So here it is. Off to the next chapter of our lives. Off to a helluva town, to bite the big apple in the city that never sleeps. We're trading in the cow neighbors for human ones. Lots of them. As Dr. B has accepted a new position at the United Nations headquarters, my next post will be from NYC.
I am thrilled he is finally getting out of Iraq but have mixed feelings about leaving Germany. It's been exhilarating, inspiring, educational and so darn fun living in Europe these past ten years and it will always be my home. My passport reassures me of that with it's permanent residency sticker. Going back to NYC, a place I've loved and lived in already for many years (12!) is like donning a pair of familiar, comfortable, yet fabulously stylish shoes.
But this time it will be different. I lived there as a single woman and am returning as a married one. To experience what New York City has to offer all over again with Dr. B by my side will be yet another exciting adventure.
We still have our home in Germany. It is our anchor with the family where we can travel to with no suitcases. A familiar place we can come back to, kick off our shoes and luxuriate in the beautiful countryside. After all, Auf Wiedersehen doesn't mean "goodbye", it means "until we see each other again".
For years I frequently shuttled back and forth between continents. I commuted between LA and Munich for a few years and then between Germany and NY. So going back for a long weekend is no problem if we are homesick.
This brings me to, of course, the topic of jet lag treats. Chinese food delivery is my first phone call after arriving in NYC. When I touch down in LA, I drive directly to Astro Burger from the airport.
On the other side of the pond, when arriving home to Munich, a fresh butterbrezl always called out to me the minute I stepped off the plane. After my luggage, this Bavarian treat of a warm buttered pretzel was the first thing I searched for. Later when I moved to this part of the country, with no fresh buttered pretzels in sight, a streuseltaler became my jet lagged breakfast treat of choice.
Almost all bakeries in this part of Germany make a version of a streuseltaler. Kamps Bakery chain makes my absolute favorite.
|Of course I waited until the last minute to take a picture of our local Kamps store.|
It was raining and the bakery was closed.
|Kamps at Düsseldorf airport the day I flew to NYC|
Theirs are HUGE, packed with streusel and smothered in glaze. Other bakeries can be quite anemic with the streusel and the glaze and that just makes me, well, grumpy and grumpy is not were you want to be on top of jet lag.
The Kamps version is a perfect streusel sugar bomb. Even I can't finish one at one go. I usually eat half and then the rest later in the day or when I wake up in a jet lagged haze at 4am. I have made no secret of my streusel love and combined with sweet hard icing and soft moist cake, this people, is heaven in a pastry.
A streuseltaler starts with a yeast cake base, then is covered with a generous portion of large crumbs of streusel. After baking, it is then brushed with a glaze icing.
As moving day drew near, I became obsessed with creating the perfect streuseltaler on my own because soon there would be no Kamps to run to for those in between jet lag cravings. I searched and searched the internet for a recipe that looked like it would yield the same result as Kamps. There are lots of those anemic versions out there. When I finally found a promising one buried deep in the message boards of chefkoch.de, a popular cooking site in Germany, I almost did the chicken dance.
My version is not as perfect as the Kamp ones (perhaps I overdid it a tad on the streusel crumbs and the glaze amount) but it's darn close and I am sure you will find them delicious.
I like the plain ones but there are other versions available, mostly with different jam flavors. I don't like jam or anything else standing between me and my streusel. However since I was sharing with my family, I made both. It was also the perfect excuse to use up partially filled jars of jam in my fridge. The flavors I used were apricot, black currant and my MILs homemade rhubarb.
Having pretty much nailed the recipe down, I am inspired to future streuseltaler experiments. All sorts of flavor possibilities come to mind like cinnamon, peanut butter, lebkuchen and chocolate. The glaze can also be adjusted to include many flavors.
Auf Wiedersehen Germany! Looking forward to my next Kamps Streuselthaler jet lag breakfast when we do see each other again.
My NYC jet lag dinner special of cold noodles with sesame sauce, spare ribs and vegetable dumplings is waiting on the other side of the Atlantic.
Oh Chinese Szechuan food, how I've missed you.
Fickle, aren't I?
For the cake base:
- 2 cups AP flour
- 1 package of dry yeast
- 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3+1/2 tablespoons butter
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons warm milk
- Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in the bowl of a mixer.
- Add the butter, egg and milk and mix with the hook attachment.
- When dough is smooth, remove bowl from mixer, cover and leave in a warm place for 20 minutes.
- Return the bowl to the mixer and knead again using the hook attachment until the dough is smooth and elastic.
For the streusel:
- 2 cups AP flour
- 1 cup butter cut into small pieces
- 1 +1/3 cups white granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar
- Whisk flour and sugars together
- Add butter and knead everything together with your hands until you have one big ball of streusel or the biggest streusel crumb you have ever seen.
|Big fat streusel crumb|
- 2 cups powdered sugar sifted
- 5 tablespoon water
- In a saucepan heat sugar and water together whisking until sugar is dissolved and mixture is smooth.
- Keep mixture warm until ready to use so it doesn't harden and crack.
Making the streuseltaler:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Sprinkle flour on a work surface.
- Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces.
- Take a piece and roll into a ball between your hands.
- Use a rolling pin to roll out a circle 5" in diameter. The thickness should be less than a raw sugar cookie cutout but not paper thin. Somewhere in between.
- Place on a baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the dough.
- Break off a handful of streusel from your big crumb and sprinkle on each disk.
I like a LOT of streusel so I really piled it on.
- If you want to add jam, spoon it onto the streusel and then sprinkle a few streusel crumbs on top.
- Bake for about 10 minutes or until the edges just start to turn golden.
- Remove from oven and leave them on the baking sheets for about 10 minutes.
- For the plains ones, brush on a thick layer of glaze coating the entire streuseltaler.
- For the ones with jam, drizzle the glaze on, using much less.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- These are best if eaten the day they are made.