Aachener Poschweck

Osterkranz

Joanie's beautiful Easter wreath, taken one Easter Sunday years ago when we were at her house for breakfast. The table was set with boiled eggs and tea, a sweet yeasted bread crafted into the shape of a proud rooster and plenty of sweet butter and homemade jams to spread on. The sweet sunshine filtered into her living room, casting lines of shadows against the portrait of her mother. It was such a nice morning.

This year, it's hard to work up the enthusiasm to celebrate a time of rebirth and new beginnings. Our circumscribed days are growing ever more so. We were warned these would be the hardest months and that has, so far, turned out to be true, at least for me. The days crawl by, not like last spring, when the one saving grace amidst all the fear and uncertainty was the speed with which the days were finished. This time around, the children are at each others' throats, the adults are tired and worn out, and a sentiment akin to hopelessness is settling into the cracks. But sometimes traditions are there if only to hold onto, white-knuckled, in a bid to spread some semblance of normality.

Today is Maundy Thursday, also known as Gründonnerstag in Germany. You're supposed to eat green things today, boiled potatoes with herb sauce, for example, or the Grüner Kuchen in Classic German Baking, a hearty, savory dish of yeasted dough topped with bacon, parsley and scallions.

On Easter Sunday, Germans celebrate with beautiful breakfast tables, usually starring a sweet yeasted bread of some kind, plaited into a wreath. (Joanie's animal sculptures are one of a kind.) If you want to make something special for your Easter Sunday breakfast, you could make the Rosinenzopf in Classic German Baking and either leave it as a regular loaf or roll the dough pieces slightly longer, then craft a braided wreath out of the dough instead (make a long braid, then form into a circle and weave the ends together, before brushing the whole thing with an egg wash.) If you have large bunny cookie cutters, you can skip the wreath and make individual sweet bunnies. Take the Rosinenzopf dough, but leave out the raisins, and roll out the dough to a rectangle that's about an inch thick. Use the cutter to cut out bunnies, transfer them to a prepared baking sheet, brush them with egg wash, decorate them with pearl sugar and raisins and then bake up into these golden delights.

Easter bunny

And if you're feeling like either of those ideas isn't quite "EASTER!" enough for you, let me suggest the fantastic Aachener Poschweck, a sweet loaf from Aachen that has been made for Easter since medieval times. It's a sweet enriched dough, but you don't just add raisins, you also add chopped almonds and sugar cubes. The cubes, in the heat of the oven, sort of melt into these crusty little geodes which are a delight to find in your slice, and also a delight to eat. The loaf is quite an impressive one to serve at an Easter breakfast, and should be thickly sliced and served with butter and jam or honey. (It can also be eaten as is...) The interplay of rich yeasted dough and crunchy bits of sugar is reminiscent of waffles from Liège (which is just 40 miles away from Aachen).

Aachener Poschweck

If you can find fresh yeast, this is the time to use it - it will give your Poschweck the puff power it needs and an exceptionally fluffy, flavorful crumb. (Instant yeast will be fine, your loaf will just be slightly less exuberant, let's say.)

I'll be taking a little break from blogging for the long Easter weekend. I hope you are all hanging in there in one way or another. I'll see you back here next week.

Note: This post includes affiliate links and I may earn a commission if you purchase through them, at no cost to you. I use affiliate links only for products I love and companies I trust. Thank you.

Aachener Poschweck
Makes one 11-inch/28-centimeter loaf

For the loaf:
3/4 cup (100 g) chopped, blanched almonds
1 1/2 ounces (42 g) fresh yeast, or 2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup (240 ml) whole milk, lukewarm

4 cups (500 g) all-purpose flour, scooped and leveled, plus more for kneading
11 tablespoons (150 g) unsalted high-fat, European-style butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 egg yolks
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (140 g) raisins
1 cup (125 g) sugar cubes

For the egg wash:
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons whole milk

1. Place the chopped almonds in a dry skillet and toast over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until pale golden and fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

2. Crumble the yeast into a medium bowl and add the sugar. Whisk in the milk until the yeast dissolves. Cover the bowl with a dishcloth and set aside for 15 minutes. If using instant yeast, skip this step and simply add the yeast to the flour and other ingredients in the next step.

