Serves: Makes ~30 Whirls
Preparation and cooking time: ~40 minutes
Calories: ~148 per 1 Viennese Whirl
From France, to England. In this post I’ll be making a childhood favourite of mine – Viennese Whirls. I say England because despite the name, these are a real British classic, and I’m not entirely sure whether they came from Vienna or not (Google doesn’t seem to help much either). Suffice to say that they rock! My mother used to make a slightly different version – much larger, baked in a paper muffin case, with a big blob of jam on top. Others consist of two delicate cookies, sandwiched with butter-cream and jam and these are the ones I have opted to go for today. It gave me a great opportunity to use my cookie “gun” to pipe out the dough and makes for some incredible looking end results.
The biscuits are short and light – a bit like a cross between shortbread and Swedish drömmar biscuits. When fresh they are beautifully crisp but I actually think they benefit from being eaten the next day. After you’ve piped the butter-cream, and sandwiched everything together with the jam, of course – enjoy some – but put one or two aside in a tin for at least a day or so. The biscuits will absorb moisture from both the air and the filling and while they won’t go “soft” per se, they assume a slightly different texture; one with a bit more bite, a bit more crumble. I personally love them this way, but they’re delicious any way you decide to have them.
After having made these, it would be a perfect time to plan an English tea party. Find your best teapot and finest china plates, serve up some cucumber sandwiches (white bread, and crusts removed, of course!), make some scones, served with strawberry jam and clotted cream, serve up a big pile of Viennese Whirls and then sip your tea and utter phrases like “what ho’ old chap”, “jolly good old bean”, and “mm, yes, indeed. Quite, most verily”. I should add that you’ll be able to reproduce the most authentic British feeling if you have a table and chairs in a little shady corner in a lush, verdant garden somewhere, surrounded by tea roses. Of course, a spot of rain half-way through tea will help get you in the mood as well!
I hope you get a chance to try these though – they’re one of my absolute favourites, and I’d actually forgotten all about them until recently (I’m not sure what caused me to remember them again, but I’m sure glad I did). In other news, my site has now completed a move to a new host. Everything seems to have worked just fine, but if you do happen to notice any problems, I’d be most grateful if you could let me know (comment, Facebook, Twitter – whatever works for you).
Have a nice day everyone and I’ll be back in a few days with something… sweet! Oh my, two baked goods in as many posts?!
Adapted from an original recipe here
For the biscuits
- 250g Butter, softened
- 50g Icing Sugar
- 250g Plain Flour
- 2tsps Vanilla Sugar
For the filling
- 100g Butter, softened
- 200g Icing Sugar
- 1 Vanilla Pod
- ~4tbsps Raspberry Jam
- Start by preheating your oven to 190 degrees Celsius and then mix together the butter, icing sugar, flour, and vanilla sugar for the biscuits in a large bowl until you get a smooth, workable dough.
- Pipe out the mixture onto a non-stick baking sheet until you have about 30-34 cookies, allowing room for expansion between each one. If you have no piping bag or gun then you can alternatively roll ~30 small balls and press them down gently to a thickness of about 2cms using a fork. Place the cookies into the oven and bake for about 12-13 minutes, or until just starting to turn golden brown.
- While the cookies are baking, mix together the butter and icing sugar for the filling in a bowl. Split the vanilla pod down the centre and scrape out the seeds inside. Add to the butter-cream and beat until well-distributed and smooth.
- Once the cookies are ready, remove from the oven. Transfer them to a wire rack and allow them to cool completely. Divide the batch into two. On one set place a blob of jam into the centre of the underside of the cookie. It should be enough jam to fill out to the edge once sandwiched together, but not enough to spill over the edge. On the other set, pipe or spread a liberal amount of butter-cream onto the underside of each cookie.
- Sandwich the cookies together, one jam, with one butter cream, and set aside to allow the butter-cream to set for an hour or so. Dust with a little extra icing sugar before enjoying!