Time to make Christmas Cookies

IMAG5049_1I love the time leading up to Christmas. Here in Sydney it marks the beginning of summer and it is also the time to bring together my German-speaking friends for an afternoon of Christmas Cookie Baking. It has been a tradition for the last 10 years and it is always delicious and fun. Everyone brings their own recipe and prepared dough and together we roll and cut and bake. There are salads and snacks, the boys are manning the barbecue and there is plenty to drink: usually a Christmas inspired cold mulled wine (=Sangria with cinnamon), Pimm’s, wine and plenty of beer for the boys. Add Christmas songs to this and everyone is in the Christmas spirit. 🙂

IMAG5054_1For years, I have been baking the same cookies, my go-to recipes that have been in the family for decades. They are not the most traditional German Christmas cookies, but oh so delicious. So here they are. Give it a go and let me know what you think.

Generally, if the dough is too sticky, add more flour to the dough or put some flour on the surface you are working on. I always roll my dough out within two sheets of parchment paper which I then re-use for baking. Also don’t despair if the cookies are not perfect. They don’t need to be. It is all about the fun preparing them and then eating them. Taste is so much more important than perfection. And it means less stress. 🙂

All ingredients (apart from the marzipan and jam) are sourced from the Manly Food Co-Op and are 100% organic.

 

Recipe 1: ‘Snow Flakes’ (in German: Schneefloeckchen) – Because they melt in your mouth

Ingredients:

  • 250g butter, at room temperature (can be replaced with margarine for a vegan version)
  • 100g sugar
  • vanilla sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 350g flour

Mix ingredients weDSC_0024ll and knead until a nice dough forms, don’t over-knead. Store in the fridge for at least an hour. Pre-heat oven to 200 C.

Form little balls (tea spoon size) and place on an oven tray about 5 cm apart as they will spread as they bake. Make indents with a fork. Bake at 200 C for 10-12 minutes. Be careful not to over-bake, they should still be soft to the touch and will firm up as they cool. Leave as is or decorate with sifted icing sugar.

 

DSC_0048Recipe 2: Cacao Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 250g flour
  • 50g raw cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • vanilla sugar
  • 250g sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 200g butter
  • 200g almond meal

For a vegan version, replace the butter with margarine and use an egg replacement like chia seeds or linseed soaked in water.

Mix all ingredients together until they form a firm dough. Put in the fridge for about an hour. Divide the dough into 4 equally sized pieces. Use a rolling pin to roll out thinly. Cut out different shapes as per your liking (we love sea creatures, koalas, stars, pine trees), repeat until all the dough is used up. Arrange on trays and bake in the pre-heated oven for about 12 minutes at 180 C. Keep track of baking time, they should still be slightly soft to the touch and will firm up as they cool down.

 

Recipe 3: Best Mates (‘Hausfreunde’ in German)

IMAG5068By far my favourite Christmas cookie. I follow my grandma’s recipe and they will surely wow everyone who tries them. Mine never look as beautiful as my grandma’s, but it is all about the taste. 🙂

Ingredients for the dough:

  • 300g flour
  • 200g butter
  • 100g sugar
  • 1 egg
  • a pinch of salt
  • vanilla sugar

Plus about 200g marzipan, 200g dark chocolate for the glazing, cherry jam, nuts of your choice

Mix all dough ingredients together until a nice dough forms. Roll out thinly using a rolling pin and cut out round shapes (I usually use a small wine glass). Bake in the pre-heated oven for 8-10 minutes at 180C.

Let cool on a wire rack. In the meantime roll out marzipan very thinly and cut out round shapes, same as the baked cookies. Once the cookies have cooled, spread a thin layer of jam on top and add the marzipan layer. Melt chocolate and spread over cookies. Garnish with nuts of your choice. Let the chocolate cool. Enjoy!

The dough can be made gluten free by following this recipe, they taste almost the same, you wouldn’t know the difference (makes about the same amount):

  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 cup corn flour
  • 1/2 tsp xantan gum or similar
  • 1/2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • 110g of butter or margarine
  • 50 g almond meal
  • 100g sugar (o less to your liking)
  • 2 eggs
  •  vanilla

Mix together until a soft dough forms. Put in the fridge for at least an hour. Roll out and cut out shapes. Place on an oven tray and bake for 10-12 minutes at 170 C (pre-heat the oven). Follow the steps above for the additional layers.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. What a great idea to get friends together to make cookies ☺, the cookies sound lovely too

    Like

  2. mistimaan says:

    Nice recipe

    Like

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