Baking Away The Winter Blues (Or How I Helped On The Cookie Front)
This Sunday just gone, along with Marta and Jess, I took part in an amazing day of baking. Now, I have never been very good at baking. It seems to be very exact and delicate. I tried to help my Dad make pizza once. It did not end well. I tried to bake in cookery class at school. I never did very well. So, naturally, I warned Marta and Jess that I would not be great at helping them. However, they seemed to have some faith in me and I was allowed to help out.
Marta had actually begun baking the Thursday before. Here, I did not do anything of any help to anyone. But she made some amazing Leipziger. They had apricot jam on them and were so amazing. She must have baked around fifty cookies, because we gave some to our schools, and have been eating them and we still have so many left. Not that I am complaining.
Sunday begun as any normal baking day should – with Marta and I crushing hazelnuts using her walking stick segments from Mt Fuji. This was hard work. In the process of doing this, Jess arrived and helped us out. I think we were crushing nuts for around four hours to shell them all. It felt like much longer, and (luckily) towards the end, I was given my second job. Taking the almonds and shelled hazelnuts to grind down into a flour. This was much easier (and more fun). I used my coffee bean grinder and it actually worked out really well.
After all of the almonds and hazelnuts had been crushed, Marta and Jess began making up some dough. The first cookies we were going to bake would use the almonds and are called Vanillakipferln (or Vanilla Crescents). After making the dough, it has to be cut into small pieces and shaped into a crescent shape. After they were baked, and left to cool off, the Vanillakipferln were expertly sprinkled with icing sugar by my fair hand. I think I was given this job as it was pretty hard to screw it up. We baked around five trays of these, before taking a break for pizza.
The last kind of cookie we baked is called a Linzeraugen. It is kind of like a Jammy Dodger. These were much easier (for me) because there was nothing I could really do to help. So, leaving Jess and Marta hard at work, I wandered around and took a few street shots of Cheongju.
Below, you will find images of the completed cookies, which are delicious!
I will write again tomorrow about my adventures in Korean hospital!