Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Christmas Biscuits! and a Stollen MEME

Ok, before I get into the Christmas goodness I have to say something. IT WAS 42 deg C here today! Gee that is hot, damm hot, smoking hot! But, it did mean that it was perfect beach weather. It also means that Iam so glad we chose to spend all day yesterday in the kitchen rather than today.

As part of our family christmas tradition we always get together to make the same biscuits from a greek cookbook. Sesamebiscuts and almond shortbreads. They are both great, but the short breads WOW!

This shows a 'plate' of biscuits, normaly we make christmas trees and decorate them. But my mum lost my cutter! grrr oh well

Here is another view, oh we also like them to look 'handmade' LOL. In otherwords... my mum likes to'pump' them out and gets narky whenItryand take my time heheheh :)

This is the shortbread, they need to sit in the icing sugar for 2 days prior to eating, after which they just melt in your mouth!

This shows the kitchen table, do you think we prepared enough plates? After this we wrapped them in cellophane and tied them up all pretty! I did manage toconvince her to make a whole extrabatchthough ... just so we would have enough :)

I forgot to copy out the recipes, but if you would like them let me know and I will make her email them to me. (the are both really yummy and keep teally well)

There was one other Christmas job we do, we make our own cake, the recipe varies but this year I managed to talk everyone into having fresh stollen! We normaly have stollen but it is just bought and not homemade :) NOT THIS YEAR! It was suprisingly easy to make, but it does take a few hours and we ended up with2 'logs' about 50cm long. It was so hard to not cut into them and try a slice, but I know it will make the whole experience much more rewarding when we eat them on xmas day! The other important thing is that stollen like traditional "english" xmas cake improves with some aging, so even if you forgot to prepare your mincemeat in august (heheh) you will still be able to have homemade aged 'cake'! I have a traditional german yeasted recipe. I would love to have a round up and tasting of stollens. So if you follow the recipe and post about it let me know and I will do a round up. (RECIPE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE POST)

Here are some bonus photos:

This isKiri's duck :)

This is theview of th beach from the front of my parents place *sigh*

This is my mum's wild rocket patch :)

Weinacht Stollen

Here is a link to a conversion site (thanks fg)

400gms Sultanas and Currants
200gms slivered almonds
100gms candied citron (or lemon peel)
100 gms fresh yeast
500gms butter (you can substitute in 100gms of lard)
1 kilo flour
150 gms sugar
pinch of Cardomon powder
12 tablespoons Rum
1/4 litre of Milk (250 mls)
zest of 1 lemon
2 packets of vanilla sugar
powdered sugar
parchment paper

Soak Sultanas, currants and the zest of 1 lemon in the 12 tablespoons of rum, preferably overnight.

In a large bowl put the flour and then make a well in the centre with your fist. Add 1 tablespoon of the sugar, the fresh yeast and 1/8 litre of milk which has been warmed to luke warm (125 mls). Sprinkle alittle of the flour of the top. Leave to rise for atleast 1/2 hour til the mixture is risen and fluffy. Add 350 gms of butter (or 250 gms and 100 gms of lard), 1/4 litre milk warmed to luke warm, almonds, cardomon, candied citron. Knead the mix together until the mix leaves the side of the bowl. Leave to rest for at least 1/2 hour. Roll the mix out thinly ( if you want to make a few 'stollen' then divide the dough up into 2 or 3 and roll them out individualy. Evenly spread the soaked sultans, currants and lemon zest of the dough. Roll up into a log. Leave to rest for 1/2 hour. Preheat oven to 250 C ( I also heated my baking stones up too which are 2 large terracotta stones which cost $5 each). Shape the stollen and ensure the seam is on the bottom. When the oven has preheated place them in the oven (either on to preheated stones or butter and floured baking trays). Reduce heat to 175 - 200C and bake for 50 mins until the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

Melt the rest of the butter, when the loaves are still hot from the oven, brush the outsides with butter until they don't want to absorb any more. Sprinkle the vanilla sugar and icing sugar over the top then drizzle the rest of the butter on the top. Leave the stollen to cool. When cold sift more icing sugar over the top. Wrap well in parchment paper and place in a cool dark spot til christmas. Remeber to photograph the process, blog about it and then email me!

If you have any questions please email me or leave a comment. They are really not hard to make and *hopefully* will taste fantastic!

If you have any queries over the measurements or temperature please ask!

As a guide
1 pound is approximately 500gms
250C is as hot as the oven goes (close anyway)
1 tablespoon is 15 mls
600 mls is a pint


Anonymous said...

Great post. (Love the duck!) Wow, that's a lot of cookies you made. Yummy, yum, yum. They look so cute arranged on the plates. Can't wait to see a photo of the stollen. In the meantime, I for one would love the shortbread recipe. I like the idea of two days in the sugar. Very interesting. Can't believe your parents live that close to the beach! Gorgeous. : )

P.S. We used to decorate cookies with those little silver balls when I was a kid, but I think they outlawed them in the U.S. (seriously--toddlers choking on them or some such malarky). 

Posted by farmgirl

Anonymous said...

I usually buy my stollen, but I might just try this. The kilo of flour kind of scares me, but the 12 T of rum calms me down.

By the way, thanks for making me jealous, it's 3 degrees F in Chicago this morning. I'll let you do the conversion. 

Posted by paul

Anonymous said...


