Christmas baking. Vianočné pečenie.

I start feeling festive, merry, bright and christmas-y when the smell of cinnamon, star anise, nutmeg and all spice hits me from the oven as I bake christmas cookies. I love the atmosphere of having our house filled with fresh smell of oranges, clementines and branches of fir-needles.

If you love baking only a few days before Christmas, I am here to help you and inspire you. I aminspiring you to make homemade bounty balls-balls of beautiful joy that are as white as snow and with crunchy gingerbread cookies that will help you to fall into the Christmas mood. They are totally scrumptious and are so, so good for you! Eat yourself healthy and beautiful!

Be in peace, feel bright and merry, put some old christmas songs on, drink mulled wine and enjoy the company of one anther. Feel happy, take it easy, be festive. And don´t forget, that Christmas is forever, not just for one day. They are forever. :-)

Crunchy Christmas Gingerbread Cookies 

 



Traditionally in Slovakia, gingerbread cookies are baked on the first weekend of December so they could become soft and nice for Christmas Day. The dough would be left in the fridge overnight, they would be made with plenty of gorgeous spices, proper butter and honey. That´s why they are called honeybread cookies. And let me tell you, they are simply gorgeous. Gorgeous and decorated with walnut halves and some sugar icing.

This year, I developed a recipe for cookies that can be made within minutes, don´t need to be made in advanced and which don´t require you to knead the dough for ages. The dough doesn´t even need to rest in the fridge. Beautiful flavours of warming spices are married together in a blend that will bring your christmas feeling into every cell in your body. Perfectly for dunking into glass of milk or hot chocolate. And not to mention they are amazingly good for you-sweetened with only a small amount of honey (or maple syrup). Cut them into cute and happy shapes and enjoy.  Perfect for last minute baking, hungry and happy kids and satisfied husband. They make a beautiful gift if you wrap them up and tie with pretty red ribbon.

PS. You can never have enough cinnamon in those.

2 cups oats (gluten-free if desired)
1/2 cup shredded coconut (I always buy organic, as the flavour is incomparable)
1/2 cup ground almonds
2 tsp ground ginger
2-3 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground star anise
1/2 tsp all spice
1/2 – 1 tsp mixed spice
2 tbs honey (or maple syrup/rice malt syrup)
4 tbs coconut oil
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
about 2 tbs water

Preheat oven to 160°C. Line two baking sheets with baking paper.

In a food processor, mix together oats, ground almonds and coconut until very fine powder.

Add in spices and mix again.

In a small bowl, combine together coconut oil, honey (or syrup of your choice) and seeds of your vanilla bean. Melt it all in a pan or pop it in a heat-proof dish into the oven for a while.

When melted, put it to the food processor and mix until the mixture starts being sticky. Try to press the dough between your fingers-if it holds together great, you are done with your lovely dough. If it crumbles, add in some water, around 2 tbs should do. Process, taste the dough and if you are happy with how amazingly it tastes like, tip the dough on a piece of baking sheet.

Bring the dough together with your hands, make a ball. Put another piece of baking paper on top of it and roll the dough until about 3 mm thin.

Cut out different cute shapes out of the dough and by using a baking spatula or a knife, gently lift the cookies and transfer them onto a prepared baking sheet. They might seem quite delicate at this stage, but once bakes, they hold together beautifully.

Bake until golden – around 12 minutes, but keep an eye on them as every oven is different.

Let cool, store in an air-tight container and munch on them through out this magical season.

Bounty Balls

If you go crazy about coconut, you need to make these. The taste is million times better than the shop-bought staff, because you can actually taste the coconut and not only the sugar. I am telling you, these are beautiful, beautiful balls of joy. And if you feel naughty, cover them in very good-quality dark chocolate. Actually, the chocolate is a must.

2 1/2 cup shredded coconut (use organic as the flavour is so beautifully intense)
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons honey or rice malt syrup (you need something with a light colour to it)
1/2 vanilla bean
tiny pinch of sea salt
around 50g of really good-quality dark chocolate

Tip 1 1/2 cup of shredded coconut into a food processor. Process until it forms a smooth, nut butter consistency. You might scrape the sides of your food processor a couple times while doing this.

