Wednesday, November 19, 2008

German Hazelnut Jam Cookies (Engelsaugen)

Can I just say that I heart Pamela's Baking and Pancake Mix? Everything I've used it in has turned out with a wonderful texture that has been a close imitation of a gluten-containing version. These cookies are ones that I made with my roommate Janina when I lived in Germany. It was a marathon of Christmas cookie baking that year - we made batch after batch, ending up with countless kinds of cookies. We stumbled across this recipe totally by chance as we were looking at websites with recipes, and they turned out to be so heavenly and wonderful that they instantly become a favorite. They're dangerous to keep around - you'll find that you've lost count of how many you've popped into your mouth without thinking about it. So tonight, I tacked a conversion to gluten-free, and they actually turned out to be almost indiscernible from the original. This is partly because so much of the texture and flavor of the cookies comes from the ground hazelnuts, but also partly because of the wonderful properties of Pamela's Baking and Pancake Mix. I make these cookies using my own homemade raspberry jam. I've tried using store-bought jams, and they just never taste the same. Raspberry is by far the most wonderful flavor to use with these; they complement the hazelnuts beautifully. But I have found that any other dark berry jams work well too, as does apricot jam. If you do use jam from a store, try to buy the least processed kind you can - you will want the extra flavor and fruit texture for these.


Hazelnut Jam "Angel Eye" Cookies
(Engelsaugen)

1 cup Pamela's Baking Mix (plus a few tbsp. if the dough is too wet)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Dash of salt
1 package of vanilla sugar (German ingredient available at int'l markets) OR 1-2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup hazelnuts, finely ground in a food processor
7 tbsp. Earth Balance Buttery Spread, chilled
1 egg yolk
Powdered sugar to sprinkle on top
Raspberry, Apricot, or another dark berry jam

Combine the baking mix, sugar, salt, vanilla sugar and ground hazelnuts in a bowl. Cut the butter into pieces and add it and the egg yolk to the dry ingredients. Cut the butter and egg into the dry ingredients with a pie cutter or knives, and then, when the butter is in smaller pieces, use your hands to knead it and form it into a ball of dough. Cool in the refrigerator for 60 minutes. Take out the dough and remove by tablespoons, using your hands to form into a small ball, and then use your thumb or the handle of a wooden spoon to create a dent in the top. Bake at 300 degrees for 12-18 minutes or until relatively firm, and remove carefully to a cooling rack. I found that after baking for 18 minutes, the cookies would cool into slightly crunchy cookies. If you prefer chewier ones, bake for less time (~15 min.) but let them sit on the cookie sheet for a minute or two after removing from the oven to let them firm a bit before removing to the cooling rack. When cooled, fill each cookie with jam and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Store in airtight containers, preferably refrigerated. If you are not going to serve these right away, either freeze part of the dough or freeze the cookies themselves to preserve the texture.

3 comments:

Grace said...

i make these for christmas too :D

Claire Berman said...

Really?? They're my favorite!! So divine with my mom's raspberry jam.

plasterer bristol said...

yum, this looks super delicious. Thanks for posting up this.


Simon