Bite Of Minnesota: German Holiday Cookies
A popular pastime around the holidays involves cookies and cookie exchanges. Whether you are a decorator, a baker or an eater, cookies make frequent appearances this time of year. Since I do not need to consume extra calories, I avoided cookie exchanges, but a few years ago, curiosity got the best of me and I had to sign up (if I remember correctly, I brought Snickers cookies). After the exchange, most of the cookies went straight into the freezer, but not before I ate all the pecan pie bites and chocolate-mint chip cookies.
After I turned down the latest invitation to participate in a cookie exchange, I was contacted by Black Forest Inn notifying me that their German Christmas Cookies were in stock for the holiday season and that a box of mixed dozen plus were waiting for me at the restaurant. I bundled up and took my new snow tires out for a spin in the crazy snowstorm last week. Back at home, I opened the box, took some pictures, and promptly sat my butt on the couch to enjoy the wonderful treats I was given.
The mixed dozen was the perfect introduction to German Christmas cookies as I was only familiar with a couple varieties. Luckily, Laurie, the baker at Black Forest Inn, was very informative and helped me sort out what's what.
These two (lebkuchen and linzer) were my favorites. Lebkuchen is said to be the first cookie to be traditionally linked to Christmas and is in the same family as gingerbread cookies. With warming ginger and sweetened with honey, these were very comforting. Linzer reminds me of peanut butter and jelly bars, but uses raspberry preserves and ground hazelnuts for a nice texture and filling cookie.
The beautiful springerle cookies are very popular among those with German heritage. I anticipated these to be dry, but instead they were moist, chewy, and had a subtle anise flavor, making them one of my favorites. Apparently I'm not the only one because due to their popularity, Black Forest Inn started selling springerle molds to make these at home.
What a cute little marzipan pear! Each mixed dozen comes with one piece of marzipan, an almond paste of sorts that often is molded into fruit shapes and coated with sugar.
No cookies went to waste; my husband and I ate every single one of them and we're even buying some more as I'm eager to share the lebkuchen and linzer with my family. Get your own mixed dozen or other holiday cookies and desserts by contacting the Black Forest Inn directly. The brochure is available here.
Disclaimer: I received the Mixed Dozen Plus at no charge from Black Forest Inn and I was not obliged to write about my experience.
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