Advent jam filled double deckers (Doppeldecker)
350g (2²⁄₃ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour plus extra for dusting
¼ tsp baking powder
Pinch of fine sea salt
125g (½ cup plus 1 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temp
180g (1 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk to assemble and finish
Raspberry jam (jelly)
Icing (confectioners’) sugar, for dusting
The brilliant cook Anja Dunk has just released a magic book all about advent baking, Advent. Featuring Anja’s own linocut illustrations and evocative photography, this is a stunning, comforting clothbound volume that will be a family favourite for many years to come.
We’ll be giving away a copy over on our Instagram in the next couple of weeks, but in the meantime, Anja has been kind enough to share a family recipe for her jam filled Doppeldeckers, below.
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.
Made with apricot jam instead of raspberry, these are called Marillenringe and are an Austrian Advent speciality. Also, if you switch the cut-out heart for three small circles they become Pfauenaugen, which means ‘peacock eyes’.
Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F and line two large baking sheets with non-stick baking parchment.
Put the flour, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and work it into the flour using your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and mix through. Now add the egg and extra yolk and knead into a stiff dough. (Alternatively, put all the ingredients into the bowl of a free-standing electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, and beat until they come together as a stiff dough.)
Lightly dust the work surface with flour. Divide the dough in half and roll one half out to a 5mm/1/8in thickness. Cut out small rounds using a fluted cutter (see pages 258–9). Lay these on one of the baking sheets.
Repeat with the other half of dough, laying the rounds on the second baking sheet. Use a smaller star- or heart-shaped cutter to cut out a shape from the centre of half of the rounds. (You can either place these small
cut-out shapes on another lined baking sheet and bake them after the Doppeldecker, or simply roll them up into a ball of dough with all the offcuts and continue making the larger biscuits.)
Bake for about 10 minutes until lightly golden brown. Transfer the biscuits to two wire racks, one for the whole biscuits and one for the cutout biscuits, to cool completely.
Once cool, spoon about ½ teaspoon of jam onto each whole biscuit. Dust each cut-out biscuit with icing sugar and gently lay one on top of each jam-covered biscuit. Stored in an airtight tin, these will keep for at least 3 weeks.
RECIPE + IMAGE: Anja Dunk, from Advent