Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Baked Americans!

This is a German recipe for small vanilla flavoured pastries called Americans ("Amerikaner"). They got their name from their chemical ingredient "ammonia hydrogen carbonate" which is something akin to baking powder and used by bakeries. This rather wordy name first got shortened to "Ammoniakaner" and then to "Amerikaner" (yep, I wikipedia'ed that one). Fascinating, innit?

In Germany, you can buy these at every corner bakery for a few dimes. I've never baked them before (or seen anybody else bake them at home), but I found this German recipe online and thought I'd give it a try. Delicious!

Ingredients: 100g butter, 100g (1/2 cup) sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, 2 eggs, salt, several tablespoons milk, 1 pack vanilla pudding powder, 250g (2 1/4 cup) flour, 3 scant teaspoons baking powder. Icing: 250g powdered sugar, lemon juice.

Stir butter, sugar and vanilla with a mixer until foamy. Add eggs, salt and the pudding powder (after mixing it with a bit of milk). Slowly add flour and baking powder. Carefully add a little more milk, until the dough is no longer firm, but still very gooey-sticky. Using two tablespoons, place heaps of dough on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 180C/350F for 15 minutes until golden brown. Spread thick icing onto the flat side of the Americans while they're still hot!

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