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Gluehwein goes with ... ?

Hi, I saw the threads on glühwein and need some suggestions about what kinds of desserts (traditional or experimental) would pair well. My husband is German, while I am just interested in making our little afternoon party featuring glühwein just a bit more spectacular. I'm stuck on gingerbread cookies, but spice with spice, hmmm ... Any ideas?

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  1. Hi, ajnorth:

    I have a very good friend from Bavaria who serves the most amazing wine-spice cake with Glühwein. Comes out like a denser, creamier poundcake, baked in a Bundt-style pan, dusted with powdered sugar.

    I may be able to get you her recipe if you're interested, originally from her Uncle Hans (a real Lederhosen guy).


    1 Reply
    1. re: kaleokahu

      Hi Kaleo,

      That would be awesome! I like the sound of creamier poundcake.


    2. It went nicely with my stollen. I think it would also pair well with an apple cake. Maybe with cheese?

      4 Replies
      1. re: rworange

        Hi rworange,

        Apples are a great idea. I've tasted stollen but have yet to find one that I can fall in love with. Do you have any cheese suggestions?


        1. re: ajnorth

          Apple strudel might work well also.

          I was thinking about the cheese. I've only had this wine once and it wasn't as strongly spiced as mulled wine. So my initial thought of the same cheese pairing as with port, might not work. Something like a blue cheese might overwhelm the wine.

          I'm thinking a nice aged gouda, the more aged the better so there are lots of the little crunchy crystalized pieces in the cheese.

          1. re: rworange

            Yea! My husband gave a thumbs up on the gouda. Your ideas have me now wondering if a savoury complement might be a gouda & potato "burek" (looks like a spanakopita). Not sure if I spelled it correctly, but my mom used to make things like that when I was a kid.

      2. I finished you sentence in my head with" a hangover". Sample gluhwein in Austria many years ago on Santa Claus day( early December) and found it not to be for me, very strong.

        2 Replies
        1. re: melpy

          Hmmm. That might explain why my husband didn't react too well to some glühwein at a Christmas party. And I thought Germans could stomach anything! LOL.

          1. re: ajnorth

            Most Germans I know can't stand that stuff, myself included. I even tried the white version once... ick. But then, I'm none too fond of hot booze anyway.

        2. panettone, pandoro, kugelhopf, pfeffernuesse,torrone, biscotti, marillenknoedel, poppyseed roll, palatschinken, kaiserschmarrn or krapfen!
          Gluehwein aka vin brule aka vin chaud is found throughout the French, Swiss, Austrian, Bavarian and Italian Alps- pairs with Italian and French Christmas breads/cookies/desserts as well as it pairs with Austrian/Bavarian/Swiss/German cookies/breads/desserts ;-)

          While some gluehweins are made with stronger booze, in addition to the wine, some aren't. Would think the hangover varies depending on the recipe! This one calls for wine, but no additional booze: http://www.chow.com/recipes/28030-spi...

          1. I associate Glühwein with Nürnberger Lebkuchen and perhaps Springerle, after coming in from the cold with a cold nose and cold hands. :-)

            Regarding the hangover - it is a good idea NOT to take a cheap wine and doctor it with the usual spices, but use a more decent wine you know isn't giving you a headache etc under normal circumstances.

            1. Prima and RUK, thanks for the tips on choosing wine (and everyone for their warnings on hangovers).

              We'll be having some mulled cider, too, and I'll post the menu results for the curious after the party. We're going shopping for ingredients today!

              1. I think your mulled wine (that's the name in English I think) would go well with fruit cake. Or even just pieces of chocolate. It could also go with potato pancakes (something savory)--the way I had it in Hamburg--by the way, far from the Alps, and mulled wine is considered to be local.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Wawsanham

                  What a great idea, the potato pancakes! Next time :)

                2. So, gluhwein seems to go with (based on what our guests said):

                  lemon shortbread (a real hit!), aged gouda, cranberry coated soft goat cheese, nurnberg lebkuchen (what ended up being an almost biscotti-hard gingerbread cookie -- I used a german recipe I found online), and stollen. We also served prosciutto and baguette.

                  What it didn't seem to go with so much was a coffee-walnut cookie (an LA times recipe), although the cookie was good.

                  The gluhwein took about 2 hours in total, to mellow. In each cup, we dropped a few blanched almonds (experiment, per someone's suggestion) and a small squeeze of fresh orange juice. Too much cinnamon or clove tended to provoke strong reactions; I could feel the difference on my tongue, sort of like what I imagine licking drywall might be like. For the wine, it didn't seem to matter much. We used a variety of red wines.

                  Again, thanks for the input. And happy holidays.

                  For the lebkuchen, the leftovers two days later weren't tooth-cracking anymore. Probably best to prepare a couple days ahead of time. The recipe I used called for equal portions of honey and sugar (I used brown, adjusting), and the dough became so sticky I swore I'd never work with honey again. This seems to be how it is, according to a guest who remembers her German mom complaining about the same thing. And it requires prep the day before baking, to let the spices infuse the dough, the recipe instructed. Not sure if it made that much of a difference, but the result was authentic according to our german guests.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ajnorth

                    Thanks for reporting back. Glad it went well. Prosciutto sounds like it was a good addition.

                    Happy holidays to you too