I grew up in a small town in southern Germany not far away from an even smaller town called Langenburg. So whenever I got a good mark, or my mother wanted to treat us we got Swabian Wibele.
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What are Wibele?
Wibele are tiny biscuits made of biscuit dough and shaped like an 8. The dough is reminiscent of Russian bread, but the Wibele are baked lightly. They have a sweet vanilla flavour. The sweet biscuit was invented in the small town of Langenburg in Hohenlohe.
The royal history of the Wibele
Swabian Wibele were first made in 1763 by the court cook of the prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg. You can get the “Echte Wibele” (real Wibele) to this day only at Café Bauer in Langenburg. But throughout southern Germany, you can find them under the name Wibele or “Schwäbische Wibele”. They got their name from their inventor Jakob Christian Carl Wibel.
I am not the only one that loves Wibele! There are some very famous people that share that opinion with me. The current Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg’s grandfather Gottfried of Hohenlohe-Langenburg was married to Princess Margarita of Greece and Denmark Prince Philip’s sister, so they are closely related to the British royals.
When Queen Elisabeth visited Germany in 1965 she was given Swabian Wibele as a present. Even though the Queen herself hasn’t visited the area since then, Prince Philip and Prince Charles are said to be more frequent visitors. And how could they visit Langenburg without having some Swabian Wibele?!
The Queen accepting Swabian Wibele in Langenburg (the funny English alone is worth watching):
Since Wibele only exist in Baden-Württemberg they are hard to come along outside this area. They are a real speciality. Now, of course, I don’t have the secret recipe, but this comes really close if you ask me! My brother really loves the recipe!
Typically they should form little feet like macarons. I achieved this with this recipe before. But depending on the oven or the wrong temperature while drying they sometimes don’t form feet. Unlike Macarons, they are still very enjoyable without! Swabian Wibele are enjoyed mostly on their own or with coffee alongside cake or other sweets.
How are Wibele made?
If you want to bake Wibele, you really don’t need much. Not only do they consist of common household ingredients, but you also don’t need much in the way of equipment. One tool that I would like to recommend to you is a piping bag* with a small round nozzle*. This is the only way to get the traditional shape perfectly onto the tray!
The Wibele dough is quick to make! First, you have to beat the eggs until foamy. I use my stand mixer for this, but you will also succeed with an electric hand mixer. The eggs should have gained some volume before you sieve the remaining ingredients and fold them into the eggs with a dough scraper. The dough will now become a little firmer. Once the batter is even, pour it into a piping bag. Pipe the dots onto two greased baking trays or baking paper. The dots should each be about half a centimeter in diameter. Place 2 dots close to each other so that the dough flows together and forms the traditional shape. Before baking, the Wibele now only have to dry so that the famous “Füßle” (feet) can be achieved.
They are a Swabian speciality that among others Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth have enjoyed before.
Beat the eggs with a pinch of salt in a stand mixer until foamy and slightly stiff.
Mix in the flour and sugars but try not to break the structure of the beaten dough.
Put the dough into a piping bag and cut off the tip (or use a small round piping tip). Pipe small dots on a greased baking tray or parchment paper. For the typical Wibele shape put two dots closer to each other so they connect a little bit. The dots should be about 5 mm in diameter.
Let the Wibele dry overnight.
Preheat the oven to 140°C (280°F).
Bake the Wibele for 10-15 mins depending on your oven. They should be golden and not stick to the baking tray anymore. Let cool before eating.
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