Add in coconut oil and process until lusciously creamy.

Add your sweetener, scraped seeds of your vanilla bean and sea salt.

Then, fold in the rest of your coconut. Mix it with your hands and squish it all together in a bowl.

If you want to make this into bars, press the mixture tightly into a square pan and ut to the fridge for about 30 minutes.

If making balls, use measuring spoons for making them the same size and form balls with the palms of your hands. If the mixture will crumble, add in some more melted coconut oil. Remember, that every shredded coconut is different so don´t be shy to adjust what you need. :-)

Put the balls onto plate and then pop them to the fridge.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl on top of a pot of simmering water.

Cover or drizzle your balls with chocolate, sprinkle more shredded coconut on top if desired.

Store in the fridge until they are all gone.

 

 

——–

Vianoce okolo seba zacinam vnimat, ked vsade naokolo citit ako uteka z rury vona skorice, zazvoru, badianu a muskatoveho orieska. Tak uzasna vona, ktora naplni celu domacnost stastim a vianocami pri peceni tradicnych vonavych dobrot.

Ak si nehavate pecenie na posledne predvianocne dni, som tu aby som vas inspirovala niecim uplne lahodnym a tajomne zdravym. Domace bounty gulicky-krasne ako snehove gulicky a uzasne vonave chrumkave medovnicky. Nech vam chuti! :)

Pekne sa naladte do uzasnej a magickej vianocnej nalady, pustite si koledy, posedte si spolu pri varenom vine, upecte si nejake uzasne kolaciky a majte sa dobre. A pamatajte, ze vianoce nie su len jeden den do roka, ale vianoce su vzdy. :-)

Chrumkavé vianočné medovníčky

Tradicne sa medovnicky pecu hned v prvy decembrovy vikend, aby mali cas zmaknut a byt krasne vlacne. Taktiez su tradicne plne cukru, medu, poriadneho masla a uzasnych voni-jednoducho neodolatelne. Ozdobene vlasakmi a cukrovou polevou.

Tento rok som si vymyslela nadherne chutnu a zdravu variantu medovnickov, ktorym sa tie tradicne len tk lahko nevrovnaju. Cesto sa nemusi miesit dlhansku dobu ako je to pri medovnickoych, nemusi sa nehavat cez noc v chladnicke. Cesto sa vymiesa behom par minut a hned mozete aj piect.

Vysledokm su neskutocne chutne medovnicky, ktore su krehke, chrumkave a plne nadhernych chuti Vianoc. A najlepsie chutia, ked si ich namacate do mlieka alebo horucej cokolady. A to, ze su pre vas aj naozaj dobre a zdraviu prspesne je ako bonus. Osladene su s minimom mediku (alebo javorovym sirupom). Povykrajujte si z cesta krasne mile tvary a potom si uz len pochrumkavajte na vianocnom pecive. Spolu. Deti budu stastne, manzel spokojny. Daju sa podarovat aj ako krasny vianocny darcek-len ich zabalte do priesvitneho vrecuska, ozdobte cervenou stuzkou.

PS. Cez Vianoce nemozte mat nikdy vela skorice.

2 salky ovsenych vlociek (ak treba, tak nech su bez lepku)
1/2 salky struhaneho kokosu (ja kupujem len bio, nakolko sa ta vona a chut kokosu neda ani porovnat)
1/2 salky mletych mandli
2 lyzicky mleteho zazvoru
2-3 lyzicky mletej skorice
12 lyzicky cerstvo nastruhaneho zazvoru
1/4 lyzicky mleteho badianu
1/2 lyzicky allspice – mlete susene korenie (ak nedostat kupit, nahradte troskou mletych klincekov a pernikoveho korenia)
2 lyzice javoroveho sirupu
4 lyzice kokosoveho oleja
vyskrabkane semiacka z 1 vanilkoveho struku
cca 2 lyzice vody

Predhrejte si ruru na 160°C. 2 pekace na pecenie si vylozte peciacim papierom.

V mixeri si spolu rozmixujte vlocky, kokos a mlete mandle na jemnucku mucku.

