My favourite Christmas cookies

madebygreta_christmas_cookies5Christmas without baking Christmas cookies just wouldn’t be the same. Every year I bake a selection of cookies and one of them are typical swabian “Ausstecherle” made from a buttery shortcrust. They are in particularly nice to make with children as it is great for tiny hands to roll out the dough, cut the cookies with cutters and coat them with all sorts of sprinkles.

I always use a quick and easy recipe from an old baking book that my grandma used to use. It was published in 1984.

You will need (for around 100-125 cookies):
– 225g sugar
– 500g flour
– 2 small eggs (or 2.5 big ones)
– zest of 2 lemons
– a bit of vanilla
– 275g butter (sliced)

It is important to make this dough quite quickly whilst the ingredients are still fairly cold!
Mix sugar, eggs, lemons and vanilla and then add the butter. Now add the flour and quickly knead until you have a nice dough.
Cool the dough for 30 minutes and then roll out approx. 5mm thick – now you can start cutting out the cookies.
You can decorate them before or after you bake them (see below for suggestions). Bake them at 130-150 degrees for around 10 minutes.

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After cutting out the cookies I coated some with egg white (or cream) and coated them with sprinkles and nuts.
The rest I baked as usual, let them cool and coated a part with chocolate. For the other part I made an adult-version of Christmas cookies by mixing icing sugar with a few drops of red currant liquor and coated the cookies with the mixture.
The last idea came from my stepdad during a late night phone call and I am stunned by how great and different they taste. Another great thing is, that due to the red color of the red currant liquor they get a really nice pink-ish shine.

Have a wonderful third of Advent!
I am going to bake more so that I am prepared for next week’s Food Exchange.

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