Homemade Taco Shells

Homemade Taco Shells

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You will need:

 

1 cup flour

¼ tsp salt

½ tsp baking powder

½ Tbsp lard

95 ml water

 

Tacos are an easy, nutritious, and delicious meal made better by baking your own taco shells. It’s so much easier than you would think. Here’s how it’s done.

 

First you will need to remove the wire rack from inside the oven and then preheat to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Next whisk together your dry ingredients to make sure everything gets combined evenly. Next you will mix the lard in by hand until the mix resembles small crumbs. Now mix in the water until it forms a dough. Knead for 10 minutes to develop the gluten and create a smooth elastic dough. Divide into 6 equal portions and rest for 20 minutes covered by plastic.

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Roll out each one as flat as you can. Rest 20 minutes again and fry over medium heat until it starts to bubble then flipping it to fry the other side. Once they are cool enough to handle, arrange in the wire rack and bake them until they turn golden and crispy.

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Remove with tongs and enjoy with your favorite toppings.

 

Sugar Cookies

Making sugar cookies

 

Sugar cookies are my favorite thing to bake because they are so versatile. They can be decorated to suit any theme or holiday. When I was a little girl I used to love watching and helping my Auntie make her christmas sugar cookies. They are still my favorite. For Easter I decided to make robin egg sugar cookies. Here is how I made them.

 

You will need:

 

Brown sugar          ¼ cup

Granulated sugar   ¾ cup

Margarine (room temp)            ¾ cup

Flour       2 cups

Salt                         ¼ tsp

Baking soda           ½ tsp

Egg (room temp)                    2

Vanilla                    1 tsp

Royal icing

Black or Brown food dye

 

The first step is to cream your sugars with the margarine using a paddle attachment. It is important to cream the sugars and margarine well to incorporate air into the dough,tenderizing it. Margarine is an ideal fat to use for cutout cookies due to its wide plastic range or its ability to stretch, keeping the dough soft and workable even after chilling.

Next you will add your vanilla and eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl with a spatula after each addition. Now sift or whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda before adding to the mixer. Mix just until a dough is formed. Flatten into a disc, wrap in plastic, and chill the dough for at least two hours before moving on to the next step.

 

Knead the dough a few times just to soften it and then lightly flour the countertop and top of your dough before rolling. Roll the dough evenly to about half a centimeter thick. When cutting, it is important to remember that different size and thickness of the cookies will affect the required bake time. Cookies of multiple sizes should not be baked on the same tray. To do so would lead to some being over or underbaked. Possibly both in the same batch. Cut out your desired shapes as close together as possible and re roll the remaining dough until it is all used up.

dough111112The cookies should be baked at about 350 degrees fahrenheit until they are just starting to brown around the edges. You can also test doneness by touching the top of the cookie to see if it is starting to set or if it is still too soft. Allow them to set for 3-5 minutes on the bake sheets before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely

 

The next step is to trace the outside of the cookie with piping consistency icing. The way I check the consistency is by sticking a spatula into the icing. If it can stand up straight on its own then it is stiff enough for piping. You can find more information about that here if you are unsure. Use a piping bag with a small round tip. Hold it just high enough for the icing to fall into place as you go rather than trying to draw with it. This will result in smoother, straighter lines.

It will need to dry completely before flooding so make sure to keep your piping bags and icing bowls covered with clean wet cloths to prevent them from drying out.

Once the outlines are completely dry, thin down your icing to flood consistency. It should be thin enough to flow on its own to fill in the outline. Allow to dry completely.

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Arrange the cookies close together on top of parchment paper. Dip a new paintbrush or toothbrush into black or brown food dye and run your finger across it to flick the dye onto the cookies for a speckled look.  

These are so cute yet so easy to make. I hope you will give them a try.

Boterkoek

Baking is a true science and for me baking is my passion, I put love into the things that I make. This makes a difference in the product, both in appearance and the way it tastes. My friends tend to say to me, ‘boy this is so good and tastes better than when I make it, what is your trick?” and my answer to them every time is one word…. Love. If you love what you do it will shine through your product and people can literally taste the difference.

