|But, in the bakery, it's busy as usual.|
|Cookies and the Santa in the window give you a clue.|
|Zimt Wafflen! Cinnamon Waffles!|
|Note the special waffle irons on the table.|
|Thin and crisp!|
|Often you get a complimentary cookie with your coffee.|
|Ah, mornings are a pleasure when you live near a German bakery!|
The first snow has crested the memories of summer. A chill on the roads makes your car’s rear end shimmy like a break-dancer with chicken pox. Yes, winter is here and Christmas is plodding forward. Already the earliest Kris Kringle markets have come and gone. I have to toss aside my keenness for bravery in the face of numbing cold and drive to my favorite coffee shop. I also keep my scarf on while I rest, read, and slurp.
Happy cooks and their eating companions will also note it’s the season for Christmas cookies. Germany has a plethora of them, and almost all are made in small batches, even in the bakeries.
A case in point is one of my favorites, Zimt Wafflen, or cinnamon waffles. They’re not waffles as we usually think of them in the wastelands of North America. These are thin, small, and crisp, almost like the cinnamon equivalent of gingersnaps, except ginger snaps are round and thicker. The nut brown Zimt Wafflen are as thin as a dime, and square.
The other day, as I crept into the coffee shop, heralded by a hearty call of “Guten Morgan!,” I immediately caught the soothing air of fresh bakery goods, as I usually do, but this time the fragrant aroma held the spicy surprise of cinnamon. A young woman had two special waffle irons going and a huge box in the process of being filled with these square wonders only found at this time of year.
As I’ve said many times before, some of the things I love about Germany are the seasonal tastes. New potatoes are advertised in the fall, strawberries fill the fruit stands in late summer, new wine and onion cake are served only in the early autumn. And, if you want to try some Zimt Wafflen, you better grab a handful now. Their time has come.