St. Lucia's Bread Wreath Crown

When I saw these Lucia buns with saffron on Pinterest, I immediately had to think of my friend Lucy, whom I visited recently in her new house. St. Lucia Day on December 13 had certainly passed already, but I still liked the idea a lot. However, I like to give bread and salt for house warming parties, and thus I continued to search for Lucia bread and found something even better: a sweet bread in the form of a braided crown with candles on it! Lucia is derived from "lux", Latin for "light", and in Sweden they have a tradition that on Lucia Day, that the eldest daughter of the house wears a crown with lighted candles, because Holy Lucia probably wore a crown of candles, to have her hands free when she brought food to other pursued Christians. So we had Lucia bread and salt for my visit :-)


Green tea roll with red bean filling

This sponge roll cake with matcha and red bean filling was the first recipe that I got from my Japanese friend Ayako. She is a pastry chef and invented the recipe herself, so that it was the perfect birthday cake for one of my other Japanese friends :-)
Whilst looking where to buy the Japanese red bean paste, I even found a recipe how to prepare it yourself, but ultimately I managed to find the right paste readymade in an Asias shop very close by. I used a little more than the 150 g red bean paste that the recipe suggested, see below.


Wheat Tortillas for Fajitas

On New Years Eve, I served Fajitas - tortillas to be filled with chili con carne , guacamole , sour cream, lettuce, etc. I had prepared homemade wheat tortillas a few years ago, but didn't have recipe but anymore. Therefore, I experimented with two recipes , one from Pinterest with baking soda and one from chefkoch. The chefkoch recipe worked best - maybe because I had a better feel for the right temperature of the pan then...but if it works without baking soda, you can just leave it our, right? The tortillas could be rolled and frozen nicely, were easy to make and very tasty! And compared with the readymade store-bought tortillas with all the artificial flavors and preservatives, the ingredients list with only flour, oil, salt and water, is clearly more sympathetic :-)  Also, you can use whole wheat flour, and vary the flour according to taste and allergies! :-)


Roscon de reyes (Three Kings Wreath)

Today is Epiphany, a holy day which is celebrated much more enthusiastically in Spain and Latin America than here. There, the children have to wait for most of their Christmas presents until today! Moreover,  a popular cake named  Roscon de reyes is consumed. When I was  in Spain a few years ago was, I arrived at this particular time and could admire this ring cake in all bakery shop windows, so I thought I could bake it this year...for nice exile Spaniards, for example ; -) After reading various internet recipes, I used a normal "fine yeast dough" from my very first cookbook, because the ingredients of the different recipes varied strongly, but in the end, usually made up more or less this fine yeast dough.


Melting Snowman Cookies

I discovered these melting snowmen chocolate cookies here on Pinterest immediately wanted to make them! I had to use Ritter Sport chocolate pieces for hats and I think they have worked quite well. For the nose, I started to use pieces of orange Mamba, unfortunately, they were only a very very light orange, so I later switched to orange sprinkles. Nevertheless, not everyone immediately recognized what' is depicted on the cookies ... the most creative theory was that it is a penguin who is jobbing as a construction worker (because of the helmet!) :-)