First of all, Thursdays are really busy with me because I teach German in the evening. As a result, I have little time for baking or for posting. Yesterday just didn’t work out but you’ll get something really old today.
Old as in traditional of course. The thing though is, I tried to get some more information about this particular Christmas item but couldn’t really find anything. As far as I can tell this is a variation of gingerbread but different to the one you can find on this blog.
I stumbled upon this because of a friend from church. Sharon asked me if I knew this but her pronunciation of Spitzkuchen in English didn’t sound anything I’ve heard before. She googled and showed me a page so I promised to make this for her. A while back she worked in a German bakery here in town (The Tortenhouse, which is closed now.) and her boss made those every Christmas. It seems to be one of those things she really liked. So, being a baker and a good friend I looked up a recipe and hope this is almost as good as she remembers.
– 175g honey
– 50g brown sugar
– 2 tbsp. canola oil
– 1 egg
– pinch of cardamom or allspice
– 1 tsp. cinnamon
– 250g flour
– 3 tsp. baking powder
– 100g chooped hazelnuts or almonds (your preference)
– dark chocolate
Heat the honey, brown sugar and oil in a little pot to combine them. Don’t boil, just heat slightly. Pour into a mixing bowl (no mixer required) and add the egg, rum, and spices. Mix them with a wooden spoon. Sift flour, baking powder onto the mixture and add the nuts. Stir well and kneading the dough until well combined.
Tip 1: It should be a dough you can form a ball with. Mine was a little too gooey so I added more flour until I was able to work with the dough.
Form several rolls, about 2.5 cm in diameter, that’s about 1 inch. I got about 4 out of the amount of dough I had. Place them on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and bake at 180°C for about 20 mins.
Tip 2: The dough will spread during baking, which is what you want. No need to panic.
Let the rolls cool a little and then cut triangles. See the picture for reference. Don’t worry if it is not perfect, it doesn’t have to be.
Let them cool completely and start melting your chocolate. You can either use the microwave or a pot over warm water, whatever works for your kitchen. Just make sure to use dark chocolate because this will compliment the flavour of this cookie.
Cover the triangles in chocolate and let them dry off on a cookie sheet lined with waxing paper. This will make it easier for you peel them off. Plate them, box them, give them away.
The Spitzkuchen will be a littler harder than the gingerbread I introduced here. I never had industrial produced Spitzkuchen or home made Spitzkuchen in Germany. But I assume this is how it should be.
Tip 3: I read that there are some that first spread some jam on the Spitzkuchen before covering them in chocolate. I would say that it’s a good idea because jam will soften the pieces a bit. If you do that I recommend yellow jam, like peach. Those kind of jams compliment the flavours better than dark jams.
For you to know: Spitzkuchen is made up of two words; spitz is a verb and mean pointy, Kuchen is a noun and means cake. Considering the shape of these little fellas I would says it’s appropriate to call them pointy cakes.