Germany Spritzgebäck - A Traditional Holiday Cookie

Her kids thought Christmas had come early when they smelled their favorite holiday cookies. But it was September, and the cookies were not for them. Nicole Braun—a German living in Houston and helping out with Edible Houston whenever she has time—was baking them for Edible Houston. About the vanilla sugar used in this recipe: It is sugar infused with vanilla and is commonly used in German baking. You can substitute with vanilla extract (1 teaspoon for a package). Or do as EH Publisher Kim Korth does and make your own: Use leftover vanilla beans that you scraped (for another recipe) and stick them in a container with sugar. Leave it for 2 weeks to infuse the sugar. It keeps for months!
Photography By Jenn Duncan | November 30, 2016

Preparation

Mix all ingredients and knead by hand into dough. Cover and let rest in the fridge for an hour. Preheat oven to 350° and let the fun begin:

Using either a piping bag, meat grinder (says the German recipe) or cookie press, drop dough in strands, flowers or rings on a baking sheet covered with parchment or Silpat.

Bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly coloring. Let cool completely. Dip some of the cookies in the melted chocolate and let cool (optional).

NOTE FROM THE PUBLISHER: These cookies are addictive - my family devoured them! 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 ounces unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 packages vanilla sugar (substitute: 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 3 teaspoons homemade vanilla sugar)
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ⅝ cup ground hazelnuts
  • 1 small bowl melted pure chocolate (optional)
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