3. Place the flour in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the middle. Cube the butter and place in the well. Add the vanilla extract to the yeast mixture and pour and scrape it all into the well. Before mixing, add the egg yolks and the salt. Using your hands, mix everything together and knead in the bowl until the dough comes together. Then scrape out onto a lightly floured surface and continue to knead, adding flour only if necessary, until the dough is smooth, 3 to 5 minutes more. You want the dough to remain as light and floppy as possible, so resist the urge to add additional flour, unless absolutely necessary, for example if the dough still is sticky after several minutes of kneading. The more you knead, the less sticky the dough should become. At the end of kneading, the dough should no longer be sticky. Form into a ball and set aside on the work surface to relax for a few minutes.

4. Gently roll out the dough until it is about an inch thick. Place the raisins, toasted almonds, and sugar cubes on the surface of the dough. Gather the dough up and around the fillings and knead them in until well distributed throughout the dough. This will be unwieldy at first, but as you keep going, the dough will start to come together again. Form the dough into a ball and put back into the mixing bowl. Cover with the dishcloth and place in a warm, draft-free spot for 1 hour.

5. After 1 hour, preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Gently push down the dough to knead through once, and then shape into a 9-inch-/23-centimeter-long loaf that is about 5 inches wide in the middle. Place on the baking sheet.

6. To make the egg wash: Whisk the egg yolk with the sugar in a small bowl. Whisk in the milk. Brush the loaf evenly all over with the egg wash. Using a very sharp (ideally serrated) knife, slash the top of the loaf three times diagonally. Set aside in a warm, draft-free spot for 15 minutes.

7. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the Poschweck is a rich, deep golden-brown and sounds hollow when tapped. Place the sheet on a rack and let the loaf cool completely before serving in thick slices. The bread is best eaten the day it is made, but leftovers can be lightly toasted for a very special next-day breakfast.


A Classic German Baking Giveaway, plus Classic German Baking Photos!

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How are you all feeling today? Any better? No? Me neither. But it's December 2nd and the first Advent has already come and gone and so I have a little distraction for all of us. Drumroll......

BAKING.

Surprise!

But actually, it really does kind of work, at least momentarily. It keeps you busy, and off the internet, not just while you're plannning which cookies to make, and writing ingredient lists, and going grocery shopping. But also while you mix and beat and chop and bake. Then you get to assemble your masses of cookies, in cellophone bags or aluminum tins or perhaps little cardboard boxes wrapped up with string. And we haven't even gotten to the part where you have to decide whom to give the cookies too! You're looking at at least a week's worth of distraction in total. At least! Pretty good, huh? I'll say.

So let's do another giveaway, shall we? Let's get our minds off the end of the world. Leave me a comment here listing what your favorite Christmas baking list looks like and I'll pick a winner on Sunday. The winner gets a signed (and personalized) copy of Classic German Baking, an assortment of German baking ingredients (candied citrus peels, poppy seeds, marzipan, various raising agents, and mixed Lebkuchen spice) plus a jar of my homemade Pflaumenmus, which will hopefully motivate the winner (and at least a few other of you?) to bake the Lebkuchen-Powidltatschkerln - little rye cookie pockets filled with plum jam - in the Christmas chapter. I love those little babies - we discovered them in a magazine while on a "research" trip to Austria last year. They're soft and tangy and spicy and delicious. Spread the word!

(If anyone is wondering, my baking list would include those plum jam rye cookies, nutty Spekulatius, Pfeffernüsse, Basler Brunsli and Springerle, which I'll be making with Joanie next week and - if all goes according to plan - filming! In some capacity. We'll see. It'll probably be terrible. But also hopefully a little useful? Oh! And I've committed to the most insane thing ever: providing enough homemade slabs of Lebkuchen to make gingerbread houses with Hugo and FOUR of his little friends. Yeah. I don't know what I was thinking either. Hold me?)

In other news, the Washington Post recently included Classic German Baking in their round-up of the year's best cookbooks, writing "This overdue guide is a happy marriage of European craft and American sensibilities." Which made me want to marry the Washington Post in a happy marriage of my own.

On Food52's gorgeously illustrated guide to global holiday sweets, I was thrilled to get to contribute a little piece on Elisenlebkuchen (with recipe).

On Tastebook, I was interviewed about Classic German Baking, plus asked to talk a little bit about the three cookbooks I'm currently cooking from.

