It is nice to take a break every now and then. To escape for a vacation is down-right necessary as far as I’m concerned. It has been a while since I’ve been away on a trip purely for fun. My mother and I are headed to Germany for a special birthday celebration. Earlier this year she turned 80 and I’ll turn 50 next month. We will be visiting family and friends plus eating and drinking everything in sight. I called upon some wonderful friends to help me out while I’m away. The next couple of weeks the posts here will be by those generous and talented fellow bloggers.
Today’s post is by Susan of The Girl In the Little Red Kitchen. She is kind, positive, brilliant and one of those people you know you can depend on. She recently took the plunge and made her dreams come true with starting her own online bakery. It is where you can get the tastiest cookies that are fresh baked and delivered to your door. I was one of the lucky ones to be a taste tester and I can tell you they are incredible. So be sure to order some cookies after you read about this Chocolate Almond Twist Bread. Susan has such great recipes on her blog and I can’t tell you how many I’ve saved to make after seeing them. One I know I’d love to start my day with is Avocado Tomato and Feta Toast with Poached Eggs.
Hello Magnolia Days readers! I’m so thrilled to be here today while Renee flies off to Germany for the rest of this month. If you aren’t familiar with me, I’m Susan from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen and I’m pretty sure I’ve known Renee for practically the entire time I’ve been blogging. Over at my site I’ve got a nice mix of healthy seasonal recipes, craft cocktails and decadent desserts, all made from scratch and never with processed ingredients. I also happen to run an online Bake Shop, baking up small-batch cookies delivered right to your door. Enough about me though, I’m really here to tell you a story about my 24 hour visit to Germany and how experimenting in your kitchen can lead to surprisingly delicious results.
Why such a quick trip to Germany? Back in 2012 my Aunt and Uncle were living in Luxembourg City and my husband and I decided to take advantage of a free place to stay (plus visiting them of course!) and flew on over for a week of site seeing and eating our way through a new country. A few days during the trip were unplanned so we decided to take the quick train to Cologne for an overnight stay.
As soon as we arrived I knew this city was for me, pastry lined windows were on site all over the city square and the random lunch spot turned out to be one of Cologne’s most well-known pubs for their pork specialties. Plus they have a museum just for chocolate. After the pork and the chocolate, it was finally to get down to real business and dig in with the German pastries. We purchased a bunch for the train ride back to Luxembourg – while most are a blur in my mind, one still stands out – the Nougat Breztal. Instead of a traditional bready German pretzel, this one had layers of flaky pastry, chocolate, sugar and almonds covering it. I’m not sure why it’s called nougat but I knew I had to recreate it for myself.
I searched and searched but I couldn’t find a recipe online, just that it was similar to a danish dough, so I off I went looking for a danish dough recipe to make at home. Silly me didn’t realize I was going to have to essentially make puff pastry. Thanks but no thanks, I don’t have time for that. So I began the process of cheater danish, my mistake was kneading the dough in my mixer. Gone were the studs of butter but what came out was an easier version of brioche. I did say some mistakes can turn into delicious ones! I didn’t end up with the pretzels I wanted but I’ll take this chocolate almond twist bread instead.
Dough adapted very slightly from King Arthur Flour Danish Pastry recipe.