I usually don’t make Christmas cookies. I’m just not a big fan, unless my mom makes them and even then, I’ll eat a handful on Christmas day and I’m done! And if I do end up making any cookies myself, I wait until the last minute. Like, Christmas Eve!
This year, however, I really wanted to put some of my Christmas cookie cutters to good use but also wanted to keep it as simple as possible; yes, I’m lazy. If it’s too elaborate, I get sidetracked and abandon my baking project altogether.
And since I’m a one trick pony, I used my marzipan recipe from last year (minus the egg). You just can’t beat the flavor of homemade marzipan! Strictly speaking, though, these cookies are simply made of almond flour, maple syrup and gingerbread spice. Back to the basics!!
As we are prepping for our upcoming trip to Germany (correction: I am prepping. My soldier will stuff a pair of pants, underwear and his toothbrush into a tiny suitcase the day of, then improvise his way to the airport and buy gifts along the way), I’m starting to feel nostalgic about being in Germany for Christmas for the first time in four years! I already posted plenty of photos of various German Christmas markets here and here (go take a gander! It’s magical!) but I’d like to show you were we’re actually going to stay which is also where I grew up!!
Isn’t this just dreamy?!
Of course I didn’t appreciate any of this until we moved to Florida (no offense, Florida, you’re beautiful in your own right but this is where my heart belongs). It’s so ironic because growing up in Germany, I dreamed of traveling to the most exotic places with sandy beaches and sunshine year round – Florida was on top of my list, even! The grass is always greener, I guess…
I’m also planning on taking my soldier to Rüdesheim am Rhein which is about 40 minutes from my parents house. He hasn’t seen any of the gorgeous vineyards or the picturesque villages along the river. The Rhein is typically a destination during the summer months but it has its charm during the winter, too!
Ok, so I couldn’t help myself. More Christmas market images, these are from Rüdesheim am Rhein:
I am including the photo below for my American friends who are CRAZY about Käthe Wohlfart! Those of you who aren’t in the know: Käthe Wohlfart sells high quality Christmas ummm stuff all year around and one of those famous stores is in Rüdesheim!
I’m definitely not an affiliate or anything, just so you know – but they do make some lovely Christmas things! We had one of these growing up:
- 1 cup almond flour (from blanched almonds)
- ¼ teaspoon gingerbread spice mix
- 1½ tablespoon maple syrup
- Optional: ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 300F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Combine almond flour and gingerbread spice mix, then add maple syrup. Knead the dough with your hands until you can form a ball; if the dough is too sticky, add another spoonful of almond flour.
- The dough will be more manageable if you refrigerate it for 1-2 hours but refrigeration is optional.
- Cut two sides of a large ziplock bag open and place dough in between. With a rolling pin, flatten dough to about ¼ inch, then start cutting shapes: it works best if you dip your cookie cutter in a bowl of water before each cut.
- Non-vegan option: brush cookies with egg yolk for a golden sheen.
- Place cookies on baking tray and bake for about 8-12 minutes or until the edges start turning golden. Eat as many as you can, then start over. Merry Christmas!