My all time favourite Dutch dessert is Boterkoek (Dutch Butter Cake). This traditional Dutch dessert is somewhere between a tart and a shortbread. It has lots of butter, an almond flavour, a reminiscent of frangipane and makes a great afternoon treat at coffee/tea time. Oh my goodness my mouth is watering just thinking about it!

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As for my Oma’s recipe, now that is a secret but I will share another recipe with you all that I found to produce a delicious product.

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To make boterkoek:

  • 150g butter
    • 200g caster sugar
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 200g  flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 20g flaked almonds

Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F). Line a 23cm (9 inch) cake tin with greaseproof paper.

In a medium bowl, cream the butter, sugar and almond extract until light and fluffy.

Remove one teaspoon of the beaten egg and set aside. Pour the rest of the egg into the mixture, and stir well. Add the flour and baking powder, and mix until you have a smooth dough.

Transfer the mixture to a baking tin, and pat down with the back of a spoon until smooth (you might find it easier to use clean hands to smooth the mixture). Mix the teaspoon of egg with a teaspoon of water, and brush on top of the boterkoek. Sprinkle with the flaked almonds, and bake for 25-30 minutes until just golden and firm to the touch.

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Genieten! 

Dutch Baking

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To implement the love that I have for baking, I try to stay true to my roots. I am proud of my heritage and one part of that is Dutch. My Opa and Oma immigrated to Canada from the Netherlands, settled and started a grain and hog farm in Northern Alberta. One thing to know about Dutch people is that they hate to see anything go to waste. When judgment day came at my grandparents farm, it was time to butcher a pig. My grandparents use every part of the pig possible, as times were tough and this includes the hock, so why not turn it into something delicious!

Growing up, one of my absolute favourite dishes that my Oma would make is called balkenbrij (pronounced balken brie). The best way to describe this is to call it a Dutch pancake. Traditionally balkenbrij was prepared on farms at the end of the pig-slaughtering process. It is generally made from the stock left over from boiling the hock, and the meat rendered off of the bone. Boil the stock, add the meat, flour and a special spice mix of cinnamon, clove, ginger and some other spices that I cannot spill the beans on! Finally it is poured into a pan or mold and cooled off to achieve the form of a loaf. Once cool, slice the loaf very thin (1cm), dust each slice with flour and fry in lard. Once cooked sprinkle sugar on top to add the finishing touch. If sugar doesn’t hit the spot for a topping, you could add anything that you wish.

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One of my favourite traditional Dutch desserts is oliebol (pronounced oliebollen). Oliebol means, “Oil ball”. In English these tasty treats are most commonly known as Dutch doughnuts. The dough is made from flour, eggs, yeast, salt, milk, baking powder and usually sultanas, currants, raisins and occasionally candied fruit or apple. Once the dough is made you then drop an ice cream scoop full of dough into the deep fryer to make a nice sphere shape. Fry until golden brown on both sides, then remove them from the oil and place on a rack to let the oliebol cool. Once cool dust the oliebol in powdered sugar and add some cinnamon if that tickles your fancy. Yummy in my tummy!

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These sinfully delicious doughnuts are traditionally served around Christmas time. In my family we made it a tradition to make oliebol on New Years Eve, as there is always so much good food at Christmas and this was a real treat to have.

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Tot de volgende keer

“Yoda One For Me”

One thing I love about becoming a baker is the creativity a person becomes exposed to. It is a field where you can dream up a concept and then it’s a matter of how to do it. So when I was given the assignment for a two tier wedding cake involving fondant, gum paste, pastillage, and intricate line work, my mind instantly had two thoughts, what is pastillage and Star Wars wedding cake. After finding out what pastillage was I was then able to draw a design to go with my concept and the more I planned out, the more ideas I was able to incorporate. Colours came easily, deep purple and royal blue with hints of silver. Large purple roses would play the centerpiece along with blue forget me not’s sprinkled around. There would also be a hand molded Millennium Falcon to sit on top of the cake next to cut outs of Han and Leia from Star Wars in pastillage. Then it was just a matter of starting.

