Memories of Family, Friends and Food

It has been a little while, but I am still here!

We have finished up for the year and have been concentrating on preparations for the Festive Season.

We have not had a Christmas tree for a couple of years now, so I was determined to have one this year. When I pulled the garlic from the garden and hung it to dry, I decided that it would be central to our decorations, it looked just like a cream coloured Christmas tree! Garlic Tree 3-r

I then chose to purchase a living tree, potted it into a nice green (heavy!) pot, and set it, together with my garlic tree, in our front entrance. They stayed as they were for a week or so.

Trees in place - rThen the day after we closed down for the break, I climbed up the ladder to pull down the decorations, unpacked them, carefully selected the ones that had sentimental value, that had been given to us by family and friends, some that I had made in years gone by, and others that we had collected on our travels. Everything else was packed back up, I went back up the ladder and put them all away.

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This year we will be catching up with various members of our family, but not all, so the next job on hand was to send packages of Christmas Cheer from our home to those that we could not be with. A rush job saw puddings, cakes, preserves and biscuits produced, packaged and despatched.

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There is one thing about Christmas for me, and it is the memories of family and friends, those who are with us, and those no longer here… As I was deciding on the recipes for the biscuits (cookies) to be baked, I recalled a Latvian friend, a lecturer and colleague who I worked with at Deakin University almost 30 years ago! (She was an academic, I was in admin). The department we worked for was a very sociable group, and we celebrated Christmas twice a year! Brigita always prepared the mulled wine, and she also introduced me to a very special sweet treat, a biscuit that she called pumpernikel. It was not the dark, dense, savoury pumpernikel that I was familiar with, rather a crisp, light sweet, fruity biscuit. I was so privileged to have received this recipe from her, and it is through this recipe that Brigita will be forever remembered. This year Brigita’s Pumpernikel was to be included in our Christmas treats.

I could recall that when I made the Pumpernikel many years ago, it made a lot of biscuits, so there was no need to double or triple the mix, just one batch would do. I had all of the ingredients and set to baking. I think that it is the candied citrus peel that makes this such a special treat (I also like to add some candied ginger into the mix). I thought, given the season, that this would be the perfect recipe to share.

Brigita's Sweet Pumpernikel

There is one thing about Christmas for me, and it is the memories of family and friends, those who are with us, and those no longer here…

As I was deciding on the recipes for the biscuits (cookies) to be baked for this year's Christmas gifts, I recalled a Latvian friend, a lecturer and colleague who I worked with at Deakin University almost 30 years ago! (She was an academic, I was in admin). The department we worked for was a very sociable group, and we celebrated Christmas twice a year! Brigita always prepared the mulled wine, and she also introduced me to a very special sweet treat, a biscuit that she called pumpernikel. It was not the dark, dense, savoury pumpernikel that I was familiar with, rather a crisp, light sweet, fruity biscuit. I was so privileged to have received this recipe from her, and it is through this recipe that Brigita will be forever remembered.

Category: Baking, Biscuits, Cookies
Style: Latvian
Keyword: Biscuits, Christmas Biscuits, Christmas Cookies, Cookies, Fruit Biscuit, Fruit Cookies, Gluten Free Option, Pumpernikel, Sweet Pumpernikel
Quantity: 120 biscuits
Author: sbaskitchen
Ingredients
  • 200 g butter
  • 400 g sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 3 drops of almond extract
  • 500 g plain flour
  • 300 g ground almonds
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 125 g candied citrus peel
  • 100 g glace fruit diced
  • 75 g currants
  • 60 g glace ginger diced
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 175˚C (fan).
  2. Line 3 baking trays with baking paper.
  3. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Add fruit and dry ingredients and mix well to combine.
  6. Roll into 2 cm thick sticks and lay across the lined baking tray, leaving space for spreading.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden.
  8. Cut on the diagonal while still warm.
  9. Lay out on baking trays and dry in a tepid oven.
Notes
  • I heat the oven to 150˚C (fan), turn it off and then put the biscuits in overnight.
  • For gluten free sweet pumpernikel replace flour with Gluten Free Flour Blend, add an additional tsp of GF baking powder and 1 tsp xanthan gum.

 

While I continue to prepare for Christmas, cooking terrines, baking tarts and making salads, some of which will be gifts, others will be shared with family at the Christmas table, I continue to remember those who are no longer with us, those who we cannot be with us due to distance, and those of us who will gather together to celebrate this beautiful time of year.

To you, thank you for taking the time to read my words and follow my journey. I wish everyone a beautiful festive season and a safe and peaceful 2020.

Until next time…

Bon appétit!

 

Links

Brigita’s Sweet Pumpernikel

2 Comments

  1. Hi, I would love to make this, but I noticed in the ingredients list there is no butter, eggs or eggs but the instructions say to cream butter and sugar fist and then add eggs. Please advise! These sound delicious and I lvoe candied citrus peel and ginger!

    • sbaskitchen says:

      My apologies, I should have gone back and checked it again.
      Many thanks for pointing out the missing ingredients. I have just updated the data. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
      I think that the candied citrus peel and ginger are perfect partners, I hope that you enjoy.
      Have a wonderful festive season.
      Merry Christmas and Kindest Regards
      Julie

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