I give you my favorite cookies this year: the German Spitzbuben Plätzchen with jam. I’ve made quite a few different sorts of cookies recently and everyone in the family has its favorite. These are mine: a double layer of almond short crust pastry with jam in between.
I totally forgot to count the cookies but I’d say I had about 30 of them. I used two kinds of jam: plum jelly and peach jam. I liked both, could not say which was better, they were both pretty sour and that was for me the main criteria, the cookies are sweet enough and the sour jam adds some freshness, if I can use such a word for cookies (I am sure you know what I mean). Red currant jelly would be a great choice as well.
Serves: about 30
- 375 g/ 13.2 oz/ 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 200 g/ 7.1 oz/ 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 sachet vanilla sugar
- 250 g/ 8.8 oz/ 1 cup + 2 tablespoons butter, cold
- 1 egg white
- 125 g/ 4.4 oz/ 1 ¼ cups ground almonds
- 100 g/ 3.5 oz/ ⅔ cup icing sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
- some granulated sugar, to decorate
- 150 g/ 5.3 oz/ ⅔ cups jam/ jelly of choice (something slightly sour)
- Place the flour, baking soda, sugar and vanilla sugar in the food processor. Pulse to mix. Add the cold butter pieces, the egg white and the almonds and pulse until you obtain a crumbly mixture. Turn this onto the working surface, knead very briefly to form a ball, wrap this in plastic foil and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/ 360 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking trays with baking paper.
- Sprinkle a little flour on the working surface and roll half of the dough about 4 mm/0.15 inch thick. Place the rest of the pastry in the fridge.
- Cut out stars using a star cutter with a diameter of 6 cm/ 2.3 inch. Place half of these stars on the baking sheet. Use another smaller star cutter to cut another little star in the middle of the remaining stars.
- Bake for about 12 minutes or until slightly golden. Take out of the oven, let sit on the tray for about 3 minutes, then leave them on the baking paper but remove from the tray. Place on a wire rack together with the baking paper and leave cool completely.
- In the meantime roll and cut the rest of the pastry. Line the trays with new baking paper and repeat the process until all the pastry is used.
- When all the cookies are cold, mix the icing sugar with one or two tablespoons lemon juice to obtain a thick paste. Either spread this paste on the perforated cookies or give the paste into a small piping bag and mark the margins of the cookies. Sprinkle with some granulated sugar and leave to dry out well.
- When the cookies are dry, place the jam into a small pan and heat up a little bit. Brush the whole stars with some jam, place a perforated star on top and press very gently. Fill the hole of the star with some more jam and leave to set.