Our long weekend has been a busy one. On Friday we dodged the rain and took a little trip to the Heiligenberg (meaning Holy Mountain or Mountain of Saints) which is a mountain on the other side of the Neckar river in our city of Heidelberg and part of the Odenwald (thought to translate as Forest of Sagas or Stories. An ode being a type of lyrical verse which in German plural is Oden. Wald meaning forest) low mountain range. I like the name, The Holy Mountain in The Forest of Sagas. Ok, enough Etymology geekery.
Up on the mountain is the ruins of the Klosterkirche Saint Michael, which is a monastery built in 863AD inside the ramparts of an earlier building, a Celtic fortress built in the 5th century BC.
Further down is the Thingstätte, which is an Amphitheater built during the Blut und Boden (Blood and Soil) movement attributed to Nazi Propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels. These sites were built in a natural setting, incorporating the natural elements of the area along with some historical or mystical significance. There were several of them built throughout Germany during the Nazi era and people would gather to hear presentations and propaganda. I could go on about it, it’s so interesting, but I’ll spare you. It’s a beautifully designed place, the acoustics are amazing!
The rest of the weekend was mostly spent avoiding the rain, we hung out together indoors and I did some building and some baking. Lots of playing with Mikey and unfortunately grilling indoors on Memorial day with my stove top grill pan. Not quite the same, but we didn’t want to risk the weather outside.
I also got to try out my new, homemade reflector for taking food photos. I’m in love with this silly piece of foil and cardboard!
These were fabulous, snickerdoodles are my husband’s favourite cookie. We all enjoyed the muffins! Here’s the recipe!
Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter or line a standard sized muffin tin. Remember to butter the top of the pan too so that the muffin tops don’t stick!
In a large bowl, whisk together 3/4 tsp baking soda, 3/4 tsp baking powder, 3/4 tsp cream of tarter, 3/4 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp salt, 2 cups all purpose flour and 1/4 cup wholegrain flour. Set aside.
With an electric mixer, beat 2 softened sticks unsalted butter and 1 cup sugar together until creamy. Beat in 2 tsp vanilla extract. Add 2 eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
On low speed, add the flour mixture and 1 1/4 cups creme fraiche alternately to the egg-butter mixture. Start and end with the flour, scraping the bowl down as you go.
In a shallow bowl, mix 2 Tbsp ground cinnamon and 1 cup sugar together.
Using an ice-cream scoop (or about 1/4 cup) scoop out the batter and roll each muffin through the sugar and cinnamon. The batter may be difficult to work with at first. Use 2 spoons to toss it around until the sugar/cinnamon mixture brings it together.
Place each muffin into the prepared tin and bake for about 19-22 minutes or until they are golden brown. Remove from oven and let them sit for about 5 minutes before taking them out of the tin. Cool on a wire rack.