Monday, December 20, 2010

Seven at one stroke

Since I became vegan, I did not continue the traditional pre-christmas baking sessions with my mother, but tried some recipes with friends instead. It was nice, but something was missing. Besides, in France, making christmas cookies does not seem to be as common as in Germany. My mother mentioned that her parisian au pair host family (in the sixties!) was quite amazed when she brought german christmas cookies, or, as we call them here, Gutsle. This year, my mother and me started a vegan christmas cookie session. We made seven different kinds in one day. They make perfect little christmas gifts.

Most of the recipes are online, but only in german, so I am sharing them here. Two of them (Kokoskugeln and Zimtsterne) are naturally gluten-free. Our strategy was to prepare the Zimtsterne and let them dry. In the meantime, we prepared all the other doughs and put them in the fridge.

Then we rolled out and baked all those cookies, and the Zimtsterne in the end. So I will not mention to preheat the oven ;-) Generally: Take the cookies out of the oven, when you can lift them from the baking paper. In the evening, we decorated them.

Zimtsterne (Cinnamon stars)
Original recipe at Rezeptefuchs.
Gluten free!

  • 350 g ground almonds
  • 200 g confectioners' sugar
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 100-150 g confectioners' sugar + lemon juice (or water) for icing

What to do:
  1. Sift the confectioners' sugar and mix with almonds and cinnamon.
  2. Add lemon juice and form a dough by adding water. It should not be too dry and not totally sticky.
  3. Roll out the dough on baking paper, about 1 cm thickness. Cut out stars and let them dry at room temperature for 3-5 hours.
  4. Bake at 250 °C for 3-5 min. They are still very soft when the come from the oven, but do not allow them to become black!
  5. After cooling, make a thick icing with the confectioners' sugar and lemon juice and decorate the stars.

Pfefferkuchenplätzchen (Gingerbread cookies)
Recipe from my grandmother, veganized; it's not really gingerbread, as there is no ginger in it... but I can't find a better word.

  • 250 g flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (1/4 of a german or french package, which I think contains 11 g)
  • 190 g sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy flour
  • 6 tablespoons plant milk
  • 95 g agave syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons starch
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 65 g ground almonds
  • 60 g margarine
  • about 150 g confectioners' sugar + lemon juice for icing 

What to do:
  1. Mix all ingredients together to form a dough. Chill it in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  2. Roll out the dough about 5 mm thick. Cut out cookies and bake at 175 °C for 10-15 minutes. 
  3. After cooling, decorate with relatively thin layer of confectioners' sugar + lemon juice mixture.

Heidesand-Plätzchen (Heather sand cookies)
(Or maybe Moor sand cookies. Or even Heathen sand cookies. I don't know where the name originates...)
Original recipe at VEBU.

  • 375 g flour
  • 100 g sugar
  • 250 g margarine
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder (+ a bit of plant milk, if dough becomes too dry)
  • next time I make them, I would add a bit of vanilla or something more... tasty ;-)

What to do:
  1. Mix flour, sugar, and margarine to form a firm, but flexible dough. Place half of it in the fridge.
  2. To the other half, add the cocoa powder (+ plant milk if necessary), and place in the fridge.
  3. When both are chilled, roll them out to the same size. Place on on top of each other and roll them up together. Chill again.
  4. Cut into thin slices. Bake at 180 °C for 15-20 minutes.

Zitronenherzen (Lemon hearts)
Original recipe at Rezeptefuchs.

  • 200 g flour
  • 100 g margarine
  • 50 g sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy flour
  • grated zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 package vanilla sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • pinch of salt
  • confectioners' sugar + lemon juice for icing

What to do:
  1. Mix all ingredients to form a dough and chill for one hour in the fridge.
  2. Roll out to 3-4 mm thickness. 
  3. Cut out cookies and bake for 8-10 minutes at 180 °C.
  4. Prepare icing from confectioners' sugar and lemon juice and decorate.

Bauernküchle (Little peasants' cookies)
Recipe from my grandmother, veganized.

  • 250 g margarine
  • 125 g sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy flour
  • 4 tablespoons plant milk
  • 1 package vanilla sugar
  • 400 g flour
  • a bit of ground almonds and sugar for rolling the cookies in
  • jam for filling (we used raspberry jam)

What to do:
  1. Mix the ingredients for the dough and chill for 1 hour in the fridge.
  2. Form walnut-sized balls and roll them in the almond-sugar mixture. If it does not stick, dip the balls in water before.
  3. Place the balls on a baking tray and make a hole in the middle. Fill the hole with jam.
  4. Bake at 175 °C for about 18 minutes.

Kokoskugeln (Coconut balls)
Original recipe at Rezeptefuchs.
Gluten free!

  • 200 g coconut flakes
  • 130 g sugar
  • 90 g margarine
  • 2 tablespoons ground almonds (optional)

What to do:
  1. Mix all ingredients to form a dough.
  2. Bake at 175 °C for about 15 minutes.

Marzipan-Schoko-Plätzchen (Almond paste chocolate cookies)
Original recipe at Rezeptefuchs.

  • 160 g flour
  • 75 g sugar
  • 65 g margarine
  • 40 mL plant milk
  • 150 g almond paste
  • 200 g semisweet chocolate

What to do:
  1. Mix flour, sugar, margarine and milk to form a dough. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
  2. Roll out dough and cut out your favorite shape; don't use a complicated one.
  3. Bake at 160 °C for about 12 minutes.
  4. Roll out the almond paste and cut out pieces in the same shape.
  5. Melt the chocolate in a water bath.
  6. Place one piece of almond on a cookie. If you have some leftover icing from decorating the other cookies, you can "glue" them together with a drop.
  7. Coat top and sides of cookies with chocolate; place on a sheet of baking paper to dry.
(We accidentally made sandwiches of cookie-almond paste-cookie - that works as well...)

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