The Christmas Aroma of Biscuits
When the scent of biscuits passes through the house and enchants the kitchen, Christmas time has arrived. The delicious sweets are part of this season and make the excitement of Christmas almost immeasurable. Helga Kratzer, director of Hotel Helga in Seefeld, has shared a few of her recipes with us to get your loved ones and yourself in the mood for Advent.
Helga has invited me to the hotel to prepare the Christmas cookies. The welcoming Zirbenstube lounge in the hotel has a romantic air with its Christmas decorations. Different kinds of biscuits are displayed on the tables, just waiting for me to tuck into them. The scent of Christmas hangs in the atmosphere. Hotelier Helga Kratzer has already baked an incredible 17 kinds of biscuits in her own kitchen and more are on the way. For Helga, the preparation of these Christmas cookies is a passion, something that can be read from the smiles she gives as she tells me about the bakery preparations in the Advent period.
Helga Kratzer has already prepared everything necessary for two types of biscuits in the kitchen. As my domestic skills when it comes to bakery are a little bit wanting, I am happy to receive a professional introduction to the arts of baking. On today’s programme are Husarenkrapferl made of shortcrust pastry and aniseed biscuits.
The recipes: “Husarenkrapferl'” and “Aniseed Biscuits”
- 240 g flour
- 160 g butter
- 80 g sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- some vanilla sugar
- grated lemon peel
- apricot jam
Pour the flour into a bowl and mix with room-temperature butter, sugar, egg yolks and grated lemon peel. Knead into a dough by hand (or with a mixer). Form small regular balls out of the dough and place them on a tray covered in baking paper. Make small indentations in the dough with the handle of a spoon that can be filled later with the apricot jam (or any other type of jam). Then put them into a prewarmed oven and bake at 170° Celsius for 12 minutes until they are a golden colour. In the end let the Husarenkrapferl cool down and fill them with the warmed up apricot jam.
- 3 eggs
- 150 g butter
- 150 g icing sugar
- 150 g flour
- vanilla sugar
- grated lemon peel
- aniseed to sprinkle
Mix the warmed butter, sugar, vanilla sugar and lemon until it is foamy. Then slowly add the eggs and mix in the flour. Fill an icing or piping bag with the mixture and pipe small biscuit-sized rounds onto baking paper on an oven tray. Sprinkle the biscuits with aniseed. Bake them for 8 – 10 minutes in an oven pre-heated to 200° Celsius. And there you have the aniseed biscuits.
Renowned all over for my sweet tooth, I quickly tuck in to the fresh biscuits, which are a delight for anyone who loves Christmas bakery. Naturally my professional duties meant that I had to taste all the remaining varieties to give our readers an independent view. My verdict: you can recognise an enthusiastic baker not only by the variety of biscuits but by their fabulous taste!
Fotos: Heidi Jehle