Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Foods!

I was requested to share some recipes for traditional German Christmas foods that I bring out by the truck load in December.

Under the cut are recipes for Pfeffernüsse and Stollen. German Christmas goodies are time consuming, if nothing else. They can take a lot of practice to get right, and in the case of Stollen, most Germans buy them from the various official stollen bakeries in their part of the country. I eat so much stollen and so many pfeffernüsse during the holidays I mostly buy them in order to keep my sanity.

For Baumkuchen, go here:

Pfeffernüsse. Recipe from the Philadelphia German Society's cookbook.

3 eggs
1.5 cups packed light brown sugar
2 cups flour, sifted
.5 tsp baking powder
.5 tsp baking soda
.5 tsp salt
1 tsp cloves
2 tsp cinnamon
.5 tsp black papper
1 cup blanked almonds, finely chopped
15 raisins, ground
2 T citron, ground
powdered sugar for rolling.

Beat eggs until thick and lemon colored. Add brown sugar and continue beating until mixture is thick. In a separate bowl, sift flour and baking powder, soda, salt cloves cinnamon and pepper. Add almonds, raisins and citron and stir only to coat.  Pour the egg-sugar mixture into the flour mixture and stir to make dough. With floured hands, pinch off a teaspoonful of dough at a tim and roll into a ball. If dough is too sticky, chill for an hour. Put onto well greased baking sheet, leavbing 2 inch space between cookies to allow for spreading. bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes or until cookies hold shape. Cookies should be moist inside because they dry with time. While still warm, roll in powdered surgar. When cool, store in airtight container.


2 cup raisins
1/2 cup candied red cherries, halved
1/4 cup currants
1/4 cup candied citron, diced
1/4 cup rum
4 1/2 cup flour
2 yeast, active dry packages
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 tbsp. orange peel, finely shredded
2 tsp. lemon peel, finely shredded
1/2 cup almonds, blanched chopped

In a medium bowl combine raisins, cherries, currants, citron or citrus peel, and rum. Set aside. In a large mixer bowl combine 1-1/2 cups of the flour and yeast. Heat milk, butter, sugar and salt over low heat, stirring constantly until warm (120F to 130F).

Add to dry ingredients along with eggs and fruit peels. Beat at low speed of electric mixer for 1/2 minute, scraping sides of bowl. Beat 3 minutes at high speed. Stir in fruit-rum mixture, almonds and enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic (5 to 6 minutes). Shape into a ball. Place in a greased bowl, turning once. Cover. Let rise until double (1 hour). Punch dough down. Divide in half. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface roll each half to a 10x8-inch oval. Fold lengthwise in half so the top half overlaps to within 1/2 inch
of the bottom half. Press folded edge firmly. Place about 4-inches apart on greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until
double (45 minutes). Bake at 200 degrees Celsius for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool. Serve sprinkled with powdered sugar or spread with Confectioners' Glaze and decorate with candied cherries. Makes 2 loaves.


Mix 1 cup sifted powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon milk. Add more milk, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until spreading consistency.

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