Dec 14, 2008

CHRISTMAS COOKIES

Above: a delicious basket of Swiss & Austrian deliciousness.

I’ve been so busy lately but am so happy to be back blogging (and making up for my absence with three recipes!) with some lovely Christmas cookies for this holiday season ! The list of recipes I could had tried was very very long, with Christmas cookie varieties from all over the world but I stayed close in Europe with treats from two nearby countries: Switzerland (and their amazing Basler Brunslis and Zimtsternes) and Austria’s infamous Linz tart (which I did in small and bite size versions with a bit of a twist). I’m particularly attached to these three pastries as they bring back so many memories from my childhood years spent in Switzerland… especially the Basler Brunslis which I was absolutely mad about, and still am. It was great making all these childhood faves at home, and I’m super happy to participate in Susan’s (from Food Blogga) wonderful Eat Christmas Cookies event.
Above: addictive & delicious heart shaped Basler Brunsli

Above: mini & bite sized Linz tartlets with some marzipan slipped in


Basler Brunsli (Swiss brownies with cinnamon & cloves)

50gr dark chocolate, melted in a bain marie
100gr brown sugar
100gr ground almonds
1 teaspoon cocoa
1 egg white, whisked, stiff
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon clove, ground
1 teaspoon kirsch

In a bowl, mix all dry ingredients, then add the melted dark chocolate and kirsch. Fold into egg white mixture and mix well. Place dough in fridge for at least 1 hour before rolling out and cutting in desired shape. Original recipes say you should leave the raw cookies on a baking tray overnight before baking them- so if you’re patient enough then it could be worth it. Bake in 200C/400F/th6 oven for 8 mins.

Zimtsterne (Swiss cinnamon cookies)

2 egg whites, whisked, stiff
170gr icing sugar
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon kirsch
235gr ground almonds

In a bowl, mix the egg whites with the icing sugar. Keep about ½ a cup aside for the frosting at the end. In another bowl, mix the dry ingredients, then fold into remaining egg whites and add kirsch. Place dough in fridge for at least 1 hour before rolling out and cutting in desired shape (traditionally in a star shaped). As with the Basler Brunsli, it is recommended to leave raw cookies on baking tray overnight before baking them. Just before baking, spread a layer of the egg white & icing sugar mix set aside (in the 1/2 cup) on top of cookies. Bake in 200C/400F/th6 oven for 6 mins.

Mini Linz tarts

200gr butter, softened
130gr sugar
2 eggs
135gr ground almonds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon almond essence
330gr flour
Cherry or raspberry jam (I used cherry jam and I also added some slices of cherries)
Marzipan

Mix butter, sugar and eggs. Then add the ground almonds, cinnamon and almond essence and mix. Finally, add the flour and mix until you have a nice dough-y texture. Place dough in fridge for at least 1 hour. Roll dough in tart mould, place a thin layer of marzipan and finish with a generous spread of jam. With remaining dough, make long strips and place on top of tart in a criss-cross design. Bake in 200C/400F/th6 oven and check after 20 mins. It might need some more time, so it’s best to check as of 20 mins.

11 comments:

Chocolate Shavings said...

All the cookies sound delicious!

Peter G said...

Absolutely beautiful and very festive Marianna...I particularly love the cinnamon ones (I adore cinnamon).

eleonora said...

Your blog is super. So are your photographies. They make me hungry. I have spent a nice moment when seeing them. Thanks a lot.

Susan/Wild Yeast said...

Gorgeous photos and the cookies sound delicious!

Nina Timm said...

Put on the kettle, I'm on my way...can't miss all these nice goodies. Lovely, Marianne!

Daziano said...

Gosh! Everything sounds perfect, but those Linz tartlets... WOW!!!

PS: I'm convinced the feast of the seven fishes is just an Italian-American thing, in the same way spaghetti with meatballs and pepperoni are! I'm sorry about the cups... It's the North American convenience concept: use your standard measuring cups instead of weighting things, you know... and I got used to it!

Happy Holidays!!!

b comme bon said...

Noël a du bon quand on voit ces petits gâteaux…

Peter M said...

Marianna, cookies like these would make for perfect gifts..especially to friends in Canada! ;)

Darius T. Williams said...

It's like right at this moment I'm in the mood for cookies!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

What a beautiful international assortment of cookies! Thank you so much for submitting them. Happy Holidays!

linda said...

You've done some serious baking, everything looks delicious, would love to take a bite!