Spritzgebäck – Austrian German Shortcrust Christmas Cookies

by Helene Dsouza on November 26, 2012

I have been wanting to share with you all for some time now, our popular traditional Christmas Cookie recipes from Central Europe. One of the most commonly baked cookies, during Christmas time in Austria and Germany, are the sweet shortcrust cookies, better known as Spritzgebäck in German. Unfortunately I can’t find an appropriate translation online in English. Some people know them under different names, sometimes depending on the form of the cookie, such as Linzer Kipferl (Linz is a city in Austria and Kipferl means crescent shape) or Wiener Kipferl ( after the city of Vienna) or Linzer Stangerl (Stangerl meaning a stick) and so on. In Germany they might be known as something else but I don’t know as what. My friends, who originated in Alsace in France, would call those Spritzer cookies. What would you call those cookies?

Spritzgebäck - Austrian German Shortcrust Christmas Cookies  #stepbystep #recipe masalaherb.com

Those Spritzgebäck cookies can be turned into different variation while piping them and after they are baked. You can shape different forms and decorating to your liking. I made 2 base dough recipe types for you yesterday, and I piped them with a home made nozzle into common shapes, sticked some together with jam and covered a couple with melted dark chocolate. Some people even add nuts and other decorations, that’s all up to you. The dough is a sweet stirred short crust pastry type with Eggs included to keep the cookies firm after baking. The shortcrust pastry is one of the easiest to handle in my opinion, especially the stirred one is easier then the others. So if you are baking for the first time Christmas cookies in your life, then you should have an easy game while making those.

Yet there are a couple of rules to follow if you want your stirred Shortcrust pastry to succeed well without any issues.

  • The stirred shortcrust should never be mixed for too long or it won’t hold together, otherwise the fat oozes out while baking
  • The stirred Shortcrust should be easily form able and smooth. That is why the soft butter is mixed together with the sugar first, and then only the Eggs are added step by step. Sieved Flour is added only at the end and the pastry is piped on the baking tray without delay!
  • The temperature while baking should always be around 200 Celsius for small shortcrust pastries such as the squirted cookies. If the oven is too cool then the pastrie’s fat will ooze out and they will come down. On the contrary, if the oven is too hot, then the small bakeries tend to burn very quickly. In general they should be baked to a very light to golden shade (always for about 10 minutes).
Shortcrust Pastry Rules Source: “Küche und Arbeitsorganisation“School book, Trauner Verlag, Page 266, “Besonderheiten bei der Herstellung von Mürbteigen”
 

Spritzgebäck - Austrian German Shortcrust Christmas Cookies  #stepbystep #recipe masalaherb.com

So as you can see, it’s all about timing and simple physics in the kitchen and I don’t think so you need to be a pastry professional to make your own batch at home. In fact, those cookies are perfect when you are planning to bake with your kids this Christmas. My mum used to make them sometimes for Christmas, and then not always because we have so many cookie types, that it’s difficult to make them all for Christmas. I ll come up with more varieties in the days to come (if god grants me TIME!). If I and you are lucky, and that parcel of my mum’s comes in time, then I ll be able to make the all famous Austrian style “Gingerbread” cookies. Cross fingers!!! =D

White Basic Spritzgebäck Recipe - Sweet Shortcrust Cookies
 
Author:
Recipe type: Cookies
Cuisine: Austrian
Serves: about 40 single cookies
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Ingredients
  • 200 grams soft Butter
  • 100 grams powder Sugar
  • 8 grams or 1 packed Vanilla Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 300 grams white Flour
  • Garnish: melted chocolate, jam, nuts, candied Fruits, powdered Sugar.
  • You will need a Piping bag with a minimum 1 cm wide holed nozzle as well
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, first combine the soft Butter, powdered Sugar and Vanilla Sugar to a fluffy mixture.
  2. Break the eggs into another bowl and just mix them roughly. Pour them step by step, and not all at once, into the Buttery mixture and keep on stirring with the whisk or with your hand mixer on a slow number.
  3. Now continue to add in the flour and mix it to a smooth pastry, but don't over mix it!
  4. Heat up your oven at 200 Celcius.
  5. Grab a piping bag, place the nozzle into it and fill you bag with the pastry. Get a Baking Tray with baking paper as well. Don't use baking paper, if you are using a convection oven as I do.
  6. Squirt the dough into different shapes onto the tray. Keep 2 cm space in between each form. You can shape, crescents, rosettes, sticks, circles, drops, s-forms etc., that's up to you! You can even turn your piping bag while piping so the texture turns a bit, which gives a nice effect. If you want to add nuts or candied fruits onto rosetts, then just push a hazelnut or the fruits for example into the center before baking (I didn't do that this time).
  7. Once finished and the tray is full, place it into the oven at 200 Celcius for about 10 minutes until they get slightly yellow but not dark.
  8. Let them cool before you decorate them. If you just want to top them with powdered sugar, then roll them still warm in the powdered sugar. Add jam and make a sandwich with 2 cookies, or dip the ends into dark molten chocolate, or simply drop some chocolate on top. Just be creative and have fun while turning your cookies into beauty treats for christmas!

