My Favorite Christmas Cookies

Hi friends! It’s been a while! But not because I wasn’t busy, quite the opposite indeed. I have been baking up a storm and bring you some of my favorite Christmas cookie recipes, which are also gluten free, easy to make and quite delicious. In this little summary of mine you’ll find some true German classics, everything from Zimtsterne, Vanillekipferl, Checkerboard Cookies and soon to be added Spekulatius & the infamous Christmas Stollen. I’ll be adding on as the December proceeds. 
Christmas Spekulatius
Rich in spices and delicious to eat – this cookies is the Germans ultimate favorite holiday cookie that is only available to buy in stores, around Christmas. The Spekulatius is a cinnamon, cardamom and clove spiced cookie, similar to the gingerbread – but definitely not the same. 
I have talked to friends in Germany, and this year they appear to be even sold out in numerous places – the demand is high! My point? Just bake them yourself! The special thing about those cookies is that they are patterned with a patterned rolling pin. So fun!

Preparation time about 15min

Chilling for min 2hour in the fridge before rolling out, and 1hour after, before going on the oven.

Bake at 350F (180C) for 10-12min

Ingredients

  • 300g (gf) flour (I used 210g rice flour, 66g potato starch, 24g tapioca starch + 1tsp xantham gum)
  • 150g butter
  • 125g brown sugar
  • 60g grounded almonds
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp backing powder
  • 1 tsp lemon peel
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom + clove
Instructions

  1. Mix the butter, sugar and egg creamy for 10 minutes, before adding the almond + spices + lemon
  2. add the flour + baking powder and knead to a dough
  3. Chill the dough for one hour
  4. For cookies you can use regular cookie cutter or the traditional patterned roll as I did
  5. Add some almond slices on the baking tray, for extra crunch
  6. Chill the cut out cookies again, for 2h in the fridge, before baking
  7. Bake at 180c (350F) for 8-12min, until your cookies are golden brown
  8. Let them completely cool down & enjoy ❤️

Zimtsterne/ Cinnamon Stars

On of the staples in German Christmas baking are Zimtsterne, which translate to Cinnamon Stars. I whipped up a batch of these delicious and somewhat healthy classics in no time – and now you can too! They are absolutely perfect if you can’t eat regular flour and live by a gluten free diet, as I am, as they 100% made from almonds that are grounded in a food processor.

Cinnamon Stars are the perfect cookies to bake with your kids, as they are not sticky and 100% tasty!

Preparation time about 15min

Chilling for min 1hour in the fridge

Bake at 350F (180C) for 8-10min

Ingredients

  • 300g finely grounded almonds

  • 3 egg whites

  • 250g confectionery sugar

  • 3 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Finely ground 300g of almonds in a food processor. 
  2. Whisk egg whites foamy & add confectionery sugar. Half the egg/ sugar mix, to keep half of it for the icing later on.
  3. Mix the other half with the grounded almonds and add 3 tsp of cinnamon. Wrap the dough in cellophane foil and chill in the fridge for at least one hour.
  4. Roll out the dough, use a star cookie cutter, and place cookies on prepared baking sheet. Before pushing the baking tray in the oven, add icing.
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 350F (160C). Let cool completely before eating.

Vanillekipferl/ Vanilla Biscuits

The classic German Vanillekipferl, which are essentially super tasty vanilla biscuits, made from grounded almonds and regular store-bought gluten free flour is a future favorite of yours – I promise. 

Preparation time about 10min

Chilling for min 2hours in the fridge

Bake at 350F (180C) for 12-13min

Ingredients

  • 300g gluten-free flour
  • 80g sugar
  • 175g cold butter
  • 100g finely ground almonds
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 2tsp vanilla sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Finely ground almonds in a food processor.
  2. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, first with a mixer and finish it of with your hands.
  3. Wrap the dough in cellophane foil and chill in the fridge for at least at least two hours.
  4. Roll the dough into a long roll (sausage) and cut 1cm thick slices. Each slice you can roll into a ball, then roll and form into a horn (I have no better explanation for this?)’
  5. Bake for 12-14 minutes at 350F (180C). Powder immediately after baking with the 2tsp vanilla sugar.

Checkerboard & Marble Cookies

Oh this is a fun one, and the kids love it! So Emma and me got down to business and whipped up a batch of checkerboard cookies and as a bonus some marble cookies, for the 2nd Advent and Nikolaus (which I am snacking on while writing this). 

Preparation time about 15min

Chilling for min 1hour in the fridge

Bake at 350F (180C) for 8-10min

Ingredients

  • 500g gluten-free flour
  • 250g cold butter
  • 250g sugar
  • 2 egg
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 3tbsp cacao powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Divide your ingredients in two parts, apart from the cacao powder, as you are going to make two separate doughs.
  2. For the first, the natural dough, mix together half the ingredients (250g gf flour, 125g butter, 125g sugar, 1 egg, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1tsp baking powder)
  3. Wrap the dough in cellophane foil and chill in the fridge for at least at least one hour.
  4. Repeat the Nr. 2 with the other half of the ingredients + the 3 tbsp of cacao powder and also wrap in foil & chill.
  5. Ok so now you have enough dough to make two batches of checkerboard cookies. Divide each again into two and start rolling long strips (about 1/2″ or 1cm in diameter). For one batch, you will need to have two of each coloured dough.
  6. Now you start stacking them up to form a square. First you lay a natural and chocolate dough next to each other and then add a chocolate on top of the natural, and the natural dough above the chocolate strip. You get them to stick better together if you brush each gently with water. 
  7. You can wrap the now bigger roll into foil to give it a good roll, before proceeding.
  8. Now all you have to do is to cut slices, transfer them on the baking tray & bake.
  9. BUT, here comes the bonus! Since some parts can fall apart, or just don’t look as good as you’d like them to be, you can gently mix both the natural and chocolate dough together, roll out and use a normal cookie cutter to make marble cookies. 
  10. And now go on and bake them for 8-10 minutes at 350F (180C). Let them cool down completely before eating (if you can wait, if not they might crumble on you?) 

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