Pridajte vsetky vonave koreniny a znova vymixujte.

V malej miske si spolu pomiesajte med (alebo javorovy sirup), kokosovy olej a semiacka z vanilkoveho struku. Alebo kokosovy olej zohrejte v malom kastroliku nad miernym ohnom, alebo prelozte do teplo-vzdornej nadoby a supnite na chvilku do rury-vsetko sa vam pekne spolu roztopi.

Pomiesajte a vylejte do ´mucneho´ zakladu.

Vsetko spolu vymixujte v mixeri az dokym nebudete mat jednotne cesto, ktore by malo lepit a drzat svoj tvar, ked ho stlacite medzi prstami. Ak nechce lepit, pridajte do cesta cca 1-2 lyzice vody a pomixujte. Ochutnajte a ak ste s vysledkom spokojni, cesto prelozte na kus papiera na pecenie.

Cesto vytvarujte do gule, prikryte druhym papierom na pecenie a pomocou valceka cesto vyvalkajte na 3 mm hrubku.

Z cesta vykrajujte pekne tvary medovnickov. Jemne ich pomocou nozia preneste na pekac a pecte vo vyhriatej rure dokym nebudu nadherne zlatava a vonave-okolo 12 minut. Pozor aby ste ich nespalili, kazda rura pecie inaksie. :-)

Po upeceni ich nechajte vychladnut. Skladujte v uzatvaratelnej nadobe dokym nie su vsetky fuc! :)

Bounty guličky 

Ak ste uplne zblazneni do kokosu aspon tak ako ja, tieto male kokosove gulocky si zamilujete. Kupovane bounty ma od kokosu naozaj daleko-prevazne v nich citit cukor a nic ine. Tieto su omnoho kokosovejsie a lepsie ako tie kupovane. A ak budete pokusani diablom, mozte ich obalit v kvalitnej horkej cokolade. Teda, musite ich obalit v kvalitnej horkej cokolade. Zblaznite sa ake su skvele.

2 1/2 salky struhaneho kokosu (pouzite najlepsiu moznu kvalitu-je to ta hlavna ingrediencia!)
2 lyzice kokosoveho oleja, roztopeneho
2 lyzice ryzoveho sladu alebo medu – potrebujete sladidlo jemnej farby, aby vam zbytocne nezafarbilo gulicky
1/2 vanilkoveho struku, vyskrabkane semiacka
malicka stipka morksje soli
okolo 50g  velmi kvalitnej horkej cokolady na obalovanie

Dajte si 1 1/2 salky kokosu do mixera a mixujte dovtedy, dokym vam nevznikne krem-nieco ako kokosove maslo. Pocas mixovania sa moze stat, ze budete musiet par krat yotret kokos zo stien mixera. Potom pokracujte az dokym vam nevznikne kokosove maslo.

Pridajte do masielka kokosovy olej a vymixujte do hladulinka. Pridajte aj sladidlo podla vyberu, vanilkove semiacka zo struku a sol.

Po premiesani pridajte do kokosvej hmoty aj zvysny struhany kokos a vsetko riadne premiesajte a premsairujte rukami.

Ak chcete mat bounty tycinky, tak hmotu riadne a natesno natlacte na spodok hranatej formy a dajte do chladnicky na aspon 30 minut.

Ak si chcete vytvarovat male chutne bounty gulicky, tak pomocou odmernych lyzic si naberajte rovnake mnozstvo kokosovej hmoty a v dlaniach si vytvarujte gulicky. Dajte do chladnicky na aspon 30 minut stuhnut. Kokos je zakazdym iny, kazdy je odlisny. Ak sa vam bude hmota drobit, pridajte trosku viacej kokosoveho oleja alebo trosku kokosoveho mlieka, dokym hmota nebudete pekne drzat pokope.

V misticke si nad horucou vodou rozpustite cokoladu, v ktorej gulicky obalite. Alebo ich len ´popiste´ cokoladou. Mozte dozdobit troskou struhaneho kokosu.

Gulicky skladujte v chladnicke dokym sa nepojedia-co bude naozaj chvila. :-)

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