3 Homemade German Treats You Can Make At Home October 31, 2018

by Rebecca Down Eat

We’ve teamed up with the German Tourist Office to take you on a culinary adventure through Germany, introducing you to the huge variety of flavours this country has to offer. German Christmas markets are the best place to head for a spot of baking inspiration, and a recent weekend trip had us reaching for our oven gloves as soon as we were home.

If the week’s leading up to Christmas aren’t the best time for baking, you may have been missing these three recipes from your repertoire. So warm up your ovens and dust off your aprons, we’ve got three festive German recipes that will leave your kitchens smelling absolutely amazing this Christmas.

What is stollen?

Traditionally, stollen is a sweet bread made with yeast, water and flour, with candied orange peel and candied citrus peel, raisins, almonds and spices such as cardamom and cinnamon added to the dough. Other popular additions are sugar, butter, vanilla and marzipan, but any deviation from the traditional recipe disqualifies the product from the official AOC, the Stollen Schutzverband, an association of Stollen bakers.

What makes this recipe so special?

In this recipe, we’ve given stollen a HelloFresh twist, by turning it into delicious stollen ‘bars’ for a moreish treat you won’t be able to resist. With layers and layers of delicious textures and flavour, these stollen bars are the perfect Christmas treat.

German Stollen Bars

German Stollen Bars

Ingredients

  • Cherry jam 350g, (the thick kind)
  • cornflour 1 tbsp
  • icing sugar 1-2 tbsp
    STOLLEN BASE
  • egg yolk 1
  • salted butter 100g, softened
  • gluten-free plain flour 100g
  • golden caster sugar 100g
  • toasted flaked almonds 50g
  • gluten-free hobnobs 50g
  • xanthum gum 1 tsp
    STOLLEN TOPPING
  • golden caster sugar 100g
  • butter 100g, softened
  • almond extract 1 tsp
  • egg whites 2
  • ground almonds 50g
  • gluten-free plain flour 150g
  • full-fat soft cheese 100g
  • mixed spice 1/2 tsp
  • orange 1, zested and juiced
  • lemon 1, zested and juiced
  • dried sour cherries 100g
  • mixed peel 25g
  • toasted flaked almonds 50g
  • shelled pistachios 50g
  • marzipan 125g, finely diced

Instructions

  1. For the stollen base: Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6 and line a 22cm square tin with baking paper. Put all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse to a smooth-ish mix. Press the dough evenly into the base of the tin, then bake for 15 minutes until golden. Cool while you prepare the rest, but leave the oven turned on.
  2. For the stollen middle: Sieve the fruit chunks out of the cherry jam (it helps if you warm it), then stir through the cornflour and spread over the cooling base. Pop in the fridge to chill while you make the stollen topping.
  3. For the stollen topping: Beat the caster sugar, soft butter, almond extract, egg whites, ground almonds, flour, soft cheese, mixed spice and citrus zests together to a smooth batter.
  4. Stir the lemon and orange juices together and beat 2 tbsp into the batter mix, reserving the rest. Stir in the dried cherries, mixed peel, half the flaked almonds, the pistachios and marzipan cubes.
  5. Dollop into the tin starting from around the edge, then gently spread to cover without disturbing the jam too much. Scatter over the remaining flaked almonds.
  6. Bake the stollen for 35-40 minutes until golden and firm on top.
  7. While the bake is still warm, brush the remaining citrus juice over the top. Dust heavily with icing sugar and leave to cool completely. Cut into bars and serve.

