Spitzbuebe – ‘Littel Rascals’ – Swiss Christmas Cookies
Spitzbuebe translates literally to mischievous boys, but I have seen similar cookies called Linzer cookies here in the US.
This is how I make the and the way my recipe adapted over time. You would do well to not work in a warm kitchen and maybe this is not the cut-out you want to make after a long and stressful day, or have your little ones help you with for that matter. My mom would almost always make them after we went off to bed. Now I know why. The dough can go from crumbly to sticky and crumbly (can you believe it) in a matter of minutes and depending on the way the dough came together that particular day, can make you walk the edge towards insanity unless you maybe make them right after a yoga class. With the changes I made to the recipe (like using a whole egg, for example) the chances of that happening have drastically decreased. Although this time a year Yoga classes might be a good idea no matter what. Nothing like the clear head after a good and sweaty class!
Oh and by the way, these are pure indulgence, not really a host of health claims attached. But they are worth every single calorie!
- 2 sticks butter, softened
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 and 3/4 cups flour (350g)
- 2 tsp vanilla sugar (if you use essence, use the clear version, the dark one can give the delicate dough a strange color)
- 2-3 tbsp currant jelly
- confectioners sugar for dusting
- Stir butter until soft, then add sugar and stir until little bubbles show on the bottom of the bowl (see picture)
- Add the egg, mixing well.
- Add the vanilla sugar and the flour, stir until just combined, knead together quickly, form into a ball, cover the bowl and chill for a minimum if 4 hours
- When ready, take the dough out of the fridge and let warm up a bit (15-20 minutes, if you kitchen is cool) cut of half of the dough, keeping the rest chilled, and roll out to a thickness of about 1/16″ (do 1/8″ then roll just a bit more)
- Preheat your oven to 400ºF and line several cookie sheets with parchememnt paper or silicon mats (My cutter is a little over 2″ in diameter and I made a good 3 sheets full. Remember, you’ll end up with half as many cookies as what you bake)
- Cut out round shapes, making sure you have one for the bottom and one for the top. From all the top pieces, cut out a small shape such as a heart, star, flower or round. If you have special cookie cutters, the tops might be done in one step. Just make sure you have an equal number of tops and bottoms
- Bake for 8-10 minutes in the middle of the preheated oven, until just starting to turn a little golden. Cool on the sheet for a few minutes then transfer to wire racks.
- Once cooled, separate tops and bottoms. Place the wire rack with the tops over a sheet of parchment paper and using a small strainer sprinkle the tops with confectioner sugar until completely white.
- Heat the currant jelly in a small bowl until liquid. Fifteen seconds in the microwave works great. Using a pastry brush, brush the a bottom piece with some jelly, then gently place a finished top on it and set aside. Continue until no more cookie halves remain.
- Try to refrain from eating all of them before you showed them off to at least a few friends.
For more classic Swiss Christmas Cookies check here
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