Apple Kuchen

20171007_134852Pumpkin, Pecan, Apple, & Cinnamon…all iconic flavors of Fall. Two of the sweetest (and my personal favorite) flavors can be found right here in this easy German apple cake (Apfelkuchen). The classic combination of sweet apples and spicy cinnamon makes for a simple yet pleasing post dinner treat or Oktoberfest dessert!

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Apple Kuchen

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 Apples; peeled, cored, & sliced
  • 2 tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 cup Sugar; divided
  • ½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. Salt; divided
  • 6.75 oz (1 ½ cups) All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • ½ cup (1 Stick) Unsalted Butter; softened & divided
  • 3 oz. Cream Cheese; softened
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 2/3 cup nonfat Buttermilk
  • ½ cup Chopped Walnuts; toasted
  • ¼ cup Apple Jelly

 

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 13×9 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Combine apples and lemon juice and toss together. Add ¼ cup sugar, cinnamon, and ¼ tsp. salt, tossing again to combine.
  3. In a large bowl combine flour, the remaining ¼ tsp. salt, and baking powder. Place remaining ¾ cup sugar, 6 tbsp. butter, and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat mixture at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat well. Stir in the vanilla. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat until just combined. Gently stir in the walnuts.
  4. Scrape batter into prepared baking pan. Arrange apples over batter. Melt remaining 2 tbsp. butter and brush over apples. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until set.
  5. Microwave apple jelly for 30 seconds or until melted, stirring once. Brush jelly over apples and cool. Cut into squares and serve.

 

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: JULIANA GRIMES
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2017

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Christstollen

20161230_125955With the holidays over and a new year already rung in I can calmly and fondly look back over the past month’s chaotic fun. While everyone else was making Christmas cookies galore I was making a German traditional pastry called the Christstollen. The Christstollen goes by many names. Sometimes it is simply called Stollen, other times it is called Weihnachtsstollen (Christmas Stollen), and Americans know it as the dreaded fruitcake….but no matter the name they are all one in the same pastry that is made during Advent/Christmas time each year.

20161230_130118Now although Christstollen is technically a fruitcake certainly do not confuse it with the horrific impostors often found in the states. Christstollen is a rich yeast dough filled with brandy-soaked fruit, toasted almonds, and finished with a sweet touch of glaze. There is a reason why Christstollen is one of Germany’s most famous and long-standing Christmas confections. German recipes for stollen date all the way back to the 13th century. Although Stollen recipes have been slightly modified over the years as products like butter became more common and affordable to use the overall formula and resulting taste remained the same.

20161230_130001Now you may wonder why Stollen is typically made by families only during the Advent/Christmas season. Traditionally, the bread gets its shape because it is supposed to resemble a swaddled baby Jesus. Although it is a Christmas bread many bakeries will still bake Christstollen year round and simply call it stollen instead of naming it after Christ. Since the holidays have already passed you can do the same and enjoy a timeless German tradition.

Christstollen

Ingredients:

  • 16.9 oz. All-Purpose Flour (3 ¾ cups); divided
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. Ground Nutmeg
  • ¼ cup Fresh Orange Juice
  • 2 tbsp. Brandy
  • ½ cup Dried Cherries
  • ½ cup Golden Raisins
  • ½ cup Reduced-Fat Milk (2%); warmed to 100°-110°
  • ¼ cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 pkg. Dry Yeast
  • 6 tbsp. Unsalted Butter; melted
  • 2 Large Eggs; lightly beaten
  • ½ cup Sliced Almonds; toasted
  • 1 ½ tsp. Grated Lemon Rind
  • Cooking Spray
  • 2 tbsp. Reduced-Fat Milk (2%); divided
  • 1 Large Egg
  • ½ cup Powdered Sugar

Preparation:

  1. Weigh 15.75 ounces (approximately 3 ½ cups) flour in a large bowl. Add salt and nutmeg. In a medium microwave-safe bowl combine orange juice and brandy. Microwave brandy mixture for 45 seconds. Add cherries and raisins; let stand for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile combine warm milk, sugar, and yeast and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir butter and eggs into yeast mixture. Add the juice mixture, almonds, and lemon rind. Add the flour mixture to the yeast mixture, stirring until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic, adding the remaining ¼ cup flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking to hands (expect the dough to feel sticky).
  3. Place the dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat the top. Cover and allow to rise in a warm, draft free place for 1 hour or until doubled in size. Punch down the dough. Divide dough into 2 equal portions and roll each into an 11  8 inch oval. Fold 1 short end toward the center and fold the other short end toward the center until it overlaps the first end. Place loaves seam side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover and let rise again for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°. Combine 1 tablespoon milk and 1 egg. Uncover shaped dough and brush the top and sides gently with the milk mixture. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden. Cool completely on wire racks.
  5. When ready to serve combine 1 tablespoon milk and powdered sugar and stir until smooth. Drizzle over loaves. Serve.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

(1 Slice)

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Weight Watchers: 6 Smart Points, 4 Points Plus, or 3 Traditional Points

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: JULIANNA GRIMES
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2017

Honey Almond Butter Snickerdoodles

20161221_134325The cookie section of the dessert table is a prominent feature for almost every culture’s Christmas celebration. Whether it is Gingerbread in America, Pizzelles in Italy, Melomakarona in Greece, Madeleines in France, Kringla in Norway, or Shortbread in Scotland cookies are a must for every family to prepare. In our house we always make sugar cookies cut out in fun Christmas shapes and decorated with different colored frosting and edible adornments.

20161221_132755Aside from our traditional offerings I always try to offer a new cookie for everyone to try and I also share it here with all of you. Typically I make several different cookies around Christmas but this year I have only made two because that is all a 3-year-old and newborn will afford me. I will be making other sweets but cookies were a place I could shave down my offerings and save time.

