My all-time favourite Christmas cookies are Vanillekipferl (Vanilla Crescents), which I posted many moons ago (see here!), but the other cookies that I always make – before considering if I have the patience/time/energy to make any others – are these simple butter cookies. Here are both on my Advent table…
Almost everyone I know who bakes their own Christmas cookies (and it’s a real tradition here) makes butter cookies, each a slight variation on mine; everyone seems to have at least one old recipe passed down through the generations, often written down on the browning pages of a handwritten recipe book. Some people brush these with egg yolk, others put icing on top, or even hundreds and thousands or other sugar decorations. But mostly they are left plain. An acquired taste? Maybe, but much appreciated by many who are reminded of their Oma’s cookies when taking a bite! And one bite is all they should be… using the smallest cookie cutters possible makes them less naughty and if you vary the cutters you can have a nice variety of shapes on your cookie plate too.
Here’s my recipe – adapted over the years from a distant source I no longer remember – and sadly not the one my partner’s Oma had in her head and never wrote down… but near enough.
Münchner Butterplatzl (Munich Butter Cookies)
- 500g (1 lb)plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 250g (1 1/4 cups) cold vegan butter, cut into small pieces
- 130g (2/3 cup) sugar
- 2 tbsps vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp vanilla extract and 2 tbsps sugar)
- 1 tbsp non-dairy milk or yoghurt
- a pinch of salt
So simple – just mix all the ingredients to a soft dough, kneading briefly to bring the dough together, then wrap in clingfilm and chill for 15 minutes. Line 2 large baking trays with greaseproof paper and preheat oven to 170°C. Cut into four pieces and return three to the fridge while rolling out the first portion on a well-floured surface. Using small cookie cutters in different shapes cut and place on your baking tray. (Tip: dip your cutters generously in flour again and again to stop them getting sticky). Bake for 7-10 minutes until golden. Be careful as they burn very quickly! Repeat with the other three portions, reusing your baking trays in alternation.
Allow the cookies to cool on a rack, and store in airtight tins for up to four weeks.
Do you bake cookies for Christmas?
Have a great weekend!