A perfect German Christmas menu ends with a dessert that is including holiday spices, and which will end the menu perfectly. One of such desserts is the German Spekulatius Mandarine Dessert. The spiced cookies are available at Aldi, German specialty stores or Cost Plus Market. You also need quark for making the cream. If you have a shop nearby that sells quark, you are lucky. if not you can make it from scratch (see link below). Happy Cooking!
(3 servings in small glasses or 2 for bigger glasses)
250 g quark – How to Make Quark –
200 ml heavy cream
2 packages vanilla sugar- 0.6oz
50 g sugar (or to taste)
1 small can mandarine oranges, unsweetened – keep some for decoration
8 Spekulatius cookies
cinnamon to taste
– Beat heavy cream until firm.
– Combine quark with milk, vanilla sugar, cinnamon and regular sugar, mix well.
– Add the heavy cream, mix.
– Crumble the Spekulatius cookies: Use a freezing plastic bag, place cookies inside and crumble with a rolling pin.
– Layer the cream alternating with crumbles and mandarines into dessert glasses.
– Place one mandarine orange on top of each glass.
The Black Forest Gugelhupf is a German cake that is containing sour cherries and Kirschschnaps, the famous brandy from the Black Forest. If you don’t want to use the brandy you might want to add some rum flavor which contains no alcohol. The cake should be made in a Gugelhupf form (Bundt form) but if you don’t have one you can use a round baking form that has a hole (10 inches) in the middle, see below. Trader Joes or Aldi carries sour cherries. Happy Baking.
1 jar (24oz) sour cherries
60 ml Kirschschnaps (Cherry Brandy), alternatively rum flavor
100 g semi-sweet chocolate
200 g butter
300 g sugar
1 dash salt
400 g flour
3 tsp baking powder
100 ml milk
2 tsp cocoa, unsweetened
1 package vanilla sugar 0.3oz – How to make Vanilla Sugar –
250 g powdered sugar
some butter and flour for the form
– Drain cherries and drip with 30ml Kirschschnaps (brandy).
– Melt chocolate in double boiler.
– Mix soft butter, salt and sugar, add one egg after the other.
– Mix flour with baking powder, add alternating with milk.
– Part dough.
– In one part add cherries, the other part mix with molten chocolate, 1 tsp cocoa and vanilla sugar.
– Grease gugelhupf form and dust completely with flour.
– Fill in light dough, on top fill dark dough, with a fork go through both dough in spirals.
– Pre-heat oven to 350 F, bake cake for 60-70 min.
– Mix powdered sugar with remaining Kitsch Brandy and 2 tbsp water.
– If you like a two-colored glaze mix half of the glaze with 1 tsp cocoa.
– When cake is done add glaze(s) on top.
Fall and winter is the time for German baked apples – we call them Bratäpfel. Make sure to use big enough apples and serve them with your favorite items: whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or vanilla sauce. Or maybe all three together! Happy Cooking!
2 big apples
2 tbsp chopped almonds
some lemon juice
2 tbsp raisins
1 tbsp powdered sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
100 g soft butter
– Pre-heat oven to 420 F.
– Soak raisins in rum or apple juice until they have softened.
– Cut of lid.
– Remove the core from the apples.
– Drip lemon juice into the apple.
– Drain raisins (if soaked in rum you can add it to the filling).
– Combine very soft butter with almonds and raisins, add a bit of lemon juice, cinnamon and powdered sugar to taste.
– Fill it into each apple.
– Place each apple into a single fire proof form (ramequin form) or if you have more than 2 use a rectangle form.
– Place in oven and bake for 40 min. Cover with aluminum foil after 20 min.
– Melt some butter which you can drip over the apples.
Serve right away.
The baked apples taste wonderful with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or vanilla sauce
Try this German Old Fashioned Beef Stew and you will be surprised how tasty it is. It is spiced with some exotic spices but this is the difference to all other stew recipes. Makes a great family dinner, or for festive occasions and Sunday lunches. The recipe is from the medieval times, around 1300,, from the Viandier de Taillevent, a recipe collection from the Middle Ages. Taillevent was a master cook to Charles V, which gave him extensive experience in serving French nobility. In German we would call it “mittelalterlicher Rindseintopf oder Gulasch”. Happy Cooking!
1 kg beef stew
100 g Speck (german bacon)
1 garlic clove
½ liter red wine (fruity note)
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp of each ginger, ground and cinnamon, ground
1 dash cardamom
salt, pepper to taste
some beef broth if needed
– Cut Speck into very small cubes, place in a non-stick pan and on lower heat fry so all grease will be liquid.
