Easy Christmas cookies to make with kids: German jam – filled thumbprint and jam filled star cookies

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These German jam filled Christmas cookies with a great butter- and vanilla flavor are easy, fun and delicious. Easy enough to be made by kids too and give them out as holiday gifts. Made with almonds, vanilla, powdered sugar, butter, plain flour and eggs and filled with homemade jam.

A family friend Elizabeth who we met with her family at Frans Indongo lodge about 3 years ago in Namibia recently asked me to share with her a super easy cookie recipe to make with her kids. My 3-year old daughter and I extra made some family favorite Christmas cookies, took some photos and sent them to Elizabeth. Her reaction was, this is definitely our recipe, Ester: It’s simple and easy. And it doesn’t require cookie cutters. Thus why I’ve decided to post it on the blog as well.

For this recipe we’ve made two different Christmas cookies using just one cookie dough (no cookie cutter is required!): German jam – filled thumbprint cookies (Engelaugen Plätzchen (which literally means angel eye cookies)) and jam filled star cookies.

What you’ll need to make nut butter cookie dough

  • 250 g (about 1 cup/ 8.8 oz) butter, room temperature
  • 450 g (3 ¾ cups)/ 15.9 oz) plain flour (all purpose flour)
  • 200 g (1 2/3 cups/ 7.1 oz) ground almonds
  • 150 g (1 ½ cups/ 5.3 oz) powdered sugar (icing sugar)
  • 1 vanilla paste from one vanilla bean
  • 2 eggs, room temperature

You’ll also need

  • 250 g (8.8 oz) jam/ jelly of your choice
  • powdered sugar (icing sugar) for dusting
  • 2 baking sheets
  • parchment paper
  • toothpicks
  • wooden spoon
  • cling film

How to make nut butter cookie dough

Using the tip of the knife split the vanilla bean lengthwise. Scrape out the vanilla seeds. Mix the scraped out seeds with sugar. Feel free to use vanilla essence or vanilla sugar if you don’t have vanilla bean

Add butter and the vanilla sugar that you’ve just made to an empty bowl and beat until creamy. Add eggs and beat further.

Then add ground almonds followed by plain flour (all purpose flour) until you have a firm dough. You should always add part of the flour, mix, add and mix until you’ve used up all the flour. Divide the dough into two doughs, wrap in a cling film and put in the fridge for 1 hour.

How to make star cookies

Preheat the oven to 180 °C (356 °F), with top and bottom heat. After one hour take out one dough from the fridge and divide it into 25 to 26 dough bites. Roll them nicely between the palm of your hands such that in the end you have well formed balls. Every time you form a ball you place it on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Take a toothpick and press it into the dough ball to create star like pattern. Repeat the process until you’ve made star patterns on all of the dough balls and bake for 15 minutes in preheated oven. In the meantime make the German thumbprint.

How to make German thumbprint cookies (Engelaugen Plätzchen)

Once the star cookies are in the oven, take the remaining dough out of the fridge. Divide it into 25 to 26 dough bites and roll into dough balls. Place the mini dough balls on a baking sheet lined with a parchment paper. Using the round handle of the wooden spoon make a well defined depression in each ball (see photos).

After 15 minutes of baking the star cookies, remove them from the oven and let cool while baking the thumbprint cookies for 15 minutes as well.

Once the cookies have cooled down, sprinkle with icing sugar (powdered sugar) and fill with warm jam. You can either use a teaspoon or pipping bag to fill the cookies. Do the same to the thumbprint cookies. If you’re using jelly like in my case, there is no need to warm it. Let jam become firm before storing the cookies. Preferably overnight.

How to store your cookies

Once the jam/ jelly is completely firm, transfer them to an airtight container and store them at room temperature. They will stay fresh this way for three to four weeks. Though they only lasted for two days at our house!

Enjoy and happy holidays! 🙂

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Easy Christmas cookies to make with kids: German jam – filled thumbprint and jam filled star cookies

One dough, thwo holiday cookies. These German jam filled Christmas cookies with a great butter- and vanilla flavor are easy, fun and delicious. Easy enough to be made by kids too and give them out as holiday gifts. Made with almonds, vanilla, powdered sugar, butter, plain flour and eggs and filled with homemade jam.
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Chill Time1 hr
Total Time2 hrs 10 mins
Course: Baking
Cuisine: European, German
Keyword: baking with kids, Christmas cookies, holiday gifts, holiday treat, how to, star cookies, thumbprint cookies
Servings: 50 cookies
Author: Ester from esterkocht.com

Equipment

  • Baking sheets
  • Parchment papers
  • cling film
  • Toothpicks
  • Wooden spoon

Ingredients

  • 250 g (about 1 cup/ 8.8 oz) butter room temperature
  • 450 g (3 ¾ cups)/ 15.9 oz) plain flour (all purpose flour)
  • 200 g (1 2/3 cups/ 7.1 oz) ground almonds
  • 150 g (1 ½ cups/ 5.3 oz) powdered sugar (icing sugar) plus extra for dusting after baking
  • vanilla paste from one vanilla bean (SEE NOTES)
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 250 g (8.8 oz) jam/ jelly of your choice

Instructions

  • Using the tip of the knife split the vanilla bean lengthwise. Scrape out the vanilla seeds. Mix the scraped out seeds with sugar. Add butter and the vanilla sugar that you've just made to an empty bowl and beat until creamy. Add eggs and beat further. Then add ground almonds followed by plain flour (all purpose flour) until you have a firm dough. You should always add part of the flour, mix, add and mix until you've used up all the flour. Divide the dough into two doughs, wrap in a cling film and put in the fridge for 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 180 °C (356 °F), with top and bottom heat. After one hour take out one dough from the fridge and divide it into 25 to 26 dough bites. Roll them nicely between the palm of your hands such that in the end you have well formed balls. Every time you form a ball you place it on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Take a toothpick and press it into the dough ball to create star like pattern. Repeat the process until you've made star patterns on all of the dough balls and bake for 15 minutes in preheated oven. In the meantime make the German thumbprint.
  • Once the star cookies are in the oven, take the remaining dough out of the fridge. Divide it into 25 to 26 dough bites and roll into dough balls. Place the mini dough balls on a baking sheet lined with a parchment paper. Using the round handle of the wooden spoon make a well defined depression in each ball.
  • After 15 minutes of baking the star cookies, remove them from the oven and let cool while baking the thumbprint cookies for 15 minutes as well. Once the cookies have cooled down, sprinkle with icing sugar (powdered sugar) and fill with warm jam. You can either use a teaspoon or pipping bag to fill the cookies. Do the same to the thumbprint cookies. If you're using jelly like in my case, there is no need to warm it. Let jam become firm before storing the cookies. Preferably overnight.
  • Once the jam/ jelly is completely firm, transfer them to an airtight container and store them at room temperature. They will stay fresh this way for three to four weeks. Though they only lasted for two days at our house!

Notes

  • Feel free to use vanilla essence or vanilla sugar if you don't have vanilla bean

Did you make this recipe? I’d love to hear from you! Simply write a review and add rating to it. Or snap a photo and share it on Ester kocht Facebook Page or tag @ester.kocht on Instagram.

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