Category Archives: German Foods & Markets

Xmas Baking Recipe #4 – Gingerbread ‘Leicht Gemacht’

It’s not Christmas without Gingerbread Cookies!

As a child, I loved using my little cookie cutter forms and produce a variety of differently shaped butter cookies, which I later decorated wildly.  But as much as I enjoyed making butter cookies, I really, really loved to eat Lebkuchen! In fact, I couldn’t get enough of them. My favorite was the Elisenlebkuchen, made by my aunt from a family recipe, which was quite elaborate and required not only ample time but also lots of attention.

On a mission to find a recipe that would combine the easiness of a butter cookie recipe but encapsulate a flavor reminiscent of my cherished Lebkuchen in the final product, I came across this delectable and easy-to-make recipe for gingerbread cookies. And, the fun thing is…I can use all my cookie cutter forms with this kind of dough as well. Bingo!

Dive into our last Christmas cookie recipe for this holiday season!

Bon Appétit!

———————-

INGREDIENTS:

70g  Sugar

180g  Honey

1 Egg Yolk

1 Pinch of Salt

1 tsp  Cinnamon

1 tsp  Candied Orange Peel (orangeat)

5 tbsp  Water

375g  Flour

1 tsp  Baking Powder

PROCEDURE:

Step #1 – First put the sugar and the honey in a pot and heat it up until it turns into a creamy mixture (don’t cook!). Put aside and let cool down. Preheat the oven to 356 Fahrenheit.

Step #2 – Add egg yolk, cinnamon, salt, and water to the mixture and mix well. Put flour and baking powder into a separate mixing bowl and add the honey mixture to it. Blend well. Cover the mixing bowl and let the batter rest for 24 hours.

Step #3 – Roll out the dough and cut out cookies in a gingerbread man shape for example. But any shape works fine. Bake at 350 Fahrenheit (top and bottom heat) for 11 minutes. Sugarcoat or decorate with icing or sprinkles.

Step #4 – Enjoy as a savory Christmas treat with friends and family, or use as a special decoration on your Christmas tree!

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!

Image: Pixabay.com


 

.

 

Advertisements

Xmas Baking Recipe #3: Bad Ischl Jelly Rings à la Dieter Kermas

JELLY RINGS FROM BAD ISCHL – The No-Eggs Xmas Cookie

In our Christmas Cookie Baking Series, we share today one of Dieter Kermas’ favorite ‘Weihnachtsplätzchen’ that he has baked for years! It’s a straightforward recipe that doesn’t need any eggs.

The cookies make for a beautiful looking and deliciously tasting Christmas treat. In fact, this cookie and some with slight variations (different jams & jellies) belong to the traditional staple of Christmas cookies in Germany and shouldn’t miss on any Christmas cookie platter. A variation of this cookie is called ‘Spitzbuben’, a cookie that looks similar but sometimes incorporates an egg in its cookie batter.

Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

300g   Flour

100g almond flour

185g powdered sugar

2 packets of vanilla sugar

1 pinch of salt

225g Butter

some flour to roll out the dough

75g raspberry jelly

PROCEDURE:

Step #1 – For the dough, mix the flour with the almond flour and the 125g powdered sugar.

Step #2 – Make a well in the middle. Add the Vanilla sugar and the pinch of salt to it.

Step #3 – Spread the butter in little flakes around it. Quickly prepare to a smooth batter. Cover and allow to cool for 30 minutes.

Step #4 – On a lightly floured work surface  roll out the dough about 3mm thick. Cut out round cookies with a diameter of 6cm. Turn half of the cookie batch into circles by cutting out a hole of about 2cm in the middle.

Step #5 – Put all on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 8 minutes at 392 Fahrenheit.

Step #6 – Once baked, remove the circles with the holes from the baking sheet and dip them still warm in a mixture of powdered sugar and the rest of the vanilla sugar.

Step #7 – Cover the full round cookies with the raspberry jelly and place the powder sugared circles on top of it.

Tastes delicious with a hot cup of coffee, hot chocolate or spiced tea!

Merry Christmas!

