Maple Walnut Tarts

Happy Sunday everyone! Here in Ontario Canada we are enjoying a longer weekend because of Family Day Monday! The weather is above average, warm and sunny, perfect to go for a walk or run. We are spending some quality time with my mom who is visiting from Switzerland.

One of the things I grew to love since coming to Canada is Maple Syrup. I can’t wait for the Maple Syrup season to begin!

The Canadian province of Quebec is by far the largest producer, responsible for 75% of the world’s output. Vermont is the largest producer in the United States generating about 6% of the global supply.

 

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Love the combination of Maple Syrup and Nuts!!

 

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This recipe makes enough for a 9-inch (about 23cm)pie dish or 12 3 1/2-inch (9cm) tart pans.

 

Maple Walnut Tarts

Pastry 

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2/3 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup ice-cold water (approx.)

 

Walnut Filling

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped

 

-Preheat oven to 425F (220C)

Pastry:

In a small bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Add water 2 tbsp at a time, mixing with a fork. Add a little more water if necessary. Press mixture into 2 flat disks. Wrap in plastic foil or waxed paper and refrigerate 30 minutes.

Filling:

In a bowl, beat together eggs, syrup, brown sugar, melted butter and vanilla until just blended.

-On a lightly floured board, roll out pastry disks. Cut into 5-inch (12cm) circle. Line 12 tart pans or a 9-inch round pie dish with pastry.

-Divide walnuts and maple syrup mixture equally among tart shells. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until pastry is golden and filling is soft set.

-Let stand 15 minutes before removing from tart pans. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

 

Enjoy!

 

 

The recipe is adapted from the Get Cracking cookbook.

 

 

Follow me on Instagram:)   @littleswisslittlecanadian

 

 

 

 

 

Apple-Crumb-Cake/ Apfelstreuselkuchen

Crumb Cakes or Streuselkuchen can be found in many European Countries. It is believed to be of German Origin. Depending on the Season it can be topped with fruits of you choice. Very popular are plums, cherries or sour cherries. No matter what topping, we truly love it.

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Apple-Crumb-Cake/Apfelstreuselkuchen

  • 175g butter, soft
  • 175g sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 400g flour
  • 3tsp baking powder
  • 1,5tsp cinnamon

Topping:

  • 1,5kg apples

Streusel:

  • 200g flour
  • 100g sugar
  • 1/2tsp cinnamon
  • 150g butter

 

-Preheat oven to 350F/180C.

-Grease a 9×13 baking dish (23x32cm). (That’s the baking dish I used, but it can be larger)

-Whisk butter until foamy. Mix in sugar then add eggs one at a time.

-Mix together flour, cinnamon and baking powder, sift and mix into the wet ingredients.

-Spread into prepared baking dish.

-Peel apples and cut into thin slices. Layer onto the dough.

-For the Streusel: Mix flour, sugar and cinnamon. Add butter in small chunks and mix together until coarse crumbs form. Pour onto apples.

-Bake in preheated 350F/180C oven for about 40-45 minutes or until golden brown.

-Serve dusted with some icing sugar.

–You could add ground nuts to the crumb mix and add raisins to the apples–

 

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Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snowball-Apples

Several Years ago I received a cookbook that features 200 year old recipes from the beautiful Emmental region in Switzerland. If your wondering-yes, this is the region were the Emmentaler Cheese is from:)

Many recipes are well known dishes in today’s households. I am used to eat and prepare baked apples filled with ground hazelnuts, brown sugar and cinnamon. Such a classic!

Topped with Meringue, my kids thought these look a little bit like snowballs:)

 

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In the book these are called Snow-Apples/Schnee-Aepfel.

 

Snowball-Apples

  • 4 apples
  • jam of your liking (I used red currant)
  • applejuice
  • 1 or 2 eggwhites
  • sugar

 

-Preheat oven to 375F/190C

-Peel apples (I left the skin on), cut out the cores. Place apples in a baking dish.

-Fill holes with jam. Cover the bottom of your dish with some juice.

-Bake in oven for about 40 min. or until soft.

-Whip one or two egg-whites until soft peaks form, add sugar and keep whisking until shiny.

-Top apples with Meringue and bake 10 minutes, or until lightly brown.

 

–I used 2 egg whites which gave the snowball effect;)–

–I prepared the meringue with honey–

 

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Recipe from the book: Aemmitaler Chuchi.

 

 

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

Christmas Baking

Here are some of the Christmas Cookies I have been making this year. Most of them are old European (Swiss/German) recipes that my Grandmothers and my Mother used to make.

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Nusshaufchen, Zimtsterne, Maple Cookies, Spitzbuben and Domino Stones (you can find the recipe here Sweet Domino Stones). I also made a fruit cake-with raisins soaked in Kirsch Schnapps overnight-amazing:)

 

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I also made some Truffles (made with dark Chocolate and Coconut milk, no added sugar)-these were delicious!!