Gum paste roses are a two day flower. A bud is shaped, placed on a wire, and hung to dry upside down overnight, this ensure the bud will be stable enough to hold the petals. The next day, the first set of petals are wrapped around the bud to create the center, these can be held down with water or an adhesive, water worked just fine. Then its just layering sets of petals until the desired size of the rose is achieved, as I wanted centerpiece roses, I layered three sets of petals. The finished roses are set to dry, generally in an egg carton to preserve the desired shape. The forget me not’s were a simple matter of stamping out of gum paste with a Wilton stamp and placing a silver ball in the center. After the roses were dry they were ready for airbrush colour. Layering a deep pink under the purple gave the flowers a brighter look. The roses were then again left to dry before going onto the cake.

The next step was pastillage. This was a challenge as it’s a product that dries very quickly, sets hard, and is very fragile. After cutting out silhouettes of the faces I wanted to make I then had to roll out a thin layer of pastillage to start cutting out. Using a sharp blade that was routinely dipped in alcohol was the easiest way to make smooth cuts. Once the shapes had been cut, and doubles, even triples, had also been cut, they were laid to dry and after a few minutes the edges were sanded with a fine grain sandpaper. The pieces were then put together with pastillage glue and royal icing which sets like cement, then put aside till they went on top the cake.

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The fondant was the easiest to lay down, roll out to the size of the cake and smooth out, making sure not to stretch or tear. Once all smoothed out, the edges are trimmed to size. I also molded a miniature Millennium Falcon, as seen in the picture above, which was all done from a simplified picture of the ship. Fondant was also rolled out and then draped as a waterfall down the side of the cake, this would be the basis for the flowers and would also be dusted with silver pearl dust.

For added design, line work was done along the bottom of both tiers of the cake, this was all done with royal icing and made to look like scroll work. The royal icing also held down the draped fondant, the blue forget me not’s, and silver chocolate balls as accent pieces. The large purple roses were then placed in groups of three on the bottom and middle of the cake, this helped create balance and a focal point. The last part was to add the pastillage to the top, held down with more royal icing and pastillage glue.

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The end result was a geeky Star Wars wedding cake that created an elegant appearance with a wide appeal. Also, one of my favourite projects thus far as a baker.

Paleo “Bread”.

Growing up with chronic skin conditions, mostly eczema, has meant I have tried any and every “cure” available. Adjusting my diet has proven to be helpful at times with the “paleo” diet being my favourite. Also known as the “caveman diet”, eating paleo is essentially eliminating processed foods, dairy, grains, and excess sugar from your diet. The sugar withdrawals are generally the biggest hurdle to overcome for most people whereas I struggled with the concept of no longer eating bread.

As a baker, fresh baked bread is my weakness, especially with how often I would make it. From a slice of toast at breakfast, a sandwich at lunch, and maybe a slice with cheeze whiz in the evening. Bread was easily my downfall. When a major eczema flare happened to me I decided to go all in on the paleo diet. After a few days without bread I knew I needed an alternative, which I luckily found in Danielle Walker and her Against All Grain cookbook. My knowledge of alternative flours was very limited, but I enjoyed the challenge of baking with them. Danielle’s sandwich bread has proven to be one of my favourites and very enjoyable as a mildly sweeter sandwich bread or great french toast.

Grain Free Sandwich Bread

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup smooth raw cashew butter at room temperature (almond butter can be substituted)
4 large eggs, separated
½ to 2 tablespoons honey (This is your sweetener; more honey, sweeter bread)
2.5 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
¼ cup almond milk
¼ cup coconut flour (highly recommend using coconut flour, this recipe is formulated for the absorbtion rate of coconut flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.
Grease a 8.5×4.5 glass loaf pan with a thin coat of coconut oil, hen line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
Beat the cashew butter and the egg yolks, then add honey, vinegar, and milk.
Using an electric mixer,beat the egg whites in a separate bowl until medium peaks form.
Combine the dry ingredients in another small bowl.

