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Monika Graf's Cookie Recipes

Gingerbread Cookies

Not many things are constant in life, except for my mother calling me every Sunday and her sending me a box of Christmas cookies every December for the past 30 years.
Naturally, there is a limit to what she can send in the mail, so I started baking myself to have enough to go around. Needless to say, they were as big of a hit in California as they are in Bavaria. For the next four weeks leading up to the holidays, I am glad to share a few classic German cookie recipes.
Happy Baking!
Holger

Week 2: Gingerbread Cookies

Gingerbread requires a lot of ingredients and it is important to use all the spices to get the classic flavor. Some of the ingredients are hard to get in a supermarket but everything is easily available online. It the most labor intensive of the recipes since the dough becomes quite firm and takes a lot of strength to knead. If you are not able to combine all the flour into the dough- then leave some out. As long as you have a firm dough that can be rolled out you are good to go. 
Since you will end up left with a lot of spices I recommend making two batches or even more to have enough for a gingerbread house.  
Ingredients:
  • 200g sugar beet molasses
  • 50g honey
  • 50g butter
  • 50g coarse sugar
  • 50g regular sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground anis
  • 1 large pinch mace
  • 1 large pinch of a ground ginger
  • 1 large pinch ground cardamom
  • 30g candied orange peel
  • 300g flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Condensed milk as needed
Steps:
  1. Melt slowly butter, molasses and honey and stir, let cool
  2. Stir in mixture sugar, orange peel and all spices
  3. Mix the flour with the Backpulver and stir ⅔ into the spice molasses
  4. Knead with the remaining flour to a dough
  5. Roll out dough about ¼” thick and cut in 1x2” rectangles
  6. Grease baking sheet with butter
  7. Lay the rectangles on a greased or parchment lined cookie sheet and brush with condensed milk
  8. Bake at 375F for 10 minutes
  9. Let cool- decorate if desired

Week 1: Bethmännchen

Let’s start with a traditional almond cookie and one of my favorites. We call them “Bethmännchen” and are based on a recipe from 1838. When I made them the first time I understood why my mother keeps them in her repertoire, they are not only delicious but also so easy to make with just 3 ingredients. 
They consist of almonds, sugar and eggs and can be ready to go into the oven in 15 minutes. They are also not season specific and are great to make year round. 
Ingredients:
  • 275g almond flour (2 ¾ cup)
  • 50g blanched almonds (⅓ cup)
  • 200g powdered sugar (1 ¾ cup)
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 egg yolks
Steps:
  • Preheat oven to 300F
  • In large bowl combine almond flour, powdered sugar, the whole egg and 1 yolk
  • Knead mixture by hand until dough forms 1” balls and set on greased cookie sheet
  • Brush cookies with remaining egg yolk
  • Press a blanched almond into the top of each cookie
  • Bake at 300F for 20-25 min, until slightly golden brown

Monika Graf's Cookie Recipes

Bethmännchen

 
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