I have begun experimenting with german goodies on a small scale. Last year as I was attending a german course, to help myself get acquainted with the language I decided to read and understand recipes. Call it strange, but I love reading cookbooks and I thought what better way to try understanding a new language. Over time the first cook book I purchased was Backin im Advent(Baking in Adevnt). As the need for the google translator decreased I found myself getting excited at the prospect of just being able to understand simple recipes.
The germans use their ovens a lot and I do mean A LOT!!! If I am right, the use of their cooktop(our cooking range) is minimal. Most of my local friends are surprised that most of us Indians may or may not have an oven in our homes. If they were to see the teeny tiny one I have in India, it surely would give their hearts quite a flutter..:D
The first year we celebrated the season of advent in Germany I was amazed at the variety of christmas goodies. Cookies of different sizes, shapes and colour, truffles, pralines, gingerbread men and to go along with it the warm spiced glühwein. Even more surprising was that almost all the households baked their own treats. I found that very hard to believe cause that meant the germans baked REAL GOOD.
(For the commotion from the trio behind me, I did a pretty good job with the pictures!! Note to self: No more food photography when the family is home)
This year I have decided to along with the german trend of baking my christmas sweets. It's healthier and much easier. I will be baking the traditional Indian plumcake and if time permits the much loved kidiyo..:-)
Coming back to my experiments, this particular book has more than 100 recipes. Surely I am not going to bake them all. I shortlisted around 10 of them and decided to try them when and as time was available. Depending on how good they went with the family, I would then prepare them on a larger scale. Last week I tried the first recipe, Almond Choco cookies, about 50 of them. In less than 24 hours they were over. I vowed that I would be baking them next only a few days before Christmas cause at the rate the family went I think I should camp next to the oven!!!
The next in line were these butter cookies. If not for repeated pleas to slow down you wouldn't be seeing this recipe too..:D Trust me, they are so good, you won't regret baking them.
(The autumn sun which shows itself rarely rending its glow on the buttery cookies)
- 250 gm white flour/maida
- 100 gm sugar
- 1 tsp candied orange peel
- 125 gm cold butter(it shouldn't have melted)
- 2 egg yolks
- cookie cutters
- Sieve the flour. Cut the butter into small sized cubes.
- In a bowl mix together the flour, sugar, orange peel and cubed butter. Add the egg yolks, mix and knead well to form a soft dough*.
- Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate it for 2 hours.
- Line a flat baking tray with baking paper. Heat the oven to 170 C.
- On a clean platform, sprinkle a little bit of flour. Roll out the dough(roughly 3 to 4mm thick). With your cookie cutters cut the shapes and place them on the baking tray. Do not crowd the tray.
- Keep shaping the cookies till you finish the dough.
- Bake them for 15 to 20* minutes till golden yellow.
- Remove them and let them cool.
- When you begin kneading it kind of resembles bread crumbs. Keep going with your fingers and the dough comes along beautifully.
- The baking time is dependant on your oven. The original recipe called for 10 minutes baking time. In that time my cookies were looking exactly the same as when I had placed them in. The perfect timing for my batch was 18 minutes. What I would suggest is for you to keep watch as they are baking and use your judgement to remove them out.
- The above recipe makes 45 to 50 cookies.