Christmas is the time for German Christmas Cookies! Crunchy or soft, simple sweetness or loaded with fragrant cinnamon and ginger… there is a cookie for everyone. And best of all… you can load a tray of delicious cookies with no work at all! You can order most of your favorites HERE! During the season of Advent cookies are served alongside Cake during Sunday Afternoon coffee. And of course, everyone looks forward to the Bunter Teller… a plate of cookies given to each child (and many adults) alongside the gifts.
Soft Honey Gingerbread
Lebkuchen is a type of gingerbread made with a variety of spices and honey. In Nuremberg, there is a guild of German Bakers who keep the recipe for their original Lebkuchen TOP SECRET…. and only cookies baked according to this recipe (with a thin edible wafer under the cookie, and is often dipped in a dark, bitter chocolate) can be called Nuremberger Lebkuchen.
Other types of Lebkuchen exist… plain, with nuts or dried fruits… with jelly filling or plain. Lebkuchen keeps for a long time, so if you have a lot, you don’t have to eat it all at once. Also, I found that one of the bigger cookies is not only delicious, with a cup of coffee, it fills my tummy nicely in the middle of the afternoon.
The Lebkuchen Schmidt Company sells a large tin gift chest every Christmas LOADED with all sorts of Lebkuchen sorten (types). I love it, both for the cookies, and because I’m left with a nice tin when the season is over. But there are loads of other options. Learn more about Lebkuchen Here–> Lebkuchen
Wicklein Organic Chocolate Covered Lebkuchen Hearts with Cassis Blackcurrant Filling, 8.46 ozWicklein Meistersinger Lebkuchen – Triple Sort – Cello BagFine Nuremberg Gingerbread (Oblaten-Lebkuchen) CookiesWicklein Mini Elisen Lebkuchen Baked Apple – German Holiday Cookie, 25% Nuts, 5.3 ozWicklein Gingerbread Cookie Assortment – Winterhaus Chocolate Lebkuchen Hearts With Sprinkles, 7.05 ozBahlsen Lebkuchen Mischung gingerbread mix from Germany 250g
Lebkuchen of the year 2021 Elisen-Königin without flour in the doughGingerbread Roasted Almond chocolate-coated Elisen-Lebkuchen with almond brittleElise Franconian Hazelnut Elise gingerbread with Franconian hazelnuts
Magenbrot comes loaded with special spices that supposedly help digestion, which is how it got the name Magenbrot (Stomach Bread). The flavor is similar to Lebkuchen, but has a different texture. I can eat them all day.
Spritz cookies got their name from how they are made. In German, the name Spritz means “to squirt”… and you get their shape from squirting or spritzing them through a machine. Spritz cookies are a light, crunchy butter cookie. They can also be made with nuts or chocolate. Bonus points if you dip them into chocolate. You do have to use the machine to get the ruffled edges… but the ultimate shape is up to you. Wreath, bar, or s shape… all are acceptable, and quite yummy.
What are Springerle?
Anise flavored German Christmas Cookies
Springerle cookies made from an egg white, flour and sugar dough. Originally made with Anise, more recently, Springerle are made with other flavors as well It is pressed into a mold, or rolled out with a special rolling pin that is carved with shapes or pictures. After baking, the cookies are often painted to enhance the picture. The recipes for these cookies date back to early Germanic Tribes, and were often exchanged as gifts during the holidays.
What is Spekulatius?
Molded Cinnamon Cookies
My dad is NUTS for Spekulatius…. you can’t have enough of them around.
These wonderful cinnamon cookies taste so good with a glass of milk or a cup of tea. They are light, crisp and delicious. (In fact, they are so crisp, they are prone to breaking, so don’t throw them around!!)
They come with almond slices baked into the back, but you can find them plain as well.
Schwarz Weiß Gebäck
Simply translated… Black and White Cookies. Actually you make a chocolate and vanilla dough, then shape them together. My mom usually rolled out each dough flat, laid the chocolate on top of the vanilla, then rolled them up together…. then she’s slice the dough roll to make pinwheel cookies. You can also cut strips to combine into a checkerboard shape.
