Christmas at our house always means going back to the best parts of Grandpa Scheller’s Swiss roots–gooey cheese fondue, comforting chocolate drinks and thin lemon bratzeli cookies. We also tolerate the family yodeling and cow bells ringing on our doors. Through the years we’ve experimented with lots of cheese fondue recipes and finally perfected it to our taste. This works every time and can easily be cut in half if you have a smaller group. I think one of the keys is using a heavy enamel covered cast iron pot. That’s like the traditional Swiss fondue pot. It’s also really nice to have a grater attachment for the Kitchen Aide mixer.
Our other tradition is the tedious making of the bratzeli on great grandma’s bratzeli iron and Jamie has perfected that recipe that we’ll share for those of you lucky enough to have access to an iron. If anyone has one they’d like to sell at a reasonable price, this Swiss family would snap it up! It’s become a bit of a family issue sharing one iron among several great grand kids.
Raise a glass of beer or Gewertstraminer and enjoy that polka music!
Scheller Fondue for 30
4 ½ lbs. Emmenthaler cheese
1 ½ lbs. Gruyere
4 ½ cups dry white wine
4 ½ cups heavy cream
6 Tablespoons cornstarch
6 Tablespoons water
3 Tablespoons Kirshwasser
¾ teaspoon nutmeg
dash white pepper
Cook in 2 large heavy skillets or dutch ovens. Rub bottom of pans with garlic & discard; add wine & cream & bring to a boil. Stir together cornstarch & water & stir into cream & cook til bubbling. Gradually add cheese until melted. Stir in remaining ingredients. Dippers: dried bread cubes, roasted potato wedges, broccoli, asparagus, etc.
2 cups sugar
1/2 lb. butter (room temperature)
1/2 pint whipped cream
zest of 3 lemons
juice of 3 lemons (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 teaspoon lemon oil
about 3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Traditional bratzeli is made with a bratzeli iron. You can also use an Italian pizzelle iron.
Cream butter and sugar. Mix in eggs. Add cream, then add zest, lemon juice, and lemon oil and mix well. Add salt and 3 cups of flour, mix. Add up to another half cup of flour to reach desired consistency (dough should be slightly sticky and soft enough to handle). Form dough into balls just larger than hazelnuts. Place one at a time onto the iron and close and cook until done. Depending on the iron, this can range from 8 seconds to 1 minute. Cookies should be a pale yellow and crispy. Let cool thoroughly on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.