Baking Christmas cookies or Plätzchen is the cornerstone of the holiday season in Germany. There’s nothing more comforting than gathering your favorite people, mixing flour, eggs, a bit of sugar, and lots of love to make something delicious. The intoxicating smell of cookies baking is a reminder of the good things in life.
If you come from a country like mine (Mexico), where Christmas cookies aren't such a big thing, I invite you to give holiday baking a try, have a taste of these tiny pieces of cheer. Who knows, maybe they’ll be part of your new traditions.
The recipe for Spitzbuben that I’m sharing with you is a family favorite and a secret, well not so much anymore… These are my husband Tobi’s absolute favorite cookies, so much so that when I tried to innovate with the fillings such as adding peanut butter, he actually got a bit angry and I had to stop. His grandma, Oma Anneliese used to bake them for him when he was a kid and give him a big box to eat throughout December, but he ate them all up in a week. Now we bake the Spitzbuben and send a package full of them to Oma Anneliese. They make her happy. The Spitzbuben recipe is a beloved treasure, in fact, I even had to ask my German family for permission to distribute it.
The jam-filled cookie sandwiches have a wonderful balance of sweetness and acidity. They’re not so complicated to make, use pantry staples and no special tools. So take a couple of hours of your busy day to treat yourself and others to this scrumptious piece of holiday paradise. If you do, send us a couple or tag us using #ImadeSpitzbuben on Insta.
200 gr. Flour
70 gr. Ground hazelnuts or almonds
70 gr. Sugar
100 gr. Butter or margarine in small pieces
1 package of vanilla-flavored sugar - if you can’t get this, you can add a bit of vanilla extract
150 gr of powdered sugar
2 tbsp of lime juice (more if needed)
In a bowl, add flour, nuts, and sugar and give it a stir.
Incorporate butter and eggs. Mix until it is a smooth dough. Cool for 15 minutes.
Roll it out until it is about as thick as a table knife.
Preheat oven to 180C.
Punch out the cookies. Family rule: round cookie cutter only, no hole in the middle as other Spitzbuben.
Bake for 5 minutes. Let cool.
Fill with a reasonable amount of raspberry jam. You can use any other tart jam flavor, just don’t tell Tobi.
Make the lime glaze by mixing the powdered sugar and lime juice. Add as much on top as you want. I just drizzle it on top of mine, but Tobi likes the tops covered.
Wait until the glaze is set - or not- and eat the cookies. You can do it the German way and have some coffee/tea, or a glass of cold milk, the way I eat them even if it’s not “allowed”.
Psst! If you want to learn or improve your German, check out what we do here.