Image: Pixabay.com

———————————————————————————————–——————–——

Dieter Kermas, CaliforniaGermans Author and a true Berliner, turned to writing after he retired from his profession as an engineer. Family and friends urged him to document his many experiences during his childhood in wartime Germany. This made for a collection of various essays which have been published here at CaliforniaGermans. (You can find the stories here on CaliforniaGermans.com by putting “Dieter Kermas” into the Search Box.) Apart from his childhood memories, he is also sharing some of his short stories and poems on CaliforniaGermans. Dieter Kermas, who loves to write, has published his first novel “Kolja. Liebe im Feindesland” in 2016, available at Amazon. Some of his work has been included in anthologies.

To get in touch with Dieter Kermas, please send an email with subject line “Dieter Kermas” to californiagermans@gmail.com
———————————————————————————————————————–

Xmas Baking Recipe: Christmas Rum Cake à la Merrill Lyew Emanuel

Christmas Rum Cake

This is the recipe for a delicious rum cake that our CaliforniaGermans contributor Merrill grew up with. It’s a treasured recipe from his mother, who used to make many smaller cakes from this recipe instead of one big one. It stayed a tradition for him and his family and every holiday season they are the delight of everyone in his family.

Enjoy!

LIST OF INGREDIENTS:

1. 1/2 Pound Cake Fluor
2. 1/2 Pound Sugar
3. 1/2 Pound Butter
4. 5 Eggs Separate the yolks from the egg white
5. 1/2 Cup Evaporated milk
6. 2 Tea Spoon Baking Powder
7. 1 Tea Spoon Vanilla
8. 1/8 Tea Spoon Salt
9. 3 Table Spoon Burned Sugar (see procedure)
10. 3 Table Spoon Raisins and cut Prunes soaked in Rum for several weeks
11. 1/3 Cup Chopped Walnuts
12. 1/4 Cup Red Cherries cut into Halves
13. 1/4 Cup Green Cherries cut into Halves
14. 1/3 Cup Dark Beer
15. 1/8 Tea Spoon Grinded Nutmeg
16. 2 Table Spoon Orange Juice
17. 1 Orange Skin Grated orange peel

PROCEDURE:

STEP #1: Burn the 3 tablespoons sugar to a dark syrup then add 1 tablespoon of water, keep to a thick consistency. Let it cool down.

STEP #2: Mix butter with sugar, add dark syrup from STEP #1, grated orange peel, vanilla, nutmeg, orange juice. Add egg yolks one at a time. Add evaporated milk little by little.

STEP #3: Strain flour, baking powder, and salt together in separate bowl and add to the batter.

STEP #4: Add the cherries, prunes, chopped walnuts.

STEP #5: Whip the egg white apart and add to the batter at low speed. Add the dark beer.

STEP #6: Pour into a buttered 9-inch mold.

STEP #7: Bake at 350 ° F for around one hour

Bon Appétit!

Image: Pixabay.com
———————————————————————————————–——————–

Merrill Lyew EmanuelAs a recent retiree, Merrill Lyew Emanuel now has time for his old and new hobbies. Within his hobbies are writing fan fiction in German, solving chess puzzles, repairing things at home that are not broken, doing a little bit of social media, reading every and anything that looks like a book, traveling a little, and taking snapshots with his mirrorless camera.

Having lived in Germany, Costa Rica and the USA, he is fluent in the languages of these countries. As a professional geographer he traveled profusely throughout Latin America. He is living in Southern California for over thirty years. Find more of his work at http://www.merrillius.net


.

Christmas and the First Sunday of Advent Is Near- Are Your Christmas Cookies Ready?

It’s Holiday Baking Time!

This Friday marks the 1st of December and while we can start opening the first door on our advent calendar (Yay!), we still have to wait a few days to lighten the first candle on our Advent wreath. The first Sunday of Advent is near however and on December 3rd we will officially enter the 4 weeks of Advent before Christmas Eve.

Typical for the Christmas season in Germany is having an Advent calendar helping you countdown to the 24th December, an advent wreath that is the centerpiece in the dining room or living room, and… lots of homemade Christmas cookies to share with family and friends! And some families do take holiday baking really seriously! It’s not uncommon for some families to sport up to 15 different cookie varieties. No kidding!

