There is an organic bakery chain, Pfister, in Munich which is known for its crunchy bread crust and for its vast selection of breads. The bakery also offers a small selection of pastries and cookies. When I was a child my favorite cookies from this bakery was "Pfauenauge" (peacock eyes) which resembles Linzer cookies and they are also jam sandwiched cookies.
A few weeks ago, while picking up a loaf of bread at the Pfister bakery, I also bought a Pfauenauge cookie because I was curious if I still liked the cookie; the last time I tried this cookie was probably 20 years ago. The cookie was good but I thought to myself that I would add more spices to the dough. Inspired by the Pfister cookie I made my own version of Pfauenauge cookies and I added cacao powder, cinnamon and cloves to the dough. I could not be happier with the cake result and these cookies might be my favorite cookie of this Christmas season (last year Spekulatius were my favorite Christmas cookies).
If you have extra time on your hands roast the hazelnuts.
Roast the hazelnuts in a dry frying pan (do not add oil), over medium heat and stir constantly (so the hazelnuts do not burn), until the nuts are lightly golden in color and the skin of the nuts are blistered. Place the nuts in a kitchen towel and remove loose skins by rubbing against the towel. Do not worry if the skin remain on some nuts, It does not have to be perfect.
Let the hazelnuts cool completely before grinding them.
On the day you make the cookies they are crunchy which I like. The next day the Pfauenauge cookies get softer which some people prefer. Because of the jam filling it is inevitable that the cookies softens over time. However, I think - in my experience - the cookies get softer in a cookie tin than storing them on a plate at a room temperature.
If you prefer the cookies crispy store the cookies (without jam filling) in a tin and fill the cookies on the day you want to eat or serve them.
Makes 10 cookies (7.5 cm / 3 inches in diameter)
- 100 g / 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, soft
- 100 g / 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 pinch of salt
- 25 g / 3 tablespoons whole-wheat flour (you can also replace it with pastry flour)
- 90 g / 3/4 cup and 2 tablespoons pastry flour, plus extra for kneading
- 100 g / 2/3 cup hazelnuts, finely grated *see my notes above
- 1 teaspoon raw cacao powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons powdered sugar
- 100 g / 5 tablespoons raspberry jam
- Beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add egg yolk and salt and beat until well incooperated.
- Mix whole-wheat flour, pastry flour, finely grated hazelnuts, cacao powder, cinnamon and cloves in a separate bowl.
- Add the flour spice mixture to the butter mixture and stir with a (wooden) spoon. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead the dough until smooth. Try to work as quickly as possible. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour. Form the dough to flat disc and wrap the dough into cling wrap. Let the dough chill for at least two hours or overnight in the fridge.
- When you take the dough out of the fridge you will notice that the dough is very hard. Let the dough rest for 10 to 15 minutes at room temperature, then roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface or roll the dough out on parchment paper. Try to use as little flour as possible. While rolling out the dough lift the dough regularly, so the dough does not stick to your work surface.
- Roll out the dough until it is about 5 mm / 0.2 inch thick. Cut out cookies with a cookie cutter ( I like using a wavy cookie cutter which is 7.5 cm / 3 inches in diameter, use any shape you like best such as a heart, or square cookie cutter).
- Place the cookies on baking sheets lined with parchment paper ( I use two baking sheets). Cut out the centers of half of the cookies. It is easier if you cut out the centers on the baking sheet than on a surface. I use a small ( 1.5 cm / 1/2 inch in diameter) round cookie cutter and I make three little holes but you also make only one hole.
- Preheat the oven to 175 °C / 350 °F.
- Bake the cookies for 10 minutes. If your cookies are thicker it may take a minute or two longer and if your cookies are thinner the baking time is a minute or two shorter.
- Let the cookies cool completely on a wire rack.
- Dust the top of the cut-out cookies with powdered sugar. I use a little sieve.
- Spread raspberry jam on each "bottom" cookie, Use about 1/2 tablespoon for each cookie bottom, spread more jam in the middle of each cake. Place the top cookies (dusted with powdered sugar) onto the the cookies with jam and very gently sandwich the cookies. Be careful that you do not break the cookies.