Ochsenaugen without a recipe

Classic German Desserts

This had to happen. Today I do not have a recipe for you. I tried to make a vegan version of a pastry called Ochsenaugen (Ox eyes) and I failed. Like Leipziger Lerchen, Mandelhörnchen and other baked goods, these are made with a mixture of marzipan and egg whites. You pipe the marzipan egg white mixture on top of a shortbread cookie, place some jam in the middle (the eyes) and bake them. During baking the piped marzipan should keep its form and look like this. Mine looked like this:Ochsenaugen

They tasted absolutely great but I am not satisfied with their shape. I need to think about better binders for the topping: I used starch. Maybe chickpea flour and/or flax would work better as a stabiliser.

I think these are a great example of how veganising recipes can sometimes be very hit-and-miss. So many recipes work great if you just use the vegan equivalent of an animal product. And sometimes you need to deconstruct the recipe and come up with your own recipe and your own ingredients. For some animal products and some of their functions in baked goods it is hard to find a good equivalent. I don’t think that this is a bad thing. I love experimenting and there are so many different ingredients and techniques that can work here. And I’m sure I can come up with something that keeps its shape.

I made the decision to carry on with my theme after the Vegan Month of Food so there should be plenty of time to revise this recipe!

28 thoughts on “Ochsenaugen without a recipe

  1. Bummer! It’s such a shame when things don’t work out, but it gives you a chance to come up with your own recipe. The ones you link to look very shortbread-like, I wonder if that’s something you could go with, mixed in with marzipan?

  2. They look delicious to me – sorry you were disappointed – egg white seems to be one of the harder elements of baking to replace in vegan baking – on the upside at least if your experiments with this recipe all are this good then I say bring on the experiments!

  3. Your failure still looks delicious! I think following your trial and error is even more interesting than it would be to get the finished perfect product. It makes you seem human :P even though we all know you are superhuman. And I’m sure you will figure out how to improve these ox eyes (such a creepy name!). I’m looking forward to reading that post!

  4. If I never looked at thay picture you linked to I would have been none the wiser, because your cookies look incredibly good! Yours look more real, kind of like a better version of a thumbprint cookie. Hope you’re able to find something that gets the marzipan to your liking.

  5. Oh well, you can’t win ’em all. They certainly sound amazing… and I really admire your perseverance. Try and try again! :) Good luck!

  6. Your cookies look awesome! And they look a lot more like oxen eyes than the ones in the Dr Oetker recipe (although I’d love to see oxen with eyes like that!).
    Re: flax meringue – There’s a thread on the PPK (in the Kitchen). If you haven’t seen it, people have been having a lot of success. I think someone made pavlova.

  7. Hey Mihl, I read somewhere about boiling up Flaxseeds to make a fluffy – eggwhite alternative. Would you like me to dig up the recipe? I’m not sure how well they’d work with marzipan and I don’t think you can bake them higher than 160°C but it would be worth a try?
    Greetings from Bavaria,
    P.s. I made your Hefe-Schnecken today. So delicious! I just replaced the raisins with Apples and added a big heap of Cinamon :)

    1. Thank you, Jess! I’ll look for that. And thanks for trying the Hefeschnecken. Your version sounds very delicious.

  8. Hi,

    The cookies, even though they didn’t turn out well, look super delicious.

    I love marzipan and jam, but sadly I live in the United States and marzipan is not very popular. For my birthday last year, my mother and I veganized a Swedish Princess cake.

    Also, I saw a vegan recipe for cooked meringues and it seems like if you combined the marzipan with the vegan meringue, it might work. I haven’t tried the recipe, but it seems as though it works well:

    Best of luck with your baking endeavors,


  9. Mihl, I think you’re being too much of a perfectionist! Your cookies look beautiful!!! And since you said they taste great, I think you have a successful recipe on your hands. :)

  10. I think your cookies look pretty amazing, though I understand the frustration of them not turning out like you wanted them to when you are trying to replicate something. But I would eat them any day. :)

  11. What a perfectionist you are! I think they look great! Love all the marzipan that German desserts seem to involve.
    I’m carrying on my theme after Vegan MoFo too as I want to finish the A-Z! (although I might have to skip “X”! )

  12. mihl, these look awesome anyway. when i read your post i was thinking about psyllium fibre husk (as in your coconut macaroons) because flax could be too overpowering – but actually i don´t know if that marzipan layer is supposed to be crispy in the end? and fibre husk would keep it too moist?

  13. I actually prefer the look of yours. I think they look really appetising. I did not feel that way about the look of the Dr. Oeteker recipe. Did you try cream of tartar to stabilise? Doesn’t lemon juice stabilise too?

    Really!!! I think they look gorgeous. :)

    1. Yeah, I know what you mean. Where did they get those crazy coloured jams? Thank you for the cream of tartar tip. I bought some at a locan US/UK store today and will try it out.

  14. Oh Mihl, I can completely relate. I just tried to make a homemade version of a nutri-grain bar and my filling was not thick enough, running everywhere! I think this makes for a great post though – showing how things don’t always turn out perfect the first time. Flour or a flax/flour combo might be worth trying,however, they look pretty darn good to me as is. ;-)

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