Chocolate Espresso Macarons

I tried, I will try more, I must do, I want to!

On a little trip to Amsterdam, I finally had the pleasure to find a little praline store that sells Macarons. That was my first not self made one I tried. It was amazing, so yummy, I did regret that I only bought one to try and not the whole 12 pieces package.

Back home, I started researching for recipes. I made them before once or twice, but I always thought they taste too sweet and don’t have much flavor. I come along doing them well without cracking shells, so the technique making them doesn’t really scare me, it’s not too difficult.
So here’s the result.

The recipe is kind of foolproof, I found it here


  • 45 gr almond meal
  • 75 gr confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 egg white( 36 gr)
  • 10 gr sugar
  • food coloring gel paste or powder, not liquid

Mix the almond meal with the confectioner’s sugar and set aside. Beat the egg white until it starts to get stiff, add the sugar and the food coloring of your choice (I added for those here a teaspoon of instant espresso powder).
After the egg white is well beaten you take a spatula and mix the almond meal mixture under the egg white.

Pipe the batter on to a with parchment paper lined baking sheet. Make sure that each is similar in size.
Let the sheet sit for about 20 till 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 140 degrees Celsius (285 Fahrenheit).
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool before filling.

I got inspired for these here and kind of mixed the filling from scratch with baking chocolate, cocoa powder, butter, vanilla and confectioner’s sugar.

I know now, that practicing to bake these little gourmet goodies is really worth it.

Baking for me is an affair of the heart <3, what is it for you?

Swirl Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies!

Is there much more to say….?

I think it is. Cheesecake is for a lactose intolerant person the absolute enemy, usually, but thanks to the milk industry in Germany, they found a way how lactose intolerant people are able to enjoy milk products. If I did understand it right, they add the enzyme which divides the lactose sugar in it’s two sugars already. So people with the lactose problem don’t have that enzyme, that’s what makes it so hard to digest. (I hope that makes sense to you). Whatever! I was able to make and EAT that Cheesecake Brownie because I used lactose free Cream cheese. Hurray!

The texture was delicious rich, creamy and moist. Not at all dry.

Swirl Chocolate Cheesecake Brownie (by Donna Hay)

Ingredients for the brownie

185g (6 oz) butter or lactose free margarine, melted
1/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup flour, sifted

Ingredients for the cheesecake

285g (9 1/2 oz) cream cheese (I used lactose free)
4 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius (325 F). Place the butter, cocoa, sugar, eggs and flour in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Spoon into a 20cm (8 in) square slice tin lined with non stick baking paper.

To make the cheesecake, mix the cream cheese, sugar and eggs until smooth.
Place large spoonfuls of the cheesecake mixture on top of the chocolate mixture and swirl with a butter knife. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until set. Cool in the tin. Cut into slices.

Take a bite and enjoy!

A tribute to spring..

with a wonderful trilogy of cookies!

Macarons with chocolate ganache or lemon cream, chocolate biscuit cookies with ganache and my favorite melting moments cookies.

Spring is here with all it’s lovely faces. Cherry blossoms, longer days, warm days, sun, flowers, open balcony doors all day. Fresh morning air. I love it! And to make these days even sweeter I decided to make my favorite cookies and try some other delicious looking recipes.
Here they are…

here. Thanks to Aurelie with that wonderful video tutorial!

The recipe for those chocolate biscuit cookies is from Danna Hay’s Baking Book. (I am going to write it in here later, I promise).
They taste like a bite of a cake. They have a consistency just like a cake! I really liked it.

And last but not least the so called “melting Moments Cookies”. You can find the recipe here.

Balcony season for photo shoots just started! I am very happy about that.

Heavenly Melting Moments Cookie Sandwiches

I bet you’re going to let out a sweet “sigh”, too when they melt in your mouth!

I got the Donna Hay ” Modern Classics2 ” Baking Book for Christmas. When I flipped through the sides, these Cookies cached my eye and I knew I couldn’t resist very long to make them. They are wonderful and really not difficult to make. You could even leave the Butter Cream out, I am sure they will be as delicious and probably not as sweet. They remind me of some German classic Butter Cookies or Shortbread. The consistency is the same. You take a bite and it just takes you one chew more that they melt.

