There are many different traditional Christmas cookies in South Tyrol, delicious and spicy.
Today I would like to give you the recipe for the Spitzbuben (Spitzbua in the local dialect), butter cookies you could personalize at your own taste. With these basic instructions it will be easy to create a complete selection you could enjoy with friends for tea time or give as a present to your relatives and colleagues, making a great impression!
Ingredients (around 20 cookies):
150 g butter
125 g sugar
1/2 sachet vanilla sugar
a pinch of lemon zest
a pinch of salt
300 g flour
1/2 sachet powdered yeast
Jam (apricot, cherry, strawberry) or hazelnut/chocolate cream
In a mixing bowl mix sifted flour with yeast, sugar, vanilla sugar and salt. Add eggs, butter and zest, and knead vigorously and rapidly until the dough is smooth and homogeneous. Wrap with plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge for half an hour. Roll out the dough (around ½ cm thickness) and cut with your cookie cutters (remember to obtain both circular bases and pierced rings). Place on the baking tray (covered by baking paper) and bake for around 8 minutes at 180°C. Let rest and cool for a few minutes. Brush the bases with jam or cream, put on top the pierced rings and sprinkle with icing sugar.
Your kitchen should scent of vanilla and freshly baked pastry, making you irresistibly wish to taste one of the golden biscuits… Am I right?
Did you know? Children could not resist to these delicious biscuits and always swiped some from the baking tray of their grandmas. That’s why the cookies are named Spitzbuben, that in German means rascals, brats.
Variations: - Get chocolate Spitzbuben simply adding cocoa powder to the dough - Garnish by dipping the cookies into melted chocolate (dark chocolate is my favourite!) - Decorate with grain hazelnuts or almonds or desiccated coconut.
South Tyrolean Moscato Giallo passito is my tip!
How to store: Place your Christmas Spitzbuben in a metal tin (I love the vintage ones) as our grandmothers did. They will last for weeks, preserving aromas and right moisture.