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I know, I’m a bit late posting a holiday recipe on December 22nd. But maybe there are some last-minute bakers like me out there.

This is a veganized version of my favorite seasonal treat. As those Lebkuchen contain no flour, they are potentially gluten-free.

Lebkuchen

German Gingerbread (Lebkuchen)

This flour-less version of the classic German gingerbread is also known as ‘Elisenlebkuchen’, and surprisingly easy to make. Things may get a little messy, but the tasty results are totally worth it.

Prep time: 30 minutes + at least 60 minutes resting time

Baking time: 15-20 minutes

Yield: Makes about 20 servings

*Vegetarian*Vegan*Gluten free*(check labels)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (50 g) candied orange peel
  • 1/2 cup (50 g) candied lemon peel
  • 3 Tbsp rum (or orange juice or water)
  • 1 cup (100 g) finely ground hazelnuts
  • 2 cups (200 g) finely ground almonds
  • 3 tsp gingerbread spice mix (or 2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp cloves, 1/2 tsp ginger, pinch of nutmeg, pinch of coriander)
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp non-dairy milk (e.g. soy, rice, or almond milk)
  • 1/3 cup (80 g) brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • a tiny dash of salt

Optional:

  • 3 oz (85 g) dark chocolate

Or

  • 1/2 cup (60 g) powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tsp lemon juice or water

Directions:

Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.  Finely chop the candied orange and lemon peel. Mix with rum, juice, or water in a small bowl and set aside. In another small bowl, mix the flax seeds with water and non-dairy milk. Let that mixture sit for a few minutes until it has thickened. Combine the ground nuts, spice mix, and baking powder in a large bowl.

In another bowl mix the flax mixture, sugar, molasses, and salt with an electric mixer for about five minutes until foamy and smooth. Then add the candied orange and lemon peels and the dry ingredients and combine gently.

Spread the dough onto the baking sheets using a tablespoon. Smooth the surface with wet fingers. The lebkuchen should be as thick as your thumb and about 3-4 inches in diameter.

Let the lebkuchen rest at room temperature for about 60 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 150°C (300°F). Bake the lebkuchen for 15-20 minutes until they firm up a little and turn slightly brown, but they should still be a little soft on the inside. Let them cool on the sheets.

Now you can leave the lebkuchen as they are, or cover them either in chocolate or sugar icing. For the chocolate version slowly melt some dark chocolate in the microwave or over a double boiler, then thinly coat the top of the lebkuchen (I use a silicone pastry brush for this step). Alternatively, you could mix some powdered sugar with just a little bit of lemon juice or water, and use that mix as a coating instead.

Stored in a tin box, the lebkuchen stay soft and delicious for a few weeks, especially the coated ones.

***

Happy baking!

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Now that Thanksgiving is already over, it’s time to think about Christmas, right? Actually, I didn’t celebrate T-Day, as it is not a real holiday here in Germany. But as December is just around the corner, I’m already wondering what cookies I’m going to make this year.

Baking Christmas cookies has a very long tradition in my family. I remember fondly how I used to craft those delicious tiny treats with my mother or grandma when I was a little girl. There’s just no way I’d miss out on that!

I have a tried and approved assortment of family favorites, but this year I want to venture out and try to veganize them. Yikes!

I’ll let you know how my experiments turn out, of course. Until then, here are some non-vegan cookie recipes that I’ve posted on this blog in the past:

Lemon Sugar Cookies

Lemon Sugar Cookies

Thumbprint Cookies

Thumbprint Cookies

Vanilla Cookies (Vanillekipferl-Taler)

Vanilla Cookies

Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons

Fruity Chocolate Crossies

Fruity Chocolate Crossies

Spiced Linzer Cookies

Spiced Linzer Cookies

Have you already started making Christmas cookies?

See you!

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And the Cookie Craze continues! Are you already sugared out? I’m close, but not quite there yet. ;)

Lemon Sugar Cookies

Lemon Sugar Cookies

Lemon Sugar Cookies

These cookies are for the lemon lovers out there. Plus, they’re quite cute, aren’t they?

Note: I used a converter for the volume measurements, so I can’t guarantee for their accuracy! To be safe, use the metric measurements!

Prep time: 30 minutes, plus about 1 hour to chill in the fridge

Bake time: 8 – 10 minutes

Yield: Makes about 50 bite-sized cookies

*Vegetarian*

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups (200 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1/2 cup (60 g) confectioner’s sugar
  • 2/3 cup (150 g) cold butter
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • zest of one organic lemon
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar, for icing
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice, for icing
  • sugar sprinkles (optional)

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter, sugar, salt, lemon juice, lemon zest, and egg yolk. Add flour and knead the dough with your hands for a few minutes, until it can be formed into one big ball.

Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and put them in the fridge for at least one hour.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper and pre-heat your oven to 350 °F (180 °C).