Add the dry ingredients to the cashew butter mixture, make sure you mix well and break up any lumps.

Add the medium peak eggs and mix well again, if the peaks were stiff enough then the bread will get a rise.

Pour the batter into the greased pan and then bake for 45-50 minutes. When the loaf has pulled from the edges of the pan and a toothpick comes out clean, then the loaf is done.

Remove from oven and cool for 15 minutes, run a knife along the edges to release the loaf and then flip onto a cooling rack. Cool right side up. Wrapped well and stored in the fridge extends this loafs shelf life as its structure is similar to that of a banana bread instead of a white bread.

 

paleo bread

 

Hope you enjoy one of my mom and I’s favourite paleo breads!

 

Best Bakeries in Edmonton

I recently got my hands on the newest issue of Avenue Magazine. Every year, Avenue brings together a group of culinary experts to rank the top restaurants in the city in a wide range of categories. The category that I always flip to first is the “Best Dessert” category.

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Shockingly, it was none other than Duchess that took top honors. Their commitment to making the freshest desserts and using the finest ingredients has always put them at the top. In fact every year since 2012 (when the Best Restaurants list started) Duchess has taken the top spot.

In second place was Dauphine, which is sort of a hidden treasure, tucked in the basement on 104 St. They are easy to miss, but if you spot the basket of baguettes you know you are in the right place. They are a fine French pastry shop known for their perfect tarts and also offer up soups and sandwiches.

In third place was the Art of Cake. The basement of City Center Mall is not the first place you would go looking for a bakery, but their friendly service and bright displays of cupcakes will draw you in, and you will instantly fall in love.

So to ensure this “Best of” Edmonton bakeries list was accurate, I took it upon myself to visit each one and report back. I know it is a hard job but somebody had to do. Your welcome. So read on about my adventures!

Best Restaurants Full List

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The first stop on my bakery tour was the Art of Cake! I was with a few of my classmates when I entered the shop and the staff behind the counter, with big smiles, greeted us instantly.

The bakery is owned by the talented team of Gloria Bednarz and Guenter Hess. Gloria is a former NAIT Culinary graduate and Guenter was a former instructor. The business is a family affair, with their son working behind the counter selling the delicious creations. He was very excited to hear that we were NAIT Baking students and offered us a sample of their mini cupcakes!

They had a wide selection of different flavors to choose from. I and few others had the Elvis cupcake. It is a chocolate cupcake with peanut butter buttercream, topped with chocolate drizzle and peanuts. It was AMAZING. The buttercream was so smooth and the chocolate cake was nice and moist. The other girls had mint chocolate and oreo cupcakes.

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Other flavours available were:

Strawberry
Vanilla
Lemon
Chocolate
Carrot
Cookies ‘n Cream
Red Velvet
Cheesecake
Vanilla Coconut
Chocolate Coconut
The Elvis (Chocolate Cupcake, Peanut Butter Buttercream Icing & Bacon

Pricing was fair I though,as the products are of great quality and are absolutely delicious!

Mini Cupcakes –
Single, $1.75
12 pack, $18.00

Regular Cupcakes –
Single, $3.50
4 pack, $12.00
6 pack, $18.00
12 pack, $33.00

The packaging was simple and functional in clear plastic containers but it didn’t really match their whimsical character.

The Art of Cake specializes in made to order cakes, so each one is unique and different and absolutely gorgeous! Cakes can be made to suit any occasion but Weddings seem to be very popular.

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Apart from the Cakes and cupcakes, there is a well-lit display offering delicious treats that can’t be resisted. There is a large assortment of cookies, small cakes, scones, pastries, tarts and cake pops. The main focus of the display is to draw the busy, business person in and give them something they can eat on the go, or bring to an office function.

