We have a massive collection of Christmas Cookie recipes in Central Europe. Seriously, you would be surprised by the amount of different cookies our ancestors were able to create in time. From spiced Lebkuchen, to soft Coconut Cookies and Sugar Baiser, the choice is endless! Coming from a rich Christmas Cookie tradition, I am still surprised at time by new cookie discoveries. This is because many cookie types and variations are typical regional traditions but the Internet revolutionized everything and we get to discover new cookie recipe ideas and so it came that I stumbled upon a German cookie variation known as Bethmännchen.
Bethmännchen are sweetened marzipan based cookies decorated with 2 almond halves and finished with a bright appetizing layer of Egg yolk. The name Bethmännchen comes from the family of Bethmann and apparently these cookies originated in Frankfurt Germany. Once upon a time there was a city counselors wife and her 4 sons. She would make these Cookies and decorate 4 sides of the cookie with halved & peeled Almonds. One son diseased and from that day onwards she would only decorate 3 sides of the marzipan cookie and that is the way they are still decorated.
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Since we always make big amounts of different cookie variations just before Christmas, we end up a bit tight in time. In that case quick but great tasting cookies can save my pre Christmas preparations enormously. Bethmännchen are super easy to make if you have marzipan, honey and peeled almonds waiting for you in the kitchen. Raw marzipan can be commonly bought in stores in Europe but if that is not the case in your area then you always have the option to make your own easily at home and for that I will be sharing here a step by step guide on how to make homemade marzipan.
I hope you will enjoy the recipe as much as we do. You can’t go wrong with the preparation so if you have kids then this is a great fun activity to celebrate the merry time of the year. Even if the kids nibble the cookie dough before it is baked, it’s alright because marzipan can be safely eaten raw.
- 400 grams raw Marzipan
- 3 Tablespoons Honey
- 90 peeled Almond half's
- 2 Egg Yolks
- First peel your almonds by keeping them soaked in water over night or you prepare a small pot with boiling water and drop them into the boiling water for minimum 30 seconds or until you can see the skin is detaching from the nuts. Half your almonds and keep aside.
- Chop your Marzipan paste into smaller bits and add the honey. Mix it all well to a smooth dough.
- Form the dough into a smooth long and lean roll and cut off one inch pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and form them all into cone like shapes with 3 sides.
- Preheat your oven to 180 Celsius!
- Keep your almonds ready and the mixed egg yolks.
- Carefully push on each marzipan piece on all the three sides 3 halved almonds but so that the almond peaks are on top. Brush your Bethmännchen with the egg yolks.
- Bake for about 10-13 minutes in the oven or until the peak of the cookies are changing light brown.
- Let cool and store in a cool and dry place. In a cool climate store in a metal box + Apple skin to keep them moist. In a tropical climate store in a airtight container.
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The Bethmännchen cookie was mentioned at Copykat.com. Discover more cookie ideas!