The cookies look good! :) Jo and I will be baking here on thursday and friday, and I would love your recipes! Although I am sure the recipes we have listed is quite large, but at least I would love the shortbread recipe. Yum Yum!

Wow Kiri has his own duck. :) Pretty darn cool.
Wow look at hte sea! I am jealous that they live so close to the sea. Quite nice. It is quite dreary and chilly here, and I envy your warm weather.

Posted by milgwimper

Anonymous said...

Kiri has a duck! I am now almost as envious of you as I am Farmgirl...those cookies look amazing! 

Posted by Alisha

Anonymous said...

Are you of Greek decendency? I had a friend when I was a kid who was and his GrandMum would visit on occasion... They are the cookie masters if you ask me. YUMMO! I'd love the recipes! Mills & I put our recipes together yesterday and made the master "grocery" list working out who had which ingredients and what needed to be rounded up. Sorry to hear about your lost tree cutter, what did it look like? 

Posted by Jo

Anonymous said...

I definitely want the recipes for these cookies! I'm curious about the two-day sugar marinade process:D

What is the name of Kiri's duck? It's super cute! 

Posted by KT

Anonymous said...

I can't say that I've ever had a stollen, so this looks like the impetus to give it a whirl. By the way- how big are the packets of vanilla sugar? Are they the tiny ones, like you'd add to a cup of coffee!

After seeing Kiri's duck, I think my cats are a touch jealous! 

Posted by s'kat

Anonymous said...

Everyone's jealous of the cookies, the beach,and the duck. Am I the only one jealous of those wild greens?!? Maybe it's I'm DYING to start my garden in the new house (and I already live near the beach, LOL). Seriously, that arugula patch looks awesome--no wonder you cook with it all the time! Those cookies do look wonderful, though--you guys have been busy. :) 

Posted by amy

Anonymous said...

Kiris duck? i dont suppose he cuddles against it at night? ;) those xmas goodies all look delicious! 

Posted by Catesa

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

I am going to try your receipe for Stollen it sounds delicious!. It would be good to receive your biscuit receipe as well. I am Marion and live in Cornwall, England. It is looking very festive here with all the lights in the town. It is about 10C today and cloudy. The town I live in has a cattle mkt and once a mth the local farmers sell their sheep, cows and their produce there. A lot of the houses are 19thCentury and on the outside of the buildings are grey slates and timber.Our local dish is the Cornish Pasty. Which I can tell you about in my next txt. I have two cats at home and love them lots. Hope to hear from you soon.


Posted by MARION

Anonymous said...

The recipes are coming, but I am waiting for my Mum HURRY UP!!! WOMAN! :P

Hi Fg
Yep LOTS of biccies :) Yep very close to the beach, I miss that heaps! No silver cachous? That is terrible!!!

Hi Paul
I hope you give the stollen ago, we normally buy ours but the smell from the baking/baked stollen means I don't think I will go back ;)

Hi Milly
Well, it isn't quite only his duck, it could be said to be the nextdoor neighbours, but he does want it, and has grabbed it by the neck!
Sorry about the recipe, my mother is HORRIBLY SLACK

Hi Alisha
So glad you think so, Kiri only gets to watch his duck when he goes on hols to his grandcats

Hi Jo
Definately no greek, I think my mum just saw those 2 recipes when we were kids and they stuck. The tree was kind of shapped like a christmas pine tree, and looked really cute all decorated up :(

Hi S'kat
Great! I hope you give the stollen a try!!! I think the vanilla sugar packets are about a 1-2 tbsps each, you need a good sprinkle over the outside of your stollens

Hi Amy
I had a feeling that you would like the rocket ;) and I took the photo just for you!

Hi CAtesa
noo I think the k mans intentions are not nearly that nice ;)

Hi Marion!
It is very nice to meet you! I loooove cornish pastry's!

I am glad you are going to try the stollen!!! Please tell me how it works out, preferably with pictures... if easily possible :)

2 cats? What are they called? I am very much a fan of cats ;) esp my Kiri!!

10 C isn't too bad it was in the 30's here today :) 

Posted by clare eats

Anonymous said...

Yep Clare, balls are outlawed here in the States as FarmGirl has pointed out... You would think that the government of the "greatest country on the planet" would have better things to do than outlaw balls... ::said with extreme ambivilance:: 

Posted by Jo

Anonymous said...

Clare, those shorbreads are also known as Wedding Cookies...they are traditional in many Mediterranean cultures and Mexico too. In the American South they are known as "sandies' that's what my Gran called them...hers were made with pecans. They really do melt in your mouth.

Now ya made me hungry. *G*

I used to make Stollen (the other Gran was German) but after living in Milan I switched to Panettone...either is divoon toasted in the morning.

I love Kiri, is he a Blue Burmese or a Korat?


Posted by bj

Anonymous said...

Hi Jo
LOL you can always crack me up... :)

Hi BJ!
Thanks for a fab round up! I tried to post a comment... but I don't have a typekey user :(

WOW somebody else I know has had these YAY! I knew they must be popular but I had never met anyone else that had made them

Oh Panettone, I love that too :) Makes fabulous bread and butter pudding ;)

Glad you like Kiri! he is a Blue Burmese :) 

Posted by clare eats

Anonymous said...

I am in desperate need of a receipe for the Christmas Bread "Panettone" - can you help me?

Thank you


Posted by tess

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