Christmas in Alsace rhymes with bredele (or bredala)! Do you know these small biscuits typical from Alsace? Not one single family in Alsace would miss the opportunity to bake some during Christmas times (or at least to eat some!). 

As it is important to have good recipes, I have asked some of my Alsatian friends especially good at baking, to share with you some of their baking secrets. This way, you will be able to make bredele at home and to dive into Alsatian Christmas spirit. Get your ovens and cookie cutters ready and let’s get baking!

Butterbredele by Joséphine

bredele-christmas-alsace

Butterbredele – © Mon week-end en Alsace

Joséphine is the daughter of friends. I have tasted a few weeks ago the butterbredele of this young 12-year old Alsatian girl and I found them so delicious that I have asked to come and bake some with her! 

We ended up doing a bredele workshop during a December afternoon. Three butterbredele batches later, we were satisfied by the result. Hm, these little cookies are delicious! A simple, but efficient recipe.

 

Butterbredele recipe by Joséphine

Ingredients:

  • 500g T45 flour
  • 300g butter
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 sachet of vanilla sugar
  • 1/2 sachet of baking powder

To glaze the biscuits:

  • 2 egg yolks

Preparation:

1. Break the eggs into a bowl and add the sugar. Incorporate the vanilla sugar and stir immediately with a whip.

2. In a second bowl, mix the flour and previously softened butter, with your hands to get a dough with sandy appearance.

3. Incorporate the mix sugar and eggs and the baking powder and work the dough until you get a smooth dough. Shrink-wrap it and let it rest 1h in the fridge.

4. Mix the dough and spread it over a thickness of about 4 mm. Cut out shapes with the cookie cutter and arrange them on a plate covered with greaseproof paper.

5. Brush them with egg yolks with a paintbrush to glaze them and then put the plate in the oven at 180°C for 10 to 15 minutes.

Add some cinnamon in the dough if you like it, it’s even better!

 

Zimtsterne (cinammon stars) by Sandra

zimsterne

Zimtsterne – © Cuisine Addict

Sandra, author of the food blog Cuisine Addict gives us here her recipe of cinammon stars.

These “Zimtsterne”, aka “Cinnamon stars” are certainly some of my favorite bredele… For me, Alsace, Cinnamon and Christmas are inseperable and I can’t imagine spending Christmas without biting into one of these bredele, which are crunchy outside and moist inside ^^.

Cinnamon stars recipe by Sandra

Preparation time: 10 min – Rest time : 2 h – Cook time : 8 min

Ingredients:
For the cinnamon stars:

  • 200g shelled almonds
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of cinnamon powder
  • 160g flour
  • 2 egg whites

For icing:

  • 150g icing sugar
  • 1 egg white

Preparation:
1. Mix the shelled almonds in your kitchen robot with a knife or in a blender. They have to be reduced to a powder, but not too finely. Put the grounded almonds in the bowl of the robot with the paper and add sugars, cinnamon and flour.

2. Mix quickly and add egg whites and continue to mix until the dough is in the shape of a ball. Put the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours.

3. Preheat your oven at 150°C. Roll out the dough over a thickness of about 1 cm and cut out stars (or other shapes ^^) with the help of a cookie cutter. Put the shortbread biscuits on a plate covered with greaseproof paper and let them bake for 8 minutes. When taking them out of the oven, let them completely cool down.

4. For icing, mount the egg whites until very stiff, and incorporate carefully the icing sugar. Brush the stars completely cooled and let it dry for a few hours.

Preservation:
Once the icing is dry, you can keep the cinnamon stars for several weeks in an airtight metal box.

 

Jam Mini-linzers by Céline

mini-linzer

Mini-linzer – © L’heure du Cream

Céline, blogger at L’Heure du Cream

If there is one tradition difficult to miss in Alsace, it is that of Bredeles. Everyone has their favorite in all the varieties, but I have a slight inclination for mini-linzers.

The spices, the touch of citrus and the raspberry jam making the biscuit very soft… one thing is for sure, the biscuits are never left untouched. Yes, I am addicted!

 

Mini-Linzers recipe by Céline

Ingredients (for about 40 to 50 pieces):

  • 200g wheat flour
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 150g butter
  • 100g (unshelled) almond powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of cocoa
  • the grated zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 egg
  • Raspberry jam

Preparation:

1. In a bowl, mix the flour, icing sugar, cinnamon, cocoa, almonds and lemon zest. Incorporate the butter pieces and give the dough a sandy texture with your hands. Add the egg and work on the dough until you get a smooth and homogeneous dough. Put it in a plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least one hour.