Deutsche Welle interviewed me on some of the nitty-gritty aspects of writing the cookbook, including my recipe for Brezeln (soft pretzels).

The loveliest cookbook store in Seattle, Book Larder, asked me 11 questions about food memories, my food heroes and favorite cookbooks.

But the most important thing I wanted to write about today is actually about the biggest complaint I've gotten on the cookbook so far: the relatively low number of food photos. For a variety of reasons, it just wasn't feasible for every recipe, or even every other recipe, to get its own photo. I did my very best to write the recipes as tightly and carefully as I could, so that home bakers would get good results without a photo guiding them. But I understand the frustration of some. So I've put together a list of every recipe in the book with an accompanying photograph - where I could, this will get updated going forward - and have posted them on a separate page which is accessible by clicking on the "Classic German Baking Photos" link under the book image that you see over in the right sidebar. It's a little clunky, but I hope it satisfies the need for visuals in the book and can be a helpful resource for all of you. Feel free to let your friends who have the book know about this. Thank you!

UPDATE: Nora is the winner and has been notified. Thank you so much for participating! Happy baking to all - you are an inspiration!

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Classic German Baking in Berlin

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Berliners, this is just a quick note to let you know that I'm hosting a baking demo, a Q&A and book signing for Classic German Baking this Wednesday at The Store in Mitte.

The baking demo starts at 3:00 pm and costs €25. We'll be making Elisenlebkuchen and talking about all things baking - like which cookies you'll be making for Christmas! (Maybe the Weihnachtsplätzchen in the photo above?) To register, send an email to clare@fakepr.de.

The book talk is open to the public and starts at 6:00 pm; it'll be followed by an audience Q&A and signing. Copies of Classic German Baking will be for sale there, or you can bring your own. So looking forward to seeing you!

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Classic German Baking Goes to New York

CGB DC

The Classic German Baking tour rolls on! After a wonderful kick-off event at the utterly charming East City Bookshop in DC (where the above photo was snapped), I baked up a storm for the crowd at  Boston's Goethe-Institut on Sunday. (If you weren't able to get in due to the full guest list, the Institut has several signed copies of the book for purchase - just stop by at 170 Beacon Street. Update: Sorry, all gone!)

And right now I'm on a train to New York, where I'll be launching Classic German Baking at Powerhouse Arena tomorrow at 7:00 pm together with David Lebovitz, who is in from Paris! We'll be chatting about German baking, blogging and everything else, and after a huge response, the guest list has been expanded, so if you'd like to come, please rsvp here. Can't wait to see you!


Classic German Baking, Out Now!

Giveaway

Today is the publication day of Classic German Baking! I woke up this morning feeling like a child on Christmas morning, all full of the jitters and happy adrenaline. What an incredible journey it's been, from signing the contract in the spring of 2014, through all the months of testing and writing and testing again and writing some more, getting through the cover design, up through today. I poured my heart and soul into the book and feel so honored to be bringing not just these recipes but all this information about the wonderful German baking culture and its inherent coziness and comfort to readers everywhere. Those of you who pre-ordered your book online should be receiving it today or at least this week. As of today, you can find the book in stores. On Goodreads, you can read the first reader reviews. And next week, I start my book tour in the US. Dearest readers, I hope you love the book!

In honor of today, I'm doing a giveaway on Instagram, so head on over there to enter (click!). The winner receives a copy of the book, an antique stoneware Gugelhupf pan, and a little starter kit of specialty ingredients for German baking, which I hope is especially useful with Christmas baking lurking just around the corner. The kit includes almond paste (a recipe for which is in the book), poppy seeds, candied citron and orange peel, Lebkuchen mixed spice (a recipe for which is in the book), baking wafers for Elisenlebkuchen, baker's ammonia (not pictured, because I still have to track it down!), and potash (also known as potassium bicarbonate or potassium carbonate). Sources for all of these ingredients and more are in the book, on page 270.

As I mention in the book's acknowledgments, I could not have written the book without the essential help I received from Maja Welker, a home baker extraordinaire who assisted me throughout all the entire recipe testing process. It's no exaggeration to say that finding Maja felt like some kind of cosmic fate. I quite literally could not have found a better person to work with on this particular book. Maja kept me company in the kitchen and as I researched, got as excited about leavener variations as I did (more even, maybe?), contributed some of her favorite recipes (her Marmorkuchen, marble cake, is the best version of marble cake I've ever had), never lost steam, even in the face of nearly 10 rounds of Pfeffernüsse testing, pinch-hit on our photo re-shoot day when I was actually delirious with the flu, and generally has been an amazing friend and inspiration throughout. Which is why, on this marvelous day, I'd like to publish a little interview I did with Maja, so you can read more about the person who practically overnight became such an integral part of the book.

