Big Christmas Cookie and Gift Post | Linzer Jam Cookies, Chocolate Kipferl, Lemon Chocolate Spritz, Ischlers Orange

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Several years ago when we lived in Leipzig we had a Christmas ritual. A few weeks before Christmas we would get together with friends and spend a very merry evening together making Christmas wreaths and decorations, drinking Glühwein, listening to Christmas carols and then attempting to cook a 3 course meal. We were a fairly large group of friends and the evening usually led to all sort of hilarious activities and memorable memories.  

Moving to Weimar over ten years ago I was keen to keep up with this tradition of sorts. Some of our old friends would drive over for the special event and as new friends joined in the tradition of Christmas wreaths gave way to Christmas baking and the 3 course meal gave way to take out meals. The Glühwein has remained and so has the Christmas spirit. I admit I enjoy the baking a lot more - it allows me to experiment and test drive new ideas with friends. A few days ahead of the event we all make suggestions and put together a collection of recipes that we are keen to bake. Then each one is assigned a shopping list and once everything is organized - yes also the Glühwein - we usually cannot keep the excitement down.

The host of the evening allows us usage of their kitchen and oven for constant baking. While over the years we always add a few new cookie ideas to the repertoire we are still keen to keep it as traditional as possible. This year it was my turn to host and I chose several gorgeous old recipes from the rich culinary heritage of Austria and South Germany. An old Austrian friend had given me a Christmas baking book first published in the 70s and I used many of the recipes as a basis for the cookie baking evening, adding a few different ingredients and flavors to give it a slight revamp!

As a little gift for each of my friends I put together jars of edible treats. I love giving friends and family these jars filled with ingredients for each one to create and bake once they are back home. It’s a small way to send them love from my kitchen to theirs.

I won’t keep you all much longer as I know you are keen to scroll down and get to the recipes and the edible gifts in the jars. I hope you enjoy the baking and the putting together the jars for your family and friends - spread the merriment and the love - I wish I could share some Glühwein with you all too!

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Linzer Cookies with Lingonberry and Cloudberry Jam

These cookies are probably one of the most well known Austrian cookies and actually is a by product of the famous Linzer Tart, which is the oldest known cakes with a recipe discovered in an Austrian abbey in 1653. Apparently the bakers placed a small amount of cake batter and baked it to test the oven temperature, and so the Linzer cookie was born. Just like the Linzertorte’s crust, the Linzer cookie is made with ground almonds, and spiced with lemon, orange and cinnamon. Two cookies are sandwiched together and filled with a layer of currant, raspberry or apricot jam. In my recipe I made two different cookies using the star cutters and the hole cutters and used cloudberry and lingonberry jam to give it a slightly different flavor. These cookies are better the next day when the flavors come together and as the cookies softened, the preserves partially sink into the almond cookies creating a unified flavor.

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Linzer Cookies

Prep Time:
Total Time: + resting and cooling time
Yields: 20 cookies



  • 200g butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 80g cloudberry jam or lingonberry jam
  • 280g all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 100g + 100g icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • zest of 1 lemon



  1. Pre-heat oven to 200C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Place all the ingredients except the jam and 100g icing sugar in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Knead until the dough comes together smoothly. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for one hour.
  3. After the resting time, remove the dough from the fridge and with a rolling pin roll it out on a lightly floured surface approx. 3 mm thick. Using a cookie cutter cut out shapes, then using the typical Linzer cookie cutter cut out either holes or stars in have of them.
  4. Place the cookies on the prepared baking tray and bake in the oven for 10 minutes until golden.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Then spread the jam of choice on the cookie without the holes and sieve icing sugar on the cookies with the holes 7 stars, then place on top of jam and allow to set.

Dark Chocolate Kipferl - Crescents

My vanilla kipferl are a must each year! They are an all time favorite, traditional German cookie. If truth be told however, these cookies actually originate from Vienna but these unique crescent shaped cookies have been a part of German Christmases for centuries. As the story goes they were created in the shape of the Turkish crescent moon to symbolize the celebration of the victory of the Hungarian army over the Turkish in one of the many wars between both nations. There are versions of the cookie all over Europe from Hungary to Romania, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. This year with my decadent chocolate cravings I added dark melted chocolate to the batter and brush them with more dark chocolate to give a wonderful rich flavor. The most important thing to remember when baking the Kipferls is that everything needs to be cold - especially your hands when you begin shaping the crescents.