– Peel onions, garlic, chop fine, add to the bacon. Fry until onions are transparent.
-Add the meat that you need to cut into cubes if it is not already cut.
– Brown the meat on high heat evenly.
– Spice with salt and pepper to taste.
– Place cloves in a small sachet, add with wine to the meat.
– Cover with a lid and let simmer for about 90 min (depends on the meat quality).
-Add lemon juice and spice with the remaining spices.
If the fond should be too thick add some beef broth and bring to a brief boil.
Serve with red cabbage, ribbon pasta, Kroketten, mashed potatoes, dumplings or Spätzle.
The German lentil soup is a classic among all German soups. We tried out several options: Using lentils from a can and dried ones. We came to the conclusion: Dried lentils are the best. You can reduce the cooking time when soaking them the evening before in water, and let them sit over night. Just just need to boil them the other day in the same water.
In Germany these recipes such as Lentil Soup or Split Pea Soup are called “Eintopf” which means literally “One pot”. The fact that all ingredients are cooking in one pot at the same time, makes cooking easy. Just stir frequently and, if you use sausages, add the sausages five minutes before the soup is ready. It is also easy to make a vegetarian dish by not using the bacon and sausages. Happy Cooking!
2 cups dry green or brown lentils
1-2 medium sized potatoes
1 medium sized onion
2 thin slices of German Speck (Bacon or smoked ham)
1/4 celery root
2 celery stalks
1-2 tsp sunflower or safflower oil
Purified or spring water as needed
2 tsp mustard, preferably German
Thyme and/or marjoram to taste
2 bay leaves
Salt, fresh ground pepper to taste
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
2-4 tbsp White Wine Vinegar (or to taste)
4 Wiener or Frankfurter Sausages
– Wash dried lentils, then soak them in water the day before. They should be covered with water. Let sit covered over night.
– Peel potatoes and cut them into small cubes.
– Cut celery root, stalks and carrot in small pieces.
– Chop onion, cut ham in small cubes.
– In a medium to big sized pot heat oil, add onions and saute for 1 minute.
– Use lentils with the soaking water, add to onions. Fill up with water if you don’t have enough (lentils soak up the water, so you need to add some, lentils should always be covered with water).
– Add potatoes, carrots, celery, and bay leaves. Add some more water if needed.
– Bring to a boil, let simmer (covered with a lid) on low heat for about 1 hour until lentils are very soft. Do the test, if they are not soft, let them cook longer.
– While the soup is cooking, add mustard, vinegar, herbs, salt and pepper to taste.
– Stir frequently so it won’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Add some water if the soup gets too thick.
– 10 minutes before the soup is ready add the sausages to warm them in the soup. Of course you could boil them separately but the typical way is to cook them in the soup.
– If you want cut the sausages into pieces, and add them to the soup until they are cooked.
– Add parsley before serving.Serve the lentil soup with fresh farmers bread and butter. In Southern Germany the soup is combined with the Southern pasta specialty “Spaetzle”. In this case you would cook the Spaetzle separately and serve them with the soup.
One of our favorite recipes: the Halloween recipe Big Foot Feet! It looks scary and funny! You don’t have to be an artist to make these feet. Perfect Halloween party food – your guests will love it! Happy Halloween!
makes 1 foot
1 kg ground beef, turkey or chicken
4 garlic cloves
bread crumbs natural, no salt or herbs
salt, black pepper, Hungarian paprika powder (mild or hot) to taste
1 tbsp instant broth
2 tbsp ketchup
chili sauce or red edible color
– Cut onion in half and cut from each half a 1 cm thick slice – this is the bone on top of the foot.
– From the outer layer of the onion cut toe nails.
– Chop the remaining onion in small cubes, garlic cloves as well.
– Mix ground meat with egg, spices and ketchup.
– On a sheet of baking paper create 2 feet out of the meat.
– Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees C or 350 F.
– Add chili sauce on top (cut off part of the foot) so it looks like blood, place 1 onion slice on top.
– Cut the onion in small pieces and place them as nails on top of the toes.
– Cook the feet for 30 minutes – 10 minutes before the end, add some more chili sauce on the top of the foot.
Enjoy your feet warm or cold with baguette bread, potato salad, french fries or pasta with tomato sauce or mustard. These feet taste cold as good as hot!