Sunday, January 20, 2008

Incredible Cookies

Valentine's Day is coming and here is the perfect cookie. Spitzbubens (Little Rascals), are made traditionally throughout Germany, Austria and Switzerland. I've been eating this cookie for as long as I can remember. Mom can't quite remember just where she got the recipe. It's fabulous. Traditionally we make these around Christmas time. Maybe just because they look festive. You often see these types of cookies at an Italian bakery, and even at "good" Italian bakeries, they look great but taste like cardboard compared to these. They are sandwich cookies that are rolled out and cut with cookie cutters. Usually the lower one is round (for Valentine's Day, use a heart shape) and the top cookie is the same shape as the lower, but with a window. Through the window you can see jam or fruit preserves (traditionally we use apricot preserves, but for Valentine's Day, raspberry or strawberry is perfect.) Sliced almonds are sprinkled on top of the jam, through the window. If you're in the mood to make AND EAT some fabulous cookies, don't even think about it, make these!


Cut 1 1/2 C butter into 3 C flour and 1 1/2 C sugar.
Add 1 t vanilla and work ingredients into smooth dough.
Chill thoroughly.
Roll out dough as thin as possible on a lightly floured surface.
Cut out circles OR HEARTS that are about 2" in diameter.
Cut a 1" center out of half of the circles or hearts for the tops.
(this is done, obviously, with a small circular or heart shaped cookie cutter)
Bake rings and rounds on ungreased sheet at 325 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
Sprinkle the "tops" with granulated sugar when they come out of the oven.
Spread "bottoms" with preserves.
Assemble the "sandwich"
Sprinkle sliced almonds in center.

Yum. Yum. Yum.
If you want to knock someone's socks off, bake these.
A friend of mine sent this picture of a similar recipe that she made for Halloween. Cute!

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