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I loved almost everything about the Art of Cake, my only negative is there was no place to sit down. I know they are close to the food court which has ample seating but the atmosphere is so wonderful in the little shop that it would be great to sit there and enjoy it! Apart from that, I think Art of Cake has definitely earned their spot in the top 3!!!

The Art of Cake

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The Second stop on my whirlwind tour was Dauphine, located on 104 street. This is a great location for a bakery because it is right in the center of downtown Edmonton. In the summertime, there is a very busy farmers market that operates on 104 street. Dauphine participates in this market every Saturday, offering up their fresh baked bread and pastries.

The bakery was a bit hard to find but the basket of baguets out front definitely helped. My first impression of the bakery was great, it is beautifully decorated and really feels like a  french pastry shop. The decor of the bakery is very beautiful, however, it was lacking in seating. In the main area, there were two tables but only one of the tables had chairs, and it was occupied. There were a few more tables in the back corner of the bakery but they also were lacking chairs.

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When we ventured in, it was about 10 minutes before we were greeted and received service. There was only one person working, and he was busy making coffees. A line quickly formed, about 5 people long including us. Once we received service it was polite and quick.

There was a large variety of treats available at Dauphine but one of the things they are known for are their tarts. I have had their lemon tart in the past so this time, I decide to try the white chocolate pistachio tart. I also thought I would try their carrot cake cupcake. As there was not a lot of available seating we decided to take our food to go.

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The packaging at Dauphine was pretty standard, it was a clear plastic clam shell container. My only complaint with that was, instead of putting my two separate items in separate containers, they squished them into one. I felt that this didn’t maintain the integrity of the product. The icing on my carrot cake got squished in the seam of the clamshell. It didn’t ruin the flavour or taste of my cake but it definitely didn’t look as beautiful as it did in the display case.

Overall my experience at Dauphine was alright. I enjoyed the items that I ordered but the service was lacking. It would have been nice to have been greeted when we entered the bakery and had the option to have a place to sit down and eat. I do think that Dauphine is a great bakery and we may have just caught them at a busy time.

Dauphine

P3040466.jpgThe third and final stop on my list was the infamous Duchess. Duchess offers a blend of classical French pastries as well as a light lunch menu. Right next door to the cafe is their shop Provisions. The store sells hard to find ingredients, cookbooks, bakeware, and kitchen tools. This is really convenient because I got their cookbook for Christmas, and every ingredient you need in the book, can be found at Provisions.  I love it!

We had a hard time finding parking out front and ended up parking about a block and a half away. I was expecting that, as parking is not readily available in that area of town. Once we got into the bakery it was packed. There were no available tables to sit and the line to order was quite long. P3040458.jpg

The line did move quickly once we in it, however, my only complaint was that I could not see the display case as I waited. Lanaya and I took turns holding our place in line while the other went and checked out the display.

I do have to say that the displays are flawless, you can tell the product has been prepared with the finest attention to detail.

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When it came time to order the staff was very polite but our interaction felt very mechanical. It is as if the employees are just working an assembly line. They greet you, take your order, take your payment, and send you off on your way. I understand they are busy and this is the only way they can keep the line moving quickly but, it still felt very impersonal.

Duchess is known for their Macarons, I ended up ordering two, a blueberry lavender one and a vanilla one. I also had to try their blackberry and rhubarb crumble. Of course, everything was delicious! I was hesitant at first of the Blueberry lavender macaron (lavender is usually to perfumey for me) but this was the perfect combination, you must try it!

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As we could not find a place to sit we got our stuff to go and the packaging was beautiful. It had all of the bakery information on the box in an elegant gold type.Yes, it was beautiful but it was not very functional. Lanaya got a tart and they put it inside this great big box and by the time she got home it had moved all over the place. If they took the time to secure the little tart board to the bottom of the box, it would have made a world of difference!

Overall I think Duchess is a beautiful bakery and they truly are providing us with the finest French pastries in Edmonton. I think they are amazing at what they do and are deserving of the “Best Dessert” title here in Edmonton.