Maja and Aubrie

Maja and Aubrie Pick, the photographer, on the day we re-shot ten (!!) recipes for the book in my apartment.

1. So, Maja, where in Germany are you originally from?

I grew up in Uelzen, a small town south of Hamburg in the Lüneburger Heide, where Heidesand (Almond Sugar Cookies, page 15) and Heidjertorte (Lingonberry Buckwheat Cream Torte, page 119) originate from.

2. And how did you end up in Berlin?

My husband got a job here seven years ago and since I still worked as a freelance translator back then, I just packed up my desk and followed him.

3. What got you to answer my (desperate) call for help?

I had stumbled upon your blog relatively recently (on the day of the Cold Summer Borscht to be exact - where normal people have a visual or auditory memory, I have a culinary one), but was instantly hooked. Within a couple of weeks I had read your entire blog from end (= the most recent recipe) to beginning. When I saw your "Help Wanted" post it seemed as if you had tailored it just for me - but moreover, I felt we had a common style. The recipes on your blog came from real life, were meant for everyday cooking and baking and not just for show. It would have felt difficult to work in the kitchen with someone who wanted every dish and every cake to be perfect and a masterpiece. Since I had gotten tired of the solitary translator work and my other job at Pfefferkontor, a small mail-order spice shop, only kept me occupied three days a week, I decided to jump at it.

4. How old were you when you started baking?

I actually can't remember NOT baking. There is photographic evidence of me at 20 months standing next to my older sister, both of us on chairs to be able to reach the work top, rolling out dough and cutting out cookies. I actually still have some of these cookie cutters and use them every Christmas!

MajaKüche

5. Okay, so I guess that partially explains how you got to be so incredibly good at it!

It certainly helped that I like to eat! As you can see above, we were encouraged to help in the kitchen early on. I had barely learned to read when I fell in love with cookbooks (which I still read like novels, picture books and encyclopedias) and whenever I wasn't lying on the living room couch or my bed with an actual novel or a food magazine, I could be found in the kitchen baking. All in all, I spend quite some time there: braiding rich yeasted loaves for Easter breakfast, swirling Marmorkuchen for birthdays, building gingerbread houses during Christmas time - but it almost never feels like a chore. And when you find yourself with your apron on so often and loving it, you can't help but become good at it.

Lebkuchenhäuser

Maja and Bertram's homemade Lebkuchen houses. I mean!!!

5. What role did baking play in your childhood?

My mother was a wonderful cook and baker and we always had home-baked cake or cookies for Nachmittagskaffee (yes, we had some kind of baked goods and tea or coffee every single afternoon!). My father loved cake so much that every time he went grocery shopping he returned with at least one additional package of yeast "just in case you ladies were in the mood for baking a yeasted plum cake or Swedish cinnamon buns". What a shame it would have been to be out of yeast then!

6. And so what role does baking play in your life today?

Somehow, baking is therapy for me: punching and pummeling a yeasted dough, the comforting reliability of a sponge cake, the fascination of Pfitzauf (a Swabian cousin to Yorkshire pudding) rising in the oven - it always works wonders! Plus I discovered that you can make other people really happy by baking for them. In recent years we have basically stopped buying "real" birthday or hostess gifts, and make cookies instead. I had never thought about it becoming an obvious routine until I heard our friends' 5-year-old son say to his parents, "I TOLD you Maja and Bertram would bring cookies." Luckily, Bertram loves to eat and bake as well (although I'd say he has more of a normal person's approach to baking as opposed to my obsession). There are a couple of recipes in our household that he is always responsible for, like Zupfkuchen (Chocolate Quark Cheesecake, page 54), Quarkstollen (Quark-Almond Sweet Bread, page 256) or Nusskuchen (Toasted Hazelnut Loaf Cake, page 42).

Schachbrettkekse

A gift for a 4-year-old's birthday...

