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This German Christmas cookie recipe comes from my college's much-loved German language resident. She hung them up on the walls as Christmas decorations, and we used to sneak them off to eat during class. For the best flavor, put them aside in a tin for a few weeks before eating them.


Recipe Summary

20 mins
15 mins
2 hrs 25 mins
3 hrs
30 gingerbread cookies


Original recipe yields 30 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease two baking sheets.

  • Mix ground almonds, flour, white sugar, 2 teaspoons cocoa powder, cinnamon, cloves, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Use your fingers or a pastry blender to rub in the butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add honey and egg; mix together to form a dough.

  • Dust work surface with flour. Roll out dough into a circle about 1/8-inch thick. Cut into gingerbread men shapes with a floured cookie cutter. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheets.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until edges are brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool in the pan 1 to 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely, about 20 minutes.

  • Combine confectioners' sugar and 2 tablespoons cocoa powder in a bowl. Mix in enough boiling water to make a smooth and spreadable icing. Spread icing on cooled cookies using a table knife. Set aside until icing hardens, about 2 hours.

Cook's Notes:

Substitute ground hazelnuts for the almonds if preferred.

If you plan to hang the cookies, make a small hole at the top of their heads before baking.

Nutrition Facts

160 calories; protein 3.4g; carbohydrates 19.4g; fat 8.5g; cholesterol 12.8mg; sodium 67.6mg. Full Nutrition