 

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My favorite: Spitzbuben with homemade red currant jelly-so delicate:) My mother gave my those cute cookie cutters years ago when my kids were still little.

 

Most of the cookies are already gone! I had to actually hide some of the Spitzbuben because I was not able to eat (chew) cookies after my surgery. So they are waiting for me in a special hiding place;)

I decided to make some more cookies. I found two great recipes that are slightly healthier-without white refined sugar-great!

If you like Walnuts, Almonds, Hazelnuts, Dates and Honey-you will LOVE these cookies!!

Found the recipe in a German magazine.

 

Date-Nut Cookies

For the dough:

  • 200g whole wheat flour
  • 100g white flour
  • 50g hazelnuts, ground
  • 1 egg
  • 100g honey
  • 160g butter, cold

For the filling:

  • 200g dates, finely chopped
  • 50g almonds, finely chopped
  • 50g honey
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • dash cloves
  • dash cardamom

-Combine flour and nuts, add egg, honey and butter. Mix together (like a pie dough) until it holds nicely together. Wrap in plastic foil and refrigerate for 1 hour.

-Mix together dates, spices and honey.

-Roll half of the dough out to fit into a square or rectangle baking dish (30cm length). Spread filling evenly onto dough. Roll out remaining dough and cover filling. Gently press down a bit.

-Bake in preheated 350F/180C oven for 20 minutes.

-Let cool. Cut into triangles. Decorate with almonds, icing or chocolate.

-Yields: about 20

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Following recipe adapted from a Martha Stewart magazine. I used coconut sugar.

 

Honey-Walnut-Coins

  • 2 1/2c white flour
  • 3/4tsp sea salt
  • 3/4cup finely chopped (toasted) walnuts, plus 48 walnut halves for decorating
  • 1cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4cup coconut sugar
  •  1/3cup honey, (orange blossom or regular)
  • 1/4cup honey for brushing

-Combine flour, salt and walnuts. Beat butter until fluffy, add sugar, beat until pale and fluffy. Beat in honey. Add flour mixture and beat just until combined. Halve dough.

-On parchment paper, shape each portion into a round log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and 6 1/2 inches long. Wrap tightly in plastic foil and chill 1 1/2 hours.

-Preheat oven to 325F. Let dough stand at room temperature 10 minutes. With a sharp knife, cut dough into 1/4-inch-thick slices, rotating log as you go to keep it from flattening. Place round on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Spacing 1 inch apart. Press a walnut half into each round.

-Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are pale golden, about 18 minutes. Transfer sheets to wire racks; brush cookies with honey. Let cool completely.

-Can be stored in a airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

 

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Merry Christmas!

Sweet Domino Stones

We bake every year several kinds of Christmas cookies. Most of them are traditional Swiss and European cookies that I know and have liked since my childhood. I find most of the recipes in my old Swiss baking book that my mother had already before I was born.

A few weeks before I start baking, I take out my books and magazines and look through all the yummy cookies…and then all the amazing recipes online! If we could only eat that much, I would definitely like to bake way more varieties:)

So I settle on my usual ones and then I will add one or two new cookies. I found these Domino stones in an older German Magazine.  With European recipes I sometimes have to change things up a bit, just because I can not find the exact ingredient here.

Let your kids help with the decorating;) These are also cute just plain without the chocolate icing.

 

Sweet Domino Stones

  • 125g          butter, soft
  • 100g         sugar
  • 1tsp          vanilla sugar or vanilla extract
  • 2                eggs
  • 50g           corn starch
  • 150g          flour
  • 3tsp          baking powder
  • 1tsp          orange, zest
  • 30g           almonds, ground
  • 50ml        milk
  • 3tsp          cocoa powder

Almond filling:

  • 150g         almonds, ground
  • 150g         sugar
  • 1                organic orange, zest
  • 1-2            orange, juice

 

  • 500g        dark chocolate
  • 50g           icing sugar
  • 1-2tsp     lemon juice

 

-Preheat stove to 350F/180C. I used a 12×8 inch (30x20cm) baking dish.

-In a bowl mix butter, sugar, vanilla sugar, eggs until creamy.

-Mix in corn starch, flour, baking powder, orange zest, almonds and milk. Mix well.

-Divide batter into two. In one bowl mix in cocoa powder until well blended.

-In a third small bowl mix together almonds, sugar and orange zest. Add orange juice until mixture is moist.

-Spread vanilla mix into prepared dish, top with almond mix and last add the cocoa batter, spreading evenly.

-Bake for about 15 min. or tester inserted comes out clean. Let cool.

-Cut into domino stones.

-In a double boiler melt the dark chocolate. Carefully dip in dominoes, (or only the top).

-Mix together icing sugar and lemon juice and decorate with dots.

 

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The almond filling tastes like Marzipan!

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Aren’t they cute…

 

Happy baking!