Snowmaggedon – yeah right – the weather people for years now forecast a big snowstorm at one point of time in winter here in Seattle and Mike and I are getting all excited and what happens – nothing, if we are lucky a super light dusting, far different than a snowstorm, well not this time, this time the weather folks were right – This is what we woke up to on Saturday morning – Winter wonderland and shoveling the drive way was on the agenda. The forecast predicted more snow was coming..A view onto our drive way and a view over the deck: Once we (well Mike) shoveled our way out of the drive way and the neighborhood got together to clear the street to our Cul de Sac we took a little drive on Sunday to check out the surroundings – a beautiful winter wonderland, more snow than I have ever seen in my 20 years in Seattle.Having snow at the beginning of February is quite late for us but it was just the right timing because the week prior it already had snowed a little bit and I had missed it because I was on a business trip in London and then off for a couple of days to Moenchengladbach to spend a long weekend with my parents and of course eat my very favorite dishes.
In London I had the plan to try out a new place for British tea time and my colleague thought she had arranged for it in the Shangri-La in the Shard but she mixed up phone numbers and we ended up again in the Ritz, oh well it could have been worse :-).
Delicious German Breakfast made by my dadBavarian Dumpling Dish – Shopperle with red cabbageGerman “tea time” waffles with cherries and whipped creamPrior to my trip to the UK and Germany Mike had surprised me with a Birthday Weekend in one of the first Homesteads in the Wenatchee area. We spent time playing with the dogs in the snow, visited one of my favorite Bakeries in Leavenworth to stock up on Bretzel (Pretzel), enjoyed sitting in the snow surrounded hot tub and took a stroll on the frozen Fish Lake. Now that you are all caught up with the January activities, we will move on to the actual recipe of this blog – Eiserkuchen!
While I was browsing through one of my many recipe folders (these folders contain recipes I ripped out of magazines for years and also contain a few recipes my mum and friends shared with me that I scribbled down on some ripped out note pad paper) I found a long lost recipe I was always looking for but couldn’t find – Oma’s Eiserkuchen. My grandma made these ice cream cone shaped cookies every year when I was spending some of my vacation time with my grandparents.
My grandparents – Oma Else and Opa Richard lived in a relatively small town called Meinerzhagen, which belongs to the district of “Maerkischer Kreis” in the hills of the “Sauerland” and is a good 1 hour drive away from Duesseldorf where I lived as a kid. When my mum would suggest to visit Oma and Opa I wasn’t a big fan going, mainly because I thought that it was an ultra long and treacherous drive. Treacherous because my mum and dad would both smoke in the car and I hated it with great passion, it always made me super sick but seemed to be the common thing to do (smoking in the car) in the 70’s and even though I had very loving parents for some unknown reason (addiction?) they would just not quit smoking in the car to make the ride a little bit more pleasant for me. If you feel like throwing up the entire drive, time just doesn’t pass as quickly and the drive always felt like 5 hours.Unfortunately I don’t remember a lot anymore about my earlier pre-teen time with my grandparents I remember that the apartment my grandparents lived in was clean and sparse and everything was very “regulated”. Food was eaten always at the exact same time of the day and my grandma would walk with me to my grandpa’s construction site – he would build houses from the ground up by hand with very little machinery at that time – and delivered fresh hot food daily in a Thermos called “Henkelmann”. In the evening when Opa came home, he would drink a bottle of beer, eat his food and watch TV in the living room.Sometimes though in the evening or on the weekend when I was there we would also play a game called “Mensch Aergere Dich Nicht” – Translated: Dude – don’t get angry – it was a dice game where you had to bring 4 figurines around the board into a dedicated spot and when you rolled a dice number where your opponent was standing on that particular field you could knock them out and they had to start over again. Which was especially painful when you were so close to the dedicated spot where you had to put your figurines and you got “kicked out” of your spot. My grandma always got really mad when we “kicked” her out – hence we had to say: Oma don’t get angry (Aergere Dich nicht) – hence the name of the game – just that I wouldn’t call my Oma “Dude”. Even though my grandpa always went after poor Oma in the game, it was still Oma’s favorite game, Opa liked to play Domino, so we altered between both games. I also remember really random things like the bedroom was always extremely cold, like 30 degrees, the feather beds were heavenly, I have never ever enjoyed featherbeds this thick and warm and my Oma loved her mint candy called Emeukal and they had a tiny white paper flag wrapped around each candy. For dessert we ate a lot of Jello with home made vanilla sauce.
