These biscuits have been part of our family Christmas for as long as I remember: crumbly and buttery shortbread-style biscuits, filled with apricot jam – ‘Marillen’ being the Austrian dialect word for apricots. In many ways they are a distant cousin of my butter biscuits, which I openly preferred when smaller, because of the fact that they came in funny shapes. But with age comes wisdom, which in my case means that I can now fully appreciate the jamminess of these little cookie-sandwiches.
Marillenringe (Apricot rings) makes 50
- 250g unsalted butter
- 120g caster sugar
- 2 tbs vanilla sugar
- 400g flour
- 2 egg yolks
- grated zest of 1 lemon
- pinch of salt
for the decoration:
- 284g jam (basically a full jar)
- icing sugar
On your work surface, mix the ingredients for the dough as quickly as possible – as explained before, this buttery dough needs to be handled as little as possible.
Once it loosely holds together, cover the ball with cling film and leave it to rest in the fridge for 2 hours or more.
Preheat your oven to 170C and grease several baking trays or line them with baking parchment. Roll out portions of the dough on your worktop, which needs to be sprinkled with flour. Use pastry cutters to cut out circles; using a smaller cutter, cut out an opening in half of them.
Traditionally, we use simple circles, but, quite frankly, why not experiment? I do like the little stars and might give my fluted cutters an outing next year.
Bake for 10 minutes, then leave to cool before removing them on a wire rack or similar.
Heat up the jam in a small pot until it starts bubbling. Dust the rings with icing sugar, then spread jam on the bottom circles and assemble the biscuits.
Enjoy in conjunction with other cookies – a traditional Advent Kaffeekränzchen, or get together, requires that you show off your entire range of Christmas baking!
How about you – what are you showing off these days in the run up to Christmas?