To all my family, friends, loyal & new readers of my blog: wishing you and yours much happiness, joy, peace and blessings for the New Year!
Ich wünsche meiner Familie, allen meinen Freunden und neuen & treuen Lesern meines Blogs ein friedvolles, gesegnetes und glückliches Neues Jahr!
Following is a recipe for 'Rheinische Muzen' (Fried Cookies/Biscuits from the Rhineland) traditionally served around New Year’s Eve, wintertime festivals and throughout the Carnival season. Although sold at most bakeries, these delightful treats can also be made at home for family and friends. These cookies are made from an easy dough that is then fried into golden puffs and rather heavily dusted with powdered sugar. Utter bliss, if you ask us! So, without further ado, here is my version of this popular treat:
Rheinische Muzen (Fried Cookies)
For the dough
- 80g butter, unsalted
- 50 g superfine (baking) sugar
- 1 egg (M), free range or organic if possible, room temperature
- 2 tbsp rum
- grated zest from ½ organic (or untreated) lemon
- 250g white spelt flour OR use AP (plain) flour (plus extra for rolling out the dough)
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla sugar (I like to use homemade vanilla sugar)
- ¼ tsp fine salt
- ½ tsp Ceylon cinnamon
- 5 tbsp milk (I use 3.5 %), room temperature
For deep frying
- 750ml frying oil OR use lard (follow your personal preference here)
- 30g powdered sugar (to taste)
- In a small saucepan melt the butter, remove from the heat, let cool a bit, add the sugar, egg and rum and whisk until foamy. Stir in the lemon zest.
- Into a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour with the vanilla sugar, salt and cinnamon. Make a well in the middle, add the butter-sugar and then the milk. Mix with a large spoon, or in an electric mixer with a dough hook, until the dough comes together to form a ball. Add a little more flour, if needed.
- Wrap and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Lightly flour your kitchen counter (cutting board) and pat the dough into a rectangle, then roll out into 5 mm (0,19 in) thick. Using a pizza cutter or bench knife, cut the dough into rectangles (or diamonds) roughly 2 by 3 cm (1x 1 ½ in).
- Heat frying oil in a stockpot or other large, deep saucepan (if you are using a deep-fat fryer, follow the manufacturer's instructions). The oil should be heated to 180° C (356°F) – you can use a deep-fat fry thermometer to check.
- Fry the cookies in batches for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the underside turns golden brown. Turn them and fry for an additional 1 to 2 minutes until golden brown on the other side. NOTE: turn only once
- Remove from the oil and drain well on paper towels. NOTE: use a slotted spoon or small strainer to lift the cookies out of the oil, allowing the oil to drip. Place the fried cookies on a cooling rack to further dry out before dusting with sugar.
- Sift powdered sugar over the top and eat while still warm.
NOTE: When deep-frying, make sure you use a pot that is large enough - when you drop the dough pieces into the pot, the oil will rise, so if the pan isn't big enough, your frying oil will splatter all over the stove. You also need to maintain the oil's temperature - when you add the dough, the temperature of the oil will drop, so you need to raise the heat a little. To keep the oil at optimal frying temperture, use a deep-fry thermometer.
And remember, these lovely 'Rheinische Muzen' should be eaten within a few hours of frying because, like most homemade fried sweet treats, they quickly become stale.