Saturday, 12 December 2015

Ohhh Tannenbaum ...Ohhh Tannenbaum

Lately I have been busy crafting Christmas decoration for our home, hence our home is not only filled with Christmas spices, cookies and cakes, but also with tons of crafting material occupying our whole living room. Today on the blog, Christmas tree decoration for your home, Christmas tree mini cakes to surprise your friends on a spontaneous afternoon tea invitation and additional Christmas cookies recipes worth to be tried....



There is not much you would need to craft the Christmas tree, neither for crafting material nor for crafting skills. The tree can be done together with kids, as it is easy to be made and everybody can show their own creative side. My son was helping me to bring the decoration on the tree (the small round shiny circles you can see on the pictures). Telling me which colour goes next and where exactly I should glue it on. 
  • 1 sheet green sponge paper (with or without glitter) - normal carton paper will work as good as the sponge one
  • any decoration you would like to have on your tree
  • glue gun
  • foot stand: can be either done yourself or bought (I crafted mine myself)
Cut a square out of the paper as big or as small as you would like to have your Christmas tree to be, roll it to a cone and glue it together. Decorate the cone with the decorative band (around the tree), glue on both ends. Now glue your decoration all over the tree, as much or as less as you want. Cut a small star out of the sponge paper and glue it on the top of the tree. Finally put your decorated cone on the top of the food stand...which can be decorated with some small gift parcels on the foot.

The tree is following us all over the house.....is used as a prop for my photo shoots, as decoration on dinner table or as deco on the dresser....

To continue on the Christmas tree trip, here another idea how you can put the Christmas tree in scene over the festive period. The other day we got a spontaneous invitation from our friends we have not been managed to see for a while. We decided to meet up for the afternoon tea and I insisted to bring something with. As most of the time (I somehow seem to be very busy with so many things at once) something quick and easy was required. I used my imagination, remembered what most people do like, thought about my success recipes and came up with vanilla sponge and cream cheese frosting mini cakes....and since we are all about Christmas these days, I decided to do them as small Christmas trees....


Mini Christmas tree cakes
  • 3 eggs
  • 90 g sugar
  • 90 g flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 fresh vanilla pod
Preheat the oven to 180C. Beat the eggs, vanilla seeds and sugar till doubled in size and pale in the colour (use your electrical hand mixer or stand mixer). Sift flour and baking powder and fold it into the egg sugar mixture with a spatula, don´t beat it, try to keep the volume. Pour the batter on a baking sheet, smooth it a bit out and bake for 10-12 minutes. Let the biscuit cool, take three different size of cookie cutter and cut round circle (your cake tree will have 3 biscuit levels at the end). 

Prepare the frosting...check for recipe HERE or HERE...add some green food colouring to it. Assembling the cakes: take the biggest biscuit circle and frost it with some of the cream cheese frosting (using a piping bag). Top it with the middle size circle and frost it on top too. Cover with the smallest circle and pipe an frosting star on it. Decorate with some sugar sprinkle.




Moving on to the next Christmas cookie recipes. This time something chocolaty and something fruity, using the same technique and same basic shortcrust dough. The cookies will be spiced up and filled differently, so you will get two kinds of cookies with the same basic dough. And the best about this cookies is (as always) the dough can be frozen after the preparation and stored in the freezer for couple of month...you can use just one part of it, if you are graving for Christmas cookies, the rest can go back to freezer and used in later stage. Now...should you get some surprising guest over the festive period, I would urge you to prepare some of the dough rolls and store it in the freezer....that way you can always delight your guest with super dupper Christmas cookies with no effort at all....

Chocolate nutella cookies
  • 50 g powdered sugar
  • 100 g butter
  • 150 g flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cacao powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • chopped hazelnuts
  • nutella
Put powdered sugar, butter, flour, cacao powder and baking powder in a food processor and give it couple of spins, so everything is well mixed. Add the eggs and blitz it till a firm ball of dough will form (add a spoon of milk if dough appears to be too dry). Take the dough and roll it out to a square. Spread 2 tablespoons of nutella over the dough (not too think) and sprinkle one part of the chopped hazelnuts all over. Start rolling the dough together (always starting with the longest side of the square). Spread additional chopped nuts on your rolling board and roll your dough roll over it, making sure it it all covered with hazelnuts. Now wrap the role in a plastic wrap and pop it into the freezer for 20-30 min. Preheat the oven to 180C. Take out the cookie dough roll out of the freezer and cut it in slices (about half of centimetre). Place the cookies at the baking sheet and bake for 8-10 mins. 


Cardamom marzipan cherry cookies
  • 50 g powdered sugar
  • 100 g butter
  • 150 g flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 50 g marzipan
  • 2-3 tablespoons cherry marmalade
  • 50 g powdered sugar
Prepare the dough the same way as described above (leave out marzipan and marmalade). Put marzipan, marmalade and powdered sugar into the blender and blend everything till you will get a think fruity paste. Spread the paste over the rolled out dough square, then roll it together, wrap it and put it into the freezer for 20-30 min. Continue as described above.




Enjoy!

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