Granola

I have been making homemade granola since my college days at the University of Colorado when I would shop at one of the earliest, hole-in-the-wall whole grain, seed and nut shops.  Places like Boulder had some of the first such stores, usually run by what my parents would have termed vegetarian hippies.  Soon thereafter, whole […]

Custom-Made Swiss Wooden Cookie Molds

Don’t get me started on the topic of traditional cookie molds.  I could wax on for hours about the beauty, history, tradition, importance (in times gone by), the craft of the carvers, the skill of the bakers and of the varieties of the cookies themselves.  During my 6 years living in Switzerland, I was a […]

Grittibänz – Bake A Swiss St. Nicholas Day Treat

My family is Swiss and German so I grew up celebrating St. Nicholas Day on December 6th.  Before going to bed on December 5th, my brothers and I would put one shoe outside our bedroom door for St. Nicholas to fill.  The next morning our shoes overflowed with marzipan, chocolate and Lebkuchen. I still put […]

Aachener Printen

No trip to Aachen, Germany, a short train trip from Cologne, is complete without a visit to the beautiful cathedral and the impressive treasury. But, I was there to learn all I could about the history of the iconic Aachener Printen and to attempt to crack the recipe held closely by Aachen bakers who produce […]

Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Oat Cookies

When I was a kid, we had a rather long walk to school.  On cold, damp days, Mom would always be pulling freshly baked cookies out of the oven when we arrived home.  I don’t think she ever purchased cookies from the grocery store.  Nor have I.  I kept this tradition going for our children […]

Tirggel – Traditional Honey Cookies of Zürich (Story and Recipe)

Tirggel are very thin, very hard, lightly spiced honey biscuits with a slightly raised image on top typically associated with Canton Zürich in Switzerland.  Production and sales ramp up when the cold weather arrives with sales peaking around Christmas and spiking again during the annual guild parade Sechseläuten (or Sächsilüüte).  They have variously been called Tirggel, Türggeli and Dirggeli. […]

Mom’s Kugelhopf/Gugelhupf

In a previous post, I told the tale of the journey taken by my Grandmother’s Gugelhupf pan. Then, in a follow-up post, I shared Grandma Landolt’s beloved recipe.  A number of people have asked that I also share my mom’s richer and denser recipe.  A printable version of hers can be found below. For those of you […]

Grandma Landolt’s Kugelhopf (Gugelhupf)

In an earlier post, I told the story of my beloved Kugelhopf/Gugelhupf pan.  It belonged to my Bavarian grandmother who brought the pan with her when she immigrated from Switzerland to Pennsylvania, U.S.A.  Her precious recipe (a printable version is at the bottom of this post), was an important reminder of her youth and family […]

The Tale Of My Gugelhupf (Kugelhopf) Pan

Every childhood visit to my Swiss German grandparents in Pennsylvania was greeted by the smell of freshly-baked Gugelhupf. The taste and smell of this round, high-domed, dense, buttery, raisin-speckled cake baked in a decorative pan with a hole in the center penetrates every memory I have of them. My grandmother was born and raised in […]

No-Knead Cherry Chocolate Pecan Bread

While settling into our new home in Northern California and spending less time in Switzerland, we are rather desperately missing the huge variety of fantastic, freshly-baked breads available everywhere to meet demands of the bread-loving Swiss.  As we hunt around our new area seeking out good bread, I have begun baking my own. A recipe […]

Chocolate Almond Flourless Cake

For many years, I taught a series of classes entitled Desperate Households.  In each class, students worked in small groups with each group making a full meal.  I always thought it was important for students to make everything on the menu, thinking it unfair for them to sign up and only make one of the […]

Savory Valais Cholera Tart

Cholera Tart or Cholera Cake (a hearty, savory dish consisting of a pastry shell packed with a dense filling) was, supposedly, developed in the Valais region of Switzerland in 1832 when the Cholera pandemic that was sweeping the world began taking its toll in that region. Seemingly healthy people were suddenly taken ill by this […]

Mardi Gras King Cake

It’s Mardi Gras time!!  I love, love this festival.  I have spent many happy times in Louisiana at celebrations in the city of Lafayette and in rural Cajun country.  I cannot express how much I love the traditions of Courir de Mardi Gras passed down generations in the prairie regions of Cajun country. A description […]

Triätschnitte – Traditional Zürich Dessert

Triätschnitte is a traditional dish typically associated with Zürich, Switzerland.  Preparation involves a very strange method consistent between a recipe I found from 1892 and modern ones.  Stale bread slices are first dipped in a thick syrup made from water and sugar, coated with spiced sugar then baked before resting in a warm, sweet mulled red […]

Sandelholzläckerli – 200 Year Old Swiss Cookie Recipe

Every holiday season I make massive amounts of numerous varieties of classic European cookies along with marzipan creations and many different flavors of chocolate truffles. After sharing a platter of Christmas goodies with my husband’s Swiss colleague, she thanked me by sending a Christmas cookie recipe passed down through her family from her great, great, […]

Commence Holiday Cookie Decorating

The holidays are approaching.  I make hundreds to thousands of intricate cookies each year, largely European and family classics.  These include cookies that are hand-formed, rolled, cutout and dipped along with many pressed into hand-carved wooden molds.  This year I decided to include decorated cookies.  No small amount of supplies are needed. Below are some […]

How Traditional Alsace Pottery Is Made in Soufflenheim

When I think of the fabulous cuisine of Alsace, I conjure up images of delicious, hearty dishes prepared and/or served in beautiful, colorful, locally-produced pottery.  Kugelhopf (yeast-induced, slightly sweet  cake baked in turban-shaped forms), onion and apple tarts, sauerkraut left to ferment in specifically-designed pots, terrines, garlicky snails nestled in half circle crevices on round plates, Lammala (sweet […]

Gâteau de Nillon – A Delicious By-Product of Nut Oil Pressing

One of my favorite weekend activities in Switzerland is attending small, regional food and tradition festivals.  The latest one was the Autumn Fair and Cowbell Market, an incredible event held above the charming, tiny village of Romainmôtier in French-speaking Canton Vaud. We made the long trek (four trains and a shuttle bus) on a beautiful, sunny autumn […]

Zwetschgendatschi (Plum Cake)

I love this time of year.  The heat is gone and there is a refreshing chill in the air.  Everything is still lush green and, best of all, orchards are yielding their fruits.  This season is so special to me because it is when Mom would always bake one of my Dad’s favorite cakes from […]