These classic Christmas cookies from Northern Germany have to age for at least a couple of weeks to taste best.
- 5/8 cup dark unsulphured molasses (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped candied orange peel plus more for garnish
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped citron
- 1/4 cup chopped blanched almonds
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- blanched almond halves for garnish
Recipe reprinted from "Spoonfuls of Germany" with permission from Hippocrene Books
- Heat the molasses, butter, and sugar in a small saucepan over very low heat. Remove from the heat and stir until completely cool. Add the orange peel, citron, almonds, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves. Mix the flour with the baking powder and stir it into the mixture. Knead the dough with your hands until it reaches a smooth consistency.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line at least two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Roll the dough between layers of plastic wrap to about 1/4 inch or a little thicker. Cut the out the cookies with cookie cutters and place them on the baking sheets. Use up all the dough by kneading and re-rolling the scraps. Garnish each cookie with an almond half or orange peel.
- Bake each batch for 8 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer the cookies to racks to cool. Store in airtight containers.