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Hi Bold Bakers!
IN THIS BREDELE RECIPE: The easiest butter cookies you could imagine. Straight from France, these cookies take no time at all and would make a perfect gift!
Bredele are simple, perfect, no-frills butter cookies that are synonymous with Christmas in the Alsace region of France. These lovely little cookies make the perfect edible gift. You can bake them up in batches, wrap them up, and be confident your giftee will absolutely adore you for them.
These cookies hold their shape well while baking (like my Best-Ever Sugar Cookies), so don’t be afraid to break out those more festive cookie cutters. Make sure to get the kids involved with this one, too! These cookies are a cinch to make, fun to cut out, and delicious in their simplicity.
While they’re a number of varieties of bredele, including cookies flavored with orange and cinnamon or honey, this is a classic traditional recipe. It may even become your new go-to Christmas cookie!
What Is Bredele?
Bredele are simple butter cookies that originated sometime in the 14th century! Back then, they used knives to cut out shapes. They became more popular in the 18th and 19th centuries because cookie cutters were introduced in France.
A popular tradition around Christmas in the Alsace region of France, which borders on Germany, is for families to bake their own batches and exchange them with everyone surrounding them. “Bredele,” which comes from Low Alemannic German, literally means “Christmas cookie.”
What You Need To Make Bredele
How To Make Bredele
These simple Christmas cookies are made with very few ingredients, so there’s no excuse not to give them a go! Here is how you make traditional bredele:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or medium bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and salt together until it is light and creamy.
- Stir the egg and vanilla extract into the mixture until it is fully combined. Then, fold in the flour until a dough is formed.
- Press the dough into a flattened disc and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for at least two hours (or up to two days) to chill.
- When you’re ready to bake, preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Roll the dough out on a floured surface to about ⅛ inch (4mm) thickness. Then, use your cutters to cut the cookie shapes out.
- Place the cookies 2-inches (5cm) apart on the baking sheets and brush lightly with the egg wash.
- Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through until they are pale golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool while you bake the rest.
- Once cool, dust with powdered sugar before serving.
Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Bredele
- There are very few ingredients in these cookies, so what you do use matters — use the very best butter you can find for the best flavor.
- Superfine sugar, otherwise known as baker’s sugar or caster sugar, is very finely ground sugar. If you don’t have superfine sugar, granulated sugar can be used.
- The dough needs to chill before you roll it out, or the cookies will be difficult to handle — make sure to factor in chilling time when making these cookies.
- To add a little more flavor, you can add 1 teaspoon of lemon zest or 2 teaspoons of vanilla bean paste to the dough
- Instead of powdered sugar, you can dip these cookies in melted chocolate or decorate them with homemade royal icing.
How Do I Store Bredele?
You can store bredele in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. The dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two days before baking.
Get More Cookies!
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Bredele Recipe (Alsatian Christmas Cookies)
- In a mixer or medium bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and salt together until light and creamy.
- Stir in the egg and vanilla extract until fully incorporated and then fold in the flour until a dough is formed.
- Press into a flattened disc and place in an airtight container in the refrigerator to chill for at least two hours and up to two days.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- On a floured surface, roll the dough out to about ⅛ inch (4mm) thick and cut out desired shapes with cookie cutters.
- Place cookies 2-inches (5cm) apart on the prepared baking sheets and brush lightly with the egg wash.
- Bake for about 10 minutes, rotating pans halfway through, until pale golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool while you bake off the rest of the cookies.
- Once cool, dust with powdered sugar before serving. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.