02 July 2020

Hildesheimer Pumpernickel Kekse Revisited - A Traditional German Cookie

Hildesheimer Pumpernickel Kekse Revisited - A Traditional German Cookie / www.delightfulrepast.com

Hildesheimer Pumpernickel Cookies came to my attention four years ago when our friend Bill, who may well be our most uncookingest friend ever, sent me the recipe, which he got from a friend of his from Hildesheim, Germany, who sends him a batch every year at the holidays.

He said, "I'm not really sure what it is about them that's gotten such a hold of me, or whether this is just yet another eccentricity on my part ..." (I am a huge fan of eccentricity!), but he eagerly awaits the annual shipment from Brigitte. And with an introduction like that, I simply had to try them. 

Though Bill has never made either Brigitte's recipe or my translation of it, or even tasted mine, he knew from my photo that something was off. Mine were pale, tiny diamonds. He said his cookies were darker, larger and, rather than perfect diamonds, parallelograms. Go ahead, I'll pause while you look that up!


Hildesheimer Pumpernickel Kekse - A Traditional German Cookie (this photo is of the "not quite right" version / www.delightfulrepast.com


So four years later Bill sent me a link to an in-German recipe with photos. Just as I suspected, the paleness of my cookies resulted from using a smaller amount of the dark spices and skipping the egg wash. Also, perhaps, because my almond flour is made from blanched almonds.

So this is my Hildesheimer Pumpernickel do-over, though I still stand by the quality of my first less authentic version!

This was only my second German recipe on the blog--the first was Golumpkis. So I didn't know whether to call them cookies, as in the US, or biscuits, as in the UK; so I Googled it and came up with "kekse." 

Have you ever even heard of this cookie? I'm sure you'd like it. Guten Appetit! Or, as Bill signed his last missive, Semper Famelicus!


Hildesheimer Pumpernickel Kekse Revisited - A Traditional German Cookie / www.delightfulrepast.com
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Hildesheimer Pumpernickel Kekse 


(Makes about 4 to 5 dozen ) 

2 dip-and-sweep cups (10 ounces/283 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour*
1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon crushed anise seed
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons (2.5 ounces/71 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup (5.25 ounces/149 grams) sugar
2 large (2.19 ounces/62 grams in shell) eggs, divided
3/4 packed cup + 2 tablespoons (3.5 ounces/100 grams) ground hazelnuts or almonds (nut flour/meal) or half of each (I used Bob's Red Mill Super-Fine Almond Flour)

A little water, only if needed (See Note below Step 2) 

* For gluten-free: use 3/4 cup sorghum flour, 3/4 cup potato starch, 1/2 cup tapioca flour, 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum in place of flour. 



1 In small bowl, whisk together flour (or gluten-free ingredients above), baking powder, spices and salt. 

2 In a large mixing bowl, with either a wooden spoon or electric mixer, cream butter well. Add sugar; continue creaming. Beat in 1 whole egg and 1 egg white (reserving the yolk for the egg wash) until well mixed. Beat in almond and/or hazelnut meal, then beat in flour. If dough is too dry, mix in a little water (see Note below) just a teaspoon at a time. Scrape out onto piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap, shape into a rectangle about 5x7 inches/13x18 cm, wrap and chill for about an hour. 

Note: Even when the dough is "right," it won't be a cohesive dough without using your hand; so don't be too quick to add water. Squeeze it with your hand to see when it will hold together. My dough was a bit dry, so I added just a teaspoon of water, working the dough with my hand, getting up all the dry bits. The dough should be quite stiff and leave a clean bowl. 

3 When the dough has chilled for an hour, preheat oven to 350F/180C/Gas4. On very lightly floured piece of parchment paper, roll dough into 1/8- to 3/16-inch/3 to 4 mm thick rectangle, about 11x16-inch/28x41 cm (trimmed; you can reroll the trimmings or leave them in place to bake rough "cook's treats"). Cut lengthwise into 9 or 10 strips 1.125- to 1.25-inch strips (but don't get too fussy about the measurement since these aren't going to be perfect little diamonds!), then cut across strips diagonally to form parallelograms 2.5 inches long. Slide the sheet of cut dough onto an 18x13-inch half sheet pan.