Duchess is also being recognized by many others for their outstanding pastries. I came across a list of “23 Bakeries Around The World You Need To Eat At Before You Die” and Duchess was number four on the list!

If you have not been to Duchess before, make sure you check them out!

Duchess Bake Shop

23 Bakeries Around The World You Need To Eat At Before You Die

 

 

 

Mennonite Delights: Pappanate

Pappanate. Said Pay-pa-nate.
The direct translation from Low German, or Plautdietsch, is Pepper Nut.

This is a Mennonite bread/bun like dessert often served at Christmas, and oh what a treat it is! These, along with jam jams, I only ever get to eat at Christmas gatherings, and needless to say, ack frate me zelse domlicht (translation: I eat myself silly). In the Mennonite culture, a lot of importance is placed on family. Every year we gather with all of our aunts (tantes), uncles, cousins and grandparents (grausmam and grauspap, gotta roll those r’s!) to celebrate holidays such as Christmas and Easter. Each holiday has its traditional food, pappanate being one at Christmas. Other Christmas foods include meike rece (milk rice) and plume mouse (a cold plum soup type bowl of joy). Below are links to recipes for both:

http://www.mennonitegirlscancook.ca/2010/01/cooked-rice-with-milk.html
http://www.mennonitegirlscancook.ca/2012/04/plumi-moos.html

There are two varieties of pappanate; one is a loaf with swirls, while the other is bun like with sprinkles or sugar topping. My favorite, as you may or may not have guessed, is the bun pappanate. I have also heard of there being tiny peppernut cookies, but have yet to try or see those.

Pappanate is smaller than a bun, and just as soft. But the thought of adding pepper to a sweet dough topped in colored sprinkles does not sound appealing in any sense, yet it is one of the most enjoyable Christmas desserts.

Below, the pictures will take you through the long, step by step process of making pappanate.

 

Like many Mennonite recipes, pappanate is another typical case of ‘flour until good’, something I find quite annoying. But each to their own! Nevertheless, pappanate is still one of the most delightful Christmas desserts around!

For recipes on all types of pappanate, see the links below. I’m keeping my recipe to myself, sorry all!
Happy baking!

http://www.mennonitegirlscancook.ca/2009/03/peppernut-bunsspiced-buns.html
http://www.mommymoment.ca/2013/11/peppernuts-recipe-pfeffernusse.html
https://books.google.ca/books?id=SvUjtHzLlywC&pg=PA21&lpg=PA21&dq=mennonite+peppernut+loaf&source=bl&ots=8lJhtvtW2O&sig=Tp0v20sIHdPU2iJ8xWrSOGpHYIQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjc_4-Yu7rLAhUY4WMKHXwsDGMQ6AEIGzAA#v=onepage&q=mennonite%20peppernut%20loaf&f=false
http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/peppernut-tea-bread

 

Mennonite Delights: Schmondt Kuchen

Schmondt Kuchen. Said Sh-moe-nt Q-ken.
So many consonants in a row, I know.

The English translation for this dessert is cream cookie. It’s a classic Mennonite cookie with a smooth white icing, possibly topped with coconut or sprinkles (just like butterhorns).

The name is spoken in Plautdietsch, or more commonly known as Low German. This language is primarily spoken by Mennonites and has German, Dutch and Russian influences. Interesting facts about Plautdietsch include that it is only a spoken language, not written, and is an important factor in preserving the culture and bringing people together. If you’re looking to learn more about Plautdietsch, you can visit:

http://www.plautdietsch.ca/
http://www.mennolink.org/doc/lg/

Another big factor in preserving the culture is the food! Lets face it, Mennonites love to eat. Where two or three are gathered, there food will be also. Especially delicious treats such as Schmondt Kuchen.

There are two varieties: cut out and scooped. Now, I have made the cut out variety before, so I thought I would give the scooped type a whirl, partly because there is less waste and they are much simpler. But mostly because Mennonites have a strange habit of including ‘flour until good’ in the recipe. Not a fan. (see also Mennonite Delights: Butterhorns)

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Above is the recipe, pretty simple and straight forward. I used a small cookie scoop and baked them for 8 minutes, any longer and they burn.

