Ich habe einen Hassen…er, ein Kreis

I can’t remember when I first encountered them, but every Easter the German bakery near me makes these…well, I’m not quite sure how to classify them. (Oh, this post is off to a great start!) They look like they could be cookies – they’re sized to be held in one’s hand and not so complicated that a fork is required – but they’re thick and puffy and in cross-section almost look like a small, not-very-moist, sturdy cake. And one of the staff members once commented on them using a yeasted dough…does that make these bread? The bakery itself coyly calls them “Bunny Faces”, and they usually get consumed so quickly that no one’s taking the time to reverse-engineer them to put a label on them.

Some careful googling took me down a rabbit hole (ha!) to this recipe. Sure, the ones in the picture had clearly used a different bunny-shaped cookie cutter, but these were them! Finally, I could make these, and…uh, what’s quark? I had never heard of it (much less seen it in a grocery store), but every person I spoke to who was of German or quasi-German descent knew immediately what I was talking about and pronounced it differently than I had been. (Because I know you’re curious: I had been saying the last part of the word like “orc”, but it’s really like “arc”, or “ark”, depending on whether you’re doing geometry or building a boat of epic proportions.)

That all changed this year, when a chance detour down the dairy aisle yielded this:

“Quark makes you strong!”

I twisted my Baking Buddy’s rubber arm to help me with these. We took our task very seriously and even broke out his kitchen scale to follow the recipe as accurately as possible. Yes, you can search online to discover that 150 g of sugar is approximately 3/4 of a cup, but that’s not a very precise approach.

Even after mixing the wet ingredients together, the batter looked like no other cookie dough I’ve seen.

Once the flour and baking powder have been added, it needs to rest for half an hour or so before kneading it briefly and rolling it out. It might not be a yeasted dough, but it sure behaves like one.

It’s already puffy before being baked! I didn’t have a bunny cutter, so we started out making little cats before deciding circles were easier.

I was a little skeptical about brushing them with melted butter before baking, but they didn’t appear greasy in the slightest after coming out of the oven.

The bottoms got a beautiful golden colour, though!

We opted to skip the step of brushing them with more melted butter before turning them into the sugar, but still got plenty to stick because they were still hot when we did this.

Look at that inside! Is it a cake? Is it a cookie? Who cares – it’s tasty as all get-out!

They don’t have as much colour on the tops as the bakery version does, and we think if we make them again we might try an egg wash to combat that. The prepackaged vanilla sugar we used didn’t seem to have a lot of kick, either, so this may require homemade vanilla sugar.

All in all, though, I’m pretty happy with how they came out for a first attempt. It’s nice to have an at-home version for when they’re out of season at the bakery.

Thanks for looking! 🙂

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