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Frankfurter Bethmännchen, Odenwald gingerbread or Rüdesheim coffee - our recipes bring a wintery piece of Hesse feeling into your home kitchen.


Frankfurter Bethmännchen

As a marzipan lover, you can sweeten the Advent season with Bethmännchen, a Frankfurt specialty. These little balls contain only a few ingredients and are quick to prepare.

What you need:
250 g marzipan paste
80 g powdered sugar
40 g flour
1 egg white
65 g ground almonds
50 g whole almonds (peeled)

1 egg yolk
1 tbsp water

Here's how:
Preheat oven to 150 °C (top and bottom heat). Grease baking tray or line with baking paper. Knead the marzipan paste with the powdered sugar, flour, egg whites and ground almonds with a mixer until smooth. Form about 25 balls from the dough and place on the baking sheet. Cut the whole almonds in half lengthwise, press each three halves vertically into a ball and shape the Bethmännchen so that they are slightly pointed at the top. The Bethmännchen have now acquired their characteristic cone shape. Mix egg yolk with water and brush the Bethmännchen with it. Bake in the oven on the middle shelf for 12-15 minutes. The Bethmännchen are ready when they are lightly browned.


Odenwald gingerbread

Spices such as cinnamon, cloves and cardamom make gingerbread men the classic on the cookie plate. For really good gingerbread, you should start baking in October at the latest and then let the dough rest for three months. If you don't want to start baking until December, simply buy the dough ready-made at the supermarket.

What you need:
100 g meadow honey
100 g sugar beet syrup
20 g water
5 g homemade spice mix (alternatively, any other gingerbread spice can be used)
The spice mixture consists of 6 g cinnamon, 4 g cloves, 2 g cardamom and 4 g mace, of this mixture use 5 g
150 g wheat flour
50 g rye flour
4 g potash
1 egg yolk (egg size M)
2 g ammonium
1 tsp rose water
A little milk to brush before baking

For the egg white glaze:
1 egg white (egg size M)
150 g powdered sugar
6 drops lemon juice

Here's how:
Heat honey with syrup and water in a pot to 80 °C. Add the spice mixture, stir in and then leave to cool. Add the flours and mix with the dough hook to form a dough. Wrap the dough in foil and store in a cool place for three months. After storage, the dough is further processed. To do this, mix the potash with the egg yolk, add to the dough and knead. Then dissolve the rose water with the ammonium and knead into the dough as well. Alternatively, you can buy ready-made gingerbread dough in the supermarket. Roll out the dough to a thickness of about 7mm and cut out, then brush with a little milk. Place the gingerbread on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake at 160 °C for about 20 minutes. For ready-bought doughs, baking time and temperature may vary. Simply check the packaging and follow the instructions. Meanwhile, prepare the egg white glaze. To do this, put the egg whites and lemon juice in a mixing bowl, sift the powdered sugar over the top and mix. Remove the gingerbread from the oven, allow to cool slightly and decorate with the egg white glaze, for example using a paper piping bag.


Hot drinks for cold days

When it gets crispy cold outside, winter hot drinks provide warmth. Refined with cloves and cinnamon, the mulled wine smells wonderfully Christmassy. In Hesse, the most popular winter drink tastes of cherry or apple. Typical Hessian is also the Rüdesheimer coffee - with shot and cream perfect for the winter!

Hot cider
What you need:
1l cider
125 ml water
75g sugar
1 cinnamon stick
2 cloves
2 slices organic lemon

Here's how:
Boil water, sugar and spices together with the lemon slices. Then turn down the temperature and let the mixture infuse for about 30 minutes. Remove the spices and lemon slices and then pour the broth with apple cider and heat gently.

Haase's cherry mulled wine from Witzenhausen
What you need:
1l sour cherry wine
150 ml cherry almond liqueur
2 packets vanilla sugar
4 teaspoons mulled wine spice (for example from Brecht)
Some sour cherries from the jar for decoration
Wooden sticks

Here's how:
Heat the sour cherry wine together with the cherry-almond liqueur in a pot. Add the vanilla sugar and the mulled wine spice and stir. Skewer a few sour cherries from each jar on a wooden stick and use them to decorate the cherry mulled wine before serving. The recipe idea comes from Hugo Haase, who has a café in Witzenhausen.

Rüdesheim coffee
What you need:
4 cl Asbach Uralt
3 cubes sugar
Freshly brewed coffee
Cream and vanilla sugar for a cream topping
Chocolate shavings for decoration

Here's how:
First, make the coffee and sweeten some cream with vanilla sugar and whip until stiff. Put the sugar cubes in a cup (if you have one, use the original Rüdesheim coffee cup). Heat the Asbach Uralt well and add it to the sugar in the cup. Stir well so that the sugar dissolves (by the way, there is also a Rüdesheim coffee spoon to go with the cup). Light a match and ignite the solution of sugar and alcohol. A small flame is created, which extinguishes by itself after a short time. Then fill the hot coffee to about 2 cm below the rim of the cup. Cover the Rüdesheim coffee with a cream topping and decorate with chocolate shavings.

Cover picture: Marzipan speciality from Frankfurt - the Bethmännchen © Cross Media Redaktion

In collaboration with Hesse tourism

Hiking through quiet low mountain ranges, old beech forests or orchards, paddling on the Lahn, looking at the most beautiful medieval half-timbered houses and soaking up the atmosphere of historic spas - Hessen makes romantic souls happy all around. But gourmets also get their money's worth on wine hikes, in Hessian butcher shops and with "Handkäs mit Musik", a pickled cheese. Reasons for a Vacation in Hesse there are enough!

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