German Jam Cookies (spitzbuben)

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Prep 30min (+ 15min cooling and 30min chilling time)Bake 15minMakes about 15

These jammy, Linzer-like, buttery mouthfuls are a popular inclusion in the German Weihnachtsplätzchen (collection of traditional festive cookies) but are often claimed by the Swiss. Feel free to switch up the type of jam you use – red currant is also very traditional.


185g butter, at room temperature

110g (½ cup) caster sugar

1 teaspoon natural vanilla essence or extract

1 egg yolk

300g (2 cups) plain flour

¼ teaspoon salt

110g (⅓ cup) raspberry jam, warmed slightly

icing sugar, to dust

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C (140°C fan-forced). Line two large oven trays with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy. Add the egg yolk and beat well. Sift together the flour and salt. Add to the butter mixture and beat on lowest possible speed until just combined and a soft dough forms.
  3. Divide the dough in half. Use a rolling pin to roll out one portion of dough between two sheets of non-stick baking paper to 5 mm thick. Use a 6cm fluted round cutter to cut out rounds of dough. Use a palette knife to transfer to the lined trays, leaving about 2cm between each for spreading. Repeat with the remaining dough portion, re-rolling off-cuts, to make about 30 rounds in total. Place the trays in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.
  4. Use a 2cm heart, fluted round or star-shaped cutter to cut the centre from half of the chilled cookie rounds.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, swapping the trays halfway through baking, or until pale golden and cooked through. Cool on the trays.
  6. Spoon 1 teaspoon of the warm jam onto each of the cookie bases and spread to about 1cm from the edge. Dust the cookie tops generously with icing sugar. Carefully sandwich the cookies together, pressing gently to join.
Baker's Tips
  • These cookies will keep in an airtight container, layered with baking paper, at room temperature for up to 1 week. Dust with icing sugar again if desired before serving.

    This recipe is part of Anneka's SBS Food Bakeproof: Festive Cookies online column. For more Bakeproof columns and recipes, click here.

    Photography by China Squirrel.