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German Christmas cookies… and how to succeed

Dec 12, 20190 comments

Karin Stumph


When I first moved to the States one of the things I missed most, was the traditional transition into Christmas we have here in Germany.

So what’s a Girl supposed to do…she fills the home with the aroma of freshly baked Christmas cookies. I went to the store with my German recipes and bought what I thought I needed….

Let’s just leave it at that and not mention that the first batch went right into the bin.

So here are some must know’s, especially when you use Google translate to translate a German recipe.

When a recipe asks for baking powder, it’s exactly that, never baking soda. Baking soda is nearly never used in German recipes.
Often a recipe asks for 1 pack of baking powder, since that is how it’s sold in Germany. Instead you can use 4 level teaspoons of baking powder.

When German recipes ask for butter, they mean the unsalted butter, not the butter spread, since our butter here is normally unsalted unless you buy salted specifically.

When a recipe calls for Orangenat and Zitronat, those are often used in Fruitcakes. Those are candied orange and lemon or lime peel.

When you want to add jam to cookies, its best to get jelly, and either put on the cookies while they are still hot, or warm the jelly in a small pot on the stove.

And to make that wonderful golden crust on the butter cookies, mix an egg yolk with some unsweetened condensed milk and brush it on the cookies before baking.

If a recipe calls for Vanillezucker, don’t despair, its simple to make some yourself.
You will need:

2 heaping teaspoons ground vanilla bean powder
¾ cup (150 g) sugar

1. Put the bean powder and sugar in a food processor and mix until the sugar is well blended and a light eggshell color.

2. Keep it in an airtight container; it stays good for about 2 years.

Makes ¾ cup

We use nuts in many of the recipes, be sure you check the recipe if they are ground, chopped, peeped or whole nuts

Good luck with your cookie adventure!







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