Merry Christmas Everybody!!
So quickly another Christmas has come. I remember this time last year, imagining how this year would be. Sure, it turned out very different from what I had hoped. We were on track for half the year but well, God needs his angels. I’m sure our little ones are with us in spirit this special day anyway. 🙂
Florian and I spent one weekend baking Christmas cookies. He was hounding me to bake some with him this year since we never got round to it last year. I was under the impression he’d baked them often each year back in Germany but when I asked halfway through our baking, he said this was his first time! I learn something new about my hubs every so often!
I have to admit that he made quite a good kitchen elf. He sent me a few recipes a few days before the Sunday we were to bake, I translated the ones that were in German, and when it was time, bossed him around the kitchen. He weighed the ingredients very well…
And stamped the cookies with the cutters.
I brushed them with icing…
And we shaped crescent cookies together before putting them into the oven.
We made three kinds of cookies altogether, which we packed into individual bags for close friends. The remainder Florian brought to work to be distributed amongst his colleagues. We had many thumbs up that day!
I guess tradition has to start somewhere and hopefully, this will be a Christmas tradition in our Rennetan household. We pray for there to be a third elf in the kitchen next year. 🙂 God willing.
Cinnamon Star Cookies (Makes 60 1.5″ stars)
3 large egg whites
200g icing sugar
360g ground almonds
10g ground cinnamon
7g vanilla sugar (this can be made by adding vanilla beans to caster sugar in a jar and giving it a good shake or two.. or three)
1/8 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 170deg C and line baking trays.
- Whisk egg whites with sugar until stiff. Then add icing sugar in and combine.
– Reserve 2 HEAPING tablespoons for the glaze.
- Add ground almonds, cinnamon, vanilla sugar and salt to the meringue and fold in to fold a stiff, pliable dough.
- Roll dough out to about 5mm thick and use a 1.5″ star cookie cutter to cut cookies.
- Brush each cookie with the reserved glaze carefully, all the way to the edges.
- Bake for 12 minutes.
Vanilla Crescent Cookies (Makes 48)
250g plain flour
100g ground almonds
15g vanilla sugar
Icing sugar, for dusting
- Preheat oven to 175 deg C and line baking trays.
- Rub butter into flour until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add ground almonds, sugar and vanilla sugar. Gently mix together until you get a dough.
- Divide dough into 4 portions and chill for 30min.
- Working with one portion at a time, divide into 12 equal-ish piecess. Roll each piece into 3-4″ long ‘fingers’ and shape to form a crescent. Place onto lined tray 0.5″ apart.
- Bake for 12-15min until lightly browned.
- Allow to cool 2-3 min before dusting with icing sugar.
Spitzbuben aka Jam Cookies (Makes 25)
300g plain flour
100g ground almonds
130g icing sugar
7g vanilla sugar
pinch of salt
Fruit jam of your choice – we used raspberry jam
- Preheat oven to 180 deg C and line baking trays.
- Cream together butter, sugars, lemon zest, and salt.
- Add egg.
- Add plain flour and ground almonds until just incorporated. Then knead it into a dough.
- Chill 30min.
- Roll dough out to 5mm thick and stamp them with a cookie cutter. For half of them, make a hole in the centre – I used a round piping nozzle of this.
- Bake for 8-10min until lightly golden brown.
- Allow to cool for 2-3min before dusting rings with icing sugar.
- Once cooled entirely, spread jam onto the whole round and top with a ‘holed’ cookie.
With the spitzbuben dough, you have to work pretty quickly in our warm weather. What I did was, once the dough was rolled out, we stamped them before shoving them into the freezer for about 10-15min to make less of a mess when we placed each piece of cooke dough onto the baking trays.
It took us a whole afternoon but it was worth it looking at the pretty cookies.
This is a family tradition I can get used to especially since we get to have some of the fresh cookies as soon as they’re out of the oven. We just had to exercise severe restraint in not consuming everything in one sitting instead of sharing them as intended.
Perhaps it may be a little late to share these recipes but take note that there are 12 days of Christmas! So if you have nothing planned for today, or are having a quiet boxing day at home, these cookies should be right up your alley! The star cookies are naturally gluten free and can be made vegan without the icing. I urge you to make these because they’re so good – so good they really shouldn’t only be eaten at Christmas.