7. What was your favorite thing about working on Classic German Baking?

Working with someone who didn't take the German cake culture for granted but recognized it for something worth writing home about! And I loved that you are as excitable about small things as I am: the flaky crust of our very first Pflaumenstrudel (and the second! and the third!!), the soft, yielding texture of a well-kneaded yeast dough,... this list could go on for a while.

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Testing rhubarb cake with and without Streusel.

8. And, I have to ask...what was your least favorite thing (ack!)?

Having to drop some recipes! It wasn't so hard with a couple of them (a truly disappointing applesauce cake or some of the blander Linzer tortes) but the Rhubarb Meringue Cake? Apfelbrot? Weiße Lebkuchen? None of them made it into the final selection, but they were all delicious in their own right and I will definitely give them second (or third) chances! Oh, and sometimes it was difficult to remember to measure everything carefully. And things like, "How much longer did we bake this version of the cake until the filling finally set?" or "How much cinnamon did I add to this next batch, because the flavor of the last one was much too weak?" I guess I learned that testing recipes for a cookbook is quite different from impulsive home-baking...

Amerikaner

Testing Amerikaner with different raising agents.

9. Do you have a favorite recipe in the book?

No chance! I couldn't even pick one favorite from each chapter, so I won't try.

10. Which of the recipes in Classic German Baking have become favorites in your home now?

Some of them were favorites even before (like Marmorkuchen (Marble Cake, page 72), Zwiebelkuchen (Savory Onion Cake, page 152) or Schwarz-Weiss-Gebäck (Checkerboard Cookies, page 16). But I have definitely added Quarkbrötchen (Sweet Quark Rolls, page 188), Schwäbischer Prasselkuchen (Swabian Streusel-Jam Slices, page 34) and Salzekuchen (Hessian Potato Cake, page 156) to my monthly rota!

Mohnhörnchen

Testing Mohnhörnchen on a weekend.

11. Okay, now the really important questions: First of all, when do you start baking for Christmas?

As we always get together with my sister on the first Advent weekend, I try to have at least 5 or 6 different homemade cookies for our Adventskaffeetrinken ready by then. To be able to achieve this, I usually start preparing different doughs sometime in early November and stash them in the freezer. Nussstangen (Hazelnut-Almond Batons, page 238) are always among these! Other cookies have to ripen anyway, so I start baking Lebkuchen in the middle of November.

12. And what are you planning on baking for Advent and Christmas this year?

The usual: some new recipes, some old ones (the old ones being traditional cookies from Bertram's family, or from my family, the better ones in the "new" category from recent years - it's an ever-growing list!). I never manage to bake all of the different cookies I write down on my "to-bake" list sometime in November, but we usually have between 14 and 18 different kinds. Plus I really want delve into Lebkuchen a bit more this year. And yes, Christmas in our home is mostly cookies - plus Linzer Torte (page 134) and maybe a Baumkuchen (page 259).

As usual, Maja, I'm in awe. Thank you, thank you, thank you for everything!

Note: This post includes affiliate links and I may earn a commission if you purchase through these links, at no cost to you. I use affiliate links only for products I love and companies I trust. Thank you.

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The Classic German Baking Book Tour

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Photo by Aubrie Pick.

My dear readers,

I'm here with an update on the book tour for Classic German Baking! I had originally planned a bi-coastal tour with stops in Chicago and Austin too, but my pregnancy put a little (heh) wrinkle in those plans. I'll be 7 months pregnant soon and I'm pretty uncomfortable already and it just felt like too much travel to do it all. So I'll only be doing events in Boston, New York, Washington, DC and Austin, Texas this time. It was a really hard decision and I'm so very sad to miss out on all of you in California, the Pacific Northwest and Chicago, but it feels like the most sensible thing right now. Oh, motherhood and your compromises! A melancholy sigh from over here.

For those of you in those cities I will be visiting, here are the details for your (and your friends' and families'!) date book:

  • On Thursday October 27th, at 6:30 pm, I'll be at the East City Bookshop in Washington, D.C. for a baking demo and signing.
    More here.

  • On Sunday October 30th, at 4:00 pm, I'll be at the Goethe Institut in Boston, MA for a baking demo and signing. Tickets cost $5, but there will be lots of cake!
    For more info and to buy tickets, click here.

