We’re celebrating Christmas with our Wilton friends all over the globe! In our Christmas Around the World Series, a guest contributor will share their favorite Christmas recipe and story with you. Today’s story comes from Annett Schröder in Germany.
The German season for Christmas sweets starts early. In some stores you will find the first Gingerbread cookies appearing in late summer. But when days start to get shorter and it gets colder outside in autumn, families really start to prepare for the season. On the 6th of December, when Santa Claus comes into our houses, children place their boots for Santa to fill them with sweets. In these days baking is the most popular family event. You can enjoy the smell of baked cookies and Christmas cakes in all the kitchens. When family and friends come to visit on the weekends in December before the Christmas holidays, lovely decorated sweets are the eye catchers on German tables.
Burgenländer cookies are my favorite at Christmastime. They are a rich butter cookie topped with jam and meringue.
Yields 45 to 50 cookies
For the dough:
275 g (2 1/4 cups) flour
50 g (1/4 cup) fine sugar
3 egg yolks
250 g cold unsalted butter (2 sticks plus 1 3/4 tbsp)
For the meringue:
3 egg whites
400 g (3 1/4 cup) confectioner’s sugar
For the glaze:
200 g (10 tbsp) apple butter
100 g (5 tbsp) red jam (e.g. strawberry or cherry)
Some drops of orange or lemon juice
Mix flour and sugar. Put into mixer (dough hook), add egg yolk and butter (cut into pieces) and stir on high speed to a smooth batter. Wrap batter into cling wrap and put it into the fridge for at least one hour.
Knead the batter again, roll it out on a floured countertop to 3 mm (1/4 in.) and cut out 5-6 cm (approx. 2 in.) circles with curved edges.
Put the circles on a baking tray with parchment paper.
Beat egg white and confectioner’s sugar until VERY stiff, put it in a piping bag and use tip #18 to pipe small rosettes on the edges.
Bake the cookies in preheated oven around 175°C (350°F) for 12 to 15 minutes. Take them out and let them cool down on a grid.
Heat the apple butter and the jam, press it through a strainer or sieve and add orange or lemon juice. Let cool down for 2 minutes and fill it in the middle of the cookies.
Let the jam dry completely. Serve the Burgenländer or put them into an airtight container. Enjoy!