Mutzen – German Karneval Pastry

mutzen rhineland carnival pastryIt was 1314 in Cologne. The first fools or “jecken” in German celebrated a parade through the city. How? We don’t know exactly the details, just the date.
200 years later a noble man named Weinsberg wrote about carnival. He describes that there were no differences between the people, everyone was equal. And this is until today the case, no classifications. It was the time of eating, drinking, dancing and celebrating for 6 days before the six week duration of fasting in the mainly catholic Rhineland, would begin.
Even in the convents it was more casual than throughout the year. The oldest carnival song was written by a nun named Anna around 1500.
And in 1728 another nun wrote about a special supper which lasted until two in the morning  and included gourmet tea, coffee and even chocolate. They had cinnamon waffles which were baked with a scissor-like iron over the open fire. The recipe came from a Flemish convent. And from there all the popular carnival pastries called “Mutzen” and “Mutzenmandeln”, baked with rum and rose water, are deriving.
Another name for the Mutzen is „Nonnenfürzchen“ – which comes from the old word “nunnekenfurt” which means  “prepared best by nuns”.
You bake them in hot oil, therefore they are kind of heavy to digest, so the most people drink some glasses of Schnaps after they consumated  them. This brings everyone up to a good and funny mood, the right thing before Ash Wednesday – the end of all festivities and the delicious  food. Therefore the days of carnival are not only the “mad days”, they are also called the “fat days” because of all the pastries baked in fat, such as the “Berliner”.

Ingredients for Mutzen
500 g flour
1 tbsp baking powder
125 g butter,
125 g sugar, 2 eggs, 3 tbsp rum,
1/8l milk

Cooking Instructions Mutzen
– melt the butter, add sugar, rum and eggs , beat them until foamy.
– add flour, baking powder and mix it well until you have a dough which is making bubbles.
– You habe to roll the dough very thin and you cut slanted aquares which are baked in boiling oil until golden.
– Dust them with powdered sugar and sprinkle them with rose water.�
This delicious pastry melts in the mouth and lies heavy in the stomach – drink a little Schnaps afterwards.
You get here an ancient recipe from the convent which had been handed through all the centuries from generation to generation. Enjoy the piece of culinary German tradition.

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