German Butter Cookies – Buttergebäck, Linzer Plätzchen
German Butter Cookies are called Buttergebäck or Butterplätzchen or Mannheimer Teegebäck. The German butter cookies with filling are known as Linzer Plätzchen. You can easily divide the ingredients and make only the half of the dough.
Ingredients for German Butter Cookies:
- 500 g (1.1 lb) of all-purpose flour (I used unbleached)
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 150 g (5.29 oz) of sugar
- 1 pouch of vanilla sugar OR 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 2 eggs, XL
- 250-270 g (8.81-9.53 oz) of soft butter
- powdered sugar for decoration
- different kinds of jams or jellies OR red currant jelly for the filling
Instructions for the cookies:
To make the filled cookies shown below, you need to cut out a back piece and a front pieces with a shape in the center. You can get the Cookie Cutter for Linzer Cookies either at Bed, Bath and Beyond or at stores that carry baking and household articles.
Sift the flour and the baking powder into a wide bowl. Spread sugar and vanilla sugar (vanilla extract) over it. Make a little hole in the center and add the eggs. Cover the eggs with a little sugar and flour. Put the butter in slices on top and knead the ingredients into dough. If the dough is too dry, add some more butter. If the dough is too sticky, place it for about an hour in the refrigerator in cellophane wrap.
Spread some flour on your table and roll out half or a third of the dough with a rolling pin until it is about 3 mm — 0.11 inches thick. Cut out the back shape of the cookies. Use a spatula or long wide knife to pick up the court dough and place them in 4 x 6 rows on a baking sheet covered with baking paper.
Roll out another piece of dough to cut the front pieces with the shapes and place them on the baking sheet. Make sure you have the same amount of front pieces as you have back pieces on the baking sheet. continue until all dough is used, or you can use half of the dough for unfilled cookies using cookie cutters shaped in a form you like.
Preheat your oven to 180°C – 190°C (360°F-375°F) and bake the cookies on the middle rack for about 7-9 minutes until golden brown. When they are done remove them carefully with a wider spatula from the baking sheet and place them on a cooling rack.
Unfilled cookies: Using a fine sieve sprinkle powdered sugar on the top of the cookies.
Filled Cookies: Pass the jelly through a fine sieve and spread it on the back piece of the cookie. Place the cookies together. Jelly is in the middle, powdered sugar is on the top as for the unfilled cookies. Store the cookies in a tin box in layers with parchment paper in between.