I think big up there on the list of every German’s favourite things about Christmas, are home-made Christmas biscuits (Plätzchen). Germans often get together in groups and bake a few different kinds of biscuit. They are put into little tins or are bundled up in cute bags and gifted to colleagues, friends, neighbours- everyone! When you yourself receive a few bags of Plätzchen, although they are delicious and keep a little while, it gets kind of difficult to use them all up!
One of the classics is Vanilla-horns (or Vanillekipferl) which I’ve attempted to make to give as a gift to friends and neighbours, and hopefully have some left over for ourselves to enjoy too.
This apparently simple and easy recipe comes from the Chefkoch.de site and I’m going to translate it here in case anyone else would like to try their hand at it too. This made 4 medium-sized bags of 15 biscuits..
- 320 g flour
- 120g ground almonds
- 120g sugar
- 2 egg-yolks
- 270g soft butter
- 5 packages of vanilla sugar for turning them in after they’re cooked
First mix the flour, ground almonds and sugar and add in the two egg yolks. Mix this about a bit. Add in the butter and whisk until it turns into quite even-looking “breadcrumbs”. Compact the mix and wrap it in plastic (I used a recycled ziplock bag) and leave to chill for 30mins.
After the 30mins, switch on the oven to preheat and divide the mixture into 4-6 “blocks”. Cut each block in half and roll out to 2cm thickness. This isn’t easy because the mixture has a sandy kind of texture. Then begin to cut strips off the roll, also to 2cm length. Shape the pieces into little crescent shapes and place on a baking sheet on a baking tray. When you’ve filled the tray, place into the oven (Mine was around 150 degrees C) for 10 mins or until they are golden brown. Set them aside and leave them to cool for just a minute or so and then toss them in a plate with the vanilla sugar to lightly coat them, placing them afterwards on a plate to let them cool down.
I have decorated the bag with a paper ponsietta and have lengthened the cord a little bit so as I can hang them on my neighbour’s doors.