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Looking for a German Christmas Cookie Recipe

Started 1354381315.88 in Recipe Swap | Last reply 1355246908.547 by Jojo320

Hi fellow bakers,

I am looking for a German Cookie recipe:

here is the description --

the recipe has lots of butter in the dough; the dough has to be refrigerated overnight

the dough is cut out in the shape of a star

there is an eggwhite wash brushed on top

and finely chopped walnuts sprinkled on top of the eggwash.

And if you could tell me the German name for the cookie, that would be a bonus!

Thanks

Jojo

ps it is a thick cookie, not a thin, crispy cookie

pps I did a Google search, did not come up with the cookie I'm looking for

ppps there is no cinnamon in the recipe I'm looking for

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traveler1354381667.04711458 PostsRegistered 12/14/2004ALASKA

zimtsterne and spingerle are my favorite German Christmas cookies. Haven't been able to find a springerle rolling pin. Have you tried googling German cookies?

forrestwolf1354383961.976047 PostsRegistered 6/20/2010Deep in South Georgia

traveler, I found one here, but understand I can not post picture and everything....{#emotions_dlg.angry}, but look at King Arthur...........<a href="http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/springerle-rolling-pin">http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/springerle-rolling-pin</a> I have one, that is somewhat different............Cool

"For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack"
1895 Rudyard Kipling
EDUCATE........NOT ERADICATE

Snowpuppy1354383998.236523 PostsRegistered 12/2/2005Up North, MI

I have a springerle recipe from an old Betty Crocker cookbook but it doesn't use either butter or shortening and has a bit of anise seed.

I have a few Amish baking books. One has a recipe for buttermilk cookies which is a butter cookie that is rolled and cut with egg wash and sugar sprinkled on the top. The Amish consider 'buttermilk' the liquid is left after churning butter so it's not the thick buttermilk we purchase at the grocery so this cookie won't be 'tangy'.

When searching for your recipe, keep in mind that many old style European cookies had an element of spice in them like anise or other strong flavors. Usually lighter on the sugars (which were considered expensive) and heavy on the fats (cheap because a lot of people used lards).

Zhills1354384465.6271358 PostsRegistered 11/15/2011

Google "Butterplätzchen" and lots of German butter cookies will show up.

forrestwolf1354384483.456047 PostsRegistered 6/20/2010Deep in South Georgia

OP.........can you not maybe substitute nutmeg, or cardamon in the traditional German Star Cookies, and this would be a recipe for you........{#emotions_dlg.unsure}

"For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack"
1895 Rudyard Kipling
EDUCATE........NOT ERADICATE

bear1354385114.863420 PostsRegistered 11/12/2007

I think you are referring to the Zimtsterne cookie. You can refergerate the dough if it makes it easier for you to cut out the cookies. Here is the link

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/zimtsterne/detail.aspx

maryflo1354393457.0633 PostsRegistered 12/7/2010

Have a recipe book called The German Cookbook (A Complete Guide to Mastering Authentic German Cooking) by Mimi Sheraton - looks like what you are looking for with a few exceptions.

SPEKULATIUS

1/2 pound of butter

1 pound sugar

2 eggs

grated rind of 1 lemon

4 1/2 cups flour

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon powdered cloves

1/4 teaspoon powdered cardamom

Cream butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat well between additions. Mix in lemon rind. Sift flour with spices and stir gradually into butter-egg mixture. Chill dough overnight. Roll out dough on lightly floured board with a floured rolling pin. Dough should be about 1/8" thick, or the thickness of a table knife blade. Flour a Spekulatius block, Springerle board or roling pin and press design into dough. Cut squares apart and place on a greased baking sheet. If you would like the cookies to have a glaze, brush with beaten egg white and sprinkle with sugar. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Over the years the cinnamon could have been eliminated and turned into more of a rolled cookie using a star shape (thus adjusting the thickness) and instead of sugar over the top of the egg white they added nuts.

Last edited on 12/1/2012

Last edited on 12/1/2012

Jojo3201354394576.85757 PostsRegistered 12/1/2012

Thank you all very much for your replies and suggestions, I have checked them out, not the recipe I have in mind.

I am meeting a German friend next Thursday, I will ask her if she knows what cookie I'm talking about.

If she knows, I'll post the recipe here, if you are interested.

Merry Christmas, and happy baking!

Jojo

traveler1354411397.12711458 PostsRegistered 12/14/2004ALASKA

I remember the gluhwein and lebkucken of the Christmas markets Ahhh.

Here is a list of German Christmas cookies with photo and recipe. germanfoodguide.com/sweets-cookies.cfm

Let us know the answer.