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Recipe: Chocolate Kipferl Cookies

Prep Time:
Total Time: + resting and cooling time
Yields: 50 -60 cookies



  • 100g all-purpose flour + more for the counter
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 60g sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped
  • 100g cold butter, cubed
  • 1 large egg
  • 75g + 100g dark chocolate (75% cacao)



  1. Pre-heat oven to 160C and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Coarsely chop 75g chocolate and melt it in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water.
  2. Place flour, ground almonds, sugar, butter, and the egg in a bowl of a standmixer fitted with the dough hook. Knead until the dough resembles breadcrumbs, then pour in the warm melted chocolate. With cold hands and on a lightly floured countertop, knead quickly until the dough comes together smoothly. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for one hour.
  3. After the resting time, remove the dough from the fridge and form into a long roll. With a sharp knife cut into slices then each slice into two and form the typical crescent cookie shape. You will need to work quickly and not handle the dough too much. Make sure your hands are cold while forming the crescents.
  4. Place the kipferl (crescents) on the prepared baking tray and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
  5. In the meantime melt the remaining 100g chocolate in the water-bath. Allow cookies to cool completely then brush the flat end of the kipferl with chocolate. Set aside to dry completely.

Lemon Scented Chocolate Spritz Cookies

These are the most easiest cookies to make and we love them because of their simplicity. It’s origins are once again found in Austria and are also known as Linzer Spritz Cookies. I used two types of flours here - one slightly coarser and the other more fine to give more texture to the cookie.

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Lemon Scented Chocolate Spritz Cookies

Prep Time:
Total Time: + resting time
Yields: 40 cookies



  • 220g butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 150g coarse flour
  • 150g fine flour
  • Pinch of fleur de sel
  • 100g dark chocolate (75% cacao, melted over a water bath
  • 80g icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon



  1. Pre-heat oven to 200C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Place butter, icing sugar, vanilla sugar, lemon zest and fleur de sel in a bowl of a standmixer fitted with the spatula attachment. Whisk until pale and creamy. Add the egg yolk and continue to whisk until incorporated then add the egg. Whisk well until the eggs are well incorporated.
  3. Sieve and mix both types of flours, then gently fold into the creamy sugar-butter-egg mixture. Fill the dough in a spritz cookie press or a in a piping bag and pipe the dough onto the baking paper lined tray.
  4. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes then remove and allow to cool completely.
  5. Melt the chocolate in a water bath then either dip half of the cookies in the chocolate or brush on the flat side of the cookie. Allow to dry on a wire rack.

Ischlers Orange Cookies

These are favorites amongst the children in the house. It easy to see why a lovely orange scented chocolate cream is sandwiched between two crispy cookies. Then dipped in more chocolate. The Ischler cookies date back to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, where the cookie was first made in 1849 in the town of Bad Ischl. The Emperor Franz Joseph I established his summer residence there and in his honor a little bakery by the name of Zauner created the “Ischler Törtchen”, which soon became the Emperor’s favorite confect. Traditionally the Ischlers are filled with jam, sometimes one can find them filled with both jam and the chocolate cream giving them almost a praline like flavor. In my recipe I only fill it with the chocolate cream and adding the zest of an orange into the cream.

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Ischlers Orange

Prep Time:
Total Time: + resting time
Yields: 12 cookies



  • 220g butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 300g all-purpose flour + more for countertop
  • Pinch of fleur de sel
  • 200g dark chocolate (75% cacao, melted over a water bath
  • 120g icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
  • 80g butter
  • 200g dark chocolate (75% cacao, melted over a water bath
  • 40g ground almonds
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 80g icing sugar



  1. Pre-heat oven to 170C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Sieve flour into a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, add 220g butter in cubes, then add 120g sugar and vanilla sugar, egg and salt. Knead into a smooth dough, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for one hour.
  3. Lightly dust the counter with some flour, then roll out the dough. Using a round cookie cuter cut out circles and place on the baking tray. Bake for 12 minutes.
  4. In the meantime make the cream by whisking 80g butter and 80 g icing sugar until creamy and pale. Add the orange zest and 200g melted chocolate, mix until smooth. Finally incorporate the ground almonds.
  5. Spread the chocolate cream on half of the cookies then cover with the remaining cookie. Dip the sandwich cookies in the 200g melted chocolate and allow to drip and dry on a wire rack.

Cookies, cakes and other confectionary are always such a fantastic part of the Christmas. Wrapping the cookies in beautiful crepe paper and placing them in boxes, each waiting to be gifted to a friend, a family member or a colleague - it’s a special gift that has a personal signature to it.

