Thursday, November 25, 2010

Sugar Cookies / Plätzchen

Plätzchen / Sugar Cookies

Seems like the blogroll is in full-on Thanksgiving-mode today. Happy Thanksgiving to all those of you who celebrate it, I hope you're all spending some quality time with your family and friends! All the festive food I've been seeing has me craving for a hearty meal, no fair. 

Cookie season has officially begun in my kitchen and it started off with a classic: The sugar cookie. The recipe is from my Oma (Grandma) and truly a childhood favourite. We made them multiple times every year  during the holidays and I am so grateful to have something that reminds me of her, as I never got to meet her because she passed away when I was just a baby. Our family doesn't really have a lot of traditions, so I cherish the ones we do have. It is comforting to return to this recipe every year, even if it is a veganised version. The recipe uses ground almonds, but sometimes we'd use ground hazelnuts instead - they're both very tasty, but the almond ones were always my favourite so that's what I'm sticking with now that I'm old enough to rule in my own kitchen. ;)

Plätzchen / Sugar Cookies

My Mum wrote down the recipe in 1988, a year before I was born. The page has some stains, but thankfully it's still in readable condition.

Plätzchen / Sugar Cookies
Dough pre-rest.

Sugar Cookies / "Butterplätzchen"

1 1/2 cup pastry flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup + 2 tbl margarine
1/2 - 3/4 cup ground almonds
1 tsp Vanilla Extract or 1 tbl vanilla sugar
dash salt

1) Combine all ingredients and knead to a smooth dough. You can do this by hand, but I let my food processor do the work as warm hands can make it hard to work the margarine into the dough.
2) Form dough into a ball, wrap in tinfoil and let it rest in the fridge for at least an hour.
3) Preheat oven to 180° C / 375° F and grease your cookie sheet or line it with parchment paper.
4) Dust some flour onto your workspace and roll the dough out (I like mine thin). You may need to work some extra flour into the dough if it is too soft to work with. Time to use your cookie cutters!
5) Place cookies on baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes.
6) Let cool and decorate with icing or dust some powdered sugar on them while they're still warm. Store in an airtight container.


Plätzchen / Sugar Cookies

Ha, see those wonky lines on that snail (you probably can't tell it's a snail from that photo..)? Yeah, I'm not very good at applying icing.

Plätzchen / Sugar Cookies

By the way: We had our first snowfall last night. It really feels all Christmas-y now. :)


  1. Oh really? I'm still longing for snow (and as you might know I live where there shoud be lots of snow by now).
    I made some cookies, too. At least no real cookies, but what you might call "Plätzchen".
    As I had to realize that you're from northern Germany, what are the usual christmas cookies over there?
    I think it's quite stunning, how different the regional kitchen in Europe is, especially in Germany.

  2. Not good at applying icing? They look perfect to me. REALLY! Well done :)

  3. @Tisi: At this rate I'm going to be knee-deep in snow by Sunday! You know what? I haven't got a clue! I think it really varies from family to family, but I would say that most of the baked goods we enjoy during Christmas season here aren't local: plenty of Lebkuchen, Printen, Spekulatius, Zimtsterne, Vanillekipferl and all of the other things you can buy in the shops during the holidays. I guess you could count Heidesand cookies, but they're not really seasonal either. :)

  4. @Tisi: Oh and then there's always Honigkuchen, which is also popular.

  5. So there's already a difference :)
    Over here we nearly eat Printen and Honigkuchen. It's mostly Spitzbuam and Vanillekipferl and of course Lebkuchen and I forgot about Spritzgebäck. Most people use their meat grinder to make those so I never liked to try them, too.
    And we so not make our own Spekulatius, we just by them in store. By now I never had home made Spekulatius.
    Lots of nut cookies anyway, and Makronen, but I guess it's impossible to veganize them as their main ingridient is whipped egg white.

  6. @Tisi: I forgot about Spritzgebäck, that's a classic. SeitanIsMyMotor posted about a vegan recipe for Kokosmakronen a couple of days ago, they look great: you could try them with nuts if you like those better. :)

  7. Ah, that's brilliant, now I only have to convince that woman in my Asia store that psyllium musk is an Asian ingridient :D

    Dis I mention that I wanted to lose some weight? humm...

  8. @Tisi: I know, I'm already wondering whether or not I'll be able to find those husks. Wait another month ;), Christmas season must be incredibly hard for dieters!

  9. Your cookies are absolutely gorgeous!

  10. Psyllium husk is 'Flohsamenschalen' in german. You should be able to find them in your local health store... ;-) Oh and your cookies are really cute - minus the ground nuts this would be just THE basic german christmas cookie recipe I guess. :-) Happy baking!

  11. @Apfelmusbeet: Thanks for the tip! I actually read about Flohsamenschalen just the other day, but didn't connect the two. True, but I always think something is missing without the almonds, so I never make the 'plain' kind. :)

  12. Amazing cookies! My grandma emigrated to Berlin in the seventies and I would visit her every summer. We also traveled around Germany a lot. I love German food and sweet treats. Do you have any vegan recipe for Weihnachtsstollen with marzipan? I miss eating that. I used to buy it in Germany and then in USA in special stores before I became a vegan.

  13. @Elisabeth: Making Stollen is definitely on my list for December! :) I made one last year, but it came out rather dry so I am hoping for better luck this year - fingers crossed!

  14. I bought this husk stuff today and it was quite hard to find them: Finally I managed to find some at my local pharmacy.

    There is a vegan stollen recipe from Turbo-Tofu:

    Unfortunately it is in German but I guess google translator will work for that.

  15. Islaborg: Thanks, I am looking forward to your Stollen
    Tisi: Thanks for the link