Friday, November 11, 2011


I love homemade holidays and there are so many great ideas floating around the Internet. I can never get enough and start bookmarking ideas in October. OK, September. Well, all year, really. 

So I figured it's not too early to contribute my own idea, briefly mentioned before in this post: Spekulatiuslikör, or spiced Christmas liquor. It's another quick and easy one. Hmmm, after the easiestapple cake ever and the quick and easy Halloween capes, there seems to be a trend here. Not sure if I sound very convincing when I say that I do like to take the time and do more complicated things and actually like cooking and baking from scratch. No boxed cake mixes in this house. And I've tossed sold cookbooks for the mere fact that the recipes contained too many pre-made ingredients for my taste. Anyway. There are times for cooking elaborate meals, and there are times when you need a couple of quick and easy but still delicious gifts for friends and neighbors. 

This is not even really a recipe. And it literally takes five minutes to put together, so I'm sparing you a photo tutorial here. All you need is

250g (that's about a cup) heavy cream, very lightly beaten (you don't want it to stiffen or your entire batch will not really like to come out of the bottle once chilled. Not that I ever did that) 

150ml (about 5 fl oz?) of some sort of clear alcohol without much of a taste such as vodka or a grain alcohol (for my German readers: I've used cheap Korn and it worked just fine) 

3-4 tablespoons Nutella (there is no way around this one, and the only reason and only time I buy a jar. All year.) 

2-3 teaspoons Christmas spices (for German readers: Spekulatiusgewürz)

50g confectioner's sugar (I think that's like 3 tablespoons...)

Mix Nutella with alcohol, carefully stirring until Nutella has dissolved. Congratulations, you just finished the hardest part. Now add spices and powdered sugar, mix, and add cream. Mix until blended. Pour into clean, recycled bottles, wrap and or decorate and chill until ready to give or serve.

Recipe based on German magazine Lust auf Genuss 13/2009.

That's it. Now, at some point I would like to make something requiring a little more effort for Christmas, such as limoncello perhaps. But that requires starting early. This one doesn't - it can be done the same day or four weeks ahead. The only thing I start in advance is collecting bottles. There is a certain brand of babyfood that sells tiny carrot juice bottles with nice, golden caps, so my kids will be drinking more carrot juice the next couple of weeks. They actually like it, which is completely beyond me. I mean, I like carrots, but juice? Ugh. Anyway. 

This year I'll be doing the first batch to give to Nikolaus on December 6 to my family and another batch or two in December to give to neighbors, friends and my mom's friends. After two years, it has already become sort of a tradition.

With all the decluttering going on here and more left to do, my appreciation for all sorts of food gifts (does this count as food? Hm, maybe I should say gifts from the kitchen) has increased. My friends can simply enjoy this, without worrying where to find a place for it. I think that's plus, especially for people I don't know well enough to give something I know they will love.

What's your favorite last-minute Christmas gift? Or do you think I'm crazy for thinking about that already?


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