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recipe: Hildabrötchen – traditional German Christmas cookies


  • 300 g wheat flour (type 550)

  • 125 g sugar

  • 1 egg

  • 150 g butter, cold

  • 200 g raspberry jelly

  • 1 egg white

  • 3 tbsp powder sugar


  1. For the Hildabrötchen, sift the wheat flour and knead it with the sugar, the egg, and the cold butter to a firm dough. Form two balls from the dough, wrap them in plastic wrap and place them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

  2. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

  3. Roll out the first dough ball on a floured work surface to a thickness of 3 mm. Cut out the dough using a round wave cookie cutter (diameter 5 cm). Place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

  4. Roll out the second dough and cut out rounds to make the exact size of cookies (diameter 5 cm). Using a much smaller round cookie cutter, cut a hole in the center of each cookie. Place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

  5. Bake the cookies for 15 minutes until they are golden brown.

  6. Heat the raspberry jelly, coat the “whole” cookies with the raspberry jelly, and place the cookies with a “hole” on top of the “whole” cookie.

  7. Dust with powder sugar and enjoy.


To ensure that you can snack your homemade Hildabrötchen for as long as possible, store them in well-sealed plastic or tin containers. Ensure that they are not exposed to direct sunlight and kept at room temperature. This way, the cookies will be good for up to three weeks.

Extra tip: If the cookies get hard, put a piece of apple in the cookie jar for a day.


Grand Duchess Hilda of Nassau had, so the legend goes, a particular weakness: round cookies made of shortbread, between the two halves of which rested a layer of red jam. The upper part is said to have had a hole in the middle, and at the end, the cookies were sprinkled with sugar; and since Duchess Hilda, Baden's last grand duchess, was extremely popular, the cookies were named after her.

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