Almond Croissants

These lovelies, called “Nussgipfeli”, are one of my favorite pastries to eat when I am in Switzerland. Usually made with a hazelnut filling, either using a puff pastry or a yeast dough, is so good. One of the most iconic Swiss treats.

Here usually you can find almond croissants. These are really yummy too. It is actually pretty easy to make. You can use a puff pastry or make a sweet yeast dough like I did.

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I am very excited because I am going to visit my family in Switzerland for the next two weeks:)!! Looking forward to see everyone, but mostly my dad who did turn 70 this April. He was very sick last year, undergoing a major heart surgery and we are just happy and thankful to be able to celebrate this special birthday.

On the other side I have to admit I am also looking forward to all the good food;)

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Almond Croissants 

Yields: 8

Sweet yeast dough:

  • 300 g unbleached white flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp honey or sugar
  • 60 g butter
  • 100 ml milk
  • 1 tbsp instant yeast

-In a medium bowl mix together flour, salt, yeast and honey.

-In a saucepan warm/melt butter with the milk.

-Add butter and milk to the dry ingredients and mix well. Knead dough well until smooth ball forms. Place back into bowl then cover with plastic foil. Let rise until doubled in size.

Almond filling:

  • 150 g almonds or hazelnuts, finely ground
  • 4 tbsp coconut sugar, or 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 4-6 tbsp milk or cream

-Mix all ingredients together. The filling should be moist.

  • 3 tbsp apricot jam
  • almond slices

-Preheat oven to 200C/400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

-On a floured surface roll out dough into a circle.

-Spread thinly with apricot jam then cut into 8 wedges.

-Spread filling onto wedges. Roll dough up into a croissant. Let rise for another 15 minutes.

-Brush with some egg wash then bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

-Brush warm croissants with some icing: 100g powdered sugar, 1/2 tbsp lemon juice mixed together. Sprinkle with almond slices.

–I brushed it with honey;)–

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Enjoy!

Ursula

 

You can find me on Instagram @littleswisslittlecanadian

 

 

 

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Hazelnut-Butterfly Sweet Yeast Bread

There are some dishes from Switzerland, sweet or savory, that I am sometimes suddenly thinking off…maybe even missing a little. And that can be at times like right before I go to bed for some weird reason;)

Most of my baking is out off Swiss or German cookbooks, some old true and tested recipes that everyone loves. The other day my husband was asking for a Hazelnut Sweetbread. A traditional sweet yeast dough filled with ground hazelnuts. We call this a Russenzopf (Russianbraid, I do not know how or why it got that name). The great thing about it is you can take the same recipe and make hazelnut rolls or crescents called Nussgipfeli, which I LOVE and need to eat when we are in Switzerland, or like I did for this recipe, a butterfly.

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However you shape it, it is delicious!

Now trying to cut down on white refined sugar, I used honey and coconut sugar. I will give you the original version as well, using white and brown sugar.

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Hazelnut-Butterfly

Yeast dough:

  • 350 g white unbleached flour
  • 1 tbsp instant yeast
  • 2 tbsp honey, or sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 125 ml milk, room temp.
  • 25g butter, melted
  • 1 egg

-Mix all dry ingredients together. Whisk together milk, egg and butter. Add to dry ingredients. Knead dough until smooth. Cover with a plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size. About 1 hour.

Filling:

  • 200 g Hazelnuts, finely ground (you can also use ground almonds)
  • 5 tbsp coconut sugar, or 4 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 organic lemon, juice and zest
  • 100 ml cream or milk

-Mix all ingredients together.

-Preheat oven to 180C/350F (Convection setting). Line a 30 cm loaf pan with parchment paper.

-Roll out dough into a rectangle. Spread filling out evenly. Cut horizontally. Roll each piece from the outsides to the center and lay both pieces on top of each other in a prepared baking dish. Let it rise for another 30 minutes. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes. Spread the icing on while it is still warm.

Icing:

  • 4 tbsp icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

-Mix together well.

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Tip: Original recipe calls for 250 g Marzipan, 1 organic orange, zest and 1 tbsp juice. It is called Almond-Butterfly.

Recipe adapted from Dr. Oetker “Backen macht Freude” and Betty Bossi “Backstube”

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Have fun and enjoy!

You can find me on Instagram. #littleswisslittlecanadian

Chocolate Squares (Studentenschnitten)

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy New Year!!

It can be very tricky to translate a German word/sentence, because if you do translate word by word it often does not make any sense. This cake is called Studentenschnitten, which means student slice. This does not sound so great, therefore I will call it simply, Chocolate Squares. You can buy it ready made in Switzerland, and that is what my Mother and everyone else I know used to do-we never made it ourselves…

This recipe is a great way to use up any leftover Christmas cookies and chocolate. I used a simple recipe from a Swiss chef, Annemarie Wildeisen. The base crust, which is similar to a pie crust, is from my Tiptopf cookbook. (She is using a store bought dough)

 

Chocolate Squares

 

Base crust (Pie crust):

  • 150g flour
  • 1/4tsp salt
  • 90g butter, cold
  • 2tbsp sugar
  • 1 egg

-Mix together flour and salt. Add butter and with a fork or pastry blender mix until it resembles fine crumbs.

-Add whisked egg and mix dough only until it holds together. Wrap in plastic foil and chill for 30 minutes.

 

Filling:

  • 300g cookies, finely ground
  • 6 eggs
  • 175g sugar
  • 100g bittersweet chocolate or milk chocolate
  • 175g butter
  • 100g flour
  • 150g hazelnuts or almonds, ground

 

Chocolate Icing:

  • 150g dark chocolate
  • 40g butter
  • 3tbsp icing sugar

 

-Whisk together eggs and sugar. In a double boiler melt together chocolate and butter, add to egg mix.

-Combine flour, nuts and cookie crumbs. Add slowly to wet ingredients.

-Roll out base crust to fit into a 30cm square or round pan.

-Cover with the filling. Bake in a 350F/180C oven for 40-50 minutes.

-In a double boiler melt dark chocolate, add butter. Sift the icing sugar and mix well. Spread onto the cooled cake.

-Cut into squares.

(You could spread some Strawberry jelly onto the cake first, and then add the chocolate icing)

Can be kept in refrigerator for 3-4 days

 

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Love, Peace and Happiness!!

 

Enjoy!