the christmas holidays were already a while ago, but i still haven’t given you all the recipes from my homemade gift baskets. of course there wasn’t only sweet stuff, but also some salty snacks. i liked the savory cantuccini best – hearty mediterranean. i love to have some small savory snacks at home – this can be a piece of bread or nuts, but these cantuccini with sundried tomatoes (and if you like olives), rosmary and parmesan are a favorite too. quickly made and stored airthight they keep a bit. either you snack them yourself or give them as a present for a dinner invite.
winter in vienna mostly means drab, wet weather and you’ve got snow for about a half day before it turns into mush. so not the best time of year. that’s way i have to at least get something sunny, fresh on my plate. this ginger lemon cake is perfect for that – strong yellow colour, sweet sour due to the lemon and ginger for the prevention of colds and the flue (and also fires up your digestion so basically you immediately burn through the calories of the cake 😉 ). the lemon cake is being soaked with a lemon ginger syrup, so you have these pockets with very intense flavor. since i found the cake, despite the syrup, too dry, i changed the dough to the one of my grandma’s marble cake. nothing can go wrong with that.
i think there mustn’t be said much – the combination of my favorites brownies, cheesecake while also fruit due to the cherries. what more do you want? you can either cut the cake into small bites or in mid-sized pieces (believe me you don’t need more 😉 ). especially with the bite version it looks nice to drizzle the chocolate finish separately on top of every piece. however you can also pour the chocolate cream on top of the whole cake and cut after it firmed up. i use philadelphia as my choice of cream cheese. although i normally buy organic, the organic ones usually are a bit salted and thus don’t give the right flavor. philadelphia seems to be the most neutral one.
since i made those brownies for a birthday party and transporting them bite sized wouldn’t have been such a good idea, i don’t have great pictures. but rest assured, you really should try this recipe!!
for christmas my family, as is a tradition by now, got gift baskets with homemade little somethings from my kitchen. per popular demand i made the tomato pasta spice and the fruit energy balls. besides i also made the winterly pralines and caramelized almonds (which are also in high demand with you guys according to the blog stats). of course i also made some new things like these chocolate almonds deluxe. we used to make them alongside our “normal” christmas cookies – just through some almond slivers in with melted chocolate and form small heaps out of it. for this deluxe version the almonds are first being roasted in the oven, then caramelized with some sugar syrup and then seasond with cinnamon and sea salt. the result is a heavenly small bite from which i just can’t get enough. as usual it doesn’t take much to make them, but is a very nice present from the kitchen.
of course there are quite a few more ideas for presents from the kitchen on the blog if you want to give away homemade joy.
for christmas we had this gingerbread tiramisu as dessert. as usual my grandma and my uncle and his family come over for christmas lunch on the 25th and it is on me to make dessert. the last years we had eg strawberry panna cotta with chocolate or a raspberry chocolate tarte. this year i actually decided on something without chocolate – shocker 😀 i know most of you probably have had enough of christmas already, however if you’ve still got some gingerbread spice, than you should try this tiramisu version. of course you can do with out the spice and maybe just season with cinnamon and cardamom, just something that gives that special touch. instead of the orange cookies you can also use any leftover gingerbread cookies, so you’re rid of them as well 😉 i prepared the tiramisu the day before and used a piping bag (that way you have nice clean glasses) to fill it into separate glasses. that way you don’t have to bother with the dessert on the special day. of course you can also make one huge bowl with the dessert as well.
we’re slowly approaching the home run to christmas, only 10 more days. if you still want to bake some cookies or your first batch has been eaten up and you desperately need a fresh supply, these simple chocolate walnut cookies are the perfect choice for you. knead the dough and cut the cookies from a roll – done!