2. Preheat the oven a 180°C (electric oven). Spread the dough on a lightly floured work surface (or on a sheet of baking paper). Cut shapes with the cookie cutter (don’t forget to cut full biscuits, as well as pattern biscuits). Recover the scraps and cut the dough until none is left.

3. Bake each batch for about 8-9 min. Let them cool down.

4. Put the full and hollow biscuits together with jam. Sprinkle with icing sugar.

You can also paint them, before cooking with an egg yolk mixed with a little bit of milk to glaze them.

 

Spritz by Adeline

spritz-bredele

Spritz – © La cuisine d’Adeline

Adeline, blogger at La Cuisine d’Adeline:

In Alsace, during Christmas times, it is traditional to make bredeles (Christmas biscuits). I really love them since my childhood years and every year is the same ritual! We often do it with my family, when it’s cold outside and nice and warm inside.

Today, I m sharing with you the recipe of the famous spritz, a recipe that always makes a splash with my family.

 

Spritz recipe by Adeline

Ingredients:

  • 250g flour
  • 125g sugar
  • 1 sachet of vanilla sugar
  • 150g butter
  • 1 egg
  • 100g almond powder
  • 6g baking powder

Tools:

To shape the spritz, you can use:

  • A manual chopper or a robot with a special star-shaped connector for cakes
  • A pastry-bag with a star-shaped nozzle

Preparation:

1. Preheat your oven at 180°C (th.6). In a bowl, mix the butter, sugar and vanilla sugar. You can then add the egg. Mix the flour and baking powder. Incorporate it to the mix and then add the almond powder.

2. Shape your spritz as sticks, S or rings. Put them on a plate covered with baking paper and put in the oven for about 8 to 10 minutes.

Are you a sweet lover? Try to dip them into melted chocolate! It’s even better!

 

Hazelnut croquettes by Marine

hazelnut-croquettes

Hazelnut croquettes – © Miss Crumble

Marine, food blogger at Miss Crumble:

Bredele are THE Christmas tradition! Every Sunday, before the 25, I get together with my mom to get cooking! We make our production schedule and get started! Generally, we start first with the classical and easy to make recipes. This one is a bit more tricky. We decided to just try it one day and it is now one of our favorites.

 

Hazelnut croquettes recipe by Marine

Ingredients:

For the dough :

  • 300g flour
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 100g (softened) butter
  • 1 sachet of vanilla sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder

For garniture:

  • 150g butter
  • 150g sugar
  • 1 packet of vanilla sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of water
  • 150g finely grounded hazelnuts
  • 150g minced hazelnuts
  • Raspberry jam

Prepare the dough: mix the baking powder and flour and make a well. In the hole, add the sugar, the vanilla sugar, the eggs, the salt and make the dough by slowly incorporating part of the flour. Cut the butter into small pieces. Add them to the dough and start kneading it while incorporating  the rest of the flour, to get a smooth dough. If it sticks, put it in the fridge for one hour. Lower this pastry in a big rectangle and put it on a buttered plate. A big rectangle pizza plate will be the perfect size.

Prepare the garniture: melt the butter with sugar and water and heat it till the boiling point. At this point, add the grounded and minced hazelnuts together and let it cool down. At the same time, preheat the oven at 150°.

Assembling: spread the jam on the spread dough (heat it a little bit so it spreads better).

Spread the hazelnut garniture and the previously lowered dough and bake it for about 25 to 30 min. About 5 min after baking it, cut it in squares of 6 cm and then eventually cut them into two along the diagonal.

You can dip a corner of into black melted chocolate, but it’s not mandatory.

Leckerlis by Manue

bredele-leckerlis-basel

Leckerlis – © Hum ça sent bon…

Manue, food blogger at Hum, ça sent bon…:

My daughters and I are always looking forward to Christmas season to bake Bredele – small traditional biscuits from Alsace. We love this period when we bake together. We absolutely love Leckerlis (läckerlis). They are small gingerbread cubes originally from the city of Basel. They smell so good… honey, cinnamon, orange, gingerbread spices! The whole house smells delicious! Hmmmmmm… 

Leckerlis recipe by Manue

Ingredients for a large baking tray:

  • 150g of ground almonds
  • 30g of flaked almonds
  • 450g honey
  • 180g sugar
  • 80g candied orange peels
  • 450g flour
  • 1/2 sachet of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of gingerbread spices
  • 1 small teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 100g icing sugar

Preparation :

1. In a large saucepan, melt very gently honey and sugar.

2. Cut the candied oranges into small cubes. Assemble the ground almonds and flaked almonds. Weigh the flour, add the baking power, the cinnamon and gingerbread spices.

