Today is the last day of Oktoberfest celebrations in Kitchener. I decided to find one of the more German sounding recipes and discovered Wiener Giffel in the Cookie section of the 1906 Berlin Cook Book. It was contributed by Eda Dreher.
I sifted the flour as requested. When someone says “sift several times” they must have a reason. I added the sugar next and ensured they were well blended before adding the butter. My kneading was haphazard since I had to use just one hand — I managed to cut myself on the sifter! Usually I mishandle the grater for nutmeg or lemon. I added the spices, separated three medium eggs so I could add the yolks and then mixed in two more whole eggs (well out of their shells … of course). I grated a lemon and added the peel. The dough was still a bit sticky so I used some flour on my board. I found my rolling pin and rolled out the dough, cutting it into squares. I put a dollop of raspberry jelly in each square and tried to fold as described in the recipe. They went onto a grease baking sheet and into the oven at 400 degrees for seven minutes.
Eda Dreher is another of the invisible women. Waterloo Region Generations has one person named Dreher — John M. buried in St. Peter’s cemetery. There are no Dreher’s in the 1901 or 1911 census. In the Cairnes Official Directory of the City of Kitchener 1918 there are some Drehers. Gottleib works at a factory and John is a blacksmith. There is also a Nelda Dreier and she is a maid.
So what does the name of the cookie mean? Well some Google sleuthing has led me to believe the translation of wiener giffel is Viennese Cheeks meaning little chubby cheeks from Vienna. Whatever the title they are rounded cookies that taste very good. The flavour is raspberry since I chose that type of jelly but the cookie also has lemon and cinnamon/clove in the dough and those flavours come through too. The choice of jelly will make this a different cookie every time. Grape or apple jelly might be nice at this time of year.
3/4 pounds flour sifted several times, 1/2 pound sifted sugar, 7 ounces of butter, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon cloves. 2 eggs and 3 yolks of eggs, grated peel of 1 lemon, work sugar and flour together, add butter and continue kneading like for biscuit, then add spices and eggs, roll out, cut in squares about 1 1/2 square inch, drop jelly in centre and gather the 4 corners into centre. bake in quick oven.