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> Traditional Christmas Recipes, Meals. cookies and other specialities
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gaberlunzie 
Posted: 20-Nov-2005, 07:45 PM
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I have done a search if this topic is existing already and couldn't find one. In case there is one though, please feel free to move it, Shadows.

I'd like to introduce you to some German specialities:

LEBKUCHEN

The sweet, spiced dough has a centuries-long history in German-speaking Europe. German Lebkuchen is different from the gingerbread known in the English-speaking world. First of all, it may or may not contain ginger. It also has a somewhat different consistency, both because it is chewier and contains nuts and fruits. And the German confection has a lemon glaze or icing on the top and is sometimes dipped in chocolate.

Ingredients:

3 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. allspice
1 egg
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 cup dark molasses
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup mixed chopped candied fruits & peels


Lemon glaze:
1 slightly beaten egg white
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. finely shredded lemon peel
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
dash salt

Preparation:

Stir together dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, beat the egg. Add the brown sugar and beat until fluffy. Stir in honey and molasses and beat until well mixed. Add dry ingredients to the mixture, stirring well until combined. Stir in nuts and fruits. Chill overnight.

Roll chilled dough on a floured surface into a 14-inch square. Cut into 3 1/2 x 2-inch rectangles or use cookie cutters to form the desired shapes. Place 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet and bake at 375°F for 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool 1 minute before moving to wire rack.

While Lebkuchen is baking, make the lemon glaze. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Brush onto the cookies while they are still warm.

When cooled, store in a tin box.





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gaberlunzie 
Posted: 20-Nov-2005, 07:48 PM
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ZIMTSTERNE

Cinnamon stars are classic German Christmas cookies. They are rolled and cut into star shapes and are traditionally topped with white sugared icing. Unusual about these cookies is that they don't use flour. That makes them a good holiday alternative for anybody with wheat allergies.

Ingredients:

3 egg whites
pinch of salt
1 cup + 2 Tbsp. sugar
2 1/2 cups almonds, ground (with skin)
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 cups powdered sugar, for rolling


Preparation:

Beat egg whites together with salt until stiff. Slowly add sugar and beat until stiff but not dry. Set aside about 1/2 cup of the sugar and eggwhite mixture. Add to the remaining mixture the ground almonds, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Form into a ball and allow to chill for 1 hour.

Remove 2 cups of dough from the refrigerator. Spread a 1/4-inch layer of powdered sugar over the work surface and roll the ball in the sugar until covered. Roll into a flat disk about 1/4-inch thick. The dough will have a sticky consistency; continue to add powdered sugar as needed to make the mass workable. Use a star-shaped cookie cutter, or other forms if desired, and place cut shapes on a baking sheet covered with baking paper. With a pastry brush, brush a small amount of the reserved egg white mixture onto the top of each cookie. Bake at 300° F for 25 minutes.

Store in a tin box.



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gaberlunzie 
Posted: 20-Nov-2005, 07:50 PM
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VANILLEKIPFERL...vanilla crescents

These crescent-shaped cookies are a traditional German holiday specialty.




Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar plus 1/3 cup for dusting
3 Tbsp. vanilla sugar**
1/2 cup ground hazelnuts, walnuts, or almonds
1 egg

Preparation:

Sift the flour into a large bowl.Cut the cold butter into the flour. Add the 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, ground nuts, and egg. Dampen hands with ocold water and knead mixture into a dough. Chill for 1/2 hour I chill it in the fridge over night for bettr results in baking the crescents).

Roll chunks of the chilled dough between your palms to form 1/2-inch thick ropes. Cut and form crescents and place on baking sheet. Bake at 325° F for 10 to 15 minutes or until the tops are lightly golden brown. Roll the crescents in powdered sugar while still hot.

Mix the 1/3 cup of powdered sugar together with the vanilla sugar. Roll the crescents in this mixture while they are still hot.

When they have cooled, store in a tin box.

** If vanilla sugar is unavailable where you live, you can make your own by placing a vanilla bean and 1 lb. of granulated sugar in an airtight container for 1 week.
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gaberlunzie 
Posted: 20-Nov-2005, 08:08 PM
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DRESDNER STOLLEN

Stollen has been sold at the Dresden Christmas market since the 15th century. Each year the city puts on a Stollen Festival to celebrate the food that takes its name from the Saxon city. In imitation of the gigantic Stollen baked in the city in 1730 on the occasion of Augustus the Strong's grand festival of baroque proportions, each year the bakers of Dresden produce a 3000 to 4000 kg stollen. It is cut into half-pound sections and served to the festival visitors. The following recipe won't supply an entire city but the two 12-inch loaves it produces will feed a good-sized family.


Ingredients:

1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup currants
1 cup candied lemon & orange peel
1 1/2 oz. candied angelica
1/3 cup glacé cherries
1/2 cup rum
1/4 cup warm water
3 packets active dry yeast
2/3 cup sugar
5 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon rind
2 eggs
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) softened butter, cut small
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
3/4 cup slivered almonds, blanched
2 Tbsp. powdered sugar


Preparation:

Place the candied and dried fruits in a bowl. Pour the rum over the fruit, mix well, and let soak for 1 1/2 hours.