Note: I just made the strips 1.125-inch wide because that happens to be the width of my 18-inch metal kitchen ruler. I think that just makes life simpler, don't you?!

Hildesheimer Pumpernickel Kekse Revisited - A Traditional German Cookie / www.delightfulrepast.com


Note: I love my OXO Good Grips Pizza Wheel for Nonstick Pans for tasks like this. It doesn't cut through the parchment paper and doesn't mar countertops or pans.

4 Beat the reserved egg yolk with a teaspoon of water. Brush the top of the cut dough. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes. While still warm, cut again, if necessary. Cool completely on wire rack.

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 


Jean

18 June 2020

Olive Oil Carrot Cake - Cream Cheese Frosting

Olive Oil Carrot Cake - Cream Cheese Frosting / www.delightfulrepast.com

Olive Oil Carrot Cake can, of course, be made with another oil; but I only ever have on hand extra virgin olive oil. I use it for everything, even frying (not deep fat). This isn't the place for a sharp, bitter, or super expensive oil; use a nice fruity extra virgin olive oil. 

My recipe calls for a different technique than you usually find in carrot cake recipes. Instead of mixing completely by hand, I use an electric hand mixer for part of the recipe (as in Olive Oil Apple Cake). 

It is an easy cake, but special care must be taken when mixing in the olive oil. Be sure to add it in a slow, steady stream, fully incorporating it as you go. This eliminates the thing some people don't like about carrot cake, the oiliness of it.

Olive Oil Carrot Cake - Cream Cheese Frosting / www.delightfulrepast.com


Cream Cheese Frosting is the classic frosting for any carrot cake, and there's a reason for that--it's really good! I don't go crazy with the cream cheese, though. Just a little 3-ounce package gives the frosting plenty of cream cheese flavor.

Olive Oil Carrot Cake - Cream Cheese Frosting (this picture - a quick watercolor sketch of carrots) / www.delightfulrepast.com
Found a "practice" sheet of carrots done a year ago and thought it would be fun
 to crop it for this post.

It would have been delightful to show you a picture of a beautifully frosted layer cake here, but I frosted the two layers separately so that I could drop one off for friends who are without an oven just now.

When we're out of lockdown and attending large gatherings again, you might want to make my easily transportable, serve-it-from-the-pan, feeds-a-crowd Carrot Sheet Cake. Happy summer!

Olive Oil Carrot Cake - Cream Cheese Frosting / www.delightfulrepast.com

Olive Oil Carrot Cake - Cream Cheese Frosting


(Makes one 13x9x2-inch cake or two 8-inch round layers)

The Cake

2 dip-and-sweep cups (10 ounces/283 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (5.6 ounces/160 grams) raisins
1 cup (4 ounces/113 grams) chopped walnuts or pecans
1 1/2 cups (10.5 ounces/298 grams) sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup (8 fluid ounces/237 ml or 7.5 ounces/213 grams) extra virgin olive oil

2 firmly packed cups peeled and coarsely shredded* carrots (from 12 ounces/340 grams carrots)

* Peel and shred the carrots just before making the cake so that they do not lose moisture. Don't buy pre-shredded carrots for this; they are too dry to use in cakes.

The Frosting

1 3-ounce (85 grams) package cream cheese, room temperature
4 tablespoons (2 ounces/57 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
3 firmly packed cups (12 ounces/340 grams) unsifted powdered sugar

About 2 tablespoons (1 fluid ounce/30 ml) milk

1 Preheat oven to 350F/180C/Gas4. Grease and flour one 13x9x2-inch baking dish or two 8-inch round layer pans.

Note: You need 2-inch-deep 8-inch round layer pans; this is too much batter for shallower pans.

2 In 1.5-quart bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In small bowl, measure out raisins and nuts. Remove a tablespoon of the flour mixture to mix into the raisins and nuts, being sure to separate all the raisins.