Last edited on 12/1/2012

Last edited on 12/1/2012

LauraL1354470890.11495 PostsRegistered 1/7/2009

Hi

Here is a recipe that I found in one of my German cookbooks. I am providing the original German as well as my translation. There is one part that I don't know the exact translation for. This recipe forms a tree with red candles. I don't think you are trying to form a tree and so you could just put crushed walnuts on top of each cookie and not cut different sizes.

Lebkuchen-Christbaum
Zutaten fur 1 Tannenbaum
100g Butter, 250g Honig
125g Zucker
1/2 Paeckchen Lebkuchen-gewurz
600g Mehl
2 Teel. Kakaopulver
1/2 Paeckchen Backpulver
1 Prise Salz, 1 Ei
1 Eiweiss, 1 Tasse Puderzucker
Kleine rote Kerzen
Fur das Backblech: Butter

Ein Backblech fetten. Die Butter mit dem Honig, dem Zucker und dem Lebkuchen-gewurz unter Ruehren aufkochen, dann abkuehlen lassen. Das Mehl mit dem Kakaopulver und dem Backpulver sieben und mit dem Salz und dem Ei in die Honigmasse ruehren. Den Teig gut durchkneten und zugedeckt ueber Nacht bei Raumtemperatur ruhen lassen. Pappschablonen fur 9 Sterne von 6-15cm 0 und 7 runde Plaetzchen von 3 cm 0 ausschneiden. Den Backofen auf 200 vorheizen celcius.
Den Teig 1/2 cm thick ausrollen und die Sterne und Plaetzchen ausschneiden. Auf dem Backblech auf der mittleren Schiene 10 Minuten backen, noch heiss vom Blech loesen und abkuehlen lassen. Das Eiweiss mit so viel Puderzucker verruehren, dass eine geschmeidige Masse entsteht. Zwischen je 2 Sterne ein Plaetzchen mit Zuckerguss kleben. Den kleinsten Stern senkrecht als Spitze daraufsetzen. Den Baum mit dem restlichen Puderzucker besieben und die Kerzen mit Zuckerglasur an die Zacken der Sterne Kleben.

English translation:

Gingerbread Christmas tree
Ingredients for 1 Tannenbaum

Cookies:
100g butter, 250g honey
125g sugar
1/2 package gingerbread spice -- don't know what package means
600g flour
2 tsp cocoa powder
1/2 package baking powder -- don't know what package means
1 pinch salt, 1 egg

Icing:
1 egg white, 1 cup powdered sugar

Small red candles
For the baking sheet: Butter

Grease a baking sheet. Melt the butter with the honey, sugar and gingerbread spice bring to boil while stirring to allow sugar to dissolve, then allow to cool. Sift the flour with the cocoa powder and baking powder. Beat the egg with the salt and add to the dry ingredients and then stir in the honey mixture. Knead the dough well and let rest covered over night at room temperature.

Cut Cardboard templates for 9 stars of 6-15cm (roughly 2.25 - 6 inches) and one circle template 3 cm (1.25 inches) in diameter

Preheat the oven to 200 Celsius (400 degrees fahrenheit).
Roll out the dough 1/2 cm (.2 inches) thick and cut out the 9 stars and 7 circles. Bake on baking sheet on the middle rack for 10 minutes. Remove cookies while still hot from the sheet and allow to cool completely.

Mix the egg white with as much powdered sugar as needed to form to a smooth paste.

To form the tree. Start with the largest star, then a circle, followed by the next largest star gluing each layer with the egg/sugar paste. The smallest star to sit vertically or tip. Glue the candles to the star points with the egg/sugar paste.

Hope this is closer to what you were looking for.

Laura

buyit-wear­it-enjoyit1354537403.32370 PostsRegistered 9/6/2009

Traveler, try House on the Hill dot com for a springerle rolling pin.

Joan

Kevinsmom1354577795.575 PostsRegistered 11/18/2010

JoJo -- the cookie you are looking for is the zimtstern or cinnamon stars. I've not been able to find a good recipe for this either. My grandma used to make them and I still remember the wonderful aroma in the kitchen when she was baking. Good luck with your search.

AnikaBrodie1354587298.5915267 PostsRegistered 1/29/2008The NE state of mountains and valleys

Here's another excellent German cookie recipe. It's called German Snicker Doodles.