How exactly though I spent my summers in Meinerzhagen I don’t remember anymore, I know I made some friends with the neighborhood kids and we hung out all day outside running up and down the grass hills and played in the near by forests and were looking for tad pools or we would go to the public pool.
What I do remember very well though is when Oma would make me my favorite cookies – Eiserkuchen. She had this very special Eiserkuchen Iron and would pour the batter onto it, bake it for a very short time and then show me how to roll up the soft cookie that came out of it into an ice cream cone shape. They were as addicting then as they are today. I came to learn that Eiserkuchen are very similar to the Italian Pizelle, with the exception that Pizelle are more crisp and Eiserkuchen taste more like cold waffles. I like both version, Oma’s is more “eggy”, Pizelle is more crispy.Generally speaking I would say I am not a cookie person, put a chocolate chip or oatmeal or any type of American cookie in front of me and I can easily ignore it which is unheard of that I am ignoring anything that contains sugar. Now these Eiserkuchen though are a different kind of cookie, I ate approximately 100 of those cookies within 2 weeks, I HAD to stop making those, I gained 4 pounds in 2 week`
There really isn’t a big difference in the ingredients between Pizelle or Oma’s Eiserkuchen, just the amounts of the ingredients vary and make it either more eggy and soft or more hard and crispy. These cookies are made from flour, eggs, sugar, butter and vanilla, instead of vanilla you can also flavor them with anise, lemon or almond extract. Shape wise you can leave them as is when they come out of the Pizelle iron or you can mold them into various shapes like ice cream cones, ice cream bowls or cannoli rounds and you can fill them with flavored creams, whipped cream, dip the ends in chocolate or my favorite just eat them plain.
Oma Else’s Eiserkuchen – makes round about 40 (you can also half the recipe but who would want to do that?)
- 500 grams flour
- 500 grams sugar
- 500 grams butter
- 12 eggs
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- Melt the butter and set aside
- Separate the egg yolk from the egg white
- Beat the egg yolks with the butter, add in the vanilla
- Beat in the sugar until you have a thick yellow cream
- Slowly incorporate the flour
- Clean the mixing beaters and beat the egg white in a clean bowl until stiff
- Fold in the stiff egg whites into the egg yolk, flour, sugar, butter, vanilla mixture by hand.
- Heat up the Pizelle Iron and lightly coat with oil.
- Place 1-2 tablespoons of batter onto the center of the Pizelle Iron and bake for 1 minute until golden brown
- If you keep them as flat cookies let them cool out on a rack, if you want to make ice cream cones roll them around wooden dowel and for an ice cream bowl set the cookie inside of a small bowl and press lightly to onto the sides of the bowl and let cool out.
- If you have left over cookies store them in an airtight container.
If you would rather have crispy cookies then try this Pizelle recipe:
Ingredients – makes approx. 15 cookies:
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 stick butter melted and cooled
- 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- Melt the butter and set aside
- Beat eggs and sugar until light yellow, 2-3 minutes
- Add melted butter and vanilla, beat until blended
- Sift together 1 cup of flour and the baking powder, then combine with wet ingredients.
- Fold together until just blended, add remaining flour and fold in again until just incorporated.
- Heat the Pizelle iron, place about 1 heaping tablespoon batter on the center of the pattern. Bake until golden brown, about 40-50 seconds.
- Remove and cool on a rack. Repeat with the remaining batter