So…, how is your holiday baking coming along this season?

If you are still struggling with deciding what to bake and want to get inspired, check out our posts on Thursdays. Every Thursday until Christmas one of our CaliforniaGermans contributors will let you in on his or her favorite baking recipe for the holiday season. 

We hope you’ll discover your favorite one among them!

Image: Pixabay.com

.

German Cuisine – Defined by Sausage, Pretzel and Beer?

What’s Up with German Cuisine in California?

German restaurants and German food trucks seem to be in high season these days. I feel there are so many new ones. But do they offer anything new?

I just heard of a new German restaurant in Orange County in SoCal, “Stadtgarten LA“. It sounded promising, I thought. Curious about what kind of German cuisine they would offer I went to check out their website.

I am met with the the restaurant’s name Stadtgarten written in an interesting font, that reminds me of a neighborhood German beer pub from the 60ties. Then I read the “story”: Stadtgarten is a “gourmet hub” in a historic landmark in Fullerton. The experience apparently “highlights bold tradition with every speciality item offered” .

Wow, I am eager to find out more! Did I finally discover some authentic German restaurant that will surprise me with some tasty Schweinebraten (roast pork) with a crunchy crust or a Berliner Eisbein? Perhaps the authentic northern specialty, Matjes, or a juicy Jägerschnitzel, or even just tasty Käsespätzle or Maultaschen?

My excitement to see the menu is put to a worried stop after my eyes are met by the headline “Artisanal Wurst & Bier”.

Seriously!!  Yes…, all I see is sausages galore!

Come on! Pleaseeee!!

I scroll back to the “story” that claims that I will experience the “storied taste of Germany, spanning decades of specialty quality and selection”, “with recipes  spanning decades brought directly from Germany.”

Am I not being promised a “gourmet authentic cuisine” here? I start feeling a bit offended about what I am actually being offered on the menu posted online.

– The Sausage and its Rise to Power –

Is the Stadtgarten LA seriously claiming that only sausages are making up the storied taste of Germany ? I honestly believe the German Wurst has never been that popular ever (!) than since it’s been pushed to its limits here in the USA. – Sozusagen ‘ausgezuzelt’ (ausgesaugt) bis auf’s Letzte. –

And, I m not even sure if the Wurst frenzy is in fact even happening in Germany itself. The last thing I recently read was that it was now really hip over there to get Eggs Benedict instead of a simple, fried egg… But Wurst!!?

Besides, anyone ever heard of the Vegan Mexican Chipotle sausage or Chicken Habanero & Tequila sausage being part of the German Wurst staple?

I guess I must have missed something growing up in Germany or I’m just getting old….

For me, ‘Wurst’ used to be a fast food served at stands at Christkindlmarkets and other little town fairs. It certainly was present at ALL kids birthday parties, so much so that I couldn’t face a ‘Wienerwurst’ or any ‘Wurst’ for years without slight shudders… until I fell in love with the ‘Käsekrainer’ in Vienna! Since then my sausage taste has been very selective to say the least.

But to call ‘Wurst’, no matter what kind, gourmet food!? That is for sure a social rise for Wurst & Co.

To all the Würstel Dudes (sausages dudes) out there. German cuisine has so much more to offer than only pretzels, beer, and sausages!

It’s not enough to just give a restaurant a German name and slap some German sounding words onto the menu like “share das good times“. Please check your German, otherwise it gives you away as not being very authentic at all!

Having said all that… Stadtgarten LA appears to have a hip, modern and inviting interior (unlike its restaurant name lettering would suggest). It apparently has also created a nice outside beer garden atmosphere, which indeed is hard to find in OC.

Stadtgarten LA may in fact position itself more as a specialty beer pub than a restaurant, if you consider the immense selection of beer that “… can be intimidating to a beer layman” as Edwin Goei puts it in his 2016 article in OC Weekly.

…Nix für ungut!


Author’s note: This article is solely based on the business’ website and its information posted there.

Sponsored by Adolesco.org 

.