20161221_135214Now Snickerdoodles are no secret around the holidays. Many Americans already add them to their cookie trays, even swapping out the cinnamon sugar for festive red and green decorating sugar. Although their exact origin is unknown it is believed that Snickerdoodles are German in origin. Although I could have easily stuck with the traditional recipe (as there is nothing wrong with it) I always like to try new things, hence the addition of honey almond butter. I came across some Justin’s brand Honey Almond Butter on clearance at my local supermarket and couldn’t pass up the deal. With a bit of experimenting, it turns out that the addition of almond butter to a classic snickerdoodle makes a fantastic cookie.

The honey almond butter provides a richer twist on the classic recipe while still retaining the signature soft interior and crispy cinnamon-sugar coating that has made this cookie a lasting favorite. Not only is this cooking satisfying but it is also a healthier option to provide for those who may not want to indulge in the extremely calorie/fat laced frosted sugar cookies this Christmas. Merry Christmas and Enjoy!

Honey Almond Butter Snickerdoodles

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Light Brown Sugar; packed
  • 3 oz. Whipped 1/3-less-fat Cream Cheese
  • ¼ cup Unsalted Butter; softened
  • 2 tbsp. Honey Almond Butter (such as Justin’s Brand)
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Large Egg Yolks; lightly beaten
  • 4.75 oz. All-Purpose Flour
  • 1.5 oz. Whole-Wheat Flour
  • 1 tsp. Baking Soda
  • ½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • Cinnamon-Sugar; for topping

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Place the brown sugar, cream cheese, unsalted butter, and almond butter in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Using a stand or hand mixer beat the mixture on high-speed until well combined. Add the vanilla and egg yolks and beat again until well blended.
  3. In another large bowl whisk together the flours, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. With the mixer on low-speed, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until well combined.
  4. Using a rounded tablespoon, drop dough onto prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle tops of the dough rounds adequately with cinnamon-sugar. Bake for 12 minutes, rotating cookies halfway through baking time. Cool cookies on the pans for 1 minute. Remove from pans and place on wire racks to cool. Repeat with remaining dough and cinnamon-sugar. Serve.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

(1 Cookie)

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Weight Watchers: 4 Smart Points, 3 Points Plus, or 2 Traditional Points

 

RECIPE ADAPTED FROM: MICHAELA ROSENTHAL
PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2016

Easy Apple Strudel (Apfelstrudel)

20160927_144943October is just around the corner and many of the typical fall favorites have already made their annual debut. For most, October signifies the time to use or buy the traditional flavors of fall (pumpkin, apples, & warm spices) in everything from food to candles and soaps. For those with a German heritage, it is also the time to anticipate Oktoberfest. Every year in October, Germany holds an annual festival in Munich called Oktoberfest. The festival hosts attractions and serves up traditional food to visitors from around the world. The most notable feature is the consumption of Oktoberfest beer. Although the main festival takes place in Germany, there are many festivals across the globe that mimic the original and allow people to celebrate the tradition no matter their location.

20160927_150609When attending the Oktoberfest near my home in Central Florida there are three traditional items I can’t leave without trying: a Frankfurter covered in sauerkraut, a pretzel, and Apfelstrudel. Of the three, the Apfelstrudel is the most important to me because it is something I cannot easily replicate at home. The light and flaky dough is so hard to manage that I have only attempted to make the traditional German version twice. You literally need a large table, tablecloth, and a ton of patience to stretch the dough until you can literally read a piece of paper through it but without tearing a hole in it. This is no easy task folks I assure you. That is why most pastry shops in Germany have switched to using phyllo dough to replace the labor intensive traditional way.

20160927_150626To be quite honest even phyllo dough can be tricky to work with, which is why when I wanted an easier version to replicate at home I decided to use puff pastry. You can achieve a similar light and flaky crust as the traditional dough or phyllo, but without all of the hassle. One day when I am feeling more adventurous and I don’t have a preschooler and infant taking up the majority of my time, I will attempt to make strudel again with phyllo in place of the puff pastry. For now though, this will be my easy go to recipe when I want a taste of Oktoberfest at any time of the year.

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Easy Apple Strudel (Apfelstrudel)

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
  • ¼ cup Light Brown Sugar; packed
  • 2 tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. Salt
  • 2 pounds (6 medium) Granny Smith Apples; peeled & thinly sliced
  • ½ cup Golden Raisins
  • 2 sheets Frozen Puff Pastry; thawed
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 tbsp. Water
  • ¼ cup Chopped Walnuts
  • 2 tbsp. Granulated Sugar
  • Vanilla Ice Cream

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in brown sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, salt, apples, and raisins. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook 10 minutes or until the apples are tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, on a lightly floured surface, roll each puff pastry sheet into a 15 x 12 inch rectangle. Using a slotted spoon, place an equal amount of the apple mixture along the long edge of each pastry sheet (leaving a 1 inch margin on all sides). Roll up the pastry in a jelly-roll fashion. Tuck edges under and gently press the seam to seal. Place seam side down on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Whisk egg and water until combined. Brush mixture over top and sides of each strudel. Cut diagonal slits across the top of each strudel for ventilation.
  5. Place nuts and granulated sugar in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Sprinkle each strudel with the nut mixture, pressing gently to adhere. Bake strudels for 25 minutes or until golden. Let stand 5 minutes; slice and serve with desired amount of vanilla ice cream.

 

PHOTOGRAPHY & STAGING: PETER MENDOROS

 

ALL REMAINING CONTENT © HONEYBEES PATISSERIE 2016