While my mama is an exceptionally good home cook, biscuits aren’t really her favourite thing to make and I didn’t get my love of Advent baking from her. I learned about the magic of Adventsgebäck as a small child from Omi, her mother, who took it upon herself to teach me all that she knew, filling the German biscuit void in our Welsh household. Later, during my early teenage years, and much to everyone’s delight, I baked my way through countless German baking books during Advent, adding to the knowledge Omi had passed on.
The one exception to mama’s Christmas baking was Doppeldecker, buttery biscuits filled with jam and a heart (or star) cut of out the centre; Germany’s answer to the jammy dodger. These she baked every December without fail because they were my brother’s favourite. I happily made up for the rest of the biscuits on the Bunter Teller.
Made with apricot jam instead of raspberry, these are called Marillenringe and are an Austrian Advent specialty. Also, if you switch the cut-out heart for three small circles they become Pfauenaugen, which means ‘peacock eyes’.
You can find Anja’s book Advent: Festive German Bakes to Celebrate the Coming of Christmas now.
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