My Attempt at Being Austrian


As I mentioned in my post on an Austrian Christmas, I attempted to make Gluehwine and Austrian Christmas cookies. The Austrian cookies came out decent, the Gluehwine, not so much.

Given the Gluehwine recipe was so simple I thought it’d be easy.

1 Bottle of quality red win
1 Cup of water
1 Lemon
1 Orange cubed and placed in the pot
1 Cinnamon stick
3 Cloves

Bring all to a boil and serve.

I’m not sure what I did wrong, but something just wasn’t right. Neither myself nor my boss found this to be drinkable, let alone enjoyable… it tasted as if it needed some sugar, perhaps, to counteract the lemon juice.

Then on to the cookies, Vanilla Crescents:

1 cup (225 grams) unsalted butter
1/2 cup (115 grams) vanilla sugar, plus extra for dusting
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup (170 grams) ground almonds
2 cups (220 grams) all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar together. Add the eggs and vanilla until incorporated. Add the ground almonds and flour. Beat until soft and smooth.

Roll dough into a large ball, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400F (200 C) and line a standard baking sheet with parchment paper.

Remove dough from fridge. Cut dough into 1 cm wide pieces, roll and form crescents.

Bake cookies for about 10 -12 minutes or until light brown on the bottom. Immediately remove to a rack to cool for 5 minutes.

While cookies are still warm, sprinkle vanilla sugar on top. Cool cookies completely on a rack.

The one issue I ran in to was the fact the sugar was labeled “vanilla sugar.” What in the world is vanilla sugar? I’ve heard of table sugar and granulated sugar and confectionery sugar and BROWN sugar… but no vanilla sugar. So I guessed. I picked up a bag or confectionery sugar and hoped for the best.

I must admit that I don’t think that’s what the recipe was talking about because the cookies resembled that of donuts as they were sizzling in the oven (or perhaps that was the two sticks of butter.) In the end, they did come out pretty well, no complaints from the several people that tried them.

Overall I think this proved one thing: I am not a master chef. However, while I did not get the opportunity to participate in a real Austrian Christmas, it was nice to try the traditional wine and food of the country with which I’ve become so involved recently.

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