3 In 4-quart mixing bowl, combine sugar and eggs. With electric mixer on medium speed, beat for 2 minutes until light and fluffy.

4 With hand mixer running on medium speed, gradually pour the olive oil in a thin stream into the egg mixture, so that it is completely incorporated. This can take up to 7 minutes; don't rush it.

5 By hand, fold in the flour mixture. Then gently stir in the carrots, raisins and nuts. Pour into prepared pan(s). Bake single cake about 45 to 55 minutes, layers about 40 minutes. Cool in pan(s) on wire rack(s) about 10 minutes; remove from pan(s) and continue cooling on rack(s). Must be completely cool before frosting.

6 In bowl of stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla extract and salt. Gradually add powdered sugar (no need to sift) and mix until thoroughly combined, adding milk at the end. 

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

04 June 2020

Fig Rolls - Fig Newtons

Fig Rolls - Classic British Biscuit - In US, Fig Newtons / www.delightfulrepast.com

Fig Rolls were something I hadn't made since I was a teenager, and they popped into my head one day when I was painting a pair of figs. But I didn't want to "waste" my fresh figs on a recipe that is best made with dried figs, so it went on the backburner for a while.


Fig Rolls - Fig Newtons (this photo - my watercolor sketch of two figs) / www.delightfulrepast.com

In recent months, during "all this" (and that's all I'm going to say about the pan*em*c), many grocery items have been hard to find. I was so happy to get my hands on some lovely organic soft dried figs last week, so at last, fig rolls. 

So many recipes out there have grossly mismatched amounts of dough and filling. What's the point of having massive amounts of filling left over? My recipe uses all the filling, and I make three round cookies out of the pastry trimmings, so there's no waste.


Fig Rolls - Classic British Biscuit - In US, Fig Newtons (in a lovely tin)  / www.delightfulrepast.com


My dough recipe is adapted from Paul Hollywood's, but I was on my own for the filling because his and so many other recipes make too much for the amount of dough and are not to my taste in one way or another

If you're used to Fig Newtons, you'll find these are not quite as sweet (and they have no corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, unhealthy oils or additives). A trivia question for you: Were Fig Newtons named after a) Sir Isaac Newton, b) another person named Newton, c) a town in Massachusetts?


Fig Rolls - Classic British Biscuit - In US, Fig Newtons / www,delightfulrepast.com

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Fig Rolls - Fig Newtons


(Makes 12)

The Dough

1 1/4 dip-and-sweep cups (6.25 ounces/177 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon non-GMO baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (2 ounces/57 grams) unsalted butter, softened
3 firmly packed tablespoons (1.31 ounces/37 grams) dark brown sugar
1 large egg, beaten (medium in UK)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

The Filling

3/4 packed cup (5 ounces/142 grams) coarsely chopped soft dried figs
1 firmly packed tablespoon (0.44 ounces/12 grams) dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/3 cup (2.67 fluid ounces/79 ml) water

1 tablespoon lemon juice


1 In small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

2 In medium mixing bowl with electric hand mixer, cream butter and brown sugar well, about 2 minutes. Mix in the egg and vanilla extract until combined; it will look curdled. 

3 On low speed, add the flour mixture in two or three batches until thoroughly combined. Scrape dough out onto a square of plastic wrap (clingfilm), forming it into a smooth square as you wrap it. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.

4 Make the filling. In a 1-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring chopped figs, brown sugar, cinnamon, cardamom and water to a boil. Reduce heat, cover (lid slightly ajar) and simmer for 10 minutes, until mixture is thick and water is absorbed. Transfer* to a 2-cup glass measure, use an immersion blender to make a paste, stir in lemon juice, and let cool.

* The mixture will not be sufficiently deep even in the small saucepan to use the immersion blender, so you need to transfer it to a deeper, narrower container, such as the 2-cup glass measure. 

