Traditional German Christmas Cookies
In Germany, Christmas cookies are almost as sacred as the holiday itself. The holiday baking season begins before the First of Advent, so that these tasty treats will be ready for consumption on that most anticipated day. The ladies of the house will carefully ration, hide, and monitor the cookies in tin boxes—making sure they last until Christmas. Each week, one new kind of traditional German Christmas cookies is added to the mix. The last enticing offering is called the “Kalte Pracht,” which means “Cold Splendor.” Between thin, melt-in-you-mouth wafers is an irresistible chocolate-, rum-, and coconut-butter spread. I always had to make it the day before Christmas Eve or else they never would have lasted.
Children are always a big part of the baking process of traditional German Christmas cookies. After all, they need to learn the recipes and skills to pass them along to their children. Just as important, is knowing when to make the cookies. Look outside. When the cold, winter days get shorter and the reddish sunset sky paints the perfect holiday backdrop, it’s time for Christkind to bake the cookies.
It’s the Christmas baking season. cookies, anyone?
Scroll down to find the traditional German Christmas cookies recipes for the most of the cookies in the picture.
Click here for Oma’s Vanilla Horns recipe
I was always my mother’s assistant when it came to baking German Christmas cookies, until one year, when I was 14, I had to take over. My mother was ill, and the thought of no cookies on Christmas made everyone else feel sick, too. So, nervously, I accepted the challenge. I mean, helping was one thing but doing it all on my own was another. The cookies, however, turned out so well that I happily inherited the responsibility year after year. The transition of cookie power was approved by immediate and extended family members who always enjoyed their fair share. Every Christmas season, I would always try a new recipe. The ones I mastered made it to my binder. Throughout the years, I’ve collected many recipes. And now I couldn’t be more pleased to share the German Christmas Cookie Recipes with you and your family.
Click here for Oma’s Bulging Eye recipe
My children also started to help baking the traditional German Christmas cookies at a young age. Since I always made the cookies from scratch—which entails grinding the nuts, shaping the decorations, and using only fresh ingredients—there was a lot to do. My oldest son had the responsibility of peeling, drying, and grinding the almonds. My older daughter was in charge of helping me to shape the cookies while my younger daughter helped to make the icing and sugar flowers. The youngest one made himself responsible for taste-testing the dough. One thing is for sure, my children and grandchildren never want to miss the cookies. My grandson just told me, “Oma, you need to hide them.” Translation: He is coming back and wants to eat some more. His sister agreed.
Click here for Oma’s Chocolate Cookie recipe
Click here for Oma’s German Spritz Cookies Recipe
I hope you get to try some of these delicious traditional German Christmas Cookies with your family. And if you have children, put some Christmas music on and get them involved. It will be great memory for them. And for you, as well. Please share your stories. And I’ll keep sharing my recipes!
Click here for Oma’s Coconut Macaroons recipe
Click here for Oma’s Kalter Hund – Heinerle recipe
Click here for Oma’s Lemon Hearts Recipe
Click here for Oma’s Cinnamon Stars Recipe
Click here for Oma’s German Butter Cookies Recipe (Linzer Cookies filled with jam)
Click here for Oma’s Spekulatius Recipe (Spiced Cookies)
Click here for Oma’s Gingerbread Recipe
Click here for Oma’s German Marzipan Cookies Recipe (Bethmaennchen)