In the spirit of our 2016 European Christmas Market cruise raffle, sponsored by Viking River Cruises, we present the following three ways to make your snowy day a little more enjoyable.
Christmas Markets in the picturesque towns along the Danube and the Rhine always offer delightful treats to warm you on cold winter days. Don’t forget to enter our raffle for an 8-day luxury cruise aboard one of Viking River Cruises’ beautiful vessels! This is your chance to win a $10,000 cruise for only $100. Raffle drawing will be held at our Classics Series concert on Tuesday, April 5.
Glühwein—Hot Mulled Wine
Prep: 10 min | Cook: 35 min | Total: 45 min
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cinnamon stick
10 whole cloves 1 (750 milliliter) bottle red wine
In a saucepan, combine the water, sugar, and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer.
Cut the orange in half, and squeeze the juice into the simmering water. Push the cloves into the outside of the orange peel, and place peel in the simmering water. Continue simmering for 30 minutes, until thick and syrupy.
Pour in the wine, and heat until steaming but not simmering. Remove the clove-studded orange halves. Serve hot in mugs or glasses that have been preheated in warm water (cold glasses will break.)
Lebküchen—German Spice Cookies
Prep: 10 min | Chill 8 hours or overnight | Cook: 18 min
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups ground walnuts
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander seed
1/4 teaspoon anise seed
1 1/4 cups shortening
1 cup white sugar
2 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate
In a medium size bowl, combine the flour, walnuts, baking powder, and spices. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream the vegetable shortening with the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients. Cover and chill for 8 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
On a floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Cut into rounds using a 2-inch round cookie cutter and place 1-1/2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Melt chocolate over low heat and drizzle over cooled cookies.
Viennese Apple Strudel
Prep: 90 min | Cook: 90 min | Total: 180 min
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour (300g)
1/4 tsp. salt
2 T. plus 1 tsp. neutral oil (30 ml)
13 T. lukewarm water (200 ml)
7 T. butter (100 grams)
1 c. breadcrumbs (100 grams)
1/2 c. raisins (traditional, but optional)
4 T. rum (optional) or orange juice
6-8 c. chopped baking apples (5-6 large apples such as Gala or Granny Smith)
3/4 c. granulated sugar (150 grams)
1-2 tsp. lemon zest
4 T. lemon juice (about 1/2 large lemon)
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
Melted butter for brushing dough (almost a whole stick or 1/2 cup)
Powdered sugar for decoration
To make the dough: Place the flour in a bowl with the salt and add the water, then the oil. Stir with a spoon until it comes together and you can work it with your hands. Knead the dough until it is smooth and tacky, but not sticky, about 5 minutes. If you need to add more flour, only add it 1 teaspoon at a time. Form the dough into a smooth ball, brush it with a little oil and place it back in the bowl for 1 hour, room temperature.
Covering the dough with plastic wrap is fine, too.
Make Filling I: Heat the butter in a pan until foaming and add the breadcrumbs. Toast them, stirring constantly, until they are medium brown. Let cool.
Make Filling II: Soak the raisins in the rum (or orange juice). You can heat them for 30 seconds in the microwave and then soak them until you are ready for them. Peel, core and chop the apples into small pieces. Add the sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, raisins and cinnamon and mix well.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured board to about 9 inches by 13 inches. Lightly flour a clean towel with no nap, place it over the dough, grab both (towel and dough) and flip over. Straighten both, as necessary. Using your hands, gently stretch the dough thinner on all sides, working your way around the sheet of dough. Stretch it until it starts to look translucent in spots. Let it rest a minute and stretch the areas you think are too thick, again. Thick edges can’t be avoided and will be cut off. Brush dough with melted butter.
Spread the breadcrumbs over 2/3 of the dough and pat down evenly. Drain the apples and spread them over the other 1/3 of the dough. Cut off any thick edges of dough with kitchen shears. Using the towel, fold one side of the dough over the filling. Brush exposed dough with melted butter. Fold in ends of dough like an envelope (or burrito). Fold other side of dough up and over filling to form a roll. Brush with butter. Use towel to maneuver strudel to baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roll strudel onto parchment paper so that the seam-side is down. Brush with melted butter.
Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes and then at 350°F for 40-60 minutes longer. Remove from oven, brush top with melted butter and sprinkle with powdered sugar while still warm. Transfer to a serving platter with a large spatula (or two). Cut into 1 1/2 inch wide slices with a bread knife or serrated knife and serve.