Dienstag, 17. Dezember 2013

TWD: Ginger Snaps (and the annual Amnesty Cookies)

The dough for these Ginger Snaps is definitely on the sticky side and it is a bit tricky to cut them out and place them on the sheets. Therefore, a thicker rolled out dough is no bad idea.
Baking time was longer than the recipe says (about 10 mins). Like that, they quickly turned out very cracky. But otherwise it would not have been possible to transfer them on a cooling rack.

I made stars and flowers, but the figure "ran out". So, as so often, they don't look pretty at all. I sprinkled them with some anis flavoured pearls in pink and white and like that liked still liked the look. Taste was fine (I used some more ginger) and I am pretty ok with them. They don't look like Ginger Snaps I know from american food stores - next time I would make thicker figures, definietly.

Usually I do Amnesty Cookies (or Composte Cookies or Kitchen Sink Cookies, whatever you like to call them) around New Years Eve. But this year I will be in Hamburg for some days, so I had to do them now. I do this since I started baking four years ago because I like the idea of "pardoning" everything you find in the closet left over. I stole the idea from David Lebovitz (who links to Amateur Gourmets blog entry on Momofukus Composte Cookies . This year I used "Mikado" (chocolate coated biscuit-sticks, I used white chocolate), gummy bears and for the salted treat chips flavoured with pumpkin-seed oil (a very dark, almost black but still green oil with a very special tastem not at all like pumpkin itself - very common in some parts of Austria). The chips do not taste a lot like the oil but are green. All together, these turned out pretty good, I liked this years version a lot and so tdid my colleagues!

Dienstag, 3. Dezember 2013

TWD: Challah

I like those slightly sweet breads, may they be called challah, brioche or striezel. I knoq, they're not exactly the same, but after all you end up with a soft, buttery white bread that goes well with savory as well as sweet spreads. I know Challah only from a very popular restaurant/cafe in Vienna that is highly inspired by the jewish kitchen. While I'm not a big fan of the restaurant itself (snobbish staff and pricey), I highly value their food. So I was curious if I would manage to do the Challah at least a bit like they do it.

I was slightly irritated that it should be sprinkled with caraway or sesame. I am no expert on challah, but the above mentioned café serves it as "sweet breakfast" with jam. And there is sugar and honey in the dough. So: Caraway?

I made half the recipe and ended up with two braids (and a mini-pretzel :-). So I made one with caraway and the other one as I thought it should be - with coarse sugar on top like a striezel, or like the Pulla we made last year at almost the same time.

The recipe itself is very easy and besides the rising times done very fast. You can do it in half a day. Taste was great - the savory one and the sweet one!

Unfortunately I read the P&Q-section too late. I have no idea of jewish kitchen-laws. But I read that it is unusual to do Challah with butter because dairies and meat should not be combined in a meal. I guess it would have been easy to use oil or another non-dairy fat instead next time (but what about the milk?). The two times a year when I bake a traditonal jewish recipe it should be as close to the original as possible ;-)