Monday, December 9, 2013

Spitz Buban - Our Family Tradition

Some of my ancestors came from Germany.  For as long as I can remember, my mom (and her mom and grandmother) made a little German cookie for Christmas.  It's called a Spitz Buban and is basically two butter cookies covered in breadcrumbs with plum jam sandwiched between and a dusting of powdered sugar on top.  However, making them is a bit more complicated than that.

Our family has adopted the tradition, and this is the first time in 31 years that I've documented the making of them.

{1} Make the dough (recipe at the end).
{2} Set up the assembly line.  
 {3} Roll out the dough to about 1/8 of an inch thick.  It helps tremendously if you use a floured pastry cloth and a "sock" for your rolling pin!  
{4} Once you cut the cookies out of the dough (we've always used a fluted diamond shape), you brush one side with an egg wash.  

{5} Then, put the egged side face down in a plate of bread crumbs.
{6} Turn them over onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
and, fill it up!

See how thin they are...

{7} Pile all of the baked cookies up, and set up your second assembly line.
{8} The recipe calls for red plum jam.  Believe me, even if it isn't your favorite normally, it is the best jam for this particular cookie.
 {9} Spread a thin layer of the jam on one cookie and fill another cookie sheet.
{10} Then, begin to top them.

 {11} Dust the tops with powdered sugar.

 {12} Finally, flip them over as you put them in a tin, and dust the bottoms.


Spitz Buban

1 lb. butter softened to room temperature (do not soften in microwave)
1 C. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3 C. flour + more to make dough workable (I always use at least 4 cups)

Mix butter, sugar and vanilla until well blended.  Then add flour and knead dough until smooth.  Roll out dough to about 1/8 inch thick.  Cut with diamond cookie cutter and brush the top with beaten egg.  Then dip in bread crumbs.  Bake in a hot oven (375) for 8 minutes.  You don't want them to brown.  When completely cooled, spread plum jam between two cookies and sprinkle with powdered sugar.  

Cookies stay good in an airtight container for weeks.