The concept of edible gifts in jars is still very new in Germany and I’ve enjoyed doing this for quite some time. I love the look of surprise and pure happiness when friends receive these - yes I even give them to those who swear they are not bakers. The feedback has always been very positive.  

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Raspberry Pine Nuts Muesli Bars

Just layer about 500g of muesli, a handful of pine nuts, sprinkle with a teaspoon of cinnamon, 200g muscovado sugar and finally a large handful of dried raspberries.
The person who receives this jar needs to add 200g butter and 4 tablespoons honey. To make the bars heat the oven to 180C. Melt the butter and honey together then add the contents of the jar and simmer for 2 minutes. Spread the mixture into a lined baking tray, cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Leave in the tray for 10 minutes, then loosen the edges and turn out. Slice into squares.

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Buckwheat Seeded Crispbread

Layer the jar with the following:
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup wholemeal flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup sesame seeds
2 tsp sea salt

The person who receives this jar need only to add 1 cup of water and 1/2 cup of really good olive oil, which you can gift them as well.
Preheat the oven to 200C heat a few baking trays to warm up them. Mix together all the ingredients in a large bowl. Roll out handfuls of dough between 2 sheets of baking paper until very thin. Remove the top sheet of baking paper and use a knife to cut the flattened dough into shapes. Leave the pieces on the bottom sheet of baking paper, and slide it across onto a preheated tray. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the crispbreads are golden and hardened to the touch. Remove the baking paper from underneath as soon as possible. Cool completely on a wire rack before storing in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

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There is no end to creativity when it comes to giving lovely homemade gifts that come from the heart and made with love. Be it little mince pies or cakes wrapped in plastic foil, homemade jams, preserves or chutneys, boxes of cookies or jars of dry ingredients which is then put together with other ingredients in the kitchens of your loved ones - all these are lovely ways to add a special note to your gifts.

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We are getting ready to settle down into the Christmas time. Although the weather is reminiscent of early Spring rather than deep winter we are not really complaining. Christmas carols and Christmas markets are all in full swing and Weimar looks lovely decorated with tinsel, baubles and sparkly lights.

Sending you all happy Christmas spirits from my kitchen to yours ....

You might like these edible Christmas gift ideas from What’s for lunch, Honey?:

Spekulatius Spice Madeleines-0081 by Meeta K. Wolff Quince Hazelnut and Cognac Mincemeat (0385) by Meeta K. Wolff Christmas Cookies 2011 (0160) by Meeta K. Wolff
Spekulatius Spiced Madeleines Buttery Quince Hazelnut and Cognac Mincemeat Almond Peanut Florentines, Chocolate Brushed Lebkuchen and Hazelnut Gianduia Spritz Cookies

All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2015 Meeta Khurana Wolff unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

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  1. Such a great selection! Your cookies look so perfect and pretty.



  2. Oh Meeta! You're one hell of an artist - what an amazing and unique christmas pictures. I am not big fan of shiny christmas glitters which many bloggers portray in their blog. Your pictures are so different - I am getting inspiration from them. I am about to start my christmas shooting : ) from this week. I am planning to keep it very low and simple :)

  3. I always end up being in awe of your posts, Meeta! I know I will be seeing something beautiful and this too is simply gorgeous, Meeta. So detailed and so elegant. Will be looking at it many times over :) Happy Holidays!

  4. What a wonderful tradition.
    Isn't that the thing about christmas - doing things together, Sharing laughter and little stories over mulled wine and of course all the sharing in prepping cookies and little edible Gifts for each other. Your Cookies Look wonderful dear Meeta! Wish you a merry Christmastime!

  5. What an amazing selection of biscuits, the presentation on this is wonderful. Merry Christmas.

  6. Hello, I loved the recipes but was wondering if it's only 100 grams of flour for 50 chocolate kipferl cookies. Is it right?

    1. Hi there Ellen, Thanks for your comment. Yes I make mine relatively small so I get roughly 45 - 50 Kipferls. Naturally if you make them larger you will get less. Let me know how they turned out!
      xo Meeta

    2. Hi, I replaced the almonds for ground pecan nuts and cocoa nibs and the Kipferls turned out delicious! I didn't get the shape quite right though. Merry Christmas from the sunny and warm Brazil :)

  7. Phew, that's a lot of cookies you have there! Can I have the Chocolate Kipferl, please?

  8. Dear Father Christmas... I only really need these... :-)

  9. Woww. These look so delicious. I was too late for the Christmas last year, but thanks for your receipts. It will be useful for Christmas this year


Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.