Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy holidays with some cookies- Vanillakipferl and Amaretto-chocolate kisses

Hello to all!! I want to wish everybody a very merry Christmas and happy holidays with family and friends. I baked many cookies yesterday and since I haven’t posted any Christmas cookie recipes yet, I want to share two of my favourites. Have a great time and take care…!!!



- 2 cups unbleached white flour
- 13 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- about 1 cup blanched, ground almonds
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 Tsp. vanilla essence
- powdered sugar for dusting


Sift flour into a bowl and add butter on top. Mix almonds, sugar and vanilla essence and sprinkle over flour. Dust your hands with flour and knead the ingredients to make a smooth dough. Shape into a ball, cover bowl and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Form the dough into a 1-inch thick roll.and cut into slices. Form each slice into a half moon. Place onto the baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes. Take out from oven and dust with powdered sugar when still warm.

Amaretto- chocolate kisses


- 18 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 2 ¼ cups unbleached white flour
- 1 Tsp. lemon zest
- 1 Tsp. orange zest
- 2 Tbsp. Amaretto
- 2 Tsp. vanilla essence
- ¼ cup corn starch
- ½ Tsp. baking powder
- 2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
- 4 oz milk-chocolate, chopped


Melt butter and let cool. Combine with powdered sugar and vanilla essence and beat. Stir in Amaretto, orange and lemon zest. Mix flour with corn starch and sift over the batter. Dust your hands with flour and knead the ingredients to make a smooth dough. Wrap into a damp cloth and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Divide the dough into small portions and roll each to a ball between your palms. Place onto the baking sheet and with your fingertip press slightly down in the middle of each ball. (For filling in the chocolate later) Bake for 10-15 minutes. After baking dust with little powdered sugar when still warm. Melt the chocolate in a water bath and fill the middle of each cookie with a little dab. Let completely dry.
Text and photographs are copyright protected. Copyright © 2009-2010. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Baumkuchen/ a layered cake from heaven-Tribute to my great-grandmother

Dear all! Hope you are doing well!! There are 8 more days to go until Christmas and today I thought of posting a recipe which is very valuable and dear to me. It was handed down from my paternal great-grandmother, an amazing woman, who reached a very high age and who I was fortunate enough to still get to know. Though I was only a child when she died, I still have very clear memories of her and the time I spent with her.
This cake is called Baumkuchen which can be literally translated as “Tree cake”. Tree as with its many layers it reminds of the annual rings in a tree. It is always baked under a broiler or traditionally open flame. It is never made with baking powder or soda. In Europe you can find this cake with a chocolate glaze as well. Since the cake tastes so good by itself, a little powdered sugar, dusted on top is enough, but you can try it with chocolate as well. It takes some time to prepare and you have to stay with it all the time but it’s worth the effort.
As a child I remember my dad, who is a great cook, preparing this cake and sitting in front of the open oven with a book, ready to spread out the next layer of batter.
So when I made this cake yesterday I remembered my great-grandmother and my dad very much and missed home a lot. But the cake was heavenly delicious, just what I remember from my childhood.
Wishing you all a wonderful evening and Christmas time…!!


- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 5 large eggs, separated
- ½ Tbsp. Lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. Rum
- ½ cup finely ground almonds
- 1 cup pastry flour
- 1 cup corn starch


In a large bowl beat butter and powdered sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks along with lemon juice and rum.
Mix flour, corn starch and almonds. Sift over batter and fold in with a spatula just until mixed.
Beat the egg whites until stiff then fold into the batter.
Grease an 8-inch spring form and turn on broiler.
Spread about 3 Tbsp. of the batter on bottom of spring form. Bake under the broiler with oven door half open until brown. It takes about 5 minutes. Keep an eye on it all the time to be sure not to burn it.
Spread the next 3 Tbsp. over the first layer and bake again under broiler until browned. Repeat this step until all batter is used and the cake has 10-12 layers. Take out from oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Carefully take out from form and let cool. When cooled completely, dust with powdered sugar and serve.
Text and photographs are copyright protected. Copyright © 2009-2010. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Borscht or Borschtsch is a nice and warming soup which comes originally from Eastern Europe. It is always made with beet root which gives the distinct red colour. Borscht is especially good to eat in cold weather and has been always one of my favourite soup dishes. Hence it was and is made regularly in my family. There is nothing better as coming home on a cold day and eat a steaming bowl of this soup. :-) Have a great day…!!!


- 3 small beet roots
- 3 small golden beets
- 3 medium carrots, sliced
- 4 medium potatoes, cubed
- 2 large tomatoes, peeled and diced
- 8 cups vegetable broth
- 2 Tbsp. Sugar
- 8 black peppercorns, crushed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup sauerkraut or fresh cabbage cut in strips
- 3 Tbsp. Red wine vinegar or lemon juice
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- 4 Tbsp. chopped Italian parsley
- Sour cream for topping (optional)


Place all beets in a pressure cooker along with water and cook for about 7 whistles. Let cool, then peel and cut in cubes.
In a large pot bring vegetable broth, tomatoes, beets, peppercorns, bay leaves, vinegar, sugar to a boil and let simmer for about 10-20 minutes. Then add potatoes, carrots and sauerkraut. Add salt and black pepper and cook till vegetables are soft. Garnish with parsley and top with sour cream. Serve with some crunchy bread.
Text and photographs are copyright protected. Copyright © 2009-2010. All rights reserved.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Stollen (a German fruit bread for Christmas)

Hi to all!!! I am finally back and able again to post new recipes!! :-) I noticed there are just 10 more days to go until Christmas and I haven’t posted any Christmas recipes till now. So it’s about time…Stollen is a traditional German fruit bread made with nuts and dried fruits and is eaten during Christmas time. At my familys place it is eaten with tea or coffee and served mostly in afternoon. Traditionally it is made with candied orange peel and candied lemon peel, which, unfortunately I was not able to get in the US, so I substituted crystallized ginger and candied pineapple for it. Have a wonderful day..!!


- ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup curd/quark ( you can use drained yoghurt as well)
- 1 Tsp. lemon zest
- 1 Tsp. vanilla essence
- 3 ½ cups unbleached white flour
- 2 Tsp. baking powder
- ½ cup dried apricots, chopped
- ½ cup crystallized ginger
- ½ cup candied pineapple
- 1 cup rum raisins
- ½ cup chopped hazelnuts
- ½ cup chopped almonds
- 2 Tbsp. melted butter
- ½ cup powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 375 F and butter a baking sheet.
In a bowl beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla essence. Combine curd and lemon zest and whisk until smooth. Stir into batter.
Combine flour with baking powder and sift over batter. Incorporate to a smooth dough. Mix all dry fruits with nuts and knead into dough. Shape into an oblong form and place onto baking sheet. Bake for about 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Once cooled, brush the melted butter on top and dust with powdered sugar.
Text and photographs are copyright protected. Copyright © 2009-2010. All rights reserved.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dear all!!!

I hope you are all doing well!! :-)
I am currently unable to post new recipes as my computer got infected by a nasty virus. I am trying my best to get it fixed and continue blogging as soon as possible. I have already drafted out many new posts and cant wait to share it with you. Have a very nice evening and see you back soon....!!!
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This blog is my attempt to share and chronicle experiences and recipes which I have learnt on my own through long hours in the kitchen or which were passed on to me from my family, in-laws and friends. All texts and photographs in this blog are mine unless otherwise noted and it is prohibited to copy or distribute them without my written permission. If you would like to use any content for non-commercial purposes ask first by contacting me at Please respect that this blog and all its content is the result of hard work and that it is not allowed to violate any of its copyrights.
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