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11 Recipes for German Christmas Cookies

Bring a taste of the Old World to your kitchen! This collection of recipes contains traditional German Christmas cookies, as well as other recipes inspired by German baking traditions. Fröhliche Weihnachten!

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Chocolate Lebkuchen cookies on a white parchment paper with german chocolate dipping sauceTaste of Home

Chocolate Lebkuchen

Having lived in Germany herself, Taste of Home contributor Cathy Lemmon prides herself in the authenticity of her German recipes. This traditional nut-filled chocolate lebkuchen recipe is a true taste of Christmas in Deutschland.

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Pfeffernuesse Cookies coated in powder sugar and displayedTaste of Home

Pfeffernuesse Cookies

A German holiday tradition, fragrant pfeffernuesse pack a warm rush of spices in every bite. These cookies call for a “secret” ingredient that’s not commonly used in baking: a bit of coarsely ground black pepper! It gives pfeffernuesse their name and irresistible taste.

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Kipplens Recipe Photo Exps3728 Cc153599b01 14 6b 9Taste of Home

Kipplens

This simple German Christmas cookie is similar to Mexican wedding cookies, but nuttier. You can swap out the pecans for almost any nut you’re a fan of—walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds will all work spectacularly.

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Zimtsterne german shortbread cookies in a star shapeTaste of Home

Zimtsterne

These cinnamon-heavy star-shaped cookies are a southern German specialty. Adding melted chocolate to the batter helps balance the cinnamon’s strong flavor; if you’d like, you can also drizzle the finished cookies with tempered chocolate or coat them completely.

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Linzer Cookies on a wood background with a berry fillingTaste of Home

Linzer Cookies

Baking Christmas cookies is as much about the tradition of spending hours in the kitchen as it is about gifting Christmas cookies to loved ones. Making these jam-filled Linzer cookies takes a little extra effort, but the results feel like something extra special.

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Cardamom Spritz cookies served in a cookie tinTaste of Home

Cardamom Spritz

If you’ve got a cookie press hiding in your cabinet, Christmas is the time to break it out. These spritz cookies come together in mere minutes, and can be pressed into any stunning shape you’d like.

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Chocolate Lebkuchen Cherry Balls Exps Thd18 225781 C07 26 3b 3Taste of Home

Chocolate Lebkuchen Cherry Balls

This twist on the traditional German Christmas cookie lebkuchen comes with a sweet surprise inside: a whole maraschino cherry! Dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with almonds, these no-bake cookies are like holiday-themed chocolate bonbons, and wonderful for gifting.

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Dutch Waffle CookiesTaste of Home

Dutch Waffle Cookies

Put your waffle maker to work this Christmas and bake these mini waffle cookies! Though they originated in Germany’s neighboring Belgium, these Dutch holiday delights are popular all over northern Europe.

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Glazed pfeffernuesse on a metal cooling rackTaste of Home

Glazed Pfeffernuesse

This glazed take on traditional German pfeffernuesse stays fresh—and becomes more intense in flavor—when the cookies are stored in an airtight container for weeks. Try making yours the day after Thanksgiving, then let them age until Christmas.

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Dutch Speculaas on a blue bacgroundTaste of Home

Dutch Speculaas

In the Netherlands and several of neighboring countries (like Germany), it’s tradition to mold this dough into the shape of St. Nicholas and serve the cookies on Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas Day).

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Folded hazelnut cookies dusted with hazelnuts and filled with nutellaTaste of Home

Folded Hazelnut Cookies

Though Italian in origin, everyone in Europe is nuts for Nutella. These Nutella-stuffed cookies can be found in bakeries across Germany, but are simple enough to make at home.

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Allison Robicelli
Allison Robicelli is a James Beard-nominated food and recipe writer, humorist, and the author of four (quite good) books. Her writing credits include the Washington Post, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Wine Enthusiast, Eater, Food52, The Takeout, and other major publications. Before becoming a full-time writer, she spent over a decade as a working chef, and was the co-owner of the acclaimed Robicelli's Bakery in Brooklyn. In addition to food and comedy, she also writes about history, parenting, and cannabis. She lives in Baltimore with her two teenage sons and four patient cats.