In a small bowl, combine the warm water, yeast, and 1/2 tsp. of the sugar. Stir and allow to stand for about 5 minutes or until frothy.

Drain the fruit, setting the rum aside, and dry it on a paper towel. Sprinkle with 2 Tbsp. flour and allow the flour to become absorbed. Set aside.

Heat the milk, 1/2 cup of the sugar, and salt in a saucepan, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved. Add the rum, almond extract, and lemon rind. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before adding yeast mixture.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the 4 1/2 cups of the flour with the milk/yeast mixture. Beat the eggs until frothy and add to the dough. Mix in the softenend butter. Form the dough into a ball and turn out onto a board sprinkled with the remaining flour. Knead the dough for about 15 minutes or until all the flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth and elastic. Gradually add the fruit and almonds, kneading just enough longer to incorporate them. Place the dough in a buttered mixing bowl. Cover with a towel and let stand in a warm place for 2 hours or until doubled.

Punch the dough down and divide in half. Let stand 10 min. Roll the halves into 12 x 8-inch slabs approximately 1/2 inch thick. Brush each with 1 1/2 Tbsp. melted butter and sprinkle with 1 1/2 Tbsp. of the remaining sugar. Fold each strip by bringing the edge of one long side to the center of the strip and pressing down the edge. Repeat on the other side, overlapping the folded edges by about 1 inch.

Place the loaves on a buttered baking tray and brush the tops with the rest of the melted butter. Let rise in a warm place about 1 hour or until doubled in volume.

Bake the loaves on the baking tray at 375°F for 45 minutes or until they are golden brown and crusty. Let cool on a wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and cut into 1/2-inch slices before serving.

**The Stollen is getting even better if you give him a rest for a couple of days, wrapped in aluminium foil. It's getting crispier then.



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gaberlunzie 
Posted: 20-Nov-2005, 08:14 PM
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GLUEHWEIN - Hot mulled wine

Literally, "glow wine", this hot, mulled wine is a favorite beverage at the Christmas markets. It is often served in commemorative mugs that you can optionally purchase as a souvenir of your visit to the market. Europeans have been drinking mulled wine since the 5th century.

The beverage consists of red wine and spices heated to just below boiling point before drinking. The Swedish variety, called Glögg, also includes raisins and almonds. At the markets, vendors will offer optional additions to the mulled wine, such as a shot of rum, amaretto, or elderberry cordial.

Gluehwein is a perfect drink for those dark, cold December days. It warms the body and the spirit and sets the perfect holiday mood.

Ingredients:

1 bottle red wine
1 small lemon
16 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
4 to 6 Tbsp. sugar
nutmeg (optional)

Preparation:

Pour the wine into a saucepan. Peel the rind from the lemon in one continuous strip. Add the lemon rind, cloves, cinnamon, and sugar to the pan. Heat over low heat until hot but not boiling. Strain and pour into tea cups. Top each glass with a pinch of nutmeg for an extra spicy punch. Serves 6.
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Dreamer1 
Posted: 21-Nov-2005, 10:56 PM
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Thank you, Thank you, Thank you Gaberlunzie!! laugh.gif Can't wait to show all of these to hubby - wonder which one he'll want first?? They all look so wonderful!

Good to see you again!
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gaberlunzie 
Posted: 22-Nov-2005, 12:58 PM
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You're welcome, dreamer! I'm starting tonight with doing the doughs and will bake my cookies tomorrow. Quite the job as there are always friends and of course family who are waiting to get a filled box to take home but it's fun though. wink.gif

Oh, and one wee hint, dreamer...don't start on the "Gluehwein" BEFORE you did the cookies... tongue.gif smile.gif
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Shadows 
Posted: 24-Nov-2005, 08:13 AM
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Look here:

http://www.celticradio.net/php/forums/inde...?showtopic=2098

at the Stuffed French Loaf recipe... it has been traditional for years in my house!


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stoirmeil 
Posted: 26-Nov-2005, 07:12 PM
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Oooohhhh, gaberlunzie! Gluehwein! That really brings me back to the year I spent in Bonn! biggrin.gif I had such a wonderful Christmas season there, because my birthday happens to be St. Nicholas Day, and we had a real Nicholas on a white horse come to the circle I lived in for all the kids. And Bonn Centrum had a beautiful Weihnachtsmarkt, and I had my share of goodies there.

How do you make Pfeffernuesse? I know the recipe uses Hirschhornsalz, which I don't know if you can even find here, but I love those cookies!!
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gaberlunzie 
Posted: 26-Nov-2005, 08:52 PM
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Hi stormeil; great you have so good memories of your Christmas time in Bonn...Bonn still has a very nice Christmas Market (I'm living about one hour from Bonn)...
Well, the original recipe for "Pfeffernuesse" needs Hirschhornsalz (hartshorn crystals) but I have another one without this ingredient and they still taste great and quite "original" this way.

