Christmas is in the air

… and the oven is already on

Just like every year at the beginning of Advent, cooks and those less able to cook get to work to prepare typical seasonal delicacies and especially sweets. Yes, because with the sharp cold of these months and possibly also snow making the streets white how can you resist a cup of hot chocolate and some spiced biscuits? And as we know, biscuits are the easiest things to make us feel like chefs. Even those who have little time to spend in the kitchen, or those with no ambition to make the Michelin Guide, can take out the rolling pin and discover once more the ancient joy of feeling dough in the hands and flour on the nose.

In the imagination of all of us Christmas rhymes with a warm atmosphere, soft lights, maybe some candles, laurel wreaths and... a few calories more to protect us from low temperatures. Helping us to reinforce this is the concept of “Hygge”, a term borrowed from Danish and Norwegian traditions but pleasing accepted around the world up to becoming one of the latest trends. Hygge is the feeling of wellbeing when we pamper ourselves with simple pleasures. Hygge is sharing intimate settings with people dear to us. Hygge is also, and why not?, the wait for Christmas with the oven on and that intense aroma of good food spreading through the house.

For this reason imagine yourself huddled up on the lounge, wrapped in a soft plaid while we offer you a European tour of typical Christmas sweets so you will be able to take a trip with your imagination, with no inconvenience, and let distant flavours inspire your next creations.
The KitchenAid Stand mixer and the Twelix Artisan oven will be the perfect travelling companions and at your side as soon as you decide to get to work.

The first stage of the tour is cold Austria, a well known and appreciated destination due to its ski slopes and Christmas markets where delicacies of every type can be bought. “Vanillekipferl” are unavoidable. These are the typical small, crescent shaped biscuits with that intense aroma which quickly tempts you. It is difficult to eat just one, since when you start it is impossible to stop! There is also a German version of these classic spiced biscuits. They are the “Zimsterne”, they too are of various shapes and highly aromatic. At the first batch it will already seem like Christmas! 

Let’s jump a little more to the North straight into Belgium where we find the unmistakable “Speculoos”, the spiced biscuits which, according to tradition, Saint Nicholas brings to good children together with mandarins. They are made with cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves and ginger. Their unmistakable intense flavour is unique and will also win over adults.

If you want to astonish your guests with a more elaborate sweet, the perfect suggestion would have a French accent. In France the typical seasonal sweet is the “Bûche de Noël”. This is the Christmas cocoa tree trunk with the classic chocolate form which is generally garnished with whipped cream. But what story does this sweet tells us? It’s better to be prepared in case someone asks us. The “Bûche de Noël” represents the log that the head of the family must burn for the whole holiday period and represents the warmth of the hearth.

Italy gives us the magic of the Panettone, the sweet bread enriched with butter, eggs, sultanas and candied fruit which is leavened overnight. It was originally known as the “il pan del Toni”, (“Tony’s bread”), from the name of the pastry chef that first created it. This story goes back to the fifteenth century and is now confused with the legend. One thing is certain, today the Panettone still has a guaranteed place on Italian tables that are set for the festivities. If you want to fill the house with the magical aroma of this leavened sweet bread, the  KitchenAid Stand mixer  will be of excellent service for working the abundant dough.

The most famous Christmas cake from the Netherlands is of much simpler preparation. The “Banketstaaf” is a roll of puff pastry filled with almond paste. It is the perfect accompaniment for a cup of hot coffee and can be prepared in less than an hour thanks to the KitchenAid Artisan Power Plus Blender, you can easily prepare the filling as well.

We end our mouth watering trip with a stop in the Swiss Alps where we can taste the “Brunsli”, which are also known as a version of brownies. Compared to their American cousins, they have a spicier soul with the addition of cinnamon, cloves and cherry liqueur. Another characteristic? They contain little flour and they can be cooked in only 5 minutes in the Twelix Artisan oven. If you have a big sweet tooth you do not have to wait long to taste them. It only takes the time to prepare a good cup of tea and then you can enjoy the snack!

From spices to cocoa, Europe gives us a Christmas sweet for every palate and many recipes to enjoy some home cooking. We just have to wish you happy holidays…with the oven on!

Merry Christmas from KitchenAid!

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