It’s half December, which means… COOKIE TIME. And not just any cookies. But Christmas cookies with a long family tradition. I remember my grandmother baking loads and loads of cookies. Especially German ‘Butterplätzchen’. I would always hang around the kitchen when she was baking. I loved the smell of freshly baked cookies. The smell meant that it was almost Christmas. And of course I always tried to get my finger into that bowl of cookie dough whenever my grandmother wasn’t looking.
Taking over the task
Later, I guess when I was in my teens, my mom took over the task of baking. And now, I’m the one baking them. While I loved frosted cookies when I was little, I now like them just plain. They are sweet and flavorsome enough as they are, no need to mask that with sugary frosting. But if you have kids, plan an afternoon to decorate cookies together. It’s such a fun activity!
So, time to get some baking done!
It’s a real simple recipe. Mix all ingredients and form a dough. I love to use a food processor, but you can of course kneed by hand.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll out dough and cut out cookies in any desired shape. The key is to have the dough not too warm to prevent spreading while baking. To make it easy on yourself, divide the dough in four and shape each part in a disc. Then wrap each disc in cling film and put it in the refrigerator.
Then take out one disc at a time, roll it out and cut out the cookies. Bake them immediately. When you’re ready fort he next batch, take out another disc.
I often use different shapes each year. There are so many different shapes and even stamps available now. This year, I used small cutters as well as a large round cutters and cookie stamps. So cute!
Kids could hardly wait for the cookies to cool a bit. Hope there are any left by Christmas 😉
Also delicious: Vanilla Pudding Cookies!
Butterplätzchen - German Christmas Cookies
- 500 g all purpose flour
- 200 g white sugar
- 300 g unsalted butter
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp lemon extract
Quickly kneed all ingredients to form a dough.*
Cut dough into four pieces.
Form each piece into a disc and wrap in cling film.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180°C and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Take out one disc of of dough at a time and roll it out on a floured surface.
Cut out cookies in any desired shape.
Place on prepared baking sheet and bake 10 minutes.
Take cookies out of the oven and let cool on the tray for a couple of minutes. Cookies will still be very soft.
Then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Eat plain or decorate with sugar icing.
*I like to use my food processor: process until the dough starts to come together, then continue to kneed into a dough on a floured surface.