Christmas biscuit baking

Can you believe Christmas is in less then a month? Unless you celebrate on the 25th. And also it's the first of Advent on Sunday which officially allows me and I guess everyone who is quite traditional about Christmas, to eat Christmas biscuits. Of course I already made some last Saturday, I will however make two more kinds this Friday or Saturday because baking them is so much fun. You can listen to Christmas songs and sing along while the whole house smells of cinnamon, oranges, apples and chocolate and then there's the snacking. Every time some dough is left I just eat it and of course also every now and then while making it. Good times. We should do this the whole year through.

Today I wanted to share with you three of my most loved kinds out of the huge universe of Christmas biscuits.

The first one is a recipe from my grand cousin and she actually won a competition, I think it was for everyone in Germany, so they must be incredible. And yes they are. I love them so much and they really are easy and fun to make.

First of you'll need:
for the basic dough:
250g flour
150g butter
50g icing sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tsp cinnamon
a pinch of salt

for the filling:
400g marzipan paste
100g finely grounded pistachios
50g icing sugar
5 tbsp cream

for the icing:
100g icing sugar
50g coarsely chopped pistachios
2 tbsp rum

First of all mix all dry ingredients for the dough together. Then form a little whole in the middle and drop the egg and egg yolk in there also spread the butter in little pieces around the edges. Next you will need to knead everything until you end up with a nice dough.
Put it in the fridge for an hour to rest.
While your dough cooling prepare the filling. Knead the marzipan paste, pistachios and icing sugar in a bowl until they are nicely combined. Then roll them in to three about 30cm long rolls.
After you're done with the filling preheat the oven to 180 degree.
Take the dough out of the fridge and separate it into three parts and roll each one out to a size about 10x30cm. Spread the cream across each three and place one roll on each of them. 
Now's the time I have the most fun with because you get to roll the marzipan-pistachio-roll up into the dough. Make sure to smooth out the end with the layer underneath so the roll won't open while it's in the oven.
Now it's time to put them on a baking sheet covered in baking paper and pop them in the oven. Make sure the seam is on the bottom. Bake them for about 15-20 minutes.
For the icing just mix the icing sugar with rum, you can use water if children will be eating these, until it's smooth and there are no clumps of sugar left.
The rolls must be cooled down completely before you brushing the mixture on. Then as your finishing step just drizzle some of the chopped pistachios on the rolls while they're still wet. 
Let them dry completely and then cut the rolls into about 1,5cm big pieces.

Recipe number two is one of the classics. Here we call them either 'Spitzbuben' or 'Linzer'. Basically it's the ones that are filled with jam. 

For these you will need:
for the basic dough:
300g flour
100g sugar
2 tbsp vanilla sugar
1 pinch of salt
100g finely grounded almonds (without the shell)
250g butter
2 eggs

for the filling:
150g jam (e.g. raspberry, strawberry...)
1 tbsp rum

and some icing sugar for dusting

You will get about 30 biscuits out of this.

Again first mix all dry ingredients together, then make a little whole in the middle, drop the eggs and the butter (in small pieces) in there and knead until you have a nice dough, you can always add water or flour if you need to.
Then put it in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees (circulating air) and prepare a baking sheet with baking paper on it.
Now it's time to roll out the dough, about 2-3mm thin, and cut out the biscuits. There are special cutters of this kind because you will need a top and a bottom. Depending on the shape you go for, let's say it's round, you'll need a round bottom and a round top. The top cutter should have another shape in it like a star, heart, moon.... so when you put the cut out dough on the baking paper you should have a round one, as bottom, and a round one with a whole in it, that's the top.
Otherwise you won't see the jam.
Place them on the baking sheet and put them in the oven for 10-12 minutes.
Let them cool down completely before doing anything else.
For the filling slightly heat up the jam and rum in the microwave, get rid of any clumps and then spread it on the pieces without the whole.
Dust the remaining pieces with icing sugar and then carefully place them on top of the ones with jam. Again let them cool down before storing them in a box or jar.

And now onto the last one. They're called 'Cinnamon-Apple-Stars'. After making these our whole flat smelled like apple and cinnamon and it was really nice.

You'll need:
for the basic dough:
250g flour
75g sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
a pinch of nutmeg
125g butter
1 egg
40g dried apple rings

for the sprinkles/streusel:
100g of basic dough
1 tbsp flour
pinch of cinnamon

also you will need 150g of apple jelly or jam

First chop the dried apple rings in small pieces. Then knead them together with the flour, sugar, cinnamon, eggs, nutmeg and butter until you end up with a nice dough. 
Take about 100g of it and mix it with the tablespoon of flour and a pinch of cinnamon. Put both of the doughs in the fridge for about 30 minutes. While they rest preheat the oven to 175 degrees (circulating air).
The next step is the cutting out. Basically you just roll out the bigger portion of the doughs until it's about 5mm think. Also put some flour on the surface to keep the dough from sticking and ripping. Now depending on the size of your cutter, it should be a star by the way, you get more or less biscuits out of the dough. If you have trouble cutting through the apple pieces, just use a sharp knife and cut around the cutter. That's what I did and it made things a lot easier.
Again place them on a baking sheet with baking paper on it.
Then slightly heat up the apple jelly or jam and brush it over the biscuits, try not to get to much on the baking paper.
Before you put them in the oven get your streusle dough and rip pieces of. Place them in the middle of the stars. 
Now finally pop them in the oven and enjoy the scent of apples. Bake them for about 10 minutes. 
Again let them cool down before storing them.

That's it. Three of my favourite recipes. The best one are cinnamon stars though but I haven't baked them yet so maybe I'll do another post on them if you want to see how I make them. Also what are you favourite kins of Christmas biscuits? I'd love to try out more. 
And on a side not I just want to say that all of the recipes are not originally from me but these are the ones that I find work and taste the best. If you bake any of these send me a picture on insta or twitter I'd love to see your versions.

lots of love

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