Heavenly German Angel Eye Cookies Recipe

Welcome to the delightful world of German Christmas cookies. Among the many beloved varieties of these holiday treats, Engelsaugen – or Angel Eye Cookies – stand out as a true classic. With their signature thumbprint press filled with a dollop of jam, these little wonders are sure to melt anyone’s heart with their irresistible taste and charming appearance.

But what sets Engelsaugen apart from other thumbprint cookies is their shortcrust base filled with ground almonds, lemon zest, and vanilla sugar. Traditionally made with butter, flour, and egg yolks, this simple yet rich dough makes for a tender and flaky foundation that perfectly balances the sweetness and tartness of the fruit filling.

In this recipe, I will show you how to make these delicious thumbprint cookies with ease, using just a few ingredients that you may already have in your pantry. Whether you want to impress your guests with a homemade treat or simply indulge in some nostalgic holiday baking, Engelsaugen are an absolute must-have for any Christmas gathering.

So let’s roll up our sleeves, turn on some festive music, and get ready to bake some heavenly Angel Eye Cookies.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Engelsaugen - German Angel Eye Cookies
Engelsaugen – German Angel Eye Cookies

If you’re looking for a cookie recipe that’s easy to make, delicious and perfect for the holiday season, look no further than Engelsaugen – German Angel Eye Cookies! These classic German Christmas cookies are traditionally made with a shortcrust base filled with red currant jam and topped with a light meringue. But in this recipe I will show you how to make a simple version of these cookies that’s just as delicious!

Made with ingredients like butter, flour, egg yolks and ground almonds, Engelsaugen cookies are the absolute must-have Christmas cookies in Germany. They’re also known as “angel eyes” or “thumbprint cookies” because of the indentation made by the thumb or the back of a wooden spoon on top of each cookie before baking.

Not only are these cookies delicious, but they’re also very versatile. You can top them with anything from fruit preserves to chocolate spread or even confectioners sugar. And if you want to add a little something extra, try adding some baking spices like cinnamon or nutmeg.

What I love most about this Engelsaugen recipe is that it’s easy to make and doesn’t require any fancy ingredients or long prep times. In fact, you probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry already! It’s also great for beginners or anyone who wants to try making traditional German Christmas cookies at home without too much fuss.

Trust me when I say that you won’t regret making these cookies. They’re perfect for sharing with family and friends during the holiday season or just enjoying with a hot cup of tea on a cold winter day. So go ahead and give this recipe a try – your taste buds will thank you!

Ingredient List

 Close up of powdered sugar dusted over freshly baked Engelsaugen
Close up of powdered sugar dusted over freshly baked Engelsaugen

Below is a list of ingredients you will need to make these delicious Engelsaugen cookies.

Base Ingredients:

  • 150g butter, softened
  • 75g confectioner sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Grated rind of one lemon or vanilla sugar for a more subtle flavor
  • 225g plain flour or gluten-free flour mix
  • Ground almonds (optional)

Filling and Topping Ingredients:

  • Red currant jam or any other tart fruit jam like raspberry, apricot, or blackcurrant jam
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Making these classic German thumbprint cookies is pretty simple: just mix together the base ingredients like flour, butter, egg yolk, confectioner’s sugar, grated lemon rind to form dough.

The Recipe How-To

 A stack of golden, crescent-shaped cookies
A stack of golden, crescent-shaped cookies

Making the Perfect Engelsaugen Cookies

I’m excited to show you how to make the perfect Engelsaugen cookies. You’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 150g butter
  • 75g confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 pinch salt
  • Grated lemon rind from one lemon
  • 175g plain flour
  • Red currant jam for filling

Now that you have your ingredients ready, let’s get started!

Step 1: Prepare Your Shortcrust Base

Firstly, you will want to mix together the flour, butter, egg yolks, confectioner’s sugar, salt and grated lemon rind in a large bowl until it forms a dough. Make sure you mix everything together evenly.

Step 2: Form Dough Into Small Balls

Next, form the dough into small ping pong-sized balls in your hands. Remember that the size of the ball will determine the size of your cookie.

Step 3: Create A Thumbprint In Each Ball

Once you have formed all of your balls, press down on each one with your thumb or use a teaspoon and create a small hole in the middle. This will create space for your red currant jam filling later on.

Step 4: Fill Each Cookie With Your Red Currant Jam

It’s time to fill each cookie with your delicious red currant jam! Drop a small amount (about half a teaspoon) of jam into each cookie. You may need to adjust this amount based on how big you made the indentation.

Step 5: Bake Your Engelsaugen Cookies

Preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F). Place your prepared cookies on a lined baking tray and bake them for approximately 12-15 minutes or until they are light golden brown.

