When I was a little girl, I always used to bake during the festive season with my Mama. I was always looking forward to the day when we were standing in the kitchen together and I was able to mix, taste and decorate all my favourite Christmas cookies.
Now that I have grown up and moved abroad this is sadly not possible anymore. However, I still enjoy baking Christmas cookies and try to keep this tradition alive. Now it is my partner and friends that are able to taste my creations and hopefully enjoy them.
One of my new favourite Christmas cookies is Heidesand. This is a traditional German Christmas shortbread cookie that is crumbly, buttery, sweet and super tasty. The cookies will just melt in your mouth and smell amazing when they come out of the oven.
- 250 g Soft Butter
- 115 g White Sugar
- 2 Packs Vanilla Sugar (or one cap vanilla extract)
- 400 g Flour
- 125 g Ground Almonds
- Some Glacé Cherries or Mixed Peel for decorating
1. Mix the butter and 80 g of the sugar and beat until frothy. Add one pack of the vanilla sugar or one cap of vanilla extract if you cannot find vanilla sugar. In Germany it is easily accessible and used in many recipes, but in other countries I know this is not the case. Keep on beating until the mixture starts to thicken and looks pale. Mix the flour and the almonds and incorporate them into the mixture.
2. Put the dough into the fridge for about 10 min. This allows the butter in the dough to cool down a little and makes it easier to handle. In the meantime, heat up your oven to fan 130 degrees Celsius. Line your backing tray with baking paper. You might need two of those or you can cook the Heidesand in batches. This is up to you.
3. Now, cut of walnut sized pieces and roll them into balls. Mix the left over sugar and vanilla sugar and role the balls in the sugar mixture to coat them. If you do not have the vanilla sugar just us the normal remaining sugar.
4. Press the balls flat on one side and place them on the baking paper. Bake in the oven for approximately 30 min. Make sure they do not brown though! Place on a wire rack and let them cool.
5. Lastly, decorate the Heidesand with the glacé cherries or mixed peel however you like.
These go nicely with a cup of coffee or tea. Just make sure not to eat them all in one go! 🙂