Sunday, July 14, 2013

Red Currant Cookie Slices - Rote Johannisbeer Keksschnitten


Currants are originally from Western Europe including Germany, France, northern Italy and the Netherlands. In specialty fruit and vegetable stores and at the farmers´ market you will mostly find red, but also pink, white and even black currants. And a currant bush also looks quite beautiful in your garden.
Johannisbeeren sind ursprünglich aus Westeuropa einschließlich Deutschland, Frankreich, Norditalien und den Niederlanden heimisch. In den Obstläden und auf dem Markt findet man am meisten rote, aber auch rosa, weiße und sogar schwarze Johannisbeeren. Ein Johannisbeerstrauch sieht aber auch in Ihrem Garten ziemlich schön aus. 




Red currants have a pleasant sour taste, the slightly smaller white currants taste somewhat sweeter than the red ones. All currants are known for their healing properties, because they contain a lot of vitamin B and C, iron, phosphorus and potassium.
Rote Johannisbeeren haben einen angenehm säuerlichen Geschmack, die etwas kleineren weißen Johannisbeeren sind etwas süßlicher im Geschmack.. Alle Johannisbeeren sind für ihre heilende Wirkung bekannt, denn sie enthalten unter anderem viel Vitamin B und C, Eisen, Phosphor und Kalium. 




The berries are delicious in jam, compote (wonderful for topping baked Camembert, for example), relish, yogurt, pudding or ice cream, alone or in combination with other fruits such as blueberries, strawberries and raspberries. But they are also delicious for baking and cooking. You can make currant salad dressings, but also make a wonderful sauce to accompany game, lamb. You can also enjoy them with goat cheese or other kinds of cheese and you can top your summer salad with them or just enjoy them on their own.
Die Beeren sind sehr lecker in Konfitüren, Kompott (zu gebackenem Camembert zum Beispiel), Relish, Joghurt, Pudding oder Eis, alleine oder in Kombination mit anderen Früchten, wie zum Beispiel mit Blaubeeren, Erdbeeren und Himbeeren. Aber auch zum Backen und Kochen eignen sich die Beeren vorzüglich. Man kann Johannisbeer-Salatsaucen herstellen, aber auch Saucen zu Wildgerichten oder Lamm mit diesen Beeren machen. Man kann sie mit Ziegenkäse genießen, auf einen Salat geben oder einfach nur so genießen. 




The best time of the year to harvest or purchase currants are the months of  July and August. Fresh currants should be processed as soon as possible, they should be placed in the refrigerator on a plate, then they will keep for a few days. Currants should be handled with care, they do bruise easily and they should never be plucked from their stems (with the tines of a fork) until just before serving. However frozen currants can be stored for several months.
Wenn man in der Zeit von Juli bis August Johannisbeeren geerntet oder gekauft hat und nicht sofort verarbeitet, sollte man sie im Kühlschrank, möglichst verteilt auf einem Teller, aufbewahren. So halten sie sich durchaus einige Tage frisch, auch wenn Johannisbeeren grundsätzlich sehr empfindlich sind. Darum sollte man die Stiele auch erst kurz vor dem Servieren entfernen. Gefrorene Johannisbeeren hingegen kann man mehrere Monate aufbewahren.




I often like to bake with currants, one of my favorite cakes t bake in the summer months is a Currant Meringue Cake, which I blogged about late last summer. But this year I also baked Cookie Slices with Red Currant Jam. These wonderful cookies are perfect for enjoying in the afternoons of those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.. They are fruity and not too sweet and when you have a chance to bake them with homemade red currant jam with fresh currants from the garden, they are even more enjoyable but, of course, they are also perfectly delicious when baked with purchased jam.
Ich backe oft und gerne mit Johannisbeeren. Einer meiner Lieblingskuchen im Sommer ist ein Johannisbeer-Baiser-Kuchen, über den ich auch im letzten Spätsommer gebloggt habe. In diesem Jahr jedoch habe ich auch Keksschnitten mit Johannisbeer-Marmelade gebacken – wunderbare Kekse für die warmen Sommertage, fruchtig und nicht zu süß. Nach Möglichkeit mit selbstgemachter Johannisbeer-Marmelade mit Beeren aus dem eigenen Garten, aber auch eine leckere gekaufte Marmelade schmeckt wunderbar als Füllung in diesen Keksen.