Step 6: Dust Cookies With Confectioner’s Sugar

As soon as you take them out of the oven, dust a generous amount of confectioner’s sugar over them while they are still warm. This creates that classic German powdered-sugar look and taste!


If you want to add some flair to your cookies, top each one with baking meringue before putting them in the oven. This adds an extra layer of sweetness and texture.

Enjoy Your Delicious Engelsaugen Cookies!

Congratulations! You have learned how to make delicious and traditional Engelsaugen cookies using our classic recipe. Enjoy them right away, or share them with friends and family during holiday season!

Substitutions and Variations

 A hand full of almond slivers ready for topping
A hand full of almond slivers ready for topping

If you’re feeling experimental or are looking for a variation on this classic German Christmas cookie, there are a few ingredients that can be swapped out or added to suit your taste.

For a gluten-free version, replace the plain flour with a gluten-free flour blend of your choice. Remember to check that all other ingredients you use are also gluten-free.

If you want to add some extra texture, consider including some ground almonds in the dough. This will give them a nutty flavor and slightly crunchy texture that perfectly complements the buttery smoothness of the cookie dough.

For an alternative filling, try experimenting with different types of jam – strawberry or raspberry work well – and see which flavor combination you love best. You could even mix things up by stuffing them with Cinnamon Apple Butter or Nutella.

Finally, if you want to make these cookies truly festive, top with a sprinkle of cinnamon, powdered sugar, or cocoa powder after they come out of the oven. Give them that special touch by adding a meringue topping on the angel eyes for an angelic finish.

Don’t be afraid to mix it up and make these delicious thumbprint cookies your own.

Serving and Pairing

 The perfect bite-sized treat to serve with coffee or tea
The perfect bite-sized treat to serve with coffee or tea

When it comes to serving Engelsaugen, there is no wrong choice! These German angel eye cookies are versatile and can be enjoyed with any hot or cold beverage. Personally, I love to pair them with a cup of hot tea or coffee during the holiday season.

For an extra special touch, serve these cookies on an elegant platter garnished with a sprinkle of confectioners’ sugar or fresh mint leaves. They look stunning on a festive table spread during Christmas gatherings or parties, and they make a delectable treat for the whole family.

Another excellent way to elevate Engelsaugen is by adding a dollop of red currant jam, preserves or raspberry jam in the center before baking. The combination of shortbread base and tangy fruit jam is divine and hard to resist! Trust me; your guests will be impressed by this sweet and fruity twist.

Whether you enjoy them plain or filled with jam, with milk or wine, rest assured that Engelsaugen cookies will not disappoint. They may be small in size, but they are mighty in flavor!

Pro-tip: For a unique pairing idea, try matching these cookies with crunchy almond brittle ice cream or serve them alongside a glass of Sekt (Sparkling wine) for some added festive cheer.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Rolling the cookie dough balls in sugar
Rolling the cookie dough balls in sugar

As with most cookies, these Engelsaugen cookies can be made ahead of time and stored for later use. These cookies can be made up to a week in advance and stored in an airtight container at room temperature. They also freeze well, which makes them perfect for planning ahead for special occasions.

Once you’re ready to serve the cookies, simply take them out of the container and let them come to room temperature. They’ll still taste fresh and delicious thanks to the shortcrust base that keeps them from drying out.

If you want to reheat your cookies, there are several ways to do so. You can put them in a preheated oven at 300°F (150°C) for around five minutes or until they’re heated through. Alternatively, you can put them in a microwave for ten seconds on high.

One thing to keep in mind is that these cookies are delicate and have a jam center that may become too liquid if overheated. Therefore, it’s better to err on the side of caution when reheating these cookies.

Regardless of how you choose to make or reheat your Engelsaugen cookies, they’ll remain flavorful and tender, just like when they were first made. These cookies are perfect on their own or paired with tea or coffee, making them the perfect addition to any holiday or special occasion.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Precision is key when cutting and shaping the dough
Precision is key when cutting and shaping the dough

After making these delicious Engelsaugen cookies multiple times, I’ve learned a few tips and tricks that can make all the difference in achieving perfect results. Here are my top tips:

Firstly, be sure to use room temperature butter and egg yolks in the dough. This will allow for the ingredients to combine more evenly and create a smooth texture.

It is also important to properly measure your ingredients, especially the flour. Be sure to scoop the flour into the measuring cup and level it off with a straight edge. Too much flour can result in a dry and crumbly dough.

To add extra flavor to your Engelsaugen cookies, try using flavored extracts such as almond or orange extract along with the vanilla extract. You can also add a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg to the dough for a warm and cozy flavor.

When forming the thumbprint in the dough, be sure not to press too hard or create an indentation that is too deep. This can cause the cookies to spread out too much while baking.

