The best way I can translate them is “Little Rascals”. I just had to read up on the history of this Christmas cookies. It is from Switzerland but also know to Austria (under a different name) and obviously Germany. That’s the lovely thing about Europe, you travel and see something so you recreate it at home. Or you are a baker/confectioner and you travel to get some experience under you belt and learn different cultural baked goods. (Of course you also have local differences in North American but in Europa it’s amplified.)
Back to our Spitzbuben. Those a little cookies filled with jam or jelly and consists (subsequently) of two parts. The bottom and the top, whereas the top has traditionally three little holes. You need a specific cookie cutter for that, which I didn’t have. But since it’s first mentioning in a cook book in 1929 many forms have evolved. Generally speaking though a Spitzbube has a round shape, the edge is not even but has little bumps (I can’t describe it any better in English). The top and bottom usually have the same shape.
Since I didn’t have the appropriate cookie cutters I used what was on hand. The bottom is a simple round shape (the second smallest in my set) and the top is a flour shape (also the second smallest in the set). The hole was made with a round shape cookie cutter (the smallest in the set. If you bake these make sure they are small. Spitzbuben are not suppose to be big (no Germany Christmas cookie is really big).
- 200g butter
- 125g icing sugar
- 1 egg white
- pinch of salt
- 8g vanilla sugar or 1tsp vanilla
- 350g flour
- red jam, preferably currant or raspberry
Make sure the butter is warm. First I beat the egg in my stand mixer, than I add sugar to sort of make a meringue. After that I added the butter and creamed it well, add the vanilla and salt. Sift the flour over the mixture and combine well until you formed a ball of dough. Place it into the fridge for 30 min. I forgot that step but that wasn’t all to bad, it just means rolling out the dough is a bit more difficult.
Roll the dough out to about 2mm (thin) and start cutting. Remember to make an equal amount of bottom and tops, so counting is advisable. Place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Bake at 180°C for 8 min. You don’t want them really brown, just a little bit.
After the cookies cooled down get your jam or jelly and heat it a little bit so you have an even jam/jelly. Glaze the bottom with a little bit and carefully press the top onto it. Dust with icing sugar to serve.
Tip: If you use raspberry, or any other jam with little pits (is that even the right word?) “sift” the jam through a sieve/sifter/colander (whatever you call it). That way you have nice jam with not pits, or kernels, or whatever those are called. It’s much nicer than with.