5 Preheat oven to 375F/190C/Gas5. On a lightly floured piece of baking parchment paper, roll out chilled dough to a rectangle over 10x8 inches (25x20 cm) and 1/8 inch (1/3 cm) thick. Trim* rectangle to 10x8 inches (25x20 cm). Cut in half lengthwise to make two 10x4-inch (25x10 cm) strips of dough. Also, cut the parchment paper in half because you'll be using it to help you fold over the dough after filling. 

* I save the trimmings and make them into 3 round cookies.

6 Spread half the fig filling down the center of each dough strip and carefully fold in one side of the dough, using the parchment to help you; run a wet finger over the edge of the dough over the filling. Using the parchment, fold over the other side of the dough, overlapping the first side a bit and pressing to seal. Turn the two logs over, seam-side down. Trim the ends and cut each into 6 equal slices. Place them on the baking sheet on their parchment. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.

Note: Before trimming the ends and cutting the slices, you can press the two logs down a bit to make a flat top, as I do, or leave them round as some do. 


Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

21 May 2020

Easy Yeasted Cinnamon-Nut Coffee Cake

Easy Yeasted Cinnamon-Nut Coffee Cake / www.delightfulrepast.com

This easy yeasted cinnamon-nut coffee cake is what I had in mind last month when I said about my Pan Bread recipe: You can even turn it into a coffee cake by using melted butter instead of olive oil and giving it a swirl of cinnamon sugar and a streusel topping. 

And you can certainly do just that, but this recipe takes it just a step further, while still keeping it super easy. I've enriched the dough with an egg, milk and a bit more butter. And I have you easily shaping the dough on the countertop before plopping it unceremoniously into the pan.

Still no need to knead or drag out the heavy-duty stand mixer; just stir it with the handle of a sturdy wooden spoon. I'll be making this again soon. And as soon as I can get my hands on some good yellow peaches, I'll be making Peach Kuchen, another easy coffee cake.

Of course, I eat it with tea. How about you?

Easy Yeasted Cinnamon-Nut Coffee Cake / www.delightfulrepast.com

Easy Yeasted Cinnamon-Nut Coffee Cake


(Makes one 13x9-inch coffee cake)

The Dough


3 1/4 dip-and-sweep cups (16.25 ounces/461 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 dip-and-sweep cup (1.25 ounces/35 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour, set aside for shaping 
1/4 cup (1.75 ounces/50 grams) sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 package/0.25 ounce/7 grams) instant yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons (0.25 ounce/7 grams) salt
1 1/4 teaspoons cardamom
2/3 cup (5.33 fluid ounces/158 ml) milk plus 2/3 cup water, heated to very warm (120 to 130F/49 to 54C)
6 tablespoons (3 ounces/85 grams) unsalted butter, melted, divided

1 large egg

The Filling


1/4 cup (1.75 ounces/50 grams) sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

The Cinnamon-Nut Topping 

1 cup (4 ounces/113 grams) finely chopped pecans or walnuts 
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (1.75 ounces/50 grams) sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Pinch of salt


The Glaze 


1/2 packed cup (2 ounces/57 grams) unsifted powdered sugar
1 tablespoon water, milk, juice or brandy
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract 

1 Start dough 3 hours before you plan to serve the coffee cake. In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, yeast, salt and cardamom. Add heated milk and water, egg and all but 2 tablespoons of the melted butter and stir vigorously with dough whisk or large spoon until combined and then for one minute. Cover and let rest for about 20 minutes while you make the filling and topping and prepare the baking dish.

Note: I always use one of my ThermoWorks thermometers (Thermapen or ThermoPop) to check the temperature. It's important that the temperature be in the given range. If the liquid is too hot, it can kill the yeast.

2 Make the filling; in small bowl, stir together sugar and cinnamon. Make the topping; in small bowl, stir together nuts, flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt.

3 Spray sides and bottom of a 13x9x2-inch baking dish or pan with cooking spray. Line bottom with a sheet of parchment paper long enough to go up the short sides of the pan. Spread 1 tablespoon of the oil or melted butter over the parchment. 