Dust a cutting board with some flour. Roll out half of the dough about 1/4 inch thick with a flour dusted rolling pin. Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter and transfer to the lined baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough.

Bake the cookies for 8 – 10 minutes, until the edges turn slightly golden.

Let cookies cool completely. Mix confectioner’s sugar and lemon juice. If the mixture appears too thin, add more sugar. Spread icing onto the cookies with a baking brush or a teaspoon. Decorate with sugar sprinkles and let the icing harden for at least 30 minutes.

***

Enjoy!

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Here’s another one of our favorite cookie recipes. In Germany they’re called Husarenkrapferl, which literally translates to hussar’s donuts (don’t ask me why). They look a lot like thumbprint cookies, but the ingredients and preparation steps vary a little. The biggest difference is that you add the jam before baking the cookies.

Thumbprint Cookies

Thumbprint Cookies

Thumbprint Cookies (Husarenkrapferl)

This cookie recipe is another quick and easy one. Perfect for those who don’t have a lot of time but still want to eat homemade cookies. Just like me. Feel free to use a different kind of jam, like blackberry, strawberry, or apricot. As long as they don’t contain any chunks, they should all work just fine.

Note: I used a converter for the volume measurements, so I can’t guarantee for their accuracy! To be safe, use the metric measurements!

Prep time: 20 minutes, plus about 1 hour to chill in the fridge

Bake time: 12 – 15 minutes

Yield: Makes about 50 bite-sized cookies

*Vegetarian*

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups (200 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 3/4 cup (85 g) blanched almonds, finely ground
  • 1/3 cup (75 g) sugar
  • 2/3 cup (150 g) soft butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2/3 cup (150 g) smooth raspberry jam
  • Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting (optional)

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter, sugar, vanilla seeds, and salt. Then add the egg yolks and mix them in. Add flour and ground almonds and proceed to knead the dough with your hands. After a few minutes, the dough will come together and you can shape it into a big ball.

Dust a cutting board with some flour to prevent sticking. Divide the dough into four pieces and roll each one into a long roll, about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap the dough rolls tightly in plastic wrap and put them in the fridge for at least one hour.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper and pre-heat your oven to 350 °F (180 °C).

Cut the dough rolls into slices, about 1 inch thick. Roll the slices into small balls, place them on the lined baking sheets and make a deep indentation in each ball, either with your finger or with the bottom of a thick wooden spoon. Put the jam into a small plastic bag and cut off one corner to create a very small hole. Squirt the jam into the holes of the balls.

Bake the cookies for 12 – 15 minutes, until they turn slightly golden.

Let cookies cool completely and dust them with some confectioner’s sugar.

***

Enjoy!

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These cookies are a simplified version of the traditional Vanilla Crescents (Vanillekipferl). The taste is very similar, and they literally melt in your mouth. These simple cookies are my husband’s favorites, so I usually have to make several batches each year. This guy can eat faster than I can bake. ;)

Vanilla Cookies (Vanillekipferl-Taler)

Vanilla Cookies

Vanilla Cookies (Simplified Vanilla Crescents aka Vanillekipferl)

The original recipe contains no eggs, which makes the dough quite crumbly and hard to handle. My version is much more ‘user-friendly’. Plus, you don’t have to shape the cookies into crescents. This significantly speeds up your cookie production.

I highly recommend using real vanilla! The cookies will be much more aromatic and authentic. And don’t toss the skin of the vanilla bean! You can put it into a jar with sugar to make vanilla sugar, or add it to your tea or hot chocolate.

Note: I used a converter for the volume measurements, so I can’t guarantee for their accuracy! To be safe, use the metric measurements!

Prep time: 15 minutes, plus at least 2 hours to chill in the fridge

Bake time: 12 – 15 minutes

Yield: Makes about 50 bite-sized cookies

*Vegetarian*

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups (300 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 3/4 cup (85 g) blanched almonds, finely ground
  • 1/3 cup (75 g) sugar
  • 3/4 cup (170 g) cold butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
  • Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting (optional)

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter, sugar, vanilla seeds, and egg yolks. Add flour and ground almonds. The dough will appear quite dry and crumbly, so you better mix and knead it with your hands for a few minutes, until it can be formed into one big ball.

Dust a cutting board with some flour to prevent sticking. Divide the dough into four pieces and roll each one into a long roll, about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap the dough rolls tightly in plastic wrap and put them in the fridge for at least two hours or overnight.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper and pre-heat your oven to 350 °F (180 °C).

Cut the dough rolls into slices, about 1/2 inch thick. Place the slices on the lined baking sheets and bake for 12 – 15 minutes, until the cookies turn slightly golden.

Let cookies cool completely and dust them with some confectioner’s sugar.

***

Enjoy!

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