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Connoisseur Chronicles

Alex

Food blogger based in Cambridge, UK. Passionate about trying out recipes from all over the world, tasting drinks of all sorts and dining out in England and beyond. Read More

German Christmas Cookies

German Christmas Cookies

No Christmas without cookies in Germany! Every child is standing in the kitchen with their parents, making (and tasting) dough, cutting cookies to all shapes you can think of, decorating them… Starting with the first advent, they are a must on the coffee table until the festive days are over – if they last for that long! Why not try out one of my childhood favourites? All three are family recipes that have been kept secret until now…

Vanilla Crescents (“Vanillekipferl”)

Vanilla Crescents Vanillekipferl

Ingredients for 48 cookies:

  • 140g soft butter
  • 70g caster sugar
  • 2 fresh vanilla pods (or 2 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 50g potato starch
  • 120g flour
  • 70g ground almonds
  • 70g icing sugar

Method:

  1. Slice and scrape out the vanilla pods. Whisk the pulp together with the butter, sugar, egg yolk and a pinch of salt for a couple of minutes until frothy.
  2. Mix the flour, starch and almonds. Add into the mix and whisk briefly to make a smooth dough. Rest the dough in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  3. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and roll them to make 8 long sausages of 30cm length. Rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  4. Cut the sausages into 6 equal pieces each. Form each of them into a crescent and put on a tray lined up with baking paper. Put into the fridge for another 30 minutes and preheat the oven to 180°C.
  5. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, checking on them regularly. The cookies are ready, once the edges start getting a light brown colour.
  6. Let the cookies cool down before dusting with icing sugar.

Nut Wheels (“Kissinger Brötchen”)

Nut Wheels Kissinger Brötchen

Ingredients for 35 cookies:

  • 100g soft butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 150g flour
  • 150g ground hazelnuts
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 200g apricot jam
  • 150g baking chocolate
  • 125g chopped hazelnuts
  • 35 walnut halves for decoration

Method:

  1. Whisk the butter, sugar, egg and a pinch of salt for a couple of minutes until frothy.
  2. Mix the flour, baking powder and ground cinnamon, add into the mix and whisk briefly to make a smooth dough. Rest the dough the fridge for 30 minutes and preheat the oven to 220°C.
  3. Dust the dough with some flour and roll it out to around 5mm thick. With a round cookie cutter of 3cm diameter or smaller, make circles. Put them on a tray lined up with baking paper.
  4. Bake in the upper part of the oven for 6-10 minutes, checking regularly. They should have a light golden colour but not too dark. Leave them to cool down.
  5. Carefully heat the apricot jam in a saucepan and stir until smooth and runny. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan with hot water. Have the walnut halves ready and spread the chopped hazelnuts on a plate. Put an upside-down oven rack next to the working station.
  6. Spread the jam on half of the cookies and put the other half onto them.
  7. Using a brush, cover the edges of the cookie “sandwiches” with chocolate and roll them in the chopped hazelnuts plate. Put them on the oven rack, put a little dot of chocolate in the centre of each cookie and decorate it with one walnut half. Let the chocolate dry overnight.

Terrace Jam Cookies (“Terrassenplätzchen”)

Terrace Jam Cookies Terrassenplätzchen

Ingredients for 24 cookies:

  • 150g soft butter
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 300g flour
  • 80g redcurrant jam (or blackcurrant or 40g of each)
  • 50g icing sugar

Method:

  1. Whisk the butter, sugar, vanilla sugar, egg and a pinch of salt for a couple of minutes until frothy.
  2. Add the flour and whisk briefly to make a smooth dough. Rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 175°C.
  3. Dust the dough with some flour and roll it out to 3mm thick. Using crinkle cutters of 3cm, 4cm and 5cm diameter, make the same number of cookies in different size. Put them on a tray lined up with baking paper.
  4. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes until golden. Let the cookies cool down.
  5. Carefully heat the jam and stir until smooth and runny.
  6. Spread some of the jam on the centre of the large and medium size cookies and assemble with the small ones to make three-layer cookies.
  7. Dust the cookies with icing sugar for decoration.
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