Thursday, April 2, 2009

Icicles (Zuckerhoernchen)

This is an old recipe that got circled around the Mennonites a generation ago and I’m not sure who still makes it. My mom made about 6 recipes to add to other goodies at our (large) wedding reception and so they still have a special memory attached to them for me. The only sugar in this light, flaky little twist is the sugar that you roll them in. You can make them in a vanilla or cinnamon flavor. The aroma that wafts out of the oven when you bake them is reason enough to try them!

1 c butter
4 eggs
1 c whipping cream
1/2 c warm water
½ tsp salt
2 Tbsp instant yeast
4 ½ - 5 cups flour, divided

Sugar Coating:
1 ½ c sugar
¼ tsp vanilla powder OR
1 tsp cinnamon

Line 3 large cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Melt and cool (so it’s not still hot) 1 cup butter.
Beat eggs well in large mixing bowl. Add whipping cream, salt, water, 2 c flour mixed with yeast, and butter, stirring each in well. Continue adding the rest of the flour until it is well kneaded. (forms a ball around hook of kneading machine attachment, if using machine) It makes a nice smooth dough that is not sticky at all. Cover and refrigerate 6 hours, or overnight.
Divide dough into 3 parts. Take one part at a time and shape into a log roll. Then, using sugar/vanilla mix or sugar/cinnamon mix for rolling out, roll into a 6 x 18 inch shape. Keep sprinkling sugar under and on top of dough as you roll.
Cut into 1/2 inch strips. To form “ringlets” (icicles) twirl each strip around the upper part of your right index finger, slip off and push into a tight ringlet as you place them on cookie sheets.
Bake at 350F about 20 minutes.

If you don’t use parchment paper, sprinkle flour on your sheets - but it is important that you loosen or remove icicles with lifter as soon as you’ve taken them out of the oven, or the sugar hardens, making it difficult to remove them later.
This is a large recipe. It sounds like a lot of work, but mixing is quick and then you refrigerate it for night. In the morning it only takes about one hour to twirl and bake them and you don’t need to ice or glaze anything – they are ready to go. You can freeze them in an ice cream pail, but when you thaw them you want to open the lid so they don’t get soft. I have made half the recipe and rolled out 2 - 12 inch strips. Great for when you’re hosting a large group or adding to cookie trays at Christmas. They disappear quickly.


  1. I want one of these now.If I had cream in the house I would be up in my kitchen already:) Can you tell I am hungry? I can't wait to try this recipe. Thanks for visitng my new blog and I am glad you enjoyed my first tablescape.

  2. I haven't heard of these before but they sure look delicious!

  3. Oh, now these just sound so good and I love things that you can make and freeze some. That way there's always something good to eat. I will have to try these. Hugs, Marty

  4. Oh Annelise you make these look just so professional. My Aunt makes these as well and they are yummy. Now I have to try them myself.

  5. you must have arms of steel!!

  6. What a fabulous looking yummy this is. I'd love one to have with my coffee right now :0)

  7. my friend makes these all the time and rolls them in yup this generation has a few making them around here too.
    anneliese you really should have gone in to professional baking, everything looks so pretty.....

  8. Your icicles look absolutely lovely....

  9. Looks fabulous. I WILL be trying these!

  10. well don't those look delicious!!

  11. mmmm, I haven't seen these before but I'm thinking I'd like to try

    nice blog


  12. OH girl these look so good...YUMMY!! thanks for comimg by and seeing me...hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

  13. "Can you PLEASE make it?!" Tehya just asked me.

  14. These look so good, I will have to make them for Easter. I like the way you cut them, easy and they look great. My mom always cut them like crescent rolls.
    I can smell them already.

  15. I think these show what a talented lady you are. They look wonderful!

  16. They look so yummy!

    Where do you buy vanilla powder? I've never seen or heard of it.

    Could you use vanilla sugar instead of regular sugar plus vanilla powder? Do you think that would work as well?

  17. I think that if you cannot get pure vanilla powder, you could try mixing a couple of pkgs of vanilla sugar with the sugar needed, seal it in a tupperware and let it sit for a day or so. You should get a nice scent when you open it.
    I also really like using cinnamon instead of vanilla.

  18. See? There you go again Anneliese! Beautiful! I love the post...and by the way...ladies...the new header is delicious too. I have never heard of these Zuckerhoernchen although I am dying for someone to pronounce it for me! These look good, and as always, you make it seem easy for anyone to make. Worth a try for sure!

  19. I just made these because they looked so good in the pictures. Let me tell you, they do not just look good, but they taste great too. They did make quite a few, but I think they will go quick in my house. Thanks for the recipe.

  20. i have been looking for this recipe for a while, my mom never made them, but my friends mom did and I loved them.
    Thanks, I'll try to make them!

  21. Lenita,
    I'm sorry I'm having problems with getting the commets posted today. I get them to my inbox, but they won't publish from there ... so I will at least acknowledge that I got the question. I'm sorry that your icycles didn't turn out. I have noticed that flour is different in each country. You may need to adjust the amount ... less flour, if they were hard and more if they were too spread out. I do not let them rise after putting them on the sheets to bake. And in regard to the sugar... you could try using a coarse sugar. I don't think the different cream should matter. I hope you have the courage to try again.