• Classic French Spiced Bread (Pain d’Épices)

    by Audrey

    Rye flour, a good amount of honey and a unique spice blend are the key components of a great Classic French Spiced Bread – also known as Pain d’Épices. This cross between a cake and a bread is a holiday staple in France. It can be found on most Christmas market stalls, sold in big slabs. It is also a favorite to make amongst home bakers as it is a really simple recipe that makes the house smell wonderful. This is a perfect crowd pleaser for the Holidays.

  • Butter Sablés from Alsace (Butterbredele)

    by Audrey

    If there’s one French Holiday cookie recipe to have in your repertoire, this is the one. These Butter sablés from the Alsace region, known as “butterbredele”, are the most common cut-out cookies made and enjoyed over the Holidays in France. They are buttery, subtly flavored with lemon zest and satisfyingly crisp yet sandy.

  • Holiday baking season has officially started! So let’s make a delicious batch of Linzele cookies (also known as “Boules de Linz”). These little Holiday treats are a specialty from Alsace, France – a region that has an extensive repertoire of Holiday cookies.

  • Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, candied citrus peels, honey, almonds, kirsch liquor… if you like all kind of Holidays spices and fixings, you’re in for a treat! These popular Leckerli cookies embrace all the flavors of the Holidays in a delicious tiny format. “Leckerli” means “little treat” and that’s exactly what they are: sticky, chewy yet crisp edged, and so fragrant from all the spices.

  • Rye and Buckwheat Honey French Spice Bread

    by Audrey

    This Pain d’épices (French for “Spice Bread”) is an iconic French bread associated with the city of Reims, and beloved all over France. It is sold in bakeries, grocery stores, and of course in every Christmas market around the country. As per tradition, a real French Spice Bread should be made with only rye flour, and dark buckwheat honey as a sweetener (no sugar). You won’t find any butter in it, as it is indeed a bread – not a cake – far less sweet and much drier than its American…

  • Chocolate Coated Spritz Cookies from Alsace

    by Audrey

    Did you know that before getting into the Christmas spirit, the French from Alsace and Lorraine first get ready for the feast of St Nicholas Day, on December 6th? Just like in Germany and most Western Christian countries, St Nicholas Day is a big celebration in Alsace, with the inclusion of many baked cookies, known as bredeles. Last year, I shared with you two bredele recipes: the Speculoos and the Almond Pistachio Crescents. But the truth is, these Spritz (reminiscent of the German Spritzgebäck) are probably my favorites, and I…

  • Hot-Buttered Soft Pretzels (Bretzels)

    by Audrey

    With Oktoberfest celebrations nearly upon us, behold these Alsatian classics: hot buttered soft pretzels! Or, should I say, Bretzels – as that’s how you’ll find them called in Alsace. These salt-topped chewy twists are one of the most iconic culinary treats of the region (if not the treat!). Now, if you live in Alsace, you may not find the point in making homemade pretzels, as they can literally be found in any food market, bakery and even “bretzellerie” (street shops devoted to making and selling only bretzels).

  • Blueberry Pie from Alsace

    by Audrey

    This simple blueberry pie is a typical late-Summer dessert from Alsace and the Vosgian Valleys, in the Eastern part of France. As a kid, I spent quite a few August months in Alsace, near Strasbourg. And I have the fondest memories of eating slab after slab of this delicious blueberry pie, wedged on a bench in my friends’ grandparents backyard, which was bursting with blueberry bushes and mirabelle trees (the local plums, used in another popular pie).   For accuracy, I should lay down now that this pie is sometimes know…

  • The Quiche Lorraine

    by Audrey

    Buttery, custardy, salty. The Quiche Lorraine is the ultimate French comfort food and a timeless staple. It comes together effortlessly, to suit any occasion – be it a fancy brunch with friends, or a week-night family dinner. Since moving to Canada, the Quiche Lorraine has become one of my go-to recipes to make whenever I miss a taste of home, and I have found a way to make super-easy substitutions to make it work outside of France – without compromising the authenticity of the taste (see the cooking notes).

  • Chicken in Champagne Cream Sauce

    by Audrey

    I’ve seen on the French news this morning that comsumptions of Champagne reached an all-time high this Holiday season, in France (up 6% from last year). Which to many “sociologists” is a result of the wave of optimism swirling among the French these days. Yes, believe it or not, the French (world-famous for their grumpiness) are in a good mood right now. After a few morose years, France is wrapping up a somewhat positive year, with a brand new shiny president, a reformist government and a re-emerging economy – many…

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