Weihnachtsplätzchen (German Christmas Cookies) - MERRY CHRISTMAS


After seeing how many different christmas cookies my friend Nick baked, I kinda wanted to try it as well... I used this nice little German cookie recipe book ("Weihnachtsplätzchen - alle Jahre wieder") for some "Streuselherzen" (chocolate cookies with blueberry jam topping and butter crumbles), "Nougatstangen" (chocolate cookies with nougat filling and chocolate icing), and "Himbeersterne" (cookies with raspberry icing). Also, my Mom had a nice recipe for some "Spitzbuben" (jam filled cookies). And last but not least, I baked some hazelnut-almond macaroons that I already tried last year.

Spitzbuben 

Ingredients (for ca. 80 cookies):

200g butter (soft)  -   100g powdered sugar   -   2 tablespoon vanilla sugar  -  2 egg yolks  -  100g ground almonds (white, blanched)  -  230g flour (+ some more for rolling out the dough)
Topping: powdered sugar for dusting  -  50g raspberry jam  -  1 tablespoon rum 

Note: Best to use "white" ground almonds, those are "blanched", meaning that the skin of the almonds was removed before grounding. Therefore the ground almonds look really white (or yellowish) and clean and the cookies will be very light as well.

Preparation:

Preheat oven to: 
"Umluft" (circulating air) - 160 (celsius)/ 320 (fahrenheit) degree
"Ober-/Unterhitze" (top/bottom heat) - 175 (celsius) / 350 (fahrenheit) degree
  1. Whisk butter, powder sugar, vanilla sugar and egg yolks till creamy. Fold in almonds and flour and knead to a dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for an hour.
  2. Line baking tray with baking paper. Dust working space with flour and roll out dough to 3 milimeter thickness. Cut out round shaped cookies, half of them with a whole in the middle (or similar cut out shape). Place on the baking tray and bake for 8-10 minutes till golden brown. Take the baking tray out of the oven and let cookies cool down completely. 
  3. Prepare the filling by heating up the jam, stir and add the rum. Spread the warm jam onto the cookies without whole. Dust the cookies with wholes with powder sugar. Assemble cookies, a jam topped bottom cookie with a powdered sugar dusted top cookie with whole.

Streuselherzen 

Ingredients (for ca. 80 cookies):

250g flour (+ some more for rolling out the dough) -  1 tablespoon cocoa  -  1 tablespoon baking powder  -  60g sugar  -  1 egg  -  125 butter (soft)

Topping: 250g blueberry jam  -  1 tablespoon rum  
Crumbles: 75g melted butter   -  125 flour  -  30g sugar  -  2 tablespoon vanilla sugar

Preparation:

Preheat oven to: 
"Umluft" (circulating air) - 180 (celsius)/ 355 (fahrenheit) degree
"Ober-/Unterhitze" (top/bottom heat) - 200 (celsius) / 390 (fahrenheit) degree
  1. Mix flour, cocoa, baking powder, sugar, egg and butter by hand and knead to a ball of dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for an hour.
  2. Line baking tray with baking paper. Dust working space with flour and roll out dough to 3 milimeter thickness. Cut out heart shaped cookies (star shapes look great as well). Place on the baking tray.
  3. Prepare the toppings. Warm up the blueberry jam and mix in the rum. Place a little bit of the jam in the middle of each cookie. Mix the melted butter, flour, sugar and vanilla sugar by hand. It should have a crumbly consistency, if not, add some more flour. Scatter some of the crumbles on top of the jam on the cookie. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes, till the crumbles turn a little golden. Take out the tray and let cool down completely before storing the cookies into a cookie tin.

Nougatstangen 

 

Ingredients (for ca. 80 cookies):

250g butter (soft)  -  100g powdered sugar  -  2 eggs  -  200g flour  -  40g cocoa  -  1/2 tablespoon baking powder  -  120g ground almonds  -  100g nougat creme (filling)  -  200g bittersweet chocolate (icing)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to: 
"Umluft" (circulating air) - 180 (celsius)/ 355 (fahrenheit) degree
"Ober-/Unterhitze" (top/bottom heat) - 200 (celsius) / 390 (fahrenheit) degree
  1. Whip butter, powdered sugar and eggs to a foamy consistency. Mix in flour, cocoa, baking powder and almonds. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Fill the dough into a piping bag with a big star tip. Pipe 4-6 cm long thin bars (a circular shape of about 3 cm diameter or a S-shape is also nice). Bake for 8-10 minutes. Take the tray out and let cool down completely before filling them. 
  2. Heat up the nougat and the chocolate in two separate bowls. Use baking nougat that comes as a hard block of nougat. If that is not available, you can also use Nutella. Take one of the baked bars and spread a little bit of nougat on it (just a thin layer), then place another cookie bar on top (like you would glue them together). Dip the assembled cookie bar with one end into the chocolate. Let cool down.

Himbeersterne 

Ingredients (for 100 cookies):

250g flour (+ some more for rolling out the dough)  -  125g sugar  -  125g butter (soft)  -  1 egg  
Icing 1 (dark pink): 100g powdered sugar  -  2 tablespoons lemon juice  - 1 tablespoon water  -  1 tablespoon raspberry jam
Icing 2 (light rosa with a red middle):  100g powdered sugar  -  2 tablespoon lemon juice  -  1 tablespoon water  -  1 teasppon rasperry jam

Preperation:

Preheat oven to: 
"Umluft" (circulating air) - 180 (celsius)/ 355 (fahrenheit) degree
"Ober-/Unterhitze" (top/bottom heat) - 200 (celsius) / 390 (fahrenheit) degree
  1. Mix together flour, sugar, butter and egg by hand and form a ball of dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for an hour.
  2. Line baking tray with baking paper. Dust working space with flour and roll out dough to 3-5 milimeter thickness. Cut out star shaped cookies (heart shapes look great as well). Place on the baking tray and bake for 8-10 minutes till golden brown. Take out of the oven and let cool down.
  3. Icing 1 (dark pink): Mix together powdered sugar, lemon juice, water and raspberry jam till everything is smooth. The icing should look really pink. Spread on top of the cookies. You don't need to warm up the jam or put it through a sieve to remove the seeds. The seeds actually look like sprinkles in the dark pink icing.
  4. Icing 2 (light rosa with a red middle): Heat up the jam, then sift it through a sieve to remove the raspberry seeds. Mix the powdered sugar with the lemon juice, water and 1/2 teaspoon of the warm smooth jam till everything is smooth. The icing should be a light pink, rather on the white side. Spread on the cookies. Now, use the remaining jam and place a tiny little drop of it in the middle of each cookie. Use a tooth pick and pull it through the drop a few times into different directions.






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