3. Add the candied oranges, the ground and flaked almonds onto the mix honey/sugar, mix everything and add the dry mix. Stir with a wooden spoon: the mixture is thick, it’s totally normal.

4. Pour in a large rectangle baking tin up to a thickness of 1.5 cm. I have used my silicone mould, but a buttered and floured mould is fine as well.

5. Bake for 25 minutes in a preheated oven at 170°C.

6. In the meantime, prepare the icing: mix icing sugar with a little bit of water, spread it out with a brush and let it cool completely.

7. Cut the leckerlis into cubes and keep in a metal box.

Hazelnut and chocolate crescents by Flo

bredele-hazelnuts

Crescents – © Un Flo de bonnes choses

Flo, food blogger at Un Flo de bonnes choses:

Bredele are sacred! It has become a true addiction for me in December with always more kinds of bredele… some must-bakes but also novelties every year! These crescents are a hazelnut variation of the Vanillekipferl, with their halfs covered in chocolate, they are simply irresistible…

Hazelnut and chocolate crescents recipe by Flo

Ingredients (for about 40 pieces):

  • 120g hazelnut
  • 250g flour
  • 175g butter (at room temperature)
  • 100g sugar
  • 80g baking chocolate
  • 1 large pinch of salt

Preparation:

1. Preheat the oven at 175°C.

2. Using a mixer, ground the hazelnuts into a powder and mix them in a bowl with the flower, the butter, the salt and sugar until it becomes a homogeneous mix.

3. Extract a little bit of mixture, shape small rolls of dough, thin the ends and curve the rolls to give them the shape of a crescent. Place them onto a piece of baking paper or a Silpat mat.

4. Bake for 15 minutes at 175°C, and then let them fully cool.

5. When the biscuits are completely cooled, melt the chocolate in a bain-marie, dip half of each crescent into the melted chocolate and let them set on a baking rack. Keep in a metal box once the chocolate has set.

Salted butter caramel shortbreads by Laurène

recette-bredele-sables-caramel

It’s me, the author of this blog: I’m not a pro at baking, but I have a few favorite recipes when it comes to bredele… I found one of them in the book Bredeles et autres petits gâteaux d’Alsace (5% discount for you with the code ESCAPALSA !). It is a recipe of Dulce de Leche shortbreads, that can also be done with salted butter caramel or chocolate spread. For me, this recipe represents the perfect combination of Alsace, my adoptive region and Brittany, where I come from. It’s a treat! The only problem is that they get eaten very fast…

Salted butter caramel shortbreads recipe

Ingredients (for about 12 pieces):

  • 250g flour
  • 75g icing sugar (+ a tiny bit extra to dust the biscuits)
  • 75g hazelnut powder
  • 140g butter (at room temperature)
  • 1 egg
  • salted butter caramel

Preparation:

1. Mix the flour with the icing sugar and the hazelnut powder. Give the butter a sandy texture by rubbing it with the tips of your fingers.

2. Add the egg and mix the dough quickly to shape a ball. Wrap it in cling film and leave it to stand in the fridge for 30 minutes.

3. Preheat the oven at 180°C.

4. On a floured work surface, spread the dough over a thickness of 3 to 4 mm.

5. Cut round biscuits (with a cookie cutter such as this one) and place them as you go on a tray covered with baking paper or of silicone sheet.

6. Put them in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes (biscuits have to be golden).

7. Let them cool. Dust half of them with icing sugar.

8. Put the biscuits together two by two with salted butter caramel.

And now?

Are you looking for more recipes? I recommend these two books:

livre-recettes-bredele-suzanne-roth

  • The book Bredeles et autres petits gâteaux d’Alsace by the éditions Baobab. It has been made by a friend who is a cook and publisher. It is a very pretty book and it offers many good ideas for recipes! You can order it here and enjoy a 5% discount when using the code ESCAPALSA. This code is also valid for other books in the shop: you can find for example a nice book about savoury bredele, one about Alsatian cooking, gift sets…

Kitchen utensils

What utensils do you need to bake bredele? Fortunately, you don’t need much:

  • rouleau-patisserie

    emporte-pieces-bredele

    plaque-patissiere-de-buyer

    toile-silicone-silpat

    • For the spritz: a pastry bag with a star-shaped nozzle

    embouts-poche-douille

    • A mixer… or your hands and your energy!!! 😉

    By buying objects through these links, I will earn a small commission and you won’t pay more… This way, will help me to keep this blog alive! Thank you in advance  🙂

    HAVE FUN!!