4 Working from the reserved 1/4 cup of flour, lightly flour work surface. Scrape the sticky dough onto the flour. Lightly flour the dough and press it into roughly a 13x9-inch rectangle. Spread cinnamon-sugar mixture over the dough. Starting at one of the short ends, roll the dough loosely and place it lengthwise in the prepared baking dish. Press the dough down to fit the dish. 

5 With fingers, rub on the remaining melted butter. Sprinkle the nut topping evenly over the buttered dough. With buttery fingers, press the nut topping into the dough. Cover loosely and let rise for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

6 During last 15 minutes, preheat oven to 375F/190C/Gas5. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown. 

7 Let stand 5 minutes before turning out onto wire rack (This is when you'll be so happy that you used the parchment paper!) or leave it in the pan.

8 Let the coffee cake cool about 20 minutes; make glaze. Whisk together powdered sugar, liquid and vanilla extract. Drizzle over lukewarm cake. Cut into 15 or more squares.


Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

07 May 2020

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies / www.delightfulrepast.com

Decided to make chocolate chip peanut butter cookies when Mr Delightful mentioned a craving for peanut butter cups. So that he wouldn't resort to buying candy, I thought I'd add some chocolate chips to my peanut butter cookies, even though I am not a huge chocolate fan myself.

Many recipes for peanut butter cookies make a point of insisting that only processed peanut butter can be used. One thing I insist on, though, is organic natural (also called "old-fashioned") peanut butter, just peanuts and a little salt, must be stirred--no stabilizers, shortening or sugar.

If you happen to live someplace where peanut butter is not readily available, you can easily whip some up with a food processor. Natural peanut butter is just shelled and roasted peanuts, skins removed, processed (food processor or blender) with perhaps a bit of peanut oil (maybe 1 tablespoon to 8 ounces of peanuts, just guessing) and salt to taste.

Texture is everything in a cookie--can't stand a gummy peanut butter cookie! You can use 1 1/4 cups (6.25 ounces) of unbleached all-purpose flour for my recipe, but I really like the texture and extra nutrition you get by using some coarsely ground old-fashioned oats in place of part of the flour. Try it and let me know how you like it!

Of course, you can double this recipe. I just made a small batch because I'm low on my favorite flour and there is none to be had anywhere these days.

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies / www.delightfulrepast.com

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies


(Makes 22 3-inch cookies)

1/3 cup (1.25 ounces/35 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats
1 dip-and-sweep cup (5 ounces/142 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon non-GMO baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (4 ounces/113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup (2.33 ounces/66 grams) sugar
1/4 packed cup (1.75 ounces/50 grams) dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (4.5 ounces/128 grams) natural peanut butter
1 large egg (medium in UK)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup (3 ounces/85 grams) semi-sweet chocolate mini chips

1 In food processor with metal blade in place, process oats for about 30 seconds until ground into coarse flour. The mini food processor that goes with my immersion blender (also known as stick blender or hand blender) is perfect for small amounts like this.

2 In small bowl, whisk together flour, ground oats, baking powder, soda and salt.

3 In medium mixing bowl, by hand or with electric hand mixer beat butter until smooth. Add sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in peanut butter, egg and vanilla. Slowly beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover and place in refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours.

4 Preheat oven to 375F/190C/Gas5. Shape #40 scoops* (0.8 ounces or approximately 1.5 tablespoons) of dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Shaping into balls before pressing results in perfectly smooth cookies, edges and all. (If you don't mind a less smooth look, just press the scooped dough down. That's what I often do!) Place 3 inches apart on cookie sheets lined with parchment. With your fingers, flatten into a 2 1/4-inch round (or use a fork to flatten each in a crisscross pattern into a 2 1/4-inch round). Bake for about 12 minutes, or until lightly golden.

5 Remove to wire racks to cool completely. Store in airtight container. 

* If you don't have one of these 7/8 Ounce Size 40 Stainless Steel Round Squeeze Disher, you need to get one now! How do people make cookies without it!

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support.

Jean

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