German Almond Lebkuchen
Courtesy of Dennis Hein
Makes 40 cookies
1 cup sugar
2 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
14 oz almonds, ground - about 3 cups
1/4 cup each candied citrus peel and orange peel, chopped fine
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1 egg yolk, for the glaze
40 almonds, brown skin removed, for decoration
Beat the eggs and the sugar until foamy. Sift the flour with the baking powder, then add it to the egg/sugar mixture, together with the candied peel, almond meal, and spices. Mix until a stiff dough forms, then place it, wrapped, in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
Heat the oven to 350° F. Roll out the dough about 1/2 inch thick on a floured cutting board and cut it into 2"x3" rectangles with a knife. Transfer to a cookie sheet. Mix the egg yolk with a little water and paint it onto the rectangles. Place an almond half on each cookie.
Bake for 20 min. or until set and light brown. Cool on a cooling rack.
Apfelstrudel (Apple Strudel)
Courtesy of Rosie Verdugo
A favorite at our house during the Holidays. After our trip to Central Europe this fall, (where we ate Strudel every day) we tried it with peaches for Thanksgiving and it was delicious! You can also substitute cherries or apricots.
2 - 3 sticks butter - no margarine
1 cup plain crushed breadcrumbs (not seasoned!)
1-2 Lemons - 2 tbsp grated lemon rind
Juice the lemons. Place juice in a small bowl. (No juice used for peaches)
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 cup ground almonds
6 Granny Smith apples (about 6 cups of fruit)
1 Box Phyllo Leaves (thaw in refrigerator overnight before use)
Optional - 1 cup raisins, soaked overnight in rum
Brown the breadcrumbs in a pan with 1/4 cup (½ stick) of butter, set aside. Mix the lemon rind, sugar, cinnamon, raisins and almonds together in a large bowl.Peel and slice the apples, brush lightly with the lemon juice to prevent browning and then pour apples into cinnamon mixture. Mix well so apples are coated.
Melt two of the sticks of butter. Dampen one or two cotton dishtowels with cold water and wring out. Lay out flat on the counter and cover with two 24" long sheets of cellophane wrap. Overlap the two sheets of wrap lengthwise at the long the edge to cover the towels. This will be your work area. Lay one Phyllo leaf on the cellophane wrap and brush it with melted butter. Lay another leaf on top of it and brush it with butter. Continue until you have used 5 leaves. (Don't leave the extra Phyllo leaves out in the air too long or they will dry out.)Sprinkle 1/3 of the breadcrumbs over the entire leaf. Pour a third of the Apple and cinnamon mixture onto the leaf along one of the short edges. Mound it evenly in about a 3" ribbon. Don't take it all the way to the ends so you can turn up the edges.
Use the cellophane wrap to roll the leaf up like a jelly-roll. Crimp the ends together so the mixture doesn't come out during baking. Use a little butter here like "glue". Brush the roll with butter and sprinkle some cinnamon on top. Repeat for two more Strudels. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned.
Makes 3 strudels, 6-8 servings each.
Fresh Berries with Dark Chocolate Syrup
Courtesy Of Debbi Sturch
For a dessert beverage option, stir the syrup into coffee or milk.
4 cups mixed fresh berries
1/2 cup Dark Chocolate Syrup, warmed
slivered almonds or chopped pecans/walnuts
Optional garnish: fresh mint
Place 1 cup berries in each of 4 glasses; spoon each with 2 tablespoons sauce. Sprinkle nuts (not shown) Garnish with mint, if desired. Makes 4 servings.