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Three authentic Austrian cookie recipes from Her Ladyship, Martha Stracey

Three authentic Austrian cookie recipes from Her Ladyship, Martha Stracey
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From top to bottom:
Husaren-Krapferln (Cavalry Puff-balls) Marillenringe  (Apricot Rings)  
Vanillekipferln (Vanilla Crescents)
Lady Martha is a hands-on cook

As Christmas approaches, the bakers come out in force looking for cookie recipes.  By my count, Andrew has 6 new soft cover cookie cookbooks  and magazines stacked up and ready to go out to the beach for the holidays. So it shouldn’t have come as any surprise that the post you are reading, which was first published last Christmas, is wildly popular. It’s been downloaded over 2000 times. And this year, it’s been joined by another Austrian recipe for a cake. So by all means take a look at it as well: https://chewingthefat.us.com/2013/12/bsoffener-kapunziner-family-favourite.html  And it comes with a wonderful story as well. But first, here are the cookie recipes.
          When I was growing up in Montreal, an English cousin of mine came out to Canada to attend McGill University.  Although not initially planned, Simon ended up moving into our house and taking over the basement and staying for the duration.  He became a complete member of the family doing things like volunteering to be a rifle instructor for my class of adolescent boys and other thankless tasks.  Later he would serve as my best man.  Along the way, Simon met Martha, a completely charming young woman who had come to Canada from her native Innsbruck, Austria. They married, had two tow-headed daughters and, much to the surprise of many, decided to go back to England.  His family was there and Simon had assumed his hereditary baronetcy.  Henceforth he was to be called Sir John Stracey.  Martha, in turn, became Lady Stracey.

         All these years later, although we don’t often see each other, we remain close.  And not just Christmas-card close.  We regularly exchange emails and keep up with each other’s comings and goings. So you can imagine how pleased I was when Her Ladyship and Sir John offered to share their superb Austrian Christmas cookie recipes with all our Chewing the Fat readers. 
Her Ladyship’s cookies will come
in Sir John’s handcrafted wooden boxes.

        Now Austria has invented many  of the world’s great pastries. Sachertorte, Apfelstrudel, Gugelhupf– all spring to mind. Marie Antoinette, an Austrian princess, famously recommended that her subjects eat cake in lieu of bread.  She knew what she was talking about. Like all Austrians, a sweet tooth is a national birthright.  The classic recipes that we are sharing here are the Stracey’s annual gift to very close friends.  They come annually in a keepsake container.  This year, Simon’s woodworking skills are much on display in the beautifully conceived containers that will be filled with Martha’s delicious creations and sent off to friends who eagerly await their arrival every year. 

         Here’s the description that will go out with every gift: 

Her Ladyship’s Famous Christmas Cookies  ­–  2011
Last year your allotment of Her Ladyship’s famous Austrian Christmas Cookies was packed in a pristine white plant pot, which we hope you found attractive and useful.  This year we have come up with a cachepot (though it must be said that its ability to cache is somewhat compromised by the open slots in the sides).  The background sounds of nuts being hand ground and wood being sawn have brought a sense of Christmas spirit to our house, adding to the delicious aromas emanating from the oven.   We hope you will be pleased with the results.
1       Vanillekipferln(Vanilla Crescents).  Ground-almond-based short pastry, moulded into crescents (with much Ach und Krach, as they will crumble if you so much as glance at them sideways), dredged in Vanilla-flavoured sugar.
2       Husaren-Krapferln(Cavalry Puff-balls  –  actually untranslatable in any way that makes a grain of sense).  Ground-almond-based short pastry, baked as little dented cannon balls, dusted with sugar, into which a percussion cap of glistening Ribiselmarmelade (red currant jam to you) has been lovingly plopped.
3     Marillenringe  (Apricot Rings  –  the Austrian version of Jammy Dodgers).  Discs of lemon zest flavoured shortcrust pastry, topped with pastry rings, and dusted with powdered sugar, into which a blob of the best Apricot Preserve has been lured.
We hope you will find this a Useful Sort of Cachepot (not suited for Honey).      With our love,
Martha and Simon
And here are recipes for the three wonderful cookies Simon so kindly photographed fresh from the oven of the Sussex home. The commentary is entirely his and her Ladyship’s.

2 thoughts on “Three authentic Austrian cookie recipes from Her Ladyship, Martha Stracey”

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