Zimtsterne Cinnamon Stars

Fill your kitchen with the delicious aroma of Christmas baking with these quick and simple German biscuits. Made almost entirely from ground spices and nuts, these cinnamon stars are naturally gluten and dairy free and are coated in a snow white icing made from sugar and egg white. A traditional part of the German Advent, they are a delicious treat to bake in batches, wrap up and gift to friends and family.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 tsp lemon juice, plus zest 1 lemon
  • 200g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 250g ground almond
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2 and line a large baking tray (or 2 smaller) with baking parchment. Place the egg whites in a large bowl and use an electric mixer to whisk until foamy. Add the lemon juice and whisk again until they hold soft peaks.
  2. Slowly mix in the icing sugar and continue whisking until the mixture is stiff. Remove about a quarter of the meringue mixture and set aside to use for the topping. Put the almonds, cinnamon, ginger and lemon zest in the bowl with the meringue and mix to form a stiff, slightly sticky dough.
  3. To form the stars, put the dough on a piece of baking parchment lightly dusted with icing sugar and dust the top of the dough with sugar, too. Place a second sheet of parchment on top of the dough and roll out to about 0.5cm thick (the dough is a little sticky, so the parchment makes it easier to roll). Peel off the top sheet of parchment and use a 5cm star-shaped cutter to cut out as many cookies as possible. Place them on your prepared baking tray.
  4. Using the reserved meringue mixture, spread a small amount onto the top of each cookie, covering the entire top – you may need to add a few drops of water to make the meringue a little easier to spread. Put the tray in the oven and bake for 12-15 mins until meringue is set but not browned. Allow to cool fully before storing in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks.

Lebkuchen

Sticky, sweet and nutty, lebkuchen dates all the way back to 14th century Germany where they were first enjoyed by Catholic monks. Prepared in monastery bakeries, Lebkuchen were traditionally made from honey, nuts and spices.

A classic sweet treat throughout the German Christmas season, Lebkuchen is one of the most popular confections of the holiday period.  Lebkuchen come in a variety of flavours, and each can be distinguished by the number of nuts used. Here, we have created a recipe for the Nürnberger Elisenlebkuchen, whose distinguishing feature is that they use no flour and have a very high ratio of nuts – specifically a combination of almonds and hazelnuts. For an unforgettable German Christmas treat, these shouldn’t be missed!

Ingredients:

  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon quality pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups ground almonds
  • 2 cups of ground hazelnuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons Lebkuchengewürz
  • 4 ounces candied lemon peel
  • 4 ounces candied orange peel
  • Blanched whole almonds cut in half lengthwise
  • Backoblaten either 70mm or 90mm
  • !For the Chocolate Glaze:
  • 3 ounces quality dark or milk chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • !For the Sugar Glaze:
  • 1 cup sifted icing sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  2. Toss the candied lemon and orange peel with about 1/4 of all-purpose flour to keep it from sticking together and then pulse in a food processor until finely minced. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs until foamy. Add the sugar, honey and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
  4. Add the ground almonds, hazelnuts, salt, baking powder, Lebkuchengewürz, and candied lemon and orange peels and stir vigorously until thoroughly combined. The mixture will be wet but if it is too thin to scoop onto the backoblaten add some more ground almonds or hazelnuts.
  5. Scoop the mixture onto the Backoblaten, smoothing down the top and leaving just a slight space around the edges. Set them on a lined cookie sheet.
  6. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 25-28 minutes. Remove the baking sheet and allow to cool completely.
  7. Once cooled, place a wire rack over a cookie sheet (to catch the drippings).
  8. Place chocolate and oil in a small bowl and microwave stirring occasionally, until melted. Use immediately. If glaze becomes firm, reheat in the microwave. Dip half the Lebkuchen in the chocolate glaze and half in the sugar glaze, letting the excess drip back into the bowl and then place the Lebkuchen on the wire rack. Arrange 3 almonds on each Lebkuchen while the glaze is still wet. Let the Lebkuchen dry completely until the glaze is hardened.
  9. Makes about 35 if using 70mm Backoblaten and about 25 if using 90mm Backoblaten.
  10. Keep stored in an airtight container. These can be kept for several weeks.

The best places to try these German treats in Germany: Try them or buy them at any Christmas market in Germany or directly where they’re being made. Lebkuchen comes from Nuremberg, Zimsterne are from Stuttgart and Dresden is the origin of Stollen.

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