2 2/3 cups all purpose Flour

1 cup Margarine (or butter)

2 teas. Cream of tartar

1 teas. Baking soda

½ teas. Salt

½ teas. Vanilla extract

2 large Eggs

1 ¼ cups granulated Sugar

2 teas. Cinnamon

6 Tbsp. granulated Sugar

Directions:

Measure first 8 ingredients into a large mixing bowl. With mixer at medium speed beat until blended, occasionally scraping bowl with spatula. Shape dough into ball. Wrap with plastic. Refrigerate minimum of 2 hours or until dough is easy to handle. (You can also refrigerate overnight.)

In small bowl, mix cinnamon and sugar. Shape dough into 1 ½ inch balls. Roll balls in cinnamon mixture. Place dough balls on ungreased large cookie sheets.

Bake 9 minutes in 350 degree oven. (Oven temp may vary.)

Yield: 3 ½ dozen cookies -- I usually double the recipe.

~~~The Silver Fox ~~~
“... We don't meet people by accident. They are meant to cross our path for a reason..." (Anonymous)

golden mar­iposa1354587337.5031413 PostsRegistered 11/10/2007
On 12/3/2012 Kevinsmom said:

JoJo -- the cookie you are looking for is the zimtstern or cinnamon stars. I've not been able to find a good recipe for this either. My grandma used to make them and I still remember the wonderful aroma in the kitchen when she was baking. Good luck with your search.

I have a recipe for these that I got from a German neighbor many years ago. They were a holiday tradition in her family. They contain no flour -finely ground almonds take its place mixed with a stiff meringue and cinnamon. You need to refrigerate the dough overnight to let the flavors blend. Before they are finished baking you brush the surface with a mixture of powdered sugar and water. I will look up the recipe and post it for you if you are at all interested. YOu are so right, they do make the kitchen smell wonderful.

"In order to be irreplaceable; one must always be different. " Coco Chanel

BaileyBop1354588947.512561 PostsRegistered 2/20/2008
On 12/3/2012 golden mariposa said:
On 12/3/2012 Kevinsmom said:

JoJo -- the cookie you are looking for is the zimtstern or cinnamon stars. I've not been able to find a good recipe for this either. My grandma used to make them and I still remember the wonderful aroma in the kitchen when she was baking. Good luck with your search.

I have a recipe for these that I got from a German neighbor many years ago. They were a holiday tradition in her family. They contain no flour -finely ground almonds take its place mixed with a stiff meringue and cinnamon. You need to refrigerate the dough overnight to let the flavors blend. Before they are finished baking you brush the surface with a mixture of powdered sugar and water. I will look up the recipe and post it for you if you are at all interested. YOu are so right, they do make the kitchen smell wonderful.

Yummmm, I would love the recipe. TIA

golden mar­iposa1354673818.451413 PostsRegistered 11/10/2007
On 12/3/2012 BaileyBop said:
On 12/3/2012 golden mariposa said:
On 12/3/2012 Kevinsmom said:

JoJo -- the cookie you are looking for is the zimtstern or cinnamon stars. I've not been able to find a good recipe for this either. My grandma used to make them and I still remember the wonderful aroma in the kitchen when she was baking. Good luck with your search.

I have a recipe for these that I got from a German neighbor many years ago. They were a holiday tradition in her family. They contain no flour -finely ground almonds take its place mixed with a stiff meringue and cinnamon. You need to refrigerate the dough overnight to let the flavors blend. Before they are finished baking you brush the surface with a mixture of powdered sugar and water. I will look up the recipe and post it for you if you are at all interested. YOu are so right, they do make the kitchen smell wonderful.

Yummmm, I would love the recipe. TIA

Don't have time tonight to post this but promise to do it tomorrow. Nighty nite.

"In order to be irreplaceable; one must always be different. " Coco Chanel

Linders Ba­ck1354745713.768662 PostsRegistered 9/4/2005Second star to the right and straight on till morning.
On 12/3/2012 golden mariposa said:
On 12/3/2012 Kevinsmom said:

JoJo -- the cookie you are looking for is the zimtstern or cinnamon stars. I've not been able to find a good recipe for this either. My grandma used to make them and I still remember the wonderful aroma in the kitchen when she was baking. Good luck with your search.

I have a recipe for these that I got from a German neighbor many years ago. They were a holiday tradition in her family. They contain no flour -finely ground almonds take its place mixed with a stiff meringue and cinnamon. You need to refrigerate the dough overnight to let the flavors blend. Before they are finished baking you brush the surface with a mixture of powdered sugar and water. I will look up the recipe and post it for you if you are at all interested. YOu are so right, they do make the kitchen smell wonderful.

