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View Diary: I Want to Buy Some Crap (130 comments)

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  •  I know the feeling. I try to always 'buy local' (8+ / 0-)

    from small, non-chain stores, but even they are ripping you off at times.

    I wanted some springerle, a German anise cookie typically only available locally at Christmastime, to take to my final meeting of a class, so I went in to the local bakery that's been in operation in town for more decades than I've been around, and probably more than my parents have.  It wasn't available when I went in, so I asked when it would be.  Came back at that time, still wasn't ready, so I ended up deciding to buy a couple dozen pfeffernusse, then come back later in the day to get the springerle.  

    Boxed up, and found out my 2 dozen small cookies were going to cost me $20.  Now pfeffernusse are actually available in regular groceries from one of the cookie chains, archway, maybe, in boxes such that what I wound up paying $20 for would have cost me around $5 tops, if I'd bought it at a grocery store.  I bit my tongue, handed over the money while thinking 'Ok, I'm supporting a small local business'.  

    I then asked how much the springerle would be a dozen, so I'd know how much I'd need to bring back, and was told they were $11 a dozen.  I asked why they were so expensive, if flour had gone up, and was told 'No, they're the only cookie we actually make.'

    At this point I realized I'd just paid $20 for what was essentially a $5 retail box of cookies that had simply been bought by the 'local bakery' from some supply company in bulk, no doubt for around $2-3 dollars wholesale.

    I did not go back for the springerle, but simply went out and bought the ingredients and tools myself, and will probably never go back to the bakery.  If I go to a 'local bakery' and pay inflated prices, I expect it to be because they're making everything themselves, and have to charge more because they're not making volume sales like big box stores.  Not because they're buying the same cheap crap sold in the big box stores and selling it at a huge markup.

    •  Pfeffernussen are really easy to make yourself (7+ / 0-)

      Just make sure you put in enough anise.

      Here's my recipe:


      1/4 cup molasses or dark corn syrup
      1/3 cup honey
      1/4 cup brown sugar
      1/4 cup shortening
      1 beaten egg
      1/2 tsp anise extract (or to taste)
      ~2 1/4-2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
      1/2 tsp baking soda
      Pinch of salt
      1/2 tsp cinnamon
      1/4 tsp ginger
      1/4 tsp cardamom
      1/4 tsp cloves
      1/4 tsp nutmeg
      Pinch of black pepper

      Combine first 4 ingredients in saucepan; cook and stir well until shortening and sugar melt. Cool. Stir in egg & anise extract. Mix flour with soda and spices. Add to honey mixture; mix well. Let stand until firm, or chill. Form into 1” balls; place on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375º for about 12 minutes (DO NOT OVERBAKE). Drop in powdered sugar while still warm to coat thickly and evenly. Makes about 40-50.

      If it's
      Not your body,
      Then it's
      Not your choice
      And it's
      None of your damn business!

      by TheOtherMaven on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 06:17:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  About Springerle (3+ / 0-)

      just be aware that the cut cookies need to sit out long enough to dry a bit - otherwise the images don't stay crisp.

      Or as this all-about-springerle site says:
      "After trimming your Springerle allow them to dry for between 16-24 hours before baking. This will allow the image to crust and thus prevent it from being distorted."

      Some of the older boards are astonishingly beautiful - from an irreplaceable era of folk craft.

      Or see this site for the somewhat related speculaas cookies (in my house, darker and with spices) - with a recipe.

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