KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Everyone loves Christmas cookies, but did you know you can trace its origins back to Medieval Europe?
FOX4’s Matt Stewart visited German restaurant Affare at 19th and Main to show off what these original Christmas cookies looked like.
Executive chef and owner Chef Martin Heuser is a certified master chef trained in Europe. His family owns of the most beloved restaurants in Bonn, Germany. It dates back eight generations, and it is housed in a 14th-century building.
At their restaurant they make hundreds and hundreds of traditional, authentic holiday cookies from recipes handed down by his wife-sommelier Katrin’s grandmothers. Now he makes these in Kansas City, and he’s sharing the recipes with you.
Affäre German holiday cookie recipes
Makes 48 cookies
3 cups powdered sugar, plus more to dust baking sheet
6 egg whites
3 1/2 cups almond meal
5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Zest of 1 lemon, grated
2 teaspoons rum
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Dust a non-stick baking tray with powdered sugar; set aside.
In a deep, clean mixing bowl, whip egg whites into stiff peaks using to wire whip attachment of a stand mixer, about 5 minutes; be sure not to overbeat the egg mixture. Reserve 12 tablespoons of egg whites for the glaze. Sift the powdered sugar into the egg whites and use a spatula or wooden spoon until just combined. Fold in almonds, cinnamon and grated lemon peel.
Roll dough evenly to 1⁄4-inch thickness. Use a 3-inch star-shaped cookie cutter to cut out star patterns and place each star on baking sheet leaving 2-inches of space in between.
Add rum to meringue and brush glaze mixture over each cookie.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until crisp but not brown around the edges. Let the cookies cool completely.
Store in an air-tight container.
Vanille Kipferln (Vanilla Moons)
Makes 30 cookies
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for shaping 1 cup butter at room temperature
3/4 cup finely ground almonds
1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
Pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a shallow bowl, combine 1⁄2 cup powdered sugar with 1 tablespoon vanilla.
In a large mixing bowl, knead together flour, eggs, butter, almonds, until ingredients form a smooth dough. Chill dough for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
With flour-dipped hands, shape dough into the shape of moons and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 8 minutes.
Remove cookies from the oven and dip into vanilla powdered sugar. Store cooled cookies in a metal container, placing sheet of parchment in between.
Spritzgebäck (Piped Butter Cookies)
Makes 60 cookies
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla sugar
1 cup ground hazelnuts
1 pound dark chocolate coating
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a mixing bowl, whip butter, sugar, vanilla sugar and eggs until fluffy, using a stand mixer.
Knead the hazelnuts into the dough by hand.
Fill a pastry bag with dough and using a large star attachment, pipe S-shapes onto baking sheet. Bake cookies for 10-15 minutes, remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
Dip one half of the cookie into melted chocolate and place on a rack to set. Store in.
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