These are the recipes that go with my post “Office Birthdays: Viennese Desserts“.
Apfel Strudelfulle (apple strudel filling)
I used store-bought puff pastry dough, but you’re welcome to make yours from scratch. Martha Stewart can show you how.
For the filling:
3-4 green apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2 inch slices
1/4 cup sugar
1-2 teaspoons cinnamon, depending on how much you like it
1/4 cup white raisins (optional)
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/4 cup ground almonds
Mix all ingredients together in a big bowl. Distribute apple mixture evenly down the middle of your puff pastry and sprinkle with the ground almonds. Roll the dough around the filling and put the whole thing seam-side down on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. (If your dough is very long you may have to cut the whole thing in half and have two smaller strudels.)
I closed both ends to prevent leakage. You can also brush the top with melted butter and sprinkle with bread crumbs, if you have them)
Bake at 450 for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 400 and bake for another 15-20 minutes, until the strudel is crisp and brown.
I dusted it with powdered sugar before serving, just for looks, but it’s plenty sweet even without it.
Vanillekipfel (Vanilla Crescents)
makes 36 cookies
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups sifted flour
1 and 1/4 cups ground almonds
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
powdered sugar for dusting the cookies
Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Mix in the flour 1/2 a cup at a time. Add the almonds, vanilla extract and salt and mix until dough becomes slightly stiff.
Shape the dough into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. When you’re ready to bake the cookies, preheat the over to 350 and line your cookie sheets with parchment paper (or lightly butter and flour them if you prefer).
Roll dough into small balls (bigger than a walnut, but smaller than a ping pong ball). Once you have the right size you can roll them back and forth between your palms to make more of a log shape, then bend them slightly to make the crescent shape.
Bake 15-20 minutes, until bottoms are slightly brown. Allow to cool for five minutes before moving them to a cooling rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Try not to eat them all immediately. It will be hard.
Tascherln (Viennese Jam Pockets)
makes 25, unless you make them too big or make a mess of it like I did, but I still got about 15 out of it, 10 of them presentable but all of them tasty
1 and 1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 hard-cooked egg yolks
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 and 1/4 cup sifted flour
1 cup thick jam (apricot is suggested, but your choice)
1 tablespoon water
2 egg white
Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy.
Rub the hard-cooked egg yolks through a sieve with a spoon, then stir them, the raw egg yolk, orange peel, vanilla and sale into the butter and sugar mixture. Add the flour 1/2 a cup at a time and stir until the dough is stiff. Shape the dough into a ball and refrigerate for at least one hour.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into a 15-inch square. (Or, you might find it easier, as I did, to roll out just enough dough to make one or two pastries at a time. It just depends on how good you are with dough and how well this particular dough behaves for you.)
Use a pastry wheel or sharp knife to cut the dough into 3-ich squares. Put a dollop of jam into the center of the square and fold over the opposite corner to make a triangle. Use a fork to seal the edges, and to put a few holes in the top. Mix the egg whites and water and brush this lightly across the tops.
Bake for 10-15 minutes at 350 on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (or lightly butter and flour them, if you prefer). The triangles should be lightly browned.
Let cool before you bite into one because that jam gets really stinking hot in the oven.