Original Christmas baking recipes from Dornbirn, Austria

Traditional Speciality Christmas baking recipes from the City of Dornbirn Vorarlberg Austria , these are recipes which have been handed through generations. Frau Anna Maria Wehinger held a cookery school at the turn of the last century and wrote her first cookery book containing 181 recipes, this, she later expanded on and in 1924, two years after her death her son brought out a cook book containg 1000 recipes, this was a best-seller .

Anna Maria Wehinger ( 2 June 1853 in Gestratz ; † 4 May 1922 in Dornbirn ), was the daughter of Augustin Kirchmann “In Franzebube in Ried.” In 1889, she led one of the first German speaking cooking and housekeeping schools and also wrote the historically well-known “Dornbirner cookbook” . Well known for her cooking, Wehinger ran, in her 25 years of working in Dornbirn, day courses and evening courses. In 1924, two years after her death, her son Joseph Wehinger, published the latest edition of her work containing over 1,000 recipes. It was a best seller. The recipes are witness and stand testement to life in the region around the turn of the century. They also can bring delight to the modern kitchen. The cookbook was recently re-issued in 2008 in an expanded edition. (The cookbook Dornbirn, Vorarlberg cuisine delicacies, 1038 recipes of Anna Maria * Wehinger, edition, supplemented and revised by Susanne Neier, ISBN 978-3-8370-4716-5 , Publisher: Books on Demand GmbH, Norderstedt).

These recipes have been taken from their original forms and we hope that you enjoy trying them out. In a modern kitchen the help of electric mixers etc. will cut down on the time spent beating and stirring, but we leave it you to experiment and enjoy.

Stuffed Dates – Gefüllte Datteln

40 large dates cut lengthwise, remove the stones and then filled with the following: Mix 150g Sugar and 200g ground almonds with 1 egg white to a dough. Stir in 100g of finely chopped pistachio nuts. Fill the dates and leave to dry in a warm oven.

Hazelnut Kisses – Haselnussbusserl

Place 500g ground, roasted hazelnuts in a bowl. In a separate bowl sift 500g icing sugar. Beat 10 egg whites in another bowl until stiff and slowly and alternatively, fold in the hazelnuts nd the icing sugar. Leave the bowl, covered with a tea-towel, to stand for 1 hour in a warm place such as on top of a barely warm stove. Grease and flour a baking sheet. Form small balls of the hazelnut mixture and place on the baking sheet. Bake in a medium oven. Once baked push a sliver of hazelnut on the top of each biscuit.

Gingerbread – Lebzelten

Take 280g Flour, 140g Sugar, grated lemon zest, Cinnamon and Cloves and stir together well. Add approx.1/8 litre hot honey and bind all the above together into a dough. Knead for about 1/2 hour by hand. Then leave the dough to rest for approx. 3 hours. Roll out to a thickness of about 1/2cm and cut out your shapes. Place on a greased backing sheet and decorate with almond pieces. Bake quickly in a hot oven.

Almond slices – Mandelschnitten

To make the dough mix together 150g Flour, 150g Sugar, 2 eggs and 100g whole almonds. On a floured board roll into “3 finger thick” rolls. Brush these rolls with beaten egg and bake in a hot oven. Once baked cut into 1cm long pieces whilst still warm.

Nut Crescents – Nuβkipferl

Rub together 150g Butter with 500g Flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. In a jug measure out 1/8 litre milk and warm slightly, add 20g fresh yeast and leave to stand until the bubbles form. When the yeast mixture is ready add it along with 1/2 beaten egg and 2 tablespoons sugar to the flour and butter. Mix well to form a dough and then knead until you have a smooth dough. Place in a floured, covered bowl and leave to stand for 1 hour in a warm, draught- free place. In the meantime make the filling. Cook 170g Sugar with a coffee-spoonful of water until it forms threads, then add 200g grated nuts (of your choice) and a spoonful of honey, stir in well. Roll out the dough very thin, until around the thickness of the back of a knife blade. Cut into hand-sized squares and spread the middle with some of the filling. Take one corner of the square and rolling the dough, cross to the opposite corner. Once all the crescents are formed place them on a greased baking sheet and leave again to rise in a warm place. Brush with beaten egg and bake in a hot oven.

Nut Macaroons – Nuβmakronen

Beat 500g Sugar with 4 large, whole Eggs for 1/4 hour until very light and fluffy then very gently fold in approx. 500g ground walnuts and the zest of a lemon ( the mass of the walnuts should equal the mass of the sugar and egg mass). From this mixture take small spoonfuls and place on a greased and floured baking sheet and bake in a moderate oven.

Pferdenüβchen

Beat 500g Sugar with 5 eggs until light and frothy, add a coffee-spoon of pepper, and 3 coffee-spoons of both Ground Cinnamon and Ground Cloves. To your taste add lemon and orange zest and also 500g flour, mix well. Form balls out of the dough and place on a well greased and floured baking sheet. Leave to stand overnight and bake the following morning in a moderate oven.

Small Chocolate Bakes – Kleine Schockoladebäckerei

Mix together 140g Sugar with 2 bars of grated chocolate. In another bowl beat 2 egg whites until it forms stiff peaks. Fold the chocolate mix into the egg whites very gently until well combined. Lay out small rice paper circles onto a baking sheet and heap a spoonful of the mixture on top. Bake very slowly.

Vanilla Crescents – Vanillekipferl

Beat 140g butter until creamy: then add in 70g sugar, zest of a lemon, 70g ground almonds and lastly 170g flour. Form the crescents from this dough and place on a baking sheet. Brush with beaten egg, sprinkle with vanilla sugar and bake until light golden brown in a moderate oven.

Vanilla Rolls – Vanillekugeln

Beat 120g butter until creamy. Next stir in 120g ground almonds, 120g sugar, vanilla essence and 120g flour, combine well. From this dough form small rolls and place on a greased baking sheet. Before baking in a moderate oven, press a small indent into the top which can be filled with a filling of your choice once baked.

Cream Puffs and Naughty boys – Windbeutel und Spitzbuben

Bring a 1/2 litre milk to the boil and add 1 pinch of salt, 100g sugar, 100g butter and 250g flour, stir in and keep stirring until the mixture comes cleanly away from the sides. When the mixture has cooled, stir in 4 egg yolks and 5 eggs . Take spoonfuls of mixture and place on a well greased and floured baking sheet, in small heaps. Bake in a fairly hot oven.

Cinnamon Stars – Zimtsterne 

Lightly beat 7 egg whites with a fork then add 500g and beat for 1/2 hour. Next add 2 spoons cinnamon and 500g ground almonds, mix well. Turn out onto a well floured board and knead well. Roll out to around 1/2cm thick and cut out star shapes with a cutter. Place on a well greased and floured baking sheet. Bake in a moderate oven. Once baked and cooled glaze with icing.

Aniseed flats – Anislaibchen 

Cream together 25g sugar with 4 small eggs, stir in a spoonful of aniseeds and 250g flour. Grease and flour a baking sheet. With a spoon place small heaps on the baking sheet. Leave to stand for approx. 2 hours in a warm place before baking golden brown.

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