Friday, 28 December 2012

Schweineorchen or Pigs Ears!

OK, I know, I've been an absent blogger.  Funnily enough that thing called Christmas got in the way and I was busy finishing off lots of handmade goodies that couldn't be blogged until after the event.

One of the quickest and simplest things I made were a baked item from my Dr Oetker 'Backen macht freude' Baking book that I got in Germany.  A lovely lady I work for remembered  'Schweineorchen' or Pigs Ears from her childhood, so I just had to make her some.

Simply take a roll of ready rolled puff pastry and spread it out on a worktop sprinkled with icing sugar to stop it sticking.  Brush with 25g melted and cooled butter. Then sprinkle a mixture of 50g castor sugar and a sachet of Dr Oetker Vanilla sugar (approx. 7g if you have vanilla sugar in a jar) all over the sheet of puff pastry.

Then the fun bit begins.  Roll the pastry nice and tightly from each end, until both sides meet in the middle.  Wrap in clingfilm and pop in the fridge for 30 minutes.  Preheat your oven to 200c static or 180c fan oven

Line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper and then slice your pastry at 1cm intervals and place on the baking sheets.  Leave enough space for expansion.
You'll see now why they are so named!

In a static oven, bake one sheet at a time for 15 minutes, turning halfway through, or baked until golden in colour.  In a fan oven you can do two or three sheets at a time.

Once baked, slide onto a wire rack to cool and sprinkle with more vanilla sugar whilst still warm.

As you can see I have two varieties as I also had some all-butter puff pastry in the freezer, so wanted to compare.  The ones on the left are with the ready-roll pastry and hold their shape much better.  I still need to roll them more tightly to get a better shape though.

Still they tasted great, were nice and crunchy and can be kept in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks (unlikely!).  Plus they got the seal of approval from my German friend.

On the sewing front I had a lovely time making a Clothkits dress for my Niece, Ellie. 

I can recall my talented Mum making clothes for my Sister and I, so thought this would be a good starting point.  I got to add a lining, make a button placket and buttonholes on my new sewing machine and learn other new skills with the handy online sewing guide.  Plus I may just have bought another dress pattern in red corduroy to try :-)

Happy crafting!

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