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Nutty Meringue - (Makes 16 pieces)

 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts

2/3 cup chopped walnuts

5 eggs, separated

1 cup confectioners' sugar

Pinch of salt

1 tablespoon spelt flour

 

 

1.  Grind half of the hazelnuts and half of the walnuts very finely in a food processor.

 

2.  Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.  Line an 11-x-15-inch jellyroll pan with parchment paper and grease well.

 

3.  Beat the egg yolks with 1/2 cup of the confectioners' sugar.  In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until the stand in stiff peaks, then gradually incorporate the remaining 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar.  Combine the ground nuts and chopped nuts with the egg yolk mixture.  Fold in the egg whites.  Spread the mixture evenly on the jellyroll pan and dust with spelt flour, using a sifter for even distribution.

 

4.  Bake the meringue for 2 to 3 hours, or until the inside is completely dry.  If the top turns brown, but the inside is still soft, reduce the heat to 200 to 225 degrees F.

 

5.  Cool and carefully remove the parchment paper.  Cut into 4-inch squares and store the meringues in a tin, with parchment paper between each layer.  They keep for several weeks.

 


 

Sand Cookies - (Makes 45 cookies)

 

Ingredients:

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 teaspoons heavy cream

Pinch of salt

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

 

 

1.  Brown the butter in a small saucepan while monitoring it closely.  The butter should be browned, but not burnt.  Cool.

 

2.  Beat the browned butter until foamy and combine it with the sugar, vanilla, cream, and salt, then beat it to a creamy consistency using an electric mixer.

 

3.  Combine the flour with the baking powder and add to the butter mixture.  Knead the dough with your hands and shape it into 1-1/2 inch diameter rolls.  Wrap them separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

 

4.  Preheat he oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

 

5.  Carefully cut the rolls into 1/4 inch slices.  Place the cookies 2 to 3 inches apart on the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, or until light yellow and still soft.  Transfer with the parchment to racks to cool.  The cookies harden as they cool.  Store in an airtight container.

 


 

Potato Fritters - (Makes 12 to 15 pieces)

 

Ingredients:

3 medium starchy yellow potatoes

1/3 cup raisins or currants

1 cup quark or Greek yogurt

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, finely grated

Pinch of salt

Pinch of nutmeg

Vegetable oil for sautéing

Sugar & ground cinnamon for sprinkling

 

 

1.  Cook the potatoes in their skins.  Col slightly, then peel.  Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

 

2.  Soak the raisins in a small bowl of hot water for 5 minutes.  Drain and pat dry with paper towels.

 

3.  Very finely grate the boiled potatoes.  Mix with the quark or yogurt, flour, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, salt, nutmeg, and knead into a smooth dough.  Add the raisins and shape into a 2-inch diameter log with moistened hands.  Cut the log into 12 to 15 equal thick slices and form little patties about 3/4 inch thick.

 

4.  Heat the oil in a large skillet.  Saute the fritters until golden brown on one side; then carefully turn them with a spatula and brown the other side.  Serve warm with sugar, cinnamon, and some fruit compote.

 


 

Baked Stuffed Apples - (Makes 4 servings)

 

Ingredients:

4 medium baking apples

Lemon juice

2 tablespoons golden raisins

2 tablespoons walnuts, coarsely chopped & toasted

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup dry white wine

 

 

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

 

2.  Peel and core the apples and brush them with some lemon juice.

 

3.  Mix the golden raisins with the walnuts, brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon.  Stuff the apples with this mixture.  Place them in a small oven-proof dish.  Pour the wine over the apples.

 

4.  Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until the apples can be pierced with a sharp knife, basting them every now and then with the wine.  Serve warm with chilled vanilla sauce.

 


 

Black Forest Cake - (Makes 12 to 16 servings)

 

Batter Ingredients:

4 (1 oz.) squares semisweet chocolate

2/3 plus 1/4 cup al-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 eggs, separated

 

 

Filling Ingredients:

1 (14.5 oz.) can red tart pitted cherries

1/4 cup kirsch

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon sugar

2 cups heavy cream

1/3 cup confectioners' sugar

2 teaspoons cherry Jell-O

2 tablespoons boiling water

1/2 to 1 (1 oz.) square semisweet chocolate for garnish

 

 

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 9-inch spring-form pan.

 

2.  For the Batter:  Grate the chocolate in a food processor to a very fine consistency.  Mix it with the flour, baking powder, cocoa, and 2 tablespoons water.

 

3.  Beat the butter with the sugar, vanilla, and egg yolks until creamy and pale yellow.  Add to the batter.

 

4.  Beat the egg whites until they stand in stiff peaks and fold them into the batter.

 

5.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 35 minutes, or until done.  Check for doneness with a toothpick.  Cool for 5 to 10 minutes.  Remove the cake from the pan and cool it completely on a cake rack. Keep in a dry, cool place.

 

6.  For the Filling:  Strain the cherries and reserve the juice (3/4 to 1 cup).  Sprinkle the cherries with kirsch, cover, let stand for a few hours.

 

7.  Dissolve the cornstarch in a few tablespoons of the juice.  Heat the juice in a small saucepan and whisk in the cornstarch mixture.  Stir vigorously and cook over very low heat until the mixture thickens and becomes clear again.  Sweeten with the sugar and add the cherries.  Remove from the heat, and cool.

 

8.  Whip the cream with the confectioners' sugar in a chilled bowl until firm, but not too stiff.  Dissolve the Jell-O in the hot water and set it over a bowl of ice water.  Stir continuously  until it cools.  Blend the Jell-O with the whipped cream.

 

9.  Cut the cake horizontally into 2 layers.  Put the bottom layer on a cake plate, cut side up.  Spread the cherry mixture evenly on the bottom layer.  Top with 1/3 of the whipped cream mixture.  Place the other layer neatly on top.  Brush off the crumbs and spread the remaining whipped cream mixture evenly on the entire cake.  Finely grate the chocolate over the cake and chill.

 

NOTE:  Black Forest cake can be kept in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.


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