Red Currant Cookie Slices

Ingredients for the Cookie Slices
  • 250 grams unsalted butter (I used Irish butter)
  • 150 grams of fine (caster) sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla sugar
  • a pinch of fine sea salt
  • 2 eggs (L), organic or free-range if possible
  • 390 g AP wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups currant jam, preferably homemade


Rote Johannisbeer-Keksschnitten

Zutaten für die Keksschnitten
  • 250 Gramm ungesalzene Butter (ich habe irische Butter verwendet)
  • 150 Gramm feinster Zucker
  • 1 TL Bourbon Vanillezucker
  • eine Prise feines Meersalz
  • 2 Eier (L), Bio oder Freiland wenn möglich
  • 390 Gramm Weizenmehl 
  • 1/2 TL Weinstein Backpulver
  • 1 1/2 Tassen Johannisbeer-Marmelade, vorzugsweise selbstgemacht




Ingredients for the Frosting
  • 150 grams powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tbsp milk (I use 3.5 %)

Preparation of the Cookie Slices 
  1. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
  2. Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. In the bowl of your mixer, beat together the butter, sugar, vanilla sugar and salt.
  4. In another bowl, mix together the flour with the baking powder.
  5. Then add the eggs to the butter mixture and mix for about 30 seconds after each egg.
  6. Then add the flour mixture and quickly work into a smooth dough.
  7. Divide the dough into four portions and shape into rolls.
  8. Place two rolls on each baking sheet and press with your fingers on each roll to flatten it a bit.
  9. Then using your finger, press a groove in the middle of each dough roll with and fill it with a little currant jam.
  10. Bake each sheet 15 to 17 minutes until the rolls are golden and fragrant – the rolls will flatten a bit during baking so make sure to place the dough roll not too close together when you place them on the baking sheets.
  11. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack.
  12. Proceed with the second baking sheet in the same way.
  13. Let the cookie rolls cool completely on the baking sheets and try not to move them as they will break easily if they are still warm
Zutaten für den Zuckerguss
  • 150 Gramm Puderzucker, gesiebt
  • 1 EL Milch (ich nehme 3.5%)

Herstellung der Keksschnitten
  1. Den Backofen auf 175 Grad Celsius vorheizen.
  2. Zwei Backbleche mit Pergament auslegen.
  3. Für den Keksteig mit den Knethaken des Rührgeräts die Butter, Zucker, Vanillezucker und Salz verrühren.
  4. In einer Schüssel das Mehl mit dem Backpulver mischen.
  5. Dann die Eier zu der Buttermischung einzeln hinzufügen und jeweils eine halbe Minute rühren.
  6. Die Mehlmischung zufügen und schnell zu einem glatten Teig verarbeiten. 
  7. Anschließend den Teig in vier Portionen teilen und zu Rollen formen.
  8. Jeweils zwei Rollen auf ein Backblech legen und mit den Fingern ein wenig flach drücken.
  9. In jede Rolle mit den Fingern eine Rille drücken und diese mit ein wenig Johannisbeer-Marmelade füllen.
  10. Backen Sie jedes Blech 15 bis 17 Minuten, bis die Rollen golden sind - während des Backens breiten sich die Rollen ein wenig aus, also die ungebackenen Teigrollen nicht zu dicht beieinander auf die Backbleche legen.
  11. Nehmen Sie das erste Blech aus dem Ofen und lassen sie es auf einem Kuchenrost vollständig auskühlen.
  12. Verfahren Sie mit dem zweiten Blech auf die gleiche Weise.
  13. Lassen Sie die Rollen auf den Backblechen vollständig abkühlen und versuchen Sie nicht, sie zu bewegen, da sie leicht brechen, wenn sie noch warm sind.




Icing
  • For the topping whisk together 150 grams powdered sugar with the milk until there are no lumps left.
  • Drizzle the icing over the cooled cookie rolls and allowed to dry.
  • Then cut the cookie rolls into slices (at an angle) and serve.
Zuckerguss
  • Für den Guss 150 Gramm Puderzucker in eine Schüssel sieben. Mit der Milch zu einem Guss verrühren. 
  • Den Guss über die abgekühlten Keksrollen träufeln und trocknen lassen.
  • Dann die fertigen Keksschnitten in schräge Streifen schneiden.




