It was while living abroad that I took up baking as a hobby.
Call it an act of desperation, but I was really missing those typical Swiss Christmas cookies. The nostalgic memories of tin cans filled to the brim with homemade Mailänderli, Chräbeli, or Zimtsternen were enough for me to put on an apron and hit the kitchen. And there was one more favorite my grandmother used to bake: Spitzbuebe, a jelly-filled and powdered-sugar coated butter cookie.
The only problem? A baking recipe for Spitzbuebe cookies was hard to come by. Thanks to tapping into my fellow Swiss bakers and doing some research, I eventually found the perfect recipe for Spitzbuebe cookies.
My recipe for Spitzbuebe cookies:
Makes 50 cookies
250 g (9 oz) butter
1 egg white
350 g (12 oz) flour
125 g (4.5 oz) confectioners sugar
2 tea spoons of vanilla sugar
pinch of salt
200 g jelly (apricot, raspberry, bitter orange, etc.)
1. Melt the butter until it is soft. Add it to a bowl. Next, add the confectioners sugar, vanilla sugar and a pinch of salt. Mix everything in a bowl until it is light in color.
2. Add 1 egg white to the bowl and keep mixing.
3. Little by little, stir in 350 g of flour. Work the dough until it gets solid, then cool it for about an hour (i.e. outdoors or in the fridge).
4. About 30 minutes before the cookie cutting session, bring the dough back to the kitchen.
5. Spread some flour on your cookie cutting surface and roll out the dough about 2 mm thick. To prevent the rolling pin from sticking to the dough, place some cellophane on top.
6. Cut round cookies with a diameter of 4 to 5 cm. On exactly half of the cookies bottoms, use a smaller cookie cutter to punch through the center (hearts, moon shapes or stars are classics). Then, cool all the cookies on a baking sheet for 15 minutes.
7. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C and bake the cookies for 6 to 8 minutes.
8. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Heat 200 g of jelly in a small pan. Once your cookies are out of the oven, immediately dust the tops with confectioners sugar.
9. Finally, spread the jelly on the round cookie bottoms. And just like building a hamburger, cover the jelly section with the top cookie parts.
Bonus: For some "Spitzbuebe" variety, use heart shaped cookie cutters:
Check out more Swiss Christmas cookie recipes:
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- 10 typical Swiss carnival foods explained
- Baking recipe: Three Kings Cake
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- Swiss winter foods guide - from savory to sweet