Sunday, December 20, 2009

Spritzgebäck (German Christmas Cookies)

Spritzgebaäck (German Piped Christmas Cookies)
© All rights reserved, Thorsten Kraska, 2009

If you ask me for the very typical and most traditional christmas cookies for me, I would always answer Spritzgebäck. There is no Christmas without this typical piped cookies. My gandmother made, my mother makes them every year, my mother-in-law makes them. And I make them too based on the same very basic and very easy recipe. There is some controversy though on icing - yes or no. Although I don't like them covered with too much icing, a drizzling with whole milk chocolate do enhance the delicate almond flavor for me.

Even on the last days before christmas you can make them, because the ingredients are easy to get (if you don't have them at hand) and the recipe is easy to make. It never failed the effect of being typical for christmas. With Spritzgebäck christmas time is coming.

Mandelspritzgebäck (Almond piped christmas cookies)
(always not enough cookies)

375g softened butter
250g sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla sugar
1 dash salt
2 small egg yolks
a few drops of bitter almond flavor (bitter almond oil, you can omit this ingredient)
125g grounded blanched almonds
250g all purpose flour
250g cornstarch
whole milk couverture (chocolate)

Blanching almonds: pour hot water over almonds, let stay for a few minutes, pour off hot water and pour cold water over almonds. Now you can peel the almonds easily. Dry the almonds and ground them. Use fresh almonds, because their flavor is much more intense.

Preheat oven to 190°C. Line out baking trays with baking paper. Mix butter with salt, sugar and vanilla sugar until creamy. Add egg yolks and mix until foamy. Add almonds and a few drops oil of bitter almonds. Mix all purpose flour and cornstarch and add little by little to the dough. In the end the dough will get firmer. Fill in the dough into a cookie press with big star nozzle or better into a meat grinder with a big star nozzle. Press dough strings of about 2 to 3-inches. Form dough strings into rings, "S", horseshoes or any other shapes you like and place on baking tray. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes. Cookies should still be light in color and not too brown. Take out of the oven and let cool on a cooling rack.
Melk whole milk couverture and drizzle over the cookies.

Note: the cookies crack easily when still hot. So let them cool for the first 5 to 10 minutes on the baking tray or move them carefully with the baking paper from the tray to the cooling rack.

Note: for this recipe you will need 2 egg yolks. What to do with the two remaining egg whites? Why don't you try Zimtsterne. This recipe requires 3 egg whites. Make some more Spritzgebäck to get even with egg yolks and egg whites.

Almond German Christmas Cookies (Mandelspritzgebäck)
© All rights reserved, Thorsten Kraska, 2009

... and ...
Sunshinemom has made this recipe and wrote on a blog on Spritzgebäck. Thank you for making these cookies.


Sunshinemom said...

The cookies look tasty. I will try this one round the weekend.

Thorsten said...

Sunshinemom, and they are easy to make. As far as I can remember they have never failed the effect.

Mélanie said...

I love this type of cookies. I agree that they are one of the most traditional Christmas Gebäck! I haven't made any this year, but I know I'll have some tomorrow when I'll arrive in Düsseldorf... I can't believe I'll
be in Germany tomorrow!! :)

Thorsten said...

Melanie, hope you will have a great time in Düsseldorf. There will still be some snow tomorrow in Düsseldorf and the rhine region. Wish you happy holidays.

Simones Kitchen said...

I love all your christmas cookies Thorsten. Spritsen (as we call them here) are quite common around these parts, but I've never made them myself!

Sylvie said...

Spritzgebäck is just the best! Frohe Weihnachten, Thorsten!

Thorsten said...

Simone, you should try them at least once, but be awre the fact that you will make them then year after year.

Sylvie, there is no christmas for me without Spritzgebäck.

Jux said...

I've just found your "kitchen" and it's absolutely great! I got here from Google Church, through a Zimtsterne research. Right now We've just backed some Nuß-Brötchen - a recipe from sweet sweet Oma. Thank you for the precious ideas of photography! Frohe Weihnachten!

Thorsten said...

Welcome to my blog, Jux! Hope you will find it interesting from a recipe view as well as my photos. Have a merry christmas. Thorsten

La Cuisine d'Helene said...

Great to see another German dessert recipe. Happy Holidays!

Sunshinemom said...

Made these. Thanks for the delicious recipe. I wanted to confirm the no. of cookies you made because I made over 80 despite the fact that I scaled down the recipe using 250g of butter. It was a blessing as they are disappearing fast esp. with the chocolate drizzled!

When you make local delights could you please write the pronunciation in brackets? I am Indian and these are new to me but I would like to pronounce the names correctly!

Thorsten said...

Thanks Sunshinemom for the numbers of cookies. I've never count them, but know that they always disappear fast.

Good idea, I will try to include information on pronunciation.

natalie said...

these look nice and I bet they taste delicate and delicious! Nice photos!

Thorsten said...

Thank you Natalie.

Sunshinemom said...

Sorry! Me again - I would like to reproduce my version of your recipe on Beyond Curries, a blog I write for, if you permit. May I? I will be crediting and linking your blog of course. Thanks!

Thorsten said...

Sunshinemom, I would be happy, if you blog on your version on this recipe. If you done so, please send me the link to it so that I could backlink to your blog too.

Karin said...

Love your photos!!!

Thorsten said...

Thank you Karen. Your photos on your blog are great.

Parita said...

Cookies look gorgeous!!!

Thorsten said...

Thanks Parita.

Free Credit Score said...

Guess what? We [Chinese] have a very similar type of cookies and we only get them during Lunar New Year. It's just made out of butter and vanilla but the shapes are all the same. They look like snake/worms and thus, we call the cookies "snake cookies"

Sylvia said...

Hi Thorsten,
Thanks for the recipe. I found out your blog by chance last year on my very 1st year living in Germany. I made some Spritzgebäck and my German hubby is so impress and love it so much.
Frohe Weihnachten!!