EASY CHRISTMAS COOKIES – LADY LOCKS / SCHAUMROLLEN
Before you go see the wookie, be sure you bake the cookie! – KC
Admit it. You’ve been eying those cookies down at the grocery store wondering if they could pass for homemade because let’s face it: Super Barbie Housewife you are not. She might rise at 4 am, tie that pink lace apron around her cute little waist and hop through the kitchen in those furry bedroom shoes grinding flour here, churning butter there, all in the name of extra special down-home lovin, but you’ve had better, more noble things to do. Like sleep in. Like show your support for the mistreated and abandoned puppies by frequenting the Animal Shelter Glühwein stand down at the local Christmas Market. And then you had to check out the new Krampus film because it reminded you of Uncle Scrooge. Not to mention the amount of time you seriously contemplated organizing a grass roots movement complete with online petition against that Elf on the Shelf because the upcoming generation of bright-eyed bushy-tailed gift-hungry children must not be trained to be numb to the evils of a surveillance state. Someone has to do something. You thought about it at least. Thus the lack of sweet ginger-bread laced scents floating from your oven. Got it?
But let’s face it. All the folks coming to Aunt Em’s for Christmas don’t want explanations; they want cookies. And if you want to keep Ken’s focus on your apron and not that Barbie girl’s, it’s high time to dig out the beaters and heat up that oven. After all you’ll expect Ken to man up and take wrench in hand and fix the tire in the blizzard raging on I-95 on the way to Aunt Em’s, right? But you’re miserable at baking and never managed to keep straight baking soda from baking powder.
No worries. You’ve come to the right blog. Because I’m going to instruct you on how to make it look like you slaved hours in the kitchen baking up a plate of cookies so sweet and so good that they could take the sour out of Trump. These Schaumrollen – or as we call them in Pittsburgh – lady locks are guaranteed to turn Uncle Scrooge’s ho hums into ho ho hos long before he hits the eggnog table.
But you will have to purchase some materials before you start. Just think of it as a long-term investment and your once-a-year ticket to get “Bake Christmas cookies” off the To-Do list in order to free you up for those other philanthropic pursuits (see above) so in need of your attention.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Fillo Dough (in Austria Blätterteig or even Bio-Blätterteig) – found in the refrigerator section of your local grocery store – such as Billa, Merkur or Spar in Austria or places like Lowes or Giant Eagle in the US.
Cookie horns or molds for lady locks, Schaumrollen, cream horns or cannoli – in Vienna I got mine at the Leiner on Mariahilferstr but you can also order them from Amazon in Austria and the US.
Dessert Decorator Press: Again, in Vienna, I got mine at Leiner but you can probably pick one up at Target, Walmart or Amazon.
Eggs (best if from happy chickens because happy chooks = better cooks)
- 3 packages of fillo dough/Blätterteig – more for more cookies though you will probably not need to increase the filling since you will probably have plenty
- 5 egg whites
- ½ C sugar
- 1/3 C powdered sugar
- 1/3 C water
- 1 egg to glaze the Fillo dough wrapped around the forms before baking
- small bowl of oil to grease the horn/lady lock/Schaumrollen/cannoli forms
- Spread out dough.
- Preheat oven to 200° C (395° F).
- Mix water and sugar together and boil for 2 – 3 minutes while constantly stirring.
- Beat egg whites in bowl until stiff (easiest with mixer). Gradually mix in powdered sugar.
- Slowly add hot sugar mixture to stiffened egg white mixture using first the middle speed and then increasing to the highest speed until the consistency is rather stiff.
- Cut dough strips lengthwise in 1 inch wide strips. .
- With your finger, oil each of the lady lock/cannoli/Schaumrollen forms (horns). Next wrap a dough stripe around the forms
making sure you overlap each layer along the edge (see photo). Brush the egg mixture on the dough horns. Place glazed horns on wax paper on baking sheet.
- Place horns/ladylocks/Schaumrollen in preheated oven and bake 8 – 15 minutes until golden.
- While still hot, carefully remove the horns/lady locks/ Schaumrollen from the forms and place on wax papered pan to cool slightly.
- Put the meringue (stiffened sugar mix) into the decorator press and then use to fill each of the horns/lady locks/
- Place decoratively on plate with powdered sugar sprinkled on top.
- Toss off the apron, reward yourself with some genuinely earned Glühwein and get ready to see Uncle Scrooge (and your guy) smile. If anyone enters the kitchen and catches you Glühweining, glance wearily at the plate of Schaumrollen, offer one up (two only if deserved), and dramatically indicate that you’ve just spent hours slaving over the most difficult cookies in the world
Once you’ve proven you can manage the basics, you can get creative. You can attempt fillings with other things like yoghurt, strawberries, puddings, whipped cream, or sprinkle some chocolate shavings over the top of the finished Schaumrollen.
Tip: Schaumrollen are better made fresh. If you want to bake ahead, simply bake the dough forms and store in a box in a dry cool area for a couple days (or even freeze in plastic container) and make the filling the day you want to serve the Schaumrollen or store the filling separate in a bowl in the fridge for up to three days and then fill the rolls on the day of serving.