Grandma’s Cookies

Posted December 9, 2008 by Vienna Chef
Categories: Cookies

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Most special in the world of cookies are your Grandma’s cookie treats. My Grandma’s recipe is a Christmas cookie gem and has a magic name: Cocoa Kisses (Kakaobusserl in Austrian German). As far as I know they are only made in Austria and my Grandma added her unique Grandma E. twist to them: sugar glaze.

Cocoa Kisses

1 3/4 cup (200gr) flour
5/8 cup (100gr) hazelnuts (ground)
2/3 cup (150gr) butter
1 cup (130gr) powdered sugar
1 tabelspoon (1 Eßl) rum (or rum extract)
1 tablespoon (1 Eßl) cocoa
1 yolk
For Kissing:
red currant jam
raspberry jam
Glaze:
powdered sugar
lemon
water

Mix the dough. Grandma’s advice: The butter is best used at room temperature. You can mix the dough with a mixer, but for the real Grandma flavor beat the dough by hand. Use circle cookie cutters and bake the cookies at 300 degrees F (150 Grad Celsius) for 15. min.

Now be prepared for the kissing: Spread 1 tablespoon of jam on one cookie and sandwich jam with another cookie. Put the sugar glaze on top.

Grandma E. passed this recipe on to my mother who passed it on to me. To share it with you on my blog. I wonder what she would have thought about that.

What’s your Grandma’s special cookie treat?

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Gluhwein

Posted December 6, 2008 by Vienna Chef
Categories: Christmas Drink

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Hot mulled wine is the right drink for the cold season. In Austria people get red noses from drinking Gluhwein at Christmas Markets. But really, just have a Gluhwein party at home with your friends. It’s cozy and your homemade Gluhwein will probably taste better anyway.

While many Gluhwein recipes recommend inexpensive wine, I would argue for your head’s sake to take a wine you usually like to drink.

gluhweinmug
A bottle dry red wine (zinfandel, merlot, burgundy)
2/3 (150gr) cup sugar
Juice and peel of one small lemon
2 cardamom pods (optional)
4 cloves
2 bay leaves (optional)
2 cinnamon sticks
And mugs

Put everything in a saucepan.  Heat the mixture over low heat for about 30 minutes – it should never boil, just steam. Otherwise you lose all the alcohol. Taste it and when you think it’s perferct remove the cloves and cinnamon sticks. This way your stomach won’t get upset.

Yeah and if you ever have the chance to be in Vienna around Christmas time and you like the feel of the imperial, visit the Christmas Market at Schoenbrunn.

xmas-schoenbrunn

Wiener Schnitzel

Posted December 5, 2008 by Vienna Chef
Categories: Schnitzel

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I cannot write about Viennese food without paying tribute to its star: the Wiener Schnitzel. This little (I admit, sometimes huge) golden thing has traveled the world. It’s supreme among all things fried. Originally, the Wiener Schnitzel is made from veal. Pork is a more discount mainstream version of the Wiener Schnitzel. Personally I favor its “healthy” sibling: Chicken Wiener Schnitzel. It goes well with parsley potatoes, salad and lingonberry sauce.

Recently I had friends over, M. and L. to delight them with my Chicken Wiener Schnitzel. M. is a video journalist and agreed to produce a video of me cooking my beloved Chicken Wiener Schnitzel. Thank You M..

But before we get to the video first things first:

4 whole chicken breasts
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Flour for dredging
2 eggs
1/4 (60ml) cup milk
2 1/2 cups (250gr) bread crumbs
vegetable oil (plenty)
2 lemons, cut into wedges

Cut the chicken breasts in half and slice them.

Season the breasts with salt and pepper and dredge them with flour. Beat the eggs with the milk and dip the breasts first in the milk, then in the bread crumbs.

Done. That was the most tedious part. Frying is fun, but a science of its own. Some people in Austria and elsewhere might still use lard (in the olden days farmers had to work the whole day in the fields), but if you are not working out the whole day like myself, I suggest using vegetable oil instead. You have to cover the whole Schnitzel in oil. Turn the heat on.

By the way. One statement I make in the video is not correct. What is it?

Red Wine from Austria

Posted December 2, 2008 by Vienna Chef
Categories: Austrian Red Wine

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Last weekend at The Green Grape, my favorite wine store in my neighborhood I discovered my favorite Austrian red wine. This particular Austrian red I am talking about is called Blaufrankisch. Weninger is its name.

Weninger Red Wine

Weninger Red Wine

To see this bottle in a Brooklyn wine store so many miles away from where its grapes have seen the sun and the rain and the wind that make it so special might sound astonishing at first sight. But then it isn’t. The Green Grape’s owner visited Germany and Austria for several weeks and Weninger is one of the wines he brought back from his journey. And this is no surprise at all. It’s just a matter of taste.

Vanilla Crescents aka Vanillekipferl

Posted October 19, 2008 by Vienna Chef
Categories: Cookies

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I start my blog with a Viennese Christmas Cookie Classic: Vanilla Crescents aka Vanillekipferl in German. In Vienna Christmas and Vanilla Crescents just inseparably belong together.

Last weekend my friends T. and A. decided to fill their apartment with this particular aroma of Vanilla and, fortunately enough, I got my share of the Viennese taste.

Vanilla Crescent

Perfect Vanilla Crescents require experience and a sophisticated technique, but it’s worth the effort. Here’s the recipe to get you started.

Vanilla Crescents Recipe 1/2 cup (110gr) Sugar
1 1/2 cup (350gr) Flour
7/8 cup (210gr) Butter or Margarine
1/2 cup (110gr) Vanilla Sugar
5/8 cup (100gr) Ground Almonds
1 Yolk, 1 Egg
Powdered Sugar

© T.’s mother

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