Are we really two days away from Christmas?!?! Before signing off for the next few days, I would like to take the opportunity to wish all my friends, family, readers of this blog/publications I write for, and clients a wonderful Christmas! I hope your table will be filled with love, joy, great food and wine.
Oh, and cookies. Because one can never have too many Christmas cookies! Here is my recipe for gingerbread men. Consider it a little present from me to you!
Makes approx. 20 cookies
- 300g all-purpose flour
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2tsp warm spices (speculaaskruiden, pumpkin pie spice or pain d’épice spices
- 130g butter
- 125g raw cane sugar
- 1 egg, whisked
- 1-2 tbsps full-fat milk
Put the flour, salt, baking powder, spices, butter and sugar in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the egg and 1 tbsp of milk and pulse again until the dough comes together. You may need to add the other tbsp of milk if the dough is too dry. Take the dough out of the bowl, shape into two disks and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 180C and roll out the dough on a well floured surface to a thickness of about 5mm. Cut out cookies and place them on a lined baking sheet with a little space between them. Bake for 10-15 minutes, in batches. Leave to cool on a wire rack and decorate as you wish.
Recently, two magazines hit the Dutch newsstands with my work again: one is the new En Route with my regular column on French culinary history, the other is the winter edition of Bouillon! where you can read my story about the annual white truffle festival in Alba.
If you’re a Francophile like me, you’ll love the the new En Route which is full of great articles once again. There’s even a story about one of my favorite Frenchmen (and there are quite a few!), Serge Gainsbourg! Plus, this issue includes a booklet with the best French restaurants in the Netherlands. My article, on Agen prunes, is on page 77. If, by the way, you are looking for last minute Christmas/post holiday menu suggestions and craving Agen prunes after reading my article, may I suggest the following four recipes:
A great starter might be my salad with bacon wrapped Agen prunes. A recipe inspired by a meal at one of my favorite restaurants in Duras: Salad with Bacon Wrapped Agen Prunes.
Craving a ‘lighter’ dinner after the holidays? Not sure if duck breast is considered ‘light’, though it is less heavy than turkey with all the trimming! Try my Duck & Agen Prune Skewers.
Dessert? Here are two recipes with Agen prunes you will not want to miss. My Agen Prune Ice Cream with Armagnac and my Agen Prune Cake with Armagnac.
Both magazines are a great read and highly recommended during these upcoming days off! Happy Holidays!
Because it’s almost weekend, and because I’m sure you need a few easy and delicious cookie recipes up your sleeve in preparation for the upcoming holiday season, today I will be sharing my minty chocolate cookie drops with you!
This weekend I slowly started to give the house little hints of Christmas; a string of lights on the mantelpiece and lots more candles. It’s so funny. When summer is almost at its end, I will be the first one to start lamenting its departure. I hate to think about the dark, dreary days ahead. The cold, or worse… the snow. I really am not a fan of snow — unless it’s on Christmas day and no one has to leave the house because we’re all in our pyjamas stuffing our face.