Every year, in December we make gingerbread snowflakes. It started years ago when we received snowflake cookie cutters as a gift, and has now become our Christmas tradition. This year though, I hesitated.
Freshly-baked gingerbread snowflakes
I had already bought the ingredients. A task that saw me standing in the supermarket picking up one type of sugar, and then another, trying to figure out which one was most likely to resemble the soft brown sugar available in Australia. Last year, I used cassonade; it had the right flavour but was too granular. This year, I opted for vergeoise, which was the right consistency, but lacked the rich flavour of brown sugar.
With the ingredients in hand, I had second thoughts. Our kitchen is insanely cold at the moment, and the oven function on our combination microwave isn’t quite up to the job of baking.
Cutting out the dough with our snowflake cookie cutter
But, the biscuits have become a tradition, and they really are delicious. So, I put my excuses aside, and made them anyway. I now have the pleasure of sipping my coffee, with gingerbread on the side, as I write this.
Growing up, the first weekend in December was when we put up the Christmas tree. This weekend still feels like the start of the festive season for me; our decorations are up, and the Christmas baking has begun.
This weekend, I made chocolate balls using my grandmother’s recipe. She has been making these for Christmas for as long as I can remember, and now that I’m so far away it’s comforting to have a little bit of my family Christmas traditions in our celebrations.
We also visited Lyon’s Christmas market at Perrache over the weekend. We wandered around, sampled the chocolate-covered marshmallows, admired the twinkling lights, and generally soaked up the festive atmosphere.
Chocolate covered marshmallows at the Christmas market
Christmas market in Lyon