For a beautiful presentation, dust the finished cookies with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to get creative with your fillings! While traditional Engelsaugen are filled with red currant jam, you can also experiment with other flavors such as apricot jam or even chocolate spread. Just be sure not to overfill the cookie, as it can lead to leaks during baking.

By following these tips and recommendations, you’ll be able to make perfectly delicious Engelsaugen cookies every time. Enjoy!


Now that you know how to make delicious Engelsaugen cookies and serve them like a pro, it’s time to address some frequently asked questions. Whether you’re wondering about substitutions, storing, or variations, I’ve got you covered with these helpful tips. Take a look at the frequently asked questions and answers below to make sure your baking journey goes as smoothly as possible.

What are German cookies made of?

Looking for a delicious gluten-free cookie recipe to enjoy during the holiday season? Zimtsterne, or Cinnamon Stars as they are often called, could be just the festive treat you need. Traditionally a German Christmas cookie, these chewy delights are made from ground nuts, candied peel, and a homemade gingerbread spice blend featuring nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and allspice.

What are pfeffernusse cookies made of?

This recipe is about making Pfeffernüsse Cookies, a holiday treat that originates from Germany. The cookies have a chewy texture, and their signature flavor comes from a blend of anise, pepper, molasses, and seasonal spices. After baking, they are coated in confectioners’ sugar, making them an irresistible delight for anyone with a sweet tooth.

What are thumbprint cookies made of?

Looking for a classic cookie recipe that’s sure to impress? These thumbprint cookies are a crowd-pleaser that never fails to deliver! Made with a simple sugar cookie dough, rolled in sparkling sugar, and indented then filled with delicious jam of your choice, these cookies will have everyone reaching for seconds. With so many filling options to choose from, the possibilities are endless! Try these out for yourself and see why they’re a timeless favorite.

How do you make craggy cookies?

When making cookies, understanding the effects of different ingredients is crucial. The yolks in the dough contribute to a rich texture, while the whites cause the cookies to rise and become drier. If you want a rough, open crumb with a textured top, baking soda is the way to go. It reacts swiftly with acidic components, like brown sugar, generating a multitude of gas bubbles. On the other hand, if you prefer a fine, even crumb and a silky surface, baking powder is the better choice.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, if you’re looking for a cookie recipe that is perfect for the holidays or simply to indulge in a delicious treat, then Engelsaugen – German Angel Eye Cookies is the recipe for you! These cookies are traditionally made from a simple shortcrust base filled with red currant jam and covered with meringue. With our version of the recipe made simple, you can enjoy these delicious thumbprint cookies without any fuss.

Whether you’re an experienced baker or just starting out, this recipe is easy to follow and guarantees perfect results every time. Plus, with so many variations and substitutions available, you can easily customize this recipe to suit your taste and dietary preferences.

We highly recommend adding Engelsaugen cookies to your Christmas baking list. They are an absolute must-have for Christmas in Germany and are sure to impress your friends and family. So why not try making a batch today? With this simple yet classic German cookie recipe, you’ll be creating delicious treats that will delight your taste buds and make your holiday season all the more enjoyable.

Engelsaugen - German Angel Eye Cookies

Engelsaugen - German Angel Eye Cookies Recipe

For the ZWT6 Tour - German Region. Found on a German Recipe website. "These cookies not only taste good, they look really pretty too. Pack them in a colourful box or wrap in cellophane and give as gifts too." Preparation does NOT include the 1 hour of chill time needed.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: German
Keyword: < 60 Mins, Cookie and Brownie, Dessert, Drop Cookies, European, For Large Groups, German, Inexpensive, Kid-Friendly
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 30 cookies
Calories: 142.2kcal


  • 1 1/4 cups flour (120 grams)
  • 6 tablespoons butter (75 grams)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar (35 grams)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 of a lemon rind, grated
  • 3/4 cup raspberry jam


  • 2 blocks dark chocolate squares, melted
  • 2 teaspoons shortening


  • Mix together the flour, butter, egg yolk, confectioner's sugar, vanilla, pinch of salt and the grated lemon rind to form a dough. Leave the dough in a cool place for an hour.
  • Out of the dough make small balls and place on a lightly sprayed prepared baking tray. Make a small indentation in the middle of each ball, using your little finger and fill the hole, using a teaspoon, with raspberry jam.
  • Bake your cookies at 375F (or 200 degrees C) for about 15 minutes.
  • Leave them to cool and remove to a wire rack.
  • Melt the chocolate and shortening together. Coat the bottom of each cookie with melted chocolate and leave until firm on waxed paper.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 36g | Calories: 142.2kcal | Carbohydrates: 21.7g | Protein: 1.4g | Fat: 5.6g | Saturated Fat: 3.2g | Cholesterol: 23.3mg | Sodium: 56.8mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 10.4g

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