Looking back, I should have spaced the cookies further apart. Being my first go at it, I hadn’t expected them to flow nearly as much.

In my experience, I did find some differences between the two varieties. For example, the scooped ones are more cake like and spongy, where as the cut out are denser but still soft. The taste was relatively the same with the rich, creamy flavor; hence the name. Although, I do prefer the texture of the cut outs, and they are the more traditional of the two.

Schmondt Kuchen may not be nearly as beautiful as other cookies, but let me tell you, they are delightful!

Below I have included some links with more information and recipes for Schmondt Kuchen. Enjoy!

https://grandmasoldwoodenrecipebox.wordpress.com/2011/04/09/very-nice-cake-drops/
http://www.food.com/recipe/mennonite-soft-white-cookies-411399
http://www.kehler.ca/schmaunt-kuchen/#more-2311

Mennonite Delights: Butterhorns

Butterhorns. These are definitely one of my all time favorite Mennonite desserts. But before we delve into this delicious treat, lets briefly explore the culture it comes from.

Mennonites received their name from their leader Menno Simons, a Dutch Priest. The group came to be after separating from the Catholic Church as an Anabaptist Christian group with strong beliefs in peace, justice and simplicity. Roaming around Europe trying to find a home, many people from Germany, Switzerland, Russia, Ukraine and other countries joined the group, thus creating a variety of influences in all aspects of their new culture; especially with food. If you’re interested in learning more about the Mennonites, you can visit:
https://history.mennonite.net/
http://www.anabaptists.org/history/mennohist.html

Now back to butterhorns! This light and fluffy treat is most often served with afternoon coffee or as a dessert for faspa. What’s faspa you ask? Faspa is a traditional Mennonite meal taking place on late Sunday afternoons, usually around 4 o clock. For this meal, meats and cheeses are served cold along with homemade jam, bread, buns and vegetables. It derived from the Christian belief of not working on Sundays to keep the day holy, therefore not much meal preparation (or work) is required.

This was my first time making this tasty pastry, and, as it turns out, they’re not nearly as complicated as I originally anticipated. I pulled the following recipe for sweet foundation dough (used for butterhorns) from an old Mennonite cookbook with more stains on it than my apron during chocolate week at school! This is what I had to work with:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

2 tbsp. instant dry yeast
2 cups milk
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
4 egs, beaten well
flour until good

 

Flour until good. Classic Mennonite recipe move, and oh how I hate it! As mentioned before, this was my first experience making butterhorns, so what is good? In this instance, I may have added slightly too much flour. Oh well!

The method for making butterhorns is as follows:

  • measure out all ingredients (minus the flour of course)
  • scald the milk, you’ll know its done by blowing on it, there should be a slight film
  • remove milk from heat and add butter, let cool
  • beat eggs, add sugar
  • once the milk mixture is lukewarm, combine all ingredients by hand in bowl
  • add enough flour for a smooth dough, knead well
  • place dough in lightly greased bowl, let bulk ferment until double in size (approx. 2 hours)
  • pin out dough to desired size and thickness, cut triangles and roll them up starting at the wide end
  • place on tray with parchment, cover and let rise for about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours
  • bake at 350°F until light brown
  • let cool on rack
  • spread icing on top, can also add toppings such as coconut or sprinkles

Like most Mennonite food, butterhorns may not be all that special to look at but they sure are delightful!

Below are a few variations of butterhorns, including a gluten free recipe, as well as a Mennonite cooking/baking website.
http://www.mennonitegirlscancook.ca/
http://psheart.blogspot.ca/2013/05/tasty-tuesdays-mennonite-butterhorns.html
http://www.mennonitegirlscancook.ca/2014/01/butterhorns-gluten-free.html
http://scratchinit.halversen.com/2013/06/mennonite-butterhorns/
http://ayearofmennonitecooking.blogspot.ca/2010/03/food-is-hellobutter-horns.html