When one thinks of Christmas, the sight of elegantly decorated marketplaces, beautifully adorned trees, and fairy lights comes to mind. The hum of Christmas carols, and smells of delicious baked goodies pampers the senses. The charm of Christmas here is quite unlike other parts of the world.
Christmas in Switzerland is the perfect excuse to eat lots of cookies. My little man likes to sing many of the ‘Weihnachtslieds’ (Christmas songs); especially, the one which is all about the ‘Weihnachtsguetzli’ or the Christmas cookies.
“Es schömckt war immer guet, Wann opper bache tuet
Aber de feinschti Duft
Zimtetschtern han i gern
Tirggel und Spitzbuebe und Ring us Willisau
Läckerli lieben i, Chräbeli no mee
Totebeindli , Pfäffernüss mit Puderzuckerschnee”
Out of all the delightful Swiss Christmas cookies, the ‘Spitzbuebe’ are a favourite with many children , including my own son. ‘Spitzbuebe’, literally means bratty little boy.
So when my little brat asked me if we can bake these delicious jam filled sandwich cookies, I was left with no choice, but to smile and agree. And get my baking equipment and ingredients together!
- 300 gm flour
- 100 gm ground almonds
- 150 gm powdered sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 package vanilla sugar
- 1 Tbsp. lemon zest
- 200 gm butter
- 1 egg
- 200 gm red currant jelly, or any home-made or store-bought jam of your choice without any fruit pieces or seeds
- Sieve flour into a bowl.
- Add in the ingredients – ground almonds, powdered sugar, salt, vanilla sugar, lemon zest, grated butter and finally the egg.
- Start by using the dough kneading hooks first, and then your hands. Knead until you get a smooth dough. If you find that the dough is sticky, add in some more flour.
- Form the dough into a ball, wrap it in a foil and refrigerate it for 2 hours
- Layer baking trays with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350 F (convection mode)
- Cut dough in half and roll each half on a floured surface using a wooden baking board, thin about 3mm, or less than quarter of an inch
- Using a star-shaped cookie cutter and a round one, cut out the cookies. The traditional ‘Spitzbuebe ‘usually has 1-3 smaller holes in the middle, but you can use any shape of your choice.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes until you see light brown on the edges
- In a bowl warm up jelly, stir until smooth, make sure it’s not boiling hot!
- Spread jelly on the round cookies. Place the other shaped cookie on top, press it gently on the cookie below to stick
11. Dust with powdered sugar and enjoy!
This was my version of the ‘Spitzbuebe’ – but surf the net and you’ll find many variations. The above recipe has been adapted from the original one that you will find here. So go on – bake away – and add your personal touch by getting creative!