I am slowly getting used to being at home rather than at work and already I start to wonder how I managed all the Christmas baking in my spare time in the past..... I spent two mornings making traditional Swiss Christmas biscuits. I think they are biscuits? The English baking vocabulary is not one that I have mastered completely yet.
Must not get side tracked.
My list is always the same:
- Chräbeli, and
I have the first 5 so far and might make the other ones tomorrow. My favourites are the Spitzbuebe. An approximate translation for these would be "naughty boys (but naughty in a nice way). They look like Jammy Dodgers but do not taste anything like them. They are so buttery that they melt in the mouth, literally, and I could eat my own body weight of Spitzbuebe any day (which is considerable btw). I made the dough yesterday, it is too soft to work when fresh and needs to be chilled for a while.
I like my Christmas biscuits to be small and dainty and I have a selection of special cutters for all of them. I have so many cutters that I don't know where to store them all... The cutter for the Spitzbuebe is circle with exchangeable middles. I have heart, round and cross shaped middles.
I like to eat the little hearts/rounds/crosses but was more restrained today than usual (or not as greedy?).
After baking, I generously spread the bottoms with jam or jelly, depending on what is in the cupboard. Today I used redcurrant jelly I made in June. I prefer jelly over jam, it makes it easier to stick the two parts together and I don't like seeds and bits in those delicate biscuits.
The recipe for the Spitzbuebe is here:
- Cream together 250 g of soft unsalted butter with 150 g caster sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add one egg white (not beaten), a pinch of salt and 2 tsp of vanilla essence
- Mix in 350 g of plain flour
- Knead gently and then rest in the fridge for a good few hours (or until all the washing is folded, sheets have been changed, dishwasher emptied)
- Roll the dough out thinly (2 - 3 mm) on a little flour and cut into rounds.
- For the lid, cut a smaller shape into the rounds
- Bake at 200 degrees centigrade for 8 to 10 minutes. The biscuits should still be pale. As they are really thin, they easily burn and it is best not to get distracted by children or pets or postmen
- Choose your favourite jam/jelly and add a small amount to the bottoms, place lids on top and squeeze together.
And here are the other 4 beauties I made so far, flanking the naughties:
Brunsli, Zimtsterne, Spitzbuebe, Pfeffernüsse and Mailänderli. I really hate making the little stars but forget every year that I do and start all over again, remembering when it is too late to stop. They are terribly sticky and need to be painted with a meringue mixture...
I might just go to the kitchen now and make the dough for the Chräbeli. These are funny shaped things that need to rest over night once shaped to create a "foot" of sorts. I'll add a picture once they are made!
Have a lovely Wednesday evening! Cx