  • On Tuesday, November 2nd at 7:00 pm, I'll be at Powerhouse Arena in Brooklyn, NY for an event with the absolutely marvelous David Lebovitz!
    An RSVP is appreciated, to do so and for more information, click here.

    And then I'll be flying to the Texas Book Festival in Austin! I've never been to Texas before, and I'm so honored to have been invited to the festival along with so many amazing authors. (Also, I cannot wait to finally try some real Texas barbecue...and tacos!)

  • On Saturday, November 5th at 2:30 pm, I'll be doing a baking demo at the festival's Cooking Tent.
  • On Sunday, November 6th at 12:15 pm, I'll be sharing the stage with the lovely Jenny Rosenstrach of Dinner A Love Story for a chat about our work.
    For more info about the festival (and the incredible line-up), click here.

And now there's only one more week until publication; have you pre-ordered your copy yet? The book is number one in its category on Amazon now (aaaah! eeeeh! thank you!), so how about the pretzel recipe from the book to celebrate?

I can't wait to get going and see you all!

xo

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The Cover of Classic German Baking

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Without further ado, I present to you the cover of Classic German Baking! When you hold the book in your hands, you'll see and feel that the title is embossed and that the cute little cake pan is both embossed and in matte foil.

Getting to a final cover on any book can be a lengthy, dramatic process, but especially so with illustrated books like cookbooks. Still, I had a feeling that Ten Speed Press, my amazing publisher, wouldn't disappoint me and I was right. I knew pretty early on that I didn't want a photo on the cover of the book and I'm still so happy and grateful that the publisher, my editor and the designer were game to try some other options. To help the designer along, I sat down at my desk one morning and spent about seven hours doing Google Image searches for everything relating to German and Austrian baking, culinary history, historical lifestyle items and ingredient packaging. I collected the best and most beautiful - and relevant - image links into one very long email and sent it off (hoping that the designer wouldn't think I was the most annoying, meddlesome author ever). It was really important to me to call attention to the kind of visual information that Germans and Austrians take for granted but that feels so integral to the subject. For example, the fact that blue and white are emblematic of the German kitchen, the elegance of the script that adorns antique porcelain kitchen canisters, or the Bauhaus-ian colors and patterns on my beloved Bollhagen ceramics.

A few months later, a variation on the cover above appeared in my inbox. I felt that the illustrator had nailed the design almost on the first try. There were just a few small tweaks to be done before it was final, like getting everyone to agree on the right reddish orange color of the line elements, figuring out which illustration would be the best (the first go-around featured a slice of a fancy torte with a cup of tea, then it changed to a braided, sugar-spangled loaf that I was quite partial to, but we finally settled on the classic cake mold you see on the cover now), and ironing out the minutiae of the dots, whirls and lines. What I like best about the cover now is how well the design straddles the old-fashioned and the contemporary. It feels classic without being fusty and, my most fervent hope, will age well.

A final funny anecdote about the title and subtitle: Agreeing on the title was surprisingly painless. We played around with a few options, but both my editor and I separately - and simultaneously - came to the conclusion that for this book, the simplest, most declarative title would be best. We felt so accomplished! A title without any blood, sweat and tears - amazing. And then, dear reader, and then: the subtitle. I think that a minimum of 38 emails were exchanged in our attempts to nail the subtitle. Oh, the variations we tried! For example, just agreeing on "Pfeffernüsse to Streuselkuchen" - hoo! Which were the German recipe names that would resonate most with potential readers, which ones were most traditional and therefore wouldn't irritate or alienate a native speaker for whom the subtle regional differences could be quite glaring, and which ones, quite simply, were the easiest to pronounce? Then there was the construct of the sentence itself. It wasn't just me and my editor working on this one, no, the sales and marketing team had their brainstorming caps on, too, and so back and forth, back and forth it went until one day - not even so long ago! - we finally lit upon the formulation you see on the cover above.

It's always so funny, at the end of a long, involved project like this one, to look back and see which decisions ended up being the most difficult ones and which ones were surprisingly easy. I would have never guessed that the subtitle would be the source of so much angst. Still, all those back-and-forths were worth it to get a cover, title, and subtitle that all feel just right. What do you think? I so hope you like it.

You can pre-order the book on Amazon or Barnes & Noble or if you prefer supporting independent bookstores, at Powells or at Indiebound. And thank you so, so much for all your support and enthusiasm.