I'll post both for you:

HARTSHORN PFEFFERNUESSE (peppernuts)

Ingredients:

1 pound sugar
1 pound flour
1/4 pound citron
1/4 pound almonds
4 eggs
1 teaspoon each cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg [ground]
1 lemon, grated rind of
1/2 teaspoon hartshorn crystals [avail. at drugstores]

Method:

Beat together the eggs and sugar until light. Sift together the dry ingredients and add the hartshorn crystals which have been crushed well. Let dough stand overnight. Next day, form balls the size of a large walnut.

Make a thin mixture of powdered sugar and milk and brush it on the cookies . Flatten them slightly, bake at 300 F until brown, possibly 20 minutes.




PFEFFERNUESSE (German Peppernuts)


Ingredients:

3-1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. mace
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 lemon, grated peel of
1/2 cup finely chopped candied citron
1/2 cup ground unblanched almonds
3 tbsp. Brandy

METHOD:

Stir together flour, cinnamon, basking powder, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, salt, pepper and mace; set aside. In a large bowl beat eggs at medium speed of mixer until fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar. Continue beating 15 minutes longer or until thick and fluffy.

Add flour mixture in thirds, adding lemon peel, citron, and almonds to last third and blending thoroughly after each addition. Turn half the dough out onto lightly floured surface. Roll out 1/2 inch thick. Cut with 1-inch round cutter (inside of doughnut cutter works well) and place 1 inch apart on greased cookie sheets. Reroll scraps. Let stand uncovered at room temperature overnight.

When ready to bake, turn cookies over so moist side is up; put drop of brandy in center of each. Bake in preheated 300°F oven 20 minutes or until cookies "pop" and are baked through. (Break one in half; if not sticky, it's done.) Remove to racks to cool.


Useful remarks:


Cookies improve with age. Store in tightly covered container. Add a piece of apple to container a few days before serving to soften them.
A drop of brandy on the top before baking causes them to "pop," giving them a characteristic topknot.





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stoirmeil 
Posted: 26-Nov-2005, 09:21 PM
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Thanks SO MUCH!! I thought they would be much harder to make than that. It just occurred to me -- this is New York, and there is a part of the city over on the east side that was a German enclave once, and still has the restaurants and shops. I can probably get the hartshorn crystals here if I really try. I will let you know how they turn out! biggrin.gif

MMMMMMMMM!!!! I can't wait. You can buy packaged pfeffernuesse here, but it's not the same.
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MDF3530 
  Posted: 27-Nov-2005, 05:34 PM
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Here's one I found in an old copy of Betty Crocker's Good & Easy Cook Book. I'm going to make it for the first time this year...

EGG NOG PIE

Ingredients:

Baked 9" pie shell
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
3 tbsp. cold water
2 cups egg nog
1 cup whipped cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla flavoring (extract)
1/2 tsp. almond extract

Directions:

Soften gelatin in cold water. Warm egg nog over direct low heat; stir in gelatin and continue heating until dissolved. Chill until partially set. Then beat until smooth. Into whipped cream, beat sugar, salt & flavorings; fold into egg nog mix. Pour into baked pie shell. Chill 2-4 hours


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stoirmeil 
Posted: 05-Dec-2005, 06:35 PM
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Looks real good, Mike. But you know -- I can't figure out where I'd put the extra rum -- in the eggnog itself, or in the whipped cream. wink.gif
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Shadows 
Posted: 05-Dec-2005, 08:38 PM
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How about in the cook!?!!
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Shadows 
Posted: 09-Dec-2005, 09:52 AM
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Recipe Name: GRAND MARNIER BROWNIES
Category: CAKES , COOKIES
Serves: 16

4 (1 ounce) squares
unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
4 tables brandy-based
orange liqueur (Grand Marnier ®)
1 teaspo vanilla extract
1 teaspo orange zest
1/8 Tsp. red pepper, powder
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspo salt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate
chips

Brownies for adults and those who think they are.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour an 8 inch square baking pan.
2. Over low heat, melt chocolate and butter in a medium saucepan. Stir until smooth. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
3. In a large bowl, beat sugars and eggs until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes with electric mixer). Add melted chocolate, 3 tablespoons of the Grand Marnier, vanilla and the orange peel, mixing until well blended. Mix in the flour, salt, red pepper and chocolate chips (on low speed if using an electric mixer).
4. Pour batter into prepared pan. Smooth the top. Bake for 30-35 until sides look done and top feels firm. Inserting a toothpick 2 inches from center should come out clean; however, center will jiggle and look undercooked.
5. Remove from oven and brush top with the remaining 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier. Cover pan with foil or wax paper and cool completely. Cut into 2 inch squares. Store covered at room temperature or they may be frozen. Defrost covered at room temperature.

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