My 2015 in photos - part 2

Yesterday I shared part 1 of my 2015 in photos, today it's the turn of the second half of the year in photos, and I've done slightly better at sticking to two photos a month today - only slightly though! 

Here's my July to December:

So now with that done, I'm ready to embrace 2016.

Thanks for reading me this year, I'm looking for 2016 to be just as good to me as 2015 was with plenty of adventures along the way and I do hope you'll join me. Until then...

My 2015 in photos - part 1

Happy New Year!

I'm not quite done with 2015 just yet though and want to have a quick skip through the year in photos. I'm going to split this into two posts, as while I've tried to keep it short and restrict myself to two photos for each month. Sometimes though it just wasn't possible.

So here's January to June: 

Choosing just two Bavaria photos was impossible and there were many more I could have included, but didn't. If you want to see more you can see them here.

Tomorrow I'll share part 2, covering July through to December - see you then!

Pepperkaker, Finnish spiced Christmas biscuits

This year Expedia have been running a World on a Plate challenge for bloggers, where bloggers recreate a recipe from a favourite part of the world. A few weeks ago Expedia got in touch and invited me to take part in the Christmas version of the challenge.  Where would I choose?

I browsed the destinations on Expedia's site and quickly settled on Finland, as it's somewhere I'd love to go again one day. Quite a few years ago now we spent three days in Helsinki as part of our Baltic tour, in between spending time in Tallinn, Estonia and St Petersburg in Russia. It was a bit of a whistle-stop tour on trains, planes and hovercrafts... One day I'll dig out the photos and share them here, but in the meantime back to the biscuits.

Pepperkaker gets its name from the black pepper that was traditionally used along with the other spices - ginger, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom, which gives the biscuits a warming taste. I mostly followed Signe Johansen's recipe from her Scandilicious Baking book which does include some pepper, but needed to make some tweaks as I had less treacle than I thought! 

After mixing the dough I wrapped it in clingfilm and left it in the fridge overnight. Signe says it can also be frozen to use at a later stage, but let's face it that was never going to happen! I discovered the thinner you roll out the dough, the crispier the biscuit. I found it hard to roll it so thin though without rolling it out on baking paper and instead of picking the biscuits up to put on the baking sheet, removing the offcuts instead.

I used a variety of cutters for my biscuits: snowflakes, hearts and stars. Some I cut the middle out of and these worked well, for others I indented a shape in the centre of the biscuit. Once the biscuits had cooled I iced some of the biscuits - it is Christmas after all!

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As they were cooking the spices filled the kitchen with smells of Christmas, they were divine. And they tasted as good as they smelt.

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Don't they look great, and very Christmassy?

 

This is a collaborative post with Expedia who gifted me a voucher and a hamper, the biscuits though are all mine...