Fire up your ovens and get ready to bake – here are ten festive German cookies and pastries that’ll send your senses into paroxysms of yuletide joy.
Traditionally anise-flavoured, bakers create the intricate designs by using a special rolling pin printed with images. The first German examples of such prints were in the 15th century and designs have been evolving ever since.
Ken Hamilton calls himself “The Springerle Baker”. Find his recipe here.
2. Pfeffernüsse (pepper nuts)
Despite the name, these cookies don’t necessarily contain nuts – it depends on what recipe you use. Traditionally, a Pfeffernuss is baked with honey and spiced up with ground cloves, cinnamon and allspice.
Check out this recipe for these spiced cookies.
3. Berliner Brot (Berlin bread)
Another nutty treat, these brownie look-a-likes are harder to find than the Lebkuchen. They also combine the delicious flavours of hazelnut, almond, cinnamon and sugar, and are well worth a try.
Try out the recipe here, and see how long they last in your kitchen.
4. Heidesand (heather sand)
These Lower-Saxon crumbly biscuits have an addictive buttery flavour. Traditionally just made from a light-coloured cookie-dough – that’s why they’re named after sand – there are now many different variations on the recipe, such as the chocolatey ones pictures above.
The Daring Gourmet also has a recipe with step-by-step pictures for a more traditional Heidesand.