My eyes lit up and I got a smile on my face when I read the bolded part of your post. Some of my family require Gluten-free items and the no-flour sounded good. Found this recipe at The Food Network:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/cinnamon-stars-zimtsterne-germany-recipe/index.html

And they do say they are Gluten -free so I'll be making these this year. (They also say they can be made ahead up to a couple of weeks before baking; another PLUS! Ican make the dough ahead and just have the grandkids help me cut and decorate.) Would have never found them had it not been for the OP's request. Love this forum!

"SHUT UP LEGS" - Jens Voight

StylishLady1354747971.294039 PostsRegistered 11/25/2009Florida

Lebkuchen and springerle are part of DH's German-Swiss heritage. I've made cookies over the years from recipes passed down from his family. Good luck and have fun.

Malihini1354749633.103772 PostsRegistered 8/25/2007Honolulu Hawaii

I don't think it's Zimtsterne. These cookies take 2 days to backe and the nuts are gound and

are part of the dough.

The cookies you talk of are regular shortbread cookies with eggwash to keep the nuts in place

and to add a little shine.

golden mar­iposa1354759459.251413 PostsRegistered 11/10/2007

Here is my recipe for Cinnamon Stars. I never thought about it but, yes, I guess they would be gluten free. Here goes.

1/3 cup egg whites (make sure these are at room temp. they will whip up much better)

1 1/4 c sugar

1 1/2 c unblanched almonds, ground

1 1/2 T cinnamon

2 T flour

2 T sugar

1 c sifted powdered sugar (sift before you measure)

Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1 1/4 c sugar, 2 T at a time. Beat after each addition. Continue to beat until whites are very thick and glossy and form stiff peaks-usually takes around 10 minutes.

Combine almonds and cinnamon. Stir in egg whites until well combined. Refrigerate dough overnight. Roll out on pastry cloth sprinkled with 2T flour mixed with 2 T sugar. Divide dough in half and roll out one piece to 1/4 inch thickness. Use a star cookie cutter and cut out 12 cookies (this is how many I usually get using a 3 inch cutter) Place about an inch apart on a greased cookie sheet. Repeat with other half of dough. Let stand, uncovered, at room temp. for 2 hours. Bake cookies in preheated 300 oven for about 20 minutes. Mix powdered sugar with 2 T water until smooth. Use to brush cookies. Bake 5 minutes longer. Cool slightly. Surface will be crusty. Let cookies cool for several minutes then remove with spatula to wire racks to cool. Makes about 2 dozen.

Store in tightly covered container with waxed paper between layers. These keep well for several weeks.

"In order to be irreplaceable; one must always be different. " Coco Chanel

earthgirl1354815701.913449 PostsRegistered 1/1/2009

Hey, jojo… you’re asking for a German cookie with or without cinnamon!?!

The last line in your request said no cinnamon… yet so many recipes offered have spices.

My late MOM (some would call her MIL) was 1st generation German-American. She loved almond cookies.

This is a Christmas Star… or Valentine Heart … depending on the color of the sugar sprinkled on top.

The usual: butter, egg yolk (save the white), vanilla + almond extracts, AND confectioner’s sugar makes them so smooth and silky textured; next, flour and ground blanched almonds. Chill for 2 hours, minimum.

Glaze: lightly beaten egg white.

Topping: superfine sugar and ground almonds.

Jojo, If this sounds like the ‘cookie of your memory’, this recipe will be yours, too. let me know, sweetie.

ETA: sorry, don't have the German name. I'm Scot-Irish and don't have any German language skills :(

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Last edited on 12/6/2012

Last edited on 12/6/2012

Last edited on 12/6/2012

Jojo3201354984366.1957 PostsRegistered 12/1/2012

Hi earthgirl, you are correct - no cinnamon in my recipe.

I was looking for the recipe for an elderly friend who was reminiscing about it.

Finally obtained it from a German friend --

Christmas Star Cookies

Bake 350 for 20 mins.

Makes 10 to 11 dozen

Dough:

1 lb unsalted butter room temperature

2 lbs flour (about 6 cups)
1 and 1/2 cup sugar
8 egg yolks (refrigerate the whites for later)
1 lemon (squeeze juice)
Pour the flour onto your work board/counter top, make a well in the center. Add sugar into the well. Add egg yolks into the well. Add lemon juice into the well. Cut the butter into big chunks and place on the flour. (not in the well) Mix and knead with your hands 'til all is incorporated. Cut dough into 3 equal pieces, wrap each in Saran Wrap and refrigerate over night.
Nut Mixture:
2 cups sugar
1 lb of walnuts very finely ground
1 teas ground cloves
4 teaspoons of bread crumbs
Roll the dough 3/8 of an inch thick. Use a star cookie cutter.
