“Ausstecherle” is one of the basic and probably the most popular German “Plaetzchen” (Christmas cookies). Ausstecherle means "little cut outs" in German, which pertains to the process of making the cookies. The recipe is fairly simple and for most Germans, baking them would remind them of their childhood memories at grandma's Christmas bakery. It's one of those things that always bring warmth to your heart just by the smell of it. But it’s not only about the past, Ausstecherle are still very popular until today and baking them with your children is a great way to pass on old Christmas traditions and recipes. Note: It's a great activity to share with the kids, so be warned, it's going to be F-U-N! ;)
Knead all ingredients and allow the dough to rest for 1 hour in the fridge.
Roll out the dough approximately 5 mm thick on a floured surface (rolling pin should be floured as well to avoid the dough from sticking) and then cut out shapes from different types of cookie cutters (e. g. Christmas trees, stars, hearts, bells etc.).
Lay the cut out cookies on a baking paper on the baking tray and bake the “Plaetzchen” in the preheated oven for approximately 10 minutes, 180 – 200°C. Watch the cookies while baking, as baking time varies depending on the oven. Note: the cookies should still be light in color when removed from the oven to ensure that they remain soft.
Allow the Plaetzchen to cool down and then decorate them according to your taste with sugar icing, colorful candy sprinkles, chocolates etc. Let the kids explore their imagination and apply their creativity. The main objective here is to have fun. Enjoy the process and indulge on your finished product.