Melting Moments Sandwich Cookies (by Donna Hay)


  • 175g (6oz) butter, softened (I used non dairy margarine)
  • 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract ( I used a vanilla butter flavor mix)
  • 1 cup flour, sifted
  • 1/4 cup cornflour, sifted

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 Celsius). Place the butter, icing sugar and vanilla in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Mix in the flour and cornflour until combined.
Place the mixture in a piping bag fitted with a fluted nozzle and pipe 3cm (1in) rounds onto a baking tray lined with baking paper, allowing room for spreading.
Cook for 12-14 minutes or until golden. Cool on tray.


  • 1 cup Icing confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind

Place the butter, sugar, lemon rind and juice in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy and creamy. Pipe onto half the cookies and sandwich with the remaining cookies.
Makes about 16.

I can hear my sweet tooth fairy sing…

One for you and one for me…

they are both, lactose and gluten free!

It’s been a while. It’s winter, keeps snowing outside, and only ten days to go till Christmas eve. I’ve been baking German Christmas Cake in two different Versions lately. Hopefully can post the results soon. And been baking and munching down the “also called” Mexican wedding cookies = American Christmas Cookies.

Today I made a German “classic”, so called “Zimtsterne”, Cinnamon Stars! Super easy, maybe a little time intense, but absolutely worth it! Just the combination from nuts and lots of cinnamon, crisp on the outside and chewy inside makes these cookies really needed on your Christmas table.

Cinnamon Stars

  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 1/2 cups (250 g) confectioner’s sugar
  • 3 1/3 cups (400 g) almond meal
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 3-4 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 260 degrees Fahrenheit, ca.130 Celsius. (Yes, the temperature is very low)

In a large bowl beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff. Slowly add the sifted confectioner’s sugar. Take away a small cup full of the egg white mixture for frosting later. Stir in the almond meal and the vanilla and cinnamon. On a very well floured surface, roll out the dough thick. Use a star cookie cutter and transfer them to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Frost them with the egg white sugar mixture.

Bake for about 30 Minutes.

I wish you all a wonderful Christmas Time!

The best Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe?

I still haven’t found it yet, but those were pretty good…

I don’t know what the secret is, to make a chewy and not crispy chocolate chip cookie.
I personally like them soft and chewy. I don’t even want them crisp on the outside. I figured, I always bake them too long. To make chocolate chip cookies this way, you really need a magic feel for the baking time. One minute too long and they get hard.

Well, I am going to keep trying and one day I will succeed!

Recipe (from my secret recipe book)

I added about 1/2 cup chopped pecans and of course I used lactose free margarine instead of butter.

One cookie a day keeps the trouble away!

Mexican Wedding, Russian Tea, or just ordinary Christmas Cookies..

it doesn’t matter how you call them, they are simply delicious!

These cookies got my attention just because of their name. Or the name I saw them the first time, “wedding cookies”. I liked the idea of a certain type of cookies people always make in their country for a wedding. My husband just said “oh, that’s just ordinary Christmas cookies”. And by browsing the web some more, I found that their also called tea cookies.
So no matter, what name you give them, they are still a really good choice to make. They melt in your mouth, you take a bite and they just powder. If there wouldn’t be the sugar on the outside they almost wouldn’t be sweet. And the pecans…hmm…I bet they would be good with a glass of wine, too.

Mexican Wedding Cookies (adapted from here)

  • 2 1/4 cups (315 g) flour
  • 1/3 cup (45 g) powdered sugar
  • 8 oz butter or lactose free margarine, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 cup (~100 g) pecans, chopped fine
  • 1 cup extra powdered sugar for rolling/dusting

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Place the butter in a large bowl and beat for 30 seconds. Add half of the flour, powdered sugar, vanilla, and water. Beat until blended then beat in the rest of the flour. Stir in the nuts. Pinch off dough and form 1-inch diameter balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten the dough balls a little with the base of a glass. Bake 20-25 minutes until the bottoms are golden brown. Remove from baking sheet and cool on cooking rack. When cookies are cooled, roll in powdered sugar.

I already promised my sister in law to make these at her wedding…

Where do you keep your Blondies?

In a jar, in a box, in a house with a mouse, on a shelf, or hiding in a secret place?

