[my favourite christmas market treat] Hamburger Schmalzkuchen

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Finally it’s time again: This week the christmas markets in Germany have started! This is one of the best things about celebrating christmas in Germany. Christmas markets are held during the festive season (Adventszeit).  The markets are offering specific goods such as arts and crafts for christmas decoration and food. It’s not only a nice place to buy last minute christmas gifts, but also the paradise for amazing food!

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On one hand you can enjoy things like sausages (Bratwurst), Schupfnudeln (a type of thick noodles made of potatoes, flour and eggs) or fried Camembert (fried cheese). Then you have many drinks such as mulled wine, apple punch and Feuerzangenbowle (mulled wine with a rum-soaked sugarloaf lit above it).

And on the other hand you can eat so many sweet things such as Poffertjes (kind of mini pancakes!), candy apples, roasted almonds, fried baked goods and of course Schmalzkuchen (comparable to mini donuts!).

Depending on the local tradition of such markets, christmas markets have different names  all over germany. In some locations they are called Christkindlesmarkt and in Dresden the market is named Striezelmarkt. Sometimes the markets are also offering different food depending on the location.

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Nowadays the german christmas markets are known worldwide and are available in many other countries.

This year it’s the first time I am visiting the christmas market in Hamburg and I am really excited because I heard many great things about the different markets in the city. Therefore I would like to show you a recipe for a treat which has its roots originally in Hamburg: Schmalzkuchen.

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Hamburger Schmalzkuchen

ingredients:

500 g flour
30 g fresh active yeast
250 ml milk
100 g sugar
100 g butter (room temperature)
2 eggs
pinch of salt
oil for frying

200 g confectioner’s sugar
optional: cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Prepare the dough: In a bowl mix together flour and salt. Press a little whole in the middle.
  2. Warm up the milk in a saucepan (but not too hot!)
  3. In another bowl crumble the active yeast and mix with one tbsp. sugar and 6 tbsp of the warm milk. Mix until yeast solved completely. Then pour it in the hole of the flour. Add the rest of the milk, the eggs and the butter and knead until a dough comes out.
  4. Let the dough stand for 1 hour. Then roll out the dough. Cut into lines (lenghtwise) and cut into smaller pieces (you can decide the size of your Schmalzkuchen).
  5. Heat up the oil for frying. You can test if the oil is ready by putting a wooden toothpick into the oil, when it is bubbling its ready.
  6. Pour dough pieces into the oil (not more then 10 pieces at one time). Mine took about 25-35 seconds and then I had to turn them around.
  7. Then remove from oil and put on a kitchen paper to remove spare oil. Then sprinkle with lots of confectioner’s sugar!

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Happy first advent everyone!

xxx

Caprice

[christmas baking all around germany] Vanillekipferl, Makronen and Printen

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In germany it’s traditional to bake a variety of cookies the time before christmas! And everyone in our family is taking traditions serious, therefore our home is stuffed with many different cookies, baked by my mum, grandma, friends or by myself. To give you a short insight I gonna present you three of my favourite christmas cookies which a orginal from different places in germany.  So, I would like to take you on a christmas cookie journey all around germany.

We start with my all time favourite christmas cookies: Vanillekipferl. These are small, crescent shaped biscuits which have an intensive vanilla taste. There are original from Bavaria (south of germany) but nowadays you bake and eat them all around germany.

Vanillekipferl

Vanillekipferl

Ingredients:
280 g flour
170 g sugar
100 g grounded almonds
pinch of salt
210 g cold butter
100 g confectioners’ sugar
2 tbsp. vanilla sugar
1 vanilla bean

Directions:

  1. Mix flour, 70 sugar, salt and grounded almonds. Add the butter and knead to a dough and wrap into plastic wrap and put into the fridge for 2 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 180°C, prepare baking tray with baking paper. Remove dough from fridge and form about 1 cm thick half moons, be sure to flour your hands when forming the “Kipferl”. Put on the prepared sheets and bake for about 12 minutes.
  3. Now mix confectioners’ sugar, vanilla sugar and the rest of the sugar (100g), remove vanilla from vanilla bean and mix well into the sugar mix. Remove cookies from oven and take a fork to carefully turn over the Kipferl until they are completely covered with sugar.
  4. Store them in a cookie jar (best before 4-6 weeks).

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Our second destination is Lübeck which is located in the very north of germany. Lübeck is an absolutely beautiful little town and is famous for their good quality marzipan! Marzipan is the main ingredient for Markonen and gives them the moist and not dry touch! In addition the recipes calls for coconut flakes which matches perfect with the marzipan!

Makronen
Makronen (with Lübecker marzipan)

Ingredients:
250 g good quality marzipan
3 egg whites
0,5 lemon
150 g confectioners’ sugar
100 g coconut flakes

Directions:

  1. Grater the marzipan. Wash lemon with hot water, dry with a paper towel and grater the zest. Beat egg whites until stiff, slowly add 75 g of the confectioners’ sugar and the marzipan. At last add the rest of the confectioners’ sugar (75g), coconut flakes and lemon zest.
  2. Preheat oven to 160°C and prepare baking trays with baking paper. Pour dough into a piping bag with a round tip and place (walnut size) balls on the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.
  3. Best before 3 weeks.

 

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The last location for today is Aachen which is placed in the very west of germany. Aachen is very famous because of the ‘Printen’ which are original from there. Printen are the christmas cookies par excellence! They hava a rich and honey taste, refinded with christmas spices and decorates with almonds and pistachios! These cookies made it all around germany and taste so much better a few weeks after baking! So make sure to bake them before christmas and store them together with a piece of apple skin, this prevents the cookies from drying out.

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Aachener Printen

Ingredients:
80 g crumbled rock sugar
1 tbsp. fine minced candied orange peel
100 g soft butter
150 g honey
250 g spelt flour
pinch of salt
1 tbsp. gingerbread spice
2 tbsp. baking powder
4 tbsp. light marmelade (like apricot)
50 g peeled almond halves
1 tbsp. pistachios

Directions:

  1. Cream butter and honey together. Add the fine minced candied orange peel, sugar, flour, salt, spices and baking powder and knead until you get a smooth dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and put in the fridge for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 180°C and prepare baking trays with baking paper. Remove dough from fridge and roll out the dough until its about 0,5 cm thick. Take a knife and cut into same size rectangles. Put on the prepared trays. Heat marmelade until liquid and spread cookies with marmelade.
  3. Decorate cookies with almonds and pistachios. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Remore from oven and let them cool. Best before 4-6 weeks (store in cookie jar together with piece of apple skin).

 

Printen

Have fun baking!

xxx

Caprice