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EASTER

Recipe: How to make German Easter bunny strudels

Easter in Germany looks different than usual this year, but you can still celebrate at home with these cute bunny shaped strudels.

Recipe: How to make German Easter bunny strudels
Easter bunny strudels. Photo: Lora Wiley Lennartz

The recipe below is for an all vegetable version. It has a mix of asparagus, carrots, onions and yellow pepper. However, you can easily substitute for your favorite vegetable combination or a lovely mix of seasonal spring vegetables. Additionally, you could add potatoes, cheese – and even ground meat for a non-vegetarian version.

To create the shapes, you will need a 20cm rabbit shaped cake pan, cardboard cutout or chocolate mold. Use any of these to trace rabbit shapes onto the rolled out puff pastry. Creating these strudels is a fun Easter holiday kitchen project to do with children.

Easter Rabbit Vegetable Strudels

Prep Time: 40 minutes 

Cook Time: 30 minutes 

Yield: 4 Strudels 

Ingredients:

    •    1 package of puff pastry (about 1/2 kilo total)

    •    1 large egg

    •    30g butter

    •    75g shredded carrots 

    •    8 baby asparagus spears

    •    1 yellow onion

    •    1 yellow pepper

    •    1 tablespoon chopped chives

    •    1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

    •    Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions:

    •    Defrost the puff pastry. 

    •    Chop the asparagus spears into pieces. 

    •    Peel the onion and chop into small pieces. 

    •    Dice the yellow pepper into small pieces. 

    •    Place the  butter in a medium sized skillet over medium heat. 

    •    Add the onions and cook until almost transparent. Add the asparagus, shredded carrots, and yellow pepper. Cook, stirring frequently until the vegetables start to soften but are still crisp. Do this for about 10 minutes.

Photo: Lora Wiley Lennartz

    •    Mix in the chopped fresh chives and fresh thyme.

    •    Season the vegetable mixture with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. 

    •    Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.

    •    Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 

    •    Roll out the puff pastry. Place the rabbit shape on top of the puff pastry and use a sharp knife to cut around the shape to create a rabbit shaped piece of puff pastry. Repeat this 7 times. 

    •    In a small separate bowl beat the egg with a fork. Use a pastry brush to coat the edges of four of the puff pastry rabbits with the egg. About 1.5 cm all around.

    •    Divide the cooked vegetable mixture evenly on the puff pastry shaped rabbits with the egg brushed frames. 

    •    Working with one piece at a time, place the top pieces of puff pastry over the vegetables and use your fingers to carefully but firmly seal the edges together. 

    •    Use the scraps of the puff pastry to roll small balls and larger balls, one each for each puff pastry rabbit. Place the smaller balls on each rabbit for eyes. Place the larger ones where the tail should be. 

    •    Transfer the puff pastry rabbits to the parchment paper lined baking sheet. Brush the outside of the rabbits with the leftover egg. 

    •    Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. 

    •    Remove from the oven. Transfer the rabbits to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Lora Wiley-Lennartz is an Emmy nominated television producer and a food/destination blogger who splits her time between Germany and New York City. Read her blog Diary of a Mad Hausfrau or follow her on Facebook for traditional German recipes with a twist.

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AUSTRIAN TRADITIONS

EXPLAINED: Why is January 6th a public holiday in Austria?

There are no less than 13 public holidays in Austria, and the first one of the year - besides January 1st, is January 6th. But why is it a public holiday?

EXPLAINED: Why is January 6th a public holiday in Austria?

In 2023, January 6th falls on a Friday, giving people in Austria their first long weekend of the year.

Like most national holidays, this one also has religious roots – more specifically, Catholic roots. On January 6th, Catholics celebrate the revelation of God incarnate as Jesus Christ, hence the name Epiphany, and a celebration of the “adoration of the Magi” when the three kings visited the newborn Christ.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How to maximise your annual leave in Austria in 2023

In Austria, the holiday is known as Heilige Drei Könige, or three holy kings. 

How do Austrians celebrate it?

There are several traditions happening on this date. If you have your Christmas decorations and Christmas tree up, this is usually when people take them down and pack them up for the year. 

However, the most common tradition is the Sternsinger (star singers), a group of young people that travel from door to door dressed as kings and singing in four-part harmony. If they knock on your door, they may sing, bless your home – and expect a donation for a cause organised by the churches. 

READ ALSO: Austrian traditions: How to celebrate St. Martin’s Day in Austria

If you live in Austria, you’ve probably seen a house or another with chalk marking just above the door. This means that the house was blessed by the Sternsinger, who then marked the year of the blessing and the initials of the three kings – Kaspar, Melchior and Balthazar – over the doorway. 

Religious families may also attend a solemn mass at the church and have a big family meal to celebrate the date.

For Orthodox believers, January 6th is also Christmas eve.  This is based on the fact that Orthodox Christians use a different calendar.

READ ALSO: Why everything in Austria is closed on Sundays – and what to do instead

As it is a public holiday, most stores and supermarkets will be closed. However, restaurants are still open, and if you find yourself with an empty fridge, convenience stores in petrol stations and supermarkets inside train and metro stations are still allowed to open in Austria, even on public holidays.

When is the next public holiday?

After Friday, people in Austria will have to wait a while for the following public holiday, as there are no official national ones in February or March. However, Easter Monday (again, a Christian celebration) will fall on April 10th.

As this holiday always is celebrated on Mondays in Austria, it will give you another chance to enjoy a long weekend.

READ ALSO: COMPARE: How do Austria’s public holidays stack up against the rest of Europe?

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