• Almond cookies (spritzgebäck) (China Squirrel)

The German word spritzen means to squirt and reflects the way these cookies are shaped – by pushing them through a piping nozzle. The almond meal in the dough gives a lovely soft, almost cakey, texture to these chocolate-dipped cookies that can be piped in various designs, including mini wreaths.

Makes
20

Preparation

30min

Cooking

15min

Skill level

Mid
By
Average: 3.8 (34 votes)
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Ingredients

  • 250 g butter, at room temperature
  • 220 g (1 cup) caster sugar
  • 1½ tsp natural vanilla essence or extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 450 g (3 cups) plain flour
  • 60 g ground almonds
  • 300 g good-quality dark chocolate (54% cocoa solids), chopped

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.

Instructions

Cooling time 15 minutes

Standing time 1 hour

Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Line two large oven trays with non-stick baking paper.

Use an electric mixer to beat the butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition. Combine the flour and almonds. Add to the butter mixture and beat on the lowest possible speed until just combined.

Spoon half the mixture into a large piping bag fitted with a 13 mm star nozzle. Pipe 6­–7 cm circles onto the lined trays (see Baker’s tips). Repeat with the remaining mixture.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, swapping the trays halfway through baking, or until pale golden and cooked through. Cool on the trays.

Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and heat, stirring occasionally, until melted. Turn off the heat but leave the bowl sitting on top. Dip a cooled cookie into the chocolate to coat half of the cookie. Place back on the lined tray and repeat with the remaining cookies. Tap the trays on the benchtop lightly to settle the chocolate into the grooves of the cookies, then set aside for about 1 hour or until the chocolate sets.

 

Baker’s tips

• You can use a 6–7 cm round cutter as a guide to draw circles onto the underside of the baking paper to help keep your cookies uniform in size.

• These cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

 

Photography, styling and food preparation by China Squirrel.

 

This recipe is part of our Bakeproof: Festive cookiescolumn. 

View previous Bakeproof columns and recipes here.

 

Anneka's mission is to connect home cooks with the magic of baking, and through this, with those they love. For hands-on baking classes and baking tips, visit her at BakeClub. Don't miss what's coming out of her oven via FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.