Spritzgebäck - Austrian German Shortcrust Christmas Cookies  #stepbystep #recipe masalaherb.com

Dark Basic Spritzgebäck Recipe - Sweet Shortcrust Cookies
 
Author:
Recipe type: Cookies
Cuisine: Austrian
Serves: about 40 single cookies
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Ingredients
  • 200 grams soft Butter
  • 100 grams powder Sugar
  • 8 grams or 1 packet Vanilla Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 250 grams white Flour
  • 50 grams Cocoa powder
  • Garnish: melted chocolate, jam, nuts, candied Fruits, powdered Sugar.
  • You will need a Piping bag with a minimum 1 cm wide holed nozzle as well
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, first combine the soft Butter, powdered Sugar and Vanilla Sugar to a fluffy mixture.
  2. Break the eggs into another bowl and just mix them roughly. Pour them step by step, and not all at once, into the Buttery mixture and keep on stirring with the whisk or with your hand mixer on a slow number.
  3. Now continue to add in the flour and Cocoa powder, and mix it to a smooth pastry, but don't over mix it!
  4. Heat up your oven at 200 Celcius.
  5. Grab a piping bag, place the nozzle into it and fill you bag with the pastry. Get a Baking Tray with baking paper as well. Don't use baking paper, if you are using a convection oven as I do.
  6. Squirt the dough into different shapes onto the tray. Keep 2 cm space in between each form. You can shape, crescents, rosettes, sticks, circles, drops, s-forms etc., that's up to you! You can even turn your piping bag while piping so the texture turns a bit, which gives a nice effect. If you want to add nuts or candied fruits onto rosetts, then just push a hazelnut or the fruits for example into the center before baking (I didn't do that this time).
  7. (Sorry I couldn't make a picture of the dark batch, that's why I used the one from the white batch here)
  8. Once finished and the tray is full, place it into the oven at 200 Celcius for about 10 minutes. Be careful, it's difficult to see if they are getting burned when they are made with cocoa.
  9. Let them cool before you decorate them. If you just want to top them with powdered sugar, then roll them still warm in the powdered sugar. Add jam and make a sandwich with 2 cookies, or dip the ends into dark molten chocolate, or simply drop some chocolate on top. Just be creative and have fun while turning your cookies into beauty treats for christmas!

 

Spritzgebäck - Austrian German Shortcrust Christmas Cookies  #stepbystep #recipe masalaherb.com

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I am Helene, the author behind Masala Herb! My aim is to show you an incredible world full of surprises. Food, Culture and Travel are my forte and that's what I enjoy. Follow my Food and Travel adventures and learn some incredible things!Now in the beautifull Indian coastline state, Goa.

Latest posts by Helene Dsouza (see all)

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Kitchen Belleicious

they look to darn cute! Perfect in the shortcrust/shortbread texture. I would love to make these

Reply

kristy @ the wicked noodle

These look delicious!!

Reply

kitchenriffs

Really nice recipe. I’ve never had these, and they look wonderful. I’ll definitely be directing my wife to this post – she’s the cookie maven in our family. Good stuff – thanks.

Reply

Choc Chip Uru

What beautifully decorated Christmas cookies :)

Cheers
Choc Chip Uru

Reply

Anneli Faiers (@Delicieux_fr)

Mmmm, they look lovely. I bet they are delicious. Another one to bookmark! Thanks.

Reply

mjskit

What would I call these cookies? DELICIOUS! I actually purchase cookies like this from World Market because I love them, but had no idea how to make them – until now. That for the recipes and fabulous instructions! They are going on my Christmas cookie list right now!

Reply

Helene Dsouza

So what do they call them in the world market? I am really desperately looking for an English name.

Reply

rita cooks italian

I do not know the name of this biscuits but they look familiar!! I like the simple version dipped in melting chocolate. PS yesterday arrived the Xmas package from Denmark: marzipan; my mum’s package: parmesan…..

Reply

Helene Dsouza

Ahhh I want my xmas package as well!! =PP I need Parmesan too. My mum said that she added marzipan as well in my package. =D I think so I ll have to make a picture when it comes. lol we get so excited with these simple food things here in goa. My friend got hazelnuts from her mum the other day.

Reply

Coffee and Crumpets

I love these cookies, some of my favourites. I like the jam filled spritzers. I also like the fact that you pipe them, I hate rolling out cookie dough…

Reply

Helene Dsouza

^.^ well those or going to be your rescue this season if you don’t like to roll out cookies. =D

Reply

Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen

I hope he grants you the time.. because these ones are so pretty looking! They must be lovely on a plate for Christmas entertaining! xx

Reply

Cass @foodmyfriend

These are awesome!! You are so talented :) Love all the different shapes and chocolate coated ones . Yum!

Reply

Jill @ MadAboutMacarons

Whatever you call them, they look so temptingly delicious, Helene.

Reply

Joanna @ Chic & Gorgeous Treats

My mom loves these cookies and I can’t wait to bake them for her. They look almost like butterfingers? Is that how some call it? Oh well, I am bad with cookie names ;). Have a great week ahead. xoxo

Reply

Asmita

So pretty!

Reply

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