Stir the egg whites with a fork, no need to make them frothy.
Dip the cookie top in the egg white, then in the nut mixture. (If it's easier, brush the eggwhite on top of the cookie, then dip in the nut mixture)
Bake at 350 for 20 mins.
Store in airtight container.
They freeze well.

Linders Ba­ck1355111034.0638662 PostsRegistered 9/4/2005Second star to the right and straight on till morning.
On 12/5/2012 golden mariposa said:

Here is my recipe for Cinnamon Stars. I never thought about it but, yes, I guess they would be gluten free. Here goes.

1/3 cup egg whites (make sure these are at room temp. they will whip up much better)

1 1/4 c sugar

1 1/2 c unblanched almonds, ground

1 1/2 T cinnamon

2 T flour

2 T sugar

1 c sifted powdered sugar (sift before you measure)

Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1 1/4 c sugar, 2 T at a time. Beat after each addition. Continue to beat until whites are very thick and glossy and form stiff peaks-usually takes around 10 minutes.

Combine almonds and cinnamon. Stir in egg whites until well combined. Refrigerate dough overnight. Roll out on pastry cloth sprinkled with 2T flour mixed with 2 T sugar. Divide dough in half and roll out one piece to 1/4 inch thickness. Use a star cookie cutter and cut out 12 cookies (this is how many I usually get using a 3 inch cutter) Place about an inch apart on a greased cookie sheet. Repeat with other half of dough. Let stand, uncovered, at room temp. for 2 hours. Bake cookies in preheated 300 oven for about 20 minutes. Mix powdered sugar with 2 T water until smooth. Use to brush cookies. Bake 5 minutes longer. Cool slightly. Surface will be crusty. Let cookies cool for several minutes then remove with spatula to wire racks to cool. Makes about 2 dozen.

Store in tightly covered container with waxed paper between layers. These keep well for several weeks.

You'd have to omit the 2 T flour on the pastry cloth, too, to make them Gluten-free, but roling in just sugar would not be a problem.

"SHUT UP LEGS" - Jens Voight

qualitygal1355157284.9775290 PostsRegistered 11/9/2007
On 12/1/2012 Snowpuppy said:

I have a springerle recipe from an old Betty Crocker cookbook but it doesn't use either butter or shortening and has a bit of anise seed.

I have a few Amish baking books. One has a recipe for buttermilk cookies which is a butter cookie that is rolled and cut with egg wash and sugar sprinkled on the top. The Amish consider 'buttermilk' the liquid is left after churning butter so it's not the thick buttermilk we purchase at the grocery so this cookie won't be 'tangy'.

When searching for your recipe, keep in mind that many old style European cookies had an element of spice in them like anise or other strong flavors. Usually lighter on the sugars (which were considered expensive) and heavy on the fats (cheap because a lot of people used lards).

Thank you! I didn't know that about the Amish and buttermilk. My BIL loves anise flavor and I'm beginning to really like Almond. I may start a whole file for myself on all the Almond recipes I can lay my hands on, LOL.


Maybe a little bit of chocolate will help.

qualitygal1355157734.815290 PostsRegistered 11/9/2007
On 12/1/2012 maryflo said:

Have a recipe book called The German Cookbook (A Complete Guide to Mastering Authentic German Cooking) by Mimi Sheraton - looks like what you are looking for with a few exceptions.

SPEKULATIUS

1/2 pound of butter

1 pound sugar

2 eggs

grated rind of 1 lemon

4 1/2 cups flour

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon powdered cloves

1/4 teaspoon powdered cardamom

Cream butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat well between additions. Mix in lemon rind. Sift flour with spices and stir gradually into butter-egg mixture. Chill dough overnight. Roll out dough on lightly floured board with a floured rolling pin. Dough should be about 1/8" thick, or the thickness of a table knife blade. Flour a Spekulatius block, Springerle board or roling pin and press design into dough. Cut squares apart and place on a greased baking sheet. If you would like the cookies to have a glaze, brush with beaten egg white and sprinkle with sugar. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Over the years the cinnamon could have been eliminated and turned into more of a rolled cookie using a star shape (thus adjusting the thickness) and instead of sugar over the top of the egg white they added nuts.

Last edited on 12/1/2012

Maryflo, thanks for that info. I'm going to have to check on this cookbook. You reminded me about a friend of my inlaws who is a German lady. I remember they raved about her cooking. Do you make much from this cookbook? Would you recommend it, to buy? I could be missing out on a whole bunch of good eating! Thanks.

Maybe a little bit of chocolate will help.

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