The Red Currant Cookie Slices taste best the day they are made, but they can also be a stored for a day or two, if possible in a cookie tin or jar and it is best to place the cookies between layers of parchment paper.
Die Roten Johannisbeer-Keksschnitten schmecken am besten am selben Tag, an dem sie gebacken wurden. Sie lassen sich aber auch gut ein oder zwei Tage aufbewahren, am besten in einer gut schließenden Keksdose und zwischen Lagen von Pergamentpapier.




Enjoy your summer baking with red currants!
Viel Spaß beim Backen mit roten Johannisbeeren!


42 comments:

  1. Your presentation is absolutely beautiful, Andrea. These cookies look utterly delicious! I recently had three current bushes planted in the yard - unfortunately the triple digit temps we experienced a few days in a row took a toll on them. :( I'm hoping they will recover and grace me with beautiful fruit next summer.

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    1. Cathleen, thank you so much for your nice comment - my grand-mother used to grow red currants in her garden and I have always been fascinated by the way they look and always loved the way they taste - I appreciate their tartness quite a bit.

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  2. Andrea--many years and children ago I bought currents from a local farmer--they made the best jelly. Perfectly red and delicous. Maybe I will hang out at the farmers market and find some more. These cookies look so festive, like party cookies. But I would eat one outside in the shade watching the summer go by!
    Have a great week.

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    1. Cindy, red currants are hard to find sometimes (even around here) and whenever I do, I kind of buy way too many but we always manage to devour most of them and the remainder ends up in my cookies and cakes.

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  3. i had once made a cookie slice, but unfortunarely it crack and break into pieces easily, even in a room temperature???
    any tips for that???

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    1. Dede, you just need a bit of "tender loving care" when handling the baked cookies and "cold hands" when baking them, if the dough gets too sticky while you roll it, place it in the fridge until it is no longer so soft and feels cold to the touch, about 30 minutes or so. If you need more advice, please let me know!

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  4. I'm so jealous of your cookie slices and red currents! Beautiful and how fun to bake these for family and friends! I've never had fresh currents before. I heard of black and red but never knew about pink or white ones!

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    1. Nami, just come on over for tea and cookies and spend your next (highly deserved) vacation in EU - I will make sure to spoil you rotten with cookies and cakes (and red, white, pink and black currants).

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    1. Kim,

      You. Are. So Very Kínd.

      Thank you for your support!

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  6. Those were very delicious bites…

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by - glad you enjoy the cookie post!

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  7. Gorgeous. I never knew what currants were, just that they were popular in Europe. I also love that you're doing German AND English now. Not that I could pick up on German from this alone, but it is wicked cool :)

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    1. Ashley, how nice that you like my bi-lingual version - it does take a bit more time than English only but I would love to appeal to a somwehat broader readership - besides German is my mother-tongue and it is fun writing in that language as well as in English.

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  8. I am so happy to see your ideas for currants.

    I picked up fresh currants at the co-op this weekend - because they are such a rare find - and I am struggling with how to use them up. Maybe, I should make a small batch of jam with them...

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    1. Cher, currants are pretty versatile - you can use them in a lot of savory dishes but also for sweet ones, I mentioned a few in my blog - if you need any recipe ideas beyond that or a recipe, let me know - I will mail them to you a.s.a.p.

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  9. Red currants are so pretty.
    These cookies must be crispy, buttery, jammie, irresistible!

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    1. Colette, a red currant is as pretty as can be and as delicious a berry as you will ever find.

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  10. Currants are just so whimsical!! That ruby red color is gorgeous!

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    1. Yes, they have a glorious color these little jewels, but they also pack lots of vitamins and a glorious tartness.

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  11. These slices look amazing! simply love red currants
    Mary x

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    1. Mary, thank you for your comment! Europeans are rather fond of red currants, aren´t they?!

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  12. I made the mistake of eating red currants on their own when I was in italy years ago. It was SO sour!!! But I can imagine they would taste just lovely when used in baking. These cookie slices look absolutely beautiful, by the way.

