Christmas is the time for family. The time for presents. And the time for lots of food, right? Even though we love to try new dishes throughout the year – when it comes to the food during the Christmas season we tend to go back to the classics we have known since we were kids. All those traditional recipes Grandma liked to prepare or eat (when she was not in the mood for cooking or baking) ;P Even though Germany is not very big – the traditions vary quite a lot. This means – these 10 Traditional Christmas Recipes from Grandma might not be what everybody in Germany makes all the time… but they are definitely our favorites! ;)
When it’s wet and cold outside, people sit together much more often indoors, gossip, and eat together. This is especially true during the Advent season. If we’re not on the hunt for presents at the weekend, we like to sit together with family and friends, drink hot tea, and snack on various cookies. Well… that’s the case in our family in December – maybe your grandma and grandpa like to go to techno dance parties instead. Who knows ;P
Anyway. I created a small list of our favorite recipes for Christmas and the weeks before that holiday. Many of these recipes have been passed down since what feels like the Stone Age, others are a bit more recent… I don’t think our ancestors knew about colorful sugar sprinkles back then when they were still living in caves. Well… let’s go! ;P
You simply can’t have Christmas and/or the Advent season without these classic Christmas cookies. These Vanillekipferl aka. Vanilla Crescent Cookies are usually the first cookies to be baked at the end of November or the beginning of December. Classic German Christmas cookies!
Our grandma was a big fan of anything with marzipan – that’s why she loved these Almond Marzipan Crescents a lot. These little fellas are really easy to prepare and often the first ones that are gone on the serving plate with Christmas cookies ;)
These Amarettini with raspberry jam are also a highlight in every Christmas cookie selection. I don’t know whether it’s the raspberry jam or the Amaretto I sometimes sneak into the cookies when nobody’s looking (it’s not in the recipe, but you can add some Amaretto to the jam before baking the cookies) ;P
These cookies are also called Hildabrötchen here in Germany. Spitzbuben/Hildabrötchen were grandma’s favorite Christmas cookies, I think. These little sandwich cookies need some time in a cookie box before they are perfect – soft and melting in your mouth. Do not eat them when fresh from the oven. They are great when fresh but even better when a day or two older (or even a week) ;P
And another dessert with marzipan – something typical for Christmas, I think. There is not a lot of marzipan in the cake, but you can still taste it. An absolute treat for a relaxed Advent Sunday afternoon with family or friends!
This recipe is not my grandma’s recipe, but she would have definitely loved these simple, colorful cookies. She baked similar cookies, just not quite as colorful ;) For her, decoration time was over when the sugar icing hit the cookies ;P
Stollen are a classic Christmas bake here in Germany. Not everybody loves them. They are dense, sweet, and loaded with confectioners’ sugar. Not everyone’s cup of tea… even though they are great along with a cup of tea ;P Grandma loved having a slice once in a while.
This is not necessarily a classic Christmas cake – you can make it all year round, but we love making it during Advent season. Normally you throw some torn-up chocolate dough on top which gives the cake its typical look. For Christmas, you can cut out stars, for example, and decorate the cake with those stars instead… for a quick Christmas decoration ;P
An absolute Christmas classic in our family. We rarely had big and elaborate meals on Christmas Day. Other families might have geese or fish for Christmas – we almost always had a simple and delicious potato salad with a few wieners. That was all we needed. Followed by giving out presents under the Christmas tree – just perfect ;)
When my mom or grandma wanted to switch up things they sometimes served Meatballs with Mashed Potatoes instead of the classic potato salad and wieners. Something you can prepare in advance and is easy to do. Perfect if you have to work and can only start late with preparing all the food for Christmas. Nowadays, we occasionally replace the meat with a vegetarian version. It tastes delicious as well (when done right)! ;P