Soft Gingerbread Cookies & Butterplätzchen (German Butter Cookies)

It’s nearly Christmas! My favorite holiday of the year!!!
One of my favorite Christmas traditions is to bake Christmas cookies or baked goods. Our family also always gets a Christmas cake on Christmas Eve. We have too many Christmas related snacks and baked goods due to our recent trip from Germany including various stollen, lebkuchen, daily Lindt chocolates from our advent calendar, even more chocolates, and even more different German Christmas cookies! I don’t think I’ve eaten so much chocolate in my life especially on a daily basis thanks to the advent calendar! We also really didn’t need to bake cookies this year since we already have so many sweets to eat but I thought it would be nice to bake with Chai this year and continue what’s become a family tradition to me.

My favorite Christmas cookies to bake are Gingerbread cookies! I love this recipe because it’s not too sweet and the cookies are nice and soft! Chai chose Butterplätzchen for us to bake which turned out pretty yummy especially when it was still a little warm from the oven!

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We were working out at home doing Insanity while waiting for the Butterplätzchen dough and Chai made a comment that most Germans would be watching a movie or relaxing instead of working out while making Christmas cookies. I thought that was pretty funny and he may have a point but I need my daily exercise especially when I’m eating all these sweets and delicious foods! 😉 We ended up watching a movie later that night. It’s another Christmas tradition to watch a lot of movies together! 😊

What is your favorite sweets to make during Christmas? Do you also have Christmas traditions with family? I’d love to hear your comments below~

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Soft Gingerbread Cookies Recipe

Yield: 13 large gingerbread man cookies
Time: 2 hours 25 minutes (including 2 hours of letting dough stand)

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 6 TBSP unsalted butter
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 TBSP ground ginger

Directions

  1. In a mixer, beat brown sugar, egg, and butter together on a low-medium speed until well blended.
  2. Add molasses and vanilla and mix until well blended.
  3. Gradually stir in dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, ginger) and mix on low until a nice smooth dough forms.
  4. Divide the dough into two and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough stand for 2 hours at room temperature.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375°F with racks in the middle.
  6. Lay enough parchment paper to cover the baking tray.
  7. Place a dough on a flour-dusted surface and use a rolling pin to roll out the dough evenly to about ¼ inches thick.
  8. Use your favorite cookie cutters to cut out pieces and carefully place them on the baking tray with at least 1-inch space apart from each other.
  9. Form, roll out the dough, and cut pieces again until there is not enough dough left. Repeat the process with the second dough.
  10. Bake in the oven for 7 minutes and let the cookies cool before enjoying or decorating them!

 

Butterplätzchen (German Butter Cookies) Recipe

Yield: 8+ large cookies depending on the size
Time: 1 hr 25 min (including 1 hour of letting dough stand)

Ingredients for Cookies

  • 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ½ cup cold butter, cut into pieces

Ingredients for Decorations

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 TBSP milk
  • Turbinado sugar
  • Sprinkles or Decorating gems (optional)

 

Directions

  1. Mix the flour, sugar, vanilla, egg yolks, and butter on medium speed until you get a crumbly mix.
  2. Use your hands to combine the mixture into a smooth dough.
  3. Wrap the dough in a plastic wrap and let it stand for 1 hour at room temperature.
  4. Preheat the oven to 355°F with racks in the middle.
  5. Lay enough parchment paper to cover the baking tray.
  6. Place the dough on a flour-dusted surface and roll out the dough evenly to a 4 mm thickness.
  7. Use your favorite cookie cutters to cut out pieces and carefully place them on the baking tray with some space between each cookie. You can also choose to make simple round cookies without any cookie cutters.
  8. For decoration: whisk the egg yolk and milk. Brush thinly onto the cookies and then decorate the cookies with sprinkles and/or turbinado sugar.
  9. Bake for 13-15 minutes until golden. Let the cookies cool a little before enjoying them!

 

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