What better way to sweeten your Vorfreude (German for “joy of anticipation”) to the holidays than with Christmas cookies.
A family favorite for iNSIDE EUROPE intern Daniela are her grandma Katharina’s so-called Nougat Taler.
Coming from Germany, and more precisely Bavaria, eating and drinking is a big part of everyday life and the holiday season in particular. “This recipe has been passed on from my grandmother, Katharina, to my mother, Erika, and then now to me. It has already made at least three generations of Bavarians happy so give it a try and add a German element to your holiday celebrations. Enjoy!”, says Daniela.
Nougat-Taler = “Nougat Coins”
- 4 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar
- 2 1/2 cups ground hazelnuts*
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 3/4 cups butter, chilled and cubed
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup nougat (alternatively Nutella or a similar chocolate spread)
- Chocolate for dipping
*Ground hazelnuts are sometimes hard to buy in the US, almond meal, which is for example available on Amazon, works fine as well.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C)
- Place the all-purpose flour in a mixing bowl and add the sugar, vanilla sugar, powdered hazelnuts, baking powder, and cubed butter. Combine and cut the butter in so it has a texture of flakes. Make a well in the center of this mixture.
- Pour the eggs into the well and mix, by hand, with the dry ingredients.
- Cover the dough and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. *For the best results, make the dough a day ahead of time to ensure properly chilled dough.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and, using a rolling pin, roll out on a lightly floured surface.
- Cut out small circles by using a small drinking glass or biscuit cutter.
- Continue steps #5 and #6 until the dough has all been used.
- Place the cookies on a greased baking sheet (you can also place them additionally on a baking paper) and bake for 10 minutes at 350°F (175°C) or until slightly golden brown.
- In the meantime, melt the nougat in the microwave or on the stovetop. Please note, you don’t have to do this step if you use Nutella instead.
- Separately, melt your chocolate for dipping.
- Once the cookies are slightly cooled, it is best to use warm cookies for this step, spread the melted nougat or the Nutella on a cookie and then press another cookie against the filling to make sandwiches. Repeat with the remaining cookies.
- Dip half of the completed cookie sandwich into melted chocolate and let cool.
- Enjoy your Nougat-Taler!
Daniela concludes: “The cookies can be easily stored in a box in the pantry and should be good at least 4-5 weeks unless you eat them up earlier, of course.”
She also recommends GermanFoods.org, a website all about German food and, of course, German Christmas cookies.