Glühwein (Austrian mulled wine)

Austrian Glühwein

Glühwein is a traditional beverage (served hot) during the Christmas holidays in Austria and Germany.  It is typically made with red wine, spices, and sugar… and heated gently to avoid cooking out the alcohol. This is my father’s recipe for Glühwein.  He’s never written it down, but I’ve been watching him make it every Christmas [...]

Beer Braised Bratwurst and Sauerkraut

Beer Braised Bratwurst and Sauerkraut

One of my favorite ways to cook Bratwurst (a German sausage made of veal, pork, or beef) is to braise it with beer and sauerkraut.  This recipe is adapted from my dad’s method for making pork chops, from back home in Austria.  (If you don’t have Bratwurst, this is also a great way to make [...]

Pecan Sandies Cookies (Vanillekipferl)

Pecan Sandies

Here’s one of my favorite winter time cookie recipes… Pecan Sandies!  Also known by some as Austrian “Vanillekipferl”, ”Russian tea cakes”, or “Mexican Wedding cookies”… these are a wonderfully rich nut-based shortbread cookie, coated with a generous layer of powdered sugar.  These cookies are really nice to serve with a cup of hot tea.  It’s easy [...]

Christmas Stollen (German sweet fruit bread: “Weihnachtsstollen” or “Christstollen”)

Christmas Stollen

Stollen is a German/Austrian winter holiday tradition – a sweet yeast bread containing dried and candied fruits and nuts, coated thickly with a powdered sugar shell.  Typically, this bread is usually served during Christmas, when it is called “Weihnachtsstollen“, “Christstollen“, or “Dresden Christstollen“.  This holiday staple originated about 500 years ago in the Christmas markets [...]

Spritz Butter Cookies (How to use a cookie press to make Spritzgebäck)

Spritz Butter Cookies (Spritzgebäck)

It’s time for the Holiday season!  With Thanksgiving over, and Christmas coming up… that means Christmas cookies!!!  (Or, if you don’t celebrate Christmas, it just means COOKIE TIME!!!)  It’s time to start baking!  :) Spritz cookies are always a favorite to put in mixed cookie platters… they also make a wonder buttery cookie to bring [...]

Rugelach (Walnut & Cinnamon Sour Cream Crescent Pastry)

Rugelach:  Walnut & Cinnamon Sugar Pastries

Rugelach are delicious cookie-sized crescent shaped pastries –  traditionally made with a yeast leavened dough containing sour cream, wrapped around some sort of sweet filling (walnuts, cinnamon, raisins, poppy seed, marzipan, jam, etc.).  Although they are quite simple to make, they look very impressive and are the perfect little treat to go with afternoon tea [...]

Pretzel Bread Rolls (Brezeln)

Pretzel Bread Rolls... just in time for Oktoberfest!

It’s Oktoberfest right now!   Oktoberfest is a 16 day festival lasting from late September through the first weekend of October, and is considered the world’s largest fair – held annually in Munich (Bavaria), Germany.  Specials beers and all kinds of wonderful German foods are served during this celebration… one of my favorite German treats [...]

Homemade Soft Baked Pretzels with Rosemary and Pink Himalayan Salt

Homemade Soft Baked Pretzels

I love fresh baked soft pretzels!   There is something intoxicating about the smell of the baking dough…  and when you bite into one, hot from the oven, the soft interior combined with the crispy bite of salt on the top…. YUM! My trick when making home baked pretzels is to use beer in place of [...]

Mohnstrudel Rolls (Austrian Poppy Seed Strudel Rolls) a.k.a. Mohnschnecken

Mohnstrudel Rolls (Austrian Poppyseed Rolls)

For Father’s Day, I decided to stop by a local German/European Market and buy a bunch of German & Austrian grocery items for my dad as a treat.  Since all of the German delicatessens and markets near his house have closed in the last 15-20 years, he hasn’t had much in the way of German [...]

German Apple Cake (Apfelkuchen)


Apfelkuchen is a traditional German/Austrian apple cake.  It’s very simple, as it calls for only basic pantry ingredients.  You can “dress it up” a bit by adding raisins, walnuts, whatever you like – but I think the apple flavor stands out the best without these additions. This cake makes a wonderful dessert than can be [...]