Vanilla spritz shortbread

It’s traditional in Germany to make small, sweet cookies known as ‘plätzchen’ at Christmas. This recipe for vanilla spritz shortbread can be made up to three weeks before Christmas and shared as delicious gift with loved ones

  • 45 mins preparation
  • 15 mins cooking
  • Makes 24 piece
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  • 350 gram butter, at room temperature
  • 150 gram icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg white
  • 400 gram high-grade flour, sifted
  • flaked almonds, for sprinkling


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 160°C. Cream butter and sugar in a stand mixer or with hand-held beaters until light and fluffy.
  • 2
    Add vanilla and egg white and mix until light and fluffy.
  • 3
    Fold sifted flour slowly into mixture until just combined.
  • 4
    Transfer about a quarter of mixture to a piping bag with a medium or large star nozzle (the bag should be about a third full) then twist the bag to close.
  • 5
    Pipe out 6cm lengths on a lined baking tray, leaving a small gap between biscuits, and sprinkle over a few flaked almonds. Continue piping out mixture until it is all used up.
  • 6
    Bake for 15 minutes then check to see if they are cooked – they should be lightly golden and bounce back when pressed. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.


  • To ensure the biscuits stay crisp and fresh, leave them to sit until cooled then pop them back into the oven, which is turned off but still warm. Leave the door slightly ajar. When the oven has cooled completely, transfer biscuits to a container; the shortbread will be perfectly dry and stay crisp for a long while

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