Plätzchen backen

Advent started today with the traditional “Plätzchen backen” – baking Christmas biscuits garnished with coloured or chocolate sprinkles, or with grounded almonds.

The dough is a mixture of flour, baking powder, sugar, butter and an egg, and is left to cool in the fridge before being rolled out and cut into the shapes. These are then coated with egg before the topping is added and baked for around 10 minutes.


SpekulatiusSpekulatius is a type of spiced biscuit that is eaten at Christmas in Germany.  As well as the normal form of the biscuit, there are variations made with almonds or with extra butter.  The form of the biscuits tells the story of St. Nicholas.

Because of the price of the spices involved, these biscuits were expensive to make until the 1950s, so they are considered to be somewhat exotic.  These days, however, they are readily available in most supermarkets.

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

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Download a transcript

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