Christmas Cookie Box
Get a box of German Christmas Cookies sent to you from Lebkuchen Schmidt. No muss, no fuss. Makes a fantastic gift for someone special…
Linzer Cookies (Linzer Augen)
Linzer Cookies are really Austrian, but they have found there way onto so many German Cookie plates, that I decided that they needed to be included in this list. These delicious sandwich cookies are made from the same dough as the famous Linzer Torte, but are put together a bit differently (The cookies are baked separately, the bottom cookie is topped by jam, and a same sized cookie with a hole or “eye” in it… the Torte is baked all together). The dough is made with a combination of flour and almond flour, to make them light and crisp. The added lemon peel adds a wonderful flavor. Traditionally they are filled with Black Current preserves, but you can use Raspberry, or whatever flavor you like. (I’ve even filled them with Nutella!)
Buy Linzer Cookies
Gluten Free Linzer Cookies with Raspberry Jam, 2 Ounce [3 Count], Raspberry Shortbread Cookies, Kosher, Nut Free, Gluten Free Dairy Free Cookies by Gluten Free PalaceLinzer Tart cookiesLinzer Tart Cookies with Raspberry Jam | Shortbread Cookies | Fresh & Delicious Italian Cookies | Linzer Tortes | Jelly Filled Cookies | Gourmet Cookies | 9 oz Stern’s Bakery (Raspberry)Gluten Free Raspberry Linzer Cookies 6pk / 5oz
Dominosteine (Domino Rocks?) are an interesting hybrid between Cookie and Candy. Layers of Marzipan, Lebkuchen and Jelly are robed in chocolate (dark is most common, but milk and white chocolate are also available). These little squares are favorites on German cookie trays!
What are Pfeffernüsse?
Are they Really Made from Pepper and Nuts?
German Pfeffernusse Cookie Recipes vary… some are made with ground almonds or walnuts, but most commercial brands are nut free. They are loaded with different spices, like cloves and cinnamon, but not necessarily pepper. Pfeffernüsse (Pfeffernusse Pronunciation – Feffer nu sa)are really hard when they are first baked… best to dunk them…. but they soften up as they age, and get better and better. Often they are rolled in powdered sugar, but they are also dipped in chocolate. I love the commercial ones that are sealed in a sugar glaze… mmmmm
Hermann the German Pfeffernusse – 2 7.05OZ Bags of Glazed Spice Cookies (Assorted Gingerbread)Wicklein Pfeffernusse Glazed Gingerbread With Dark Chocolate Bag, 6.17 ozWicklein Pfeffernusse Iced Gingerbread Cookies 7ozWicklein Pfeffernusse Iced Gingerbread Cookie Bag, 7.05 ozWeiss – Pfeffer-Nusse – Mit Zartbitter Schokoladenboden – 200gLAMBERTZ Pfeffernusse, 150 GR
Printen are a type of Lebkuchen.. but they have a slightly different texture. Originally these cookies were made with imported American Wild-Flower honey in Belgium, but the recipe reached the city of Aachen, where bakers happily made it their own. Using honey made the cookies chewy and extra sweet. Sadly, Napoleon cut off their supply, so they switched up to beet-sugar. The spicy flavor comes from cinnamon, clove, aniseed, spices, ginger, coriander, and cardamom, but the exact recipe for Aachen Printen is protected by the Protected Design Origin. What I like about them is the bite of crystal sugar that is baked in to each cookie. Like a sweet surprise. You can buy Printen plain, or dipped in dark chocolate (YUM). It’s even possible to get them dipped in Chocolate and NUTS. (soooo good)
Vanilla Kipferl might be Traditional German Christmas Cookies, but I think these sweet and crumbly cookies are good any time of year. VanilleKipferl are made with ground Almonds… you can grind them yourself, or buy Almond meal. After baking they are dipped into sugar or vanilla sugar.
They are fairly easy to make… find the Vanille Kipferl Recipe Here
Cinnamon Star Cookies Recipe
Bake your own Zimt Sterne with this delicious Cinnamon Star Cookies recipe. These cookies are made with Ground Almonds, Egg White, Lemon Zest and lots of Spices… they are GLUTEN FREE!
These little cookies have a very strong flavor that gets better as they age.
Bake Your own Zimtsterne–> Zimtsterne Recipe
More Favorite German Christmas Cookies
Buy a Custom Tray or Box of Traditional German Christmas Cookies!