If you’re a fan of gingerbread, you’re going to love these spicy little cookies, that have a German background. With the extra zing coming from pepper/pfeffer, this recipe from a Martha Stewart 2002 Holiday Issue Magazine is a must-have for my family at this time of year.
We all have our holiday traditions, and as kids we always had these cookies at Christmas. I believe my mom insisted on it, and that they were a particular favourite of hers. Something about them seemed very festive, perhaps because we only saw them during this time of year.
I can still hear the crinkle of their cellophane bag, which in itself conjures up memories of the European deli they came from. When I was very young it was rare to have something store-bought in the house. Mom was an excellent cook and baker – she sure had enough practice raising such a big family! Plus, it just wasn’t done. Any grocery store was indeed a distance from the farm, and money was scarce. Besides, those were different times when almost everything was made at home. That’s just the way it was.
Although these cookies are not Polish in origin, the fact that my mom knew them at all must be related to her time spent with Germans during the nazi occupation of Poland.
The snowy surface of icing sugar contrasts nicely with the spicy & peppery zing of these German cookies. Excellent served with tea or coffee, these also add interest to any cookie/sweets display.