|From top to bottom:
Husaren-Krapferln (Cavalry Puff-balls) Marillenringe (Apricot Rings)
Vanillekipferln (Vanilla Crescents)
|Lady Martha is a hands-on cook|
As Christmas approaches, the bakers come out in force looking for cookie recipes. By my count, Andrew has 6 new soft cover cookie cookbooks and magazines stacked up and ready to go out to the beach for the holidays. So it shouldn’t have come as any surprise that the post you are reading, which was first published last Christmas, is wildly popular. It’s been downloaded over 2000 times. And this year, it’s been joined by another Austrian recipe for a cake. So by all means take a look at it as well: http://www.chewingthefat.us.com/2013/12/bsoffener-kapunziner-family-favourite.html And it comes with a wonderful story as well. But first, here are the cookie recipes.
When I was growing up in Montreal, an English cousin of mine came out to Canada to attend McGill University. Although not initially planned, Simon ended up moving into our house and taking over the basement and staying for the duration. He became a complete member of the family doing things like volunteering to be a rifle instructor for my class of adolescent boys and other thankless tasks. Later he would serve as my best man. Along the way, Simon met Martha, a completely charming young woman who had come to Canada from her native Innsbruck, Austria. They married, had two tow-headed daughters and, much to the surprise of many, decided to go back to England. His family was there and Simon had assumed his hereditary baronetcy. Henceforth he was to be called Sir John Stracey. Martha, in turn, became Lady Stracey.
|Her Ladyship’s cookies will come
in Sir John’s handcrafted wooden boxes.
Now Austria has invented many of the world’s great pastries. Sachertorte, Apfelstrudel, Gugelhupf– all spring to mind. Marie Antoinette, an Austrian princess, famously recommended that her subjects eat cake in lieu of bread. She knew what she was talking about. Like all Austrians, a sweet tooth is a national birthright. The classic recipes that we are sharing here are the Stracey’s annual gift to very close friends. They come annually in a keepsake container. This year, Simon’s woodworking skills are much on display in the beautifully conceived containers that will be filled with Martha’s delicious creations and sent off to friends who eagerly await their arrival every year.
Cavalry Puff-balls (actually untranslatable in any way that makes a grain of sense). Ground-almond-based short pastry, baked as little dented cannon balls, dusted with sugar, into which a percussion cap of glistening Ribiselmarmelade (red currant jam to you) has been lovingly plopped.
Apricot Rings (the Austrian version of Jammy Dodgers). Discs of lemon zest flavoured shortcrust pastry, topped with pastry rings, and dusted with powdered sugar, into which a blob of the best Apricot Preserve has been lured.
|The Grinder is an integral
part of this operation