The thing I love with Blondies is making them. The part were the melted butter sugar mixture is melting with the flour and you stir and stir and it feels and look like a whole bowl of caramel. It already looks so good before you bake it, that you get temped to just eat the dough. Plus I think the part with the nuts works better, then in a brownie. I sometimes feel like, nuts are just disturbing a brownie. They belong to Blondies and you can take whatever nuts you want. It’ll always taste right.

Blondies (adapted from Cynthia Barcomi’s Baking Book)


1 2/3 cup (200g) flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of baking soda
a pinch of salt

1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon (125g) butter or lactose free margarine
1 cup – 1 tablespoon sugar (190g) sugar
1 tablespoon maple syrup or molasses

1 lightly beaten egg
1/2 cup (70g) chopped Walnuts or Pecans and or 1/3 cup (50g) white chocolate (I used almonds)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 Celsius). Grease a 9*x 9 inch baking pan.

Melt the butter in a saucepan till it bubbles, then dump in the sugar and the syrup and stir till combined. Let cool in a big bowl.

Mix the flour with the baking powder, soda and salt and set aside.

When the butter mixture cooled down you stir in the egg and the flour, then the nuts and if you use it, the chocolate.

Bake for 25 Minutes until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Would you keep them on a boat, would you keep them on a train, or in the rain?

Fig Bars

gives you power and treats you right!

I was talking to my brother today about him working till late at night and getting up early again. First thing that came to my mind was, that I want to make him something that gives him energy during a long working day.

This fig bar is light, crisp and not too sweet. The chewing experience is like poppy seeds. The little seeds of the figs are cracking in your mouth with every bite. Figs are power fruits they are rich of carbohydrates, potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron.

Fig Bars (adapted from Cynthia Barcomie’s Baking Book)



  • 1/2 cup (120 g) butter or lactose free margarine
  • 1/3 cup (65 g) sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla sugar/vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup (210 g) flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon grounded nutmeg
  • a pinch of salt


  • 1/2 pound (250 g) dried figs
  • 1 ounce (30 g) almonds
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) apricot jelly
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 tablespoon cinnamon

Mix all the ingredients for the pastry dough with an electric mixer together. Form a disk, wrap in foil and let chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

Mix all the ingredients for the filling in a food processor till you get a smooth paste.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 Celsius).

On a floured surface you roll out half of the dough to 0,2 inch (0.5 cm) thickness. Make sure there are no holes.
It should have a size 15* x 8*inch (40 x 20cm).
Make a horizontal stripe through the center of the dough to put half of the filling, leaving enough room at the top and the bottom, so you can fold the dough over on top of itself. Press both sides together.
Transfer gently with the edge to the bottom to the baking sheet.
Repeat the process with the other half of the dough.

Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool for five minutes and cut in desired pieces.

they are a little addictive like potato chips, you wouldn’t stop munching them down….

The Good Old Brownie

also good for midnight “coming home from bowling” snack.

Did I mention that I love the recipes by Cynthia Barcomi ? They are usually so.. how can I describe that… so solid.
Her recipes remind me of my grandma’s baking. Like there’s no need to leave something out or cut in half because of calories. But there is also no need to do fancy adding of weird stuff, like pink pepper to chocolate cookies… for example. I like it, too, that a lot of her recipes are just to stir things together, or use your hands.

Her baking tastes “true”. That what it is!

The recipe is from her baking book which I would highly recommend for everybody who wants to learn basic stuff in baking.

Just try that recipe and you’ll know what I mean!


  • 14 ounces (400 g) semi sweet baking chocolate
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon (75 g) butter or lactose free margarine
  • 3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee
  • 2 tablespoons espresso or coffee
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (105 g) flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda (Natron)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 Celsius) and grease a 9* x 9* inch (23 x 23cm) baking pan.

Take 7 ounces (200 g) of the chocolate and melt it with the sugar, butter and coffee in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Let cool before you add the eggs.
Add the rest of the chocolate chips or chunks (if you use chocolate in one piece, cut little chunks) and the flour, salt and baking soda. Mix with a spoon only until it’s combined.

Pour the dough in the greased baking pan and bake for 25 Minutes.

I sprinkled some almond sticks on top of the dough before baking…that gives it some bite.