These pretty German marzipan cookies consist of a poppy seed shortbread cookie and a piped marzipan cookie sandwiched together with spiked jam! A German Christmas cookie recipe to impress everyone with!
Choose a round cookie cutter, that you want to use for the shortbread base. Lay it onto a big piece of parchment paper and use it as a template to draw little circles onto the paper. These will be your guide when piping the upper part of the cookie, which needs to be the same size as the shortbread!
Grate the marzipan. Measure out 150 butter and 50 g marzipan and beat in your stand mixer for about 3 minutes, adding 75 g icing sugar bit by bit along with salt and half of the almond essence. Let the mixer whip everything for 2 minutes longer.
Mix 200 g flour with 50 g each of cornstarch and ground poppy seeds. Add an egg to the butter mixture and beat to combine, then add the dry flour poppy seed mix and beat to combine.
Dump the batter onto a layer of cling film. Cover with another layer of cling film and shape into a disk. Chill in the fridge for about 2 hours. This dough can be made 2 days in advance.
In the meantime, make the upper part of the cookie. Preheat the oven to 190 C (375F). Line several cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Beat 200 g softened butter with leftover marzipan for a couple of minutes. Continue to beat while adding 80 g powdered sugar, another pinch of salt and the leftover almond essence as well as vanilla. Beat in an egg.
Mix 300 g flour with 100 g ground poppy seeds and add to the batter together with milk and 1 tbsp of rum. Beat until a smooth paste forms.
Fill this paste into a piping bag with a star nozzle and pipe little circles onto the parchment paper you have prepared earlier (see step 1). To prevent the parchment paper from moving, I "glue" each corner to the baking tray with small amounts of cookie dough.
Bake for 10 minutes. They should not really brown much. It helps to put each tray with piped cookie rings into the freezer for about 8 minutes. That way, they keep their shape better! In the meantime, pipe the next tray and freeze it once the first tray goes into the oven.
Let cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 175 C (350F). Now roll out the rested poppy seed dough (until about 3 mm)and cut out rounds using the cookie cutter you used to draw the outlines of the piped cookie.
Place on lined cookie trays and bake for 8 minutes. Again, they should not brown too much.
Let cookies cool and whisk jam with rum. Now sandwich together by spreading a dollop of jam, about 1/2 tsp, onto the middle of each shortbread base. Top with the piped cookie part and press together gently!
Store in a cookie tin in a cool place.
Make sure your butter and eggs are room temperature.
Each brand of almond essence has a different strength. You don't want to overpower the marzipan flavor, just help to boost it, so err on the side of caution.
To get the perfect piped look for your top halves, I recommend freezing the cookie trays with the piped marzipan cookies for 8 minutes before baking.
These poppy seed marzipan cookies get better with time as the jam makes them extra tender. They are best about 1 to 2 weeks after baking.