Back home in Germany, making cookies is a special Christmas tradition. Cookies are very important in German food culture, especially in Bavaria where I am from. During the Christmas season, literally everyone makes cookies to share with their neighbors and celebrate the holidays. At 5 pm in my village people make rounds and visit with their neighbors over a glass of mulled wine and homemade cookies (Weihnachtsplätzchen). Some recipes are elaborate and need to be started months ahead of time (Lebkuchen for example), others are really easy and quick.
I am sharing with you the recipe for Mürbteig cookie dough, or “1-2-3-dough” as some call it for it’s easy to memorize proportions of sugar, flour and butter. It is deliciously crumbly and easy to make – especially if you have a food processor. It is a great base for a lot of cookie recipes. You can roll it out and use a cookie cutter, or use your favorite flavor of K’s Jams to make a batch of Thumbprint cookies for your family. My street loves it when I bring a batch to our block association's pot lucks. My neighbor George Duran, who is a chef, entertainer, author and has a Food Network show Ham on the Street, says this: “I’ve never had a tastier cookie than Katharina’s Jam-stuffed Thumbprint Cookies! The buttery cookie instantly melts in your mouth, and her heavenly sweet and tart jam brings this cookie together to perfection!”

For this recipe you will need:

        • 1 part sugar, eg. 100 grams or 1/2 cup
        • 2 parts cold butter, eg.200 grams or 2 tablespoons shy of 1 stick
        • 3 parts flour, eg. 300 grams or 2 1/2 cups
        • 1 Egg


    Make sure that all the ingredients – even the egg – are cold. This dough dislikes warmth, and will get sticky, so cool your hands by running them under cold water before you knead it. 

    2)  If you have a food processor, add all your cold ingredients, and pulse until the dough just comes together. Don't overwork the dough! That develops gluten and your dough will get hard and lose its airy crunch. Move to step 5 from here 

    If you make the dough by hand:

    1) Sift flour in a pile, and with a spoon create a well in the middle.

    2) Add sugar to the well, and the egg.

    3) Cut the cold butter into pieces and place all around on the edge of the flour well.

    4) Thoroughly chop all the ingredients with a knife and knead as quickly as you can to prevent warming. Knead pieces together into a ball. Make sure not to overwork the dough.

    5) Wrap the dough in plastic and let rest for 30 mins up to 24 hours in the fridge

    6) Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit  

    7) To assemble the thumbprints, use a one tablespoon cookie scoop or measuring spoon to measure out the dough.

    8) Next, roll the cookie dough into balls and toss each one in a little granulated sugar (the sugar is optional, it provides a bit of crunch).

    9) Make an indentation in each cookie. You can use your thumb, but I like to use the handle of a wooden apple corer, or you could use the back of a wooden spoon. Dip your utensil into a bit of flour so the dough won’t stick.

    10) Fill each indentation with 1/2 teaspoon of your favorite flavor of K’s European Jam. The jam will shrink a bit in the oven, but be careful not to overfill so it won't run over.

    11) Bake for about 15 minutes. They should be baked through but still pale on top.