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    1. Trishie, red currants can be eaten on their own (my kids eat them by the bowls) but if you do find them to tart for your taste, red currant jam will certainly be more pleasing to your palate, it is so delicious as it is not too sweet, just the right balance of sweet and tart.

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  13. What beautiful photographs. I can not even remember the last time I saw currants of ANY color in our markets here in Los Angeles. You re so fortunate! I bet those cookie slices are wonderful, and with Irish butter to boot. Yum! Thanks for a really beautiful post. I love seeing posts where people use products I don't see every day. Thanks!

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    1. Adri, that is what a like about blogging so much, trying to find ingredients that are different and often considered "old-fashioned" and do research on them and learn something new along the way. And once that is done, it is even nicer if lovely friends like you like the end result! Thank you, Adri, for your support!

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  14. Johannesbeeren sind hier fast unmöglich zu kaufen. Das ist Schade. Aber ich denke, dass ich kann Konserven finden! These cookies are beautiful, as is your meringue cake. Your photos are, as ever, the most beautiful I see! Sie sind ein wahrer Künstler - mit der Spachtel und die Kamera! (I have to admit that I could not remember the words for spatula or camera - so I hope the translation was okay! :) ~ David

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    1. David, vielen lieben Dank für den überaus lieben Kommentar - you can use a good quality red currant jam - I believe there are some really good Austrian ones to be had in the US (Austrians also love baking with red currants too and love eating currant jam). I found some from "Darbo" online and you might fimd that in stores or online in the US. Thank you so much for your very thoughtful and kind comment, I really appreciate your encouragement!

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  15. Oh I love jammy cookies and these are just beautiful! I've had current jam before. But often have a difficult time finding fresh currents. It would absolutely be worth the hunt for these lovely cookies! Your photography is so beautiful! : )

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    1. Anne, thank you so much for stopping by and letting me know about these cookies - if you cannot find fresh red currants for the jam, buy or use your favorite jam instead!

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  16. Andrea, these are just beautiful! Your presentation is so lovely. I wish I could find currents in my area. Years ago NJ banned growing them in the state because of disease, and has never lifted that ban. I love currents, and when I can, I buy them in the grocery store. Your cookies look delicious!!

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    1. Kathy, I read about that ban when I did my research for this post - that is too bad. Maybe you should lobby for lifting that ban (just kidding) - seriously, you can easily use store bought red currant jam of any other homemade or good quality jam for these lovely cookies.

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  17. I love all red berries, but currants I can´t get fresh here. They´re grown in the cold part of this country, and make it here in jam form only. This cookies are so easy and perfect for a cup of coffee Andrea!

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    1. Paula, no reason to use fresh currants in this wonderful recipe if you cannot find them - I am quite serious about blogging about local as well as seasonal ingredients and red currant are quite local and seasonal here right now. Delicious and easy and, most importantly, not cloyingly sweet recipes like this are perfect for summer baking for us.

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  18. Red Currant Cookie Slices? Genius!!!! Andrea these look too good! I'm always impressed by your beautiful presentation and your ability to catch the moment! You've got some huge talent girl! :)
    xox Amy

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    1. Amy, your are so kind - now this makes me happy to read that you enjoy this post and the photography!!! I really do appreciate your kind and thoughtful support!

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  19. These look so beautiful! Currants are rare here.

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    1. Thanks, currants are certainly worth hunting down.

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  20. These cookies are so pretty, we are not lucky enough to get red currents here but I am going to see if I can find some red current jam because these look too good not to try!

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    1. Karen, let me assure you that red currant jam, like the one from D´Arbo (Austria) works like a charm for these cookies, no need to use fresh red currants which are hard to find (even here) - for more info about the jams from D`Arbo, you can consult their website in English (www.darbo.at).
      Hope that helps!

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  21. Love your photos as always, especially the one of the jar of flowers and bowl of currents. I've never seen fresh currents in our markets but I have seen current jam occasionally. Your cookie slices look lovely.

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    1. Karen, yes, there are somewhat elusive, these red currants so I am all the more delighted when I do find them at the farmers´ market and then I always stock up because I never know whether I will find more soon. And the kids love snacking on them too - they adore how tart and refreshing these berries are.

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