Read more…