My grandma passed away this summer. She lived a long life, successfully raised two kids and welcomed seven grandchildren into this world. She liked to laugh often and loudly, as a born and raised Schwäbin she handed down to me my fondness for Käsespätzle and she was probably the only grandma in the world who regularly surfed the net like a pro.
If you want to figure out where my passion for cooking and baking comes from, you might end up by my grandmother. There are a couple recipes that are forever engrained in my childhood memories. We would absolute love her pasta casserole. And almost every time we came to visit, she would make the best Belgian waffles on earth. But one of my favorite things of hers are the Christmas cookies she would make every year. Every year, we would get a little box filled with delicious cookies of all sorts. Zimtsterne, Spitzbuben, Haselnussmakronen, Lebkuchen…you name it, she made it. And she continued to make these until the very end, although I imagine it must have been harder and harder for her each year to produce the huge amounts of cookies in here tiny kitchen. Thankfully, the tastes are distributed differently in my family so there wouldn’t be too many fights about who gets to pick what.
This year would be the first Christmas without her cookies. I wasn’t quite sure whether I should attempt to continue this traditions. I´ll probably never be able to make my cookies taste like hers and sometimes it might be best to just hang on to the memories. But she did pass me down her little book with recipes and the cookies cutters and I wanted to at least try to continue her legacy. I know that she always liked to hear about my adventures with her recipes and I feel that it might be a good way to honor her life, legacy and recipes. So this post is an homage to you Mimi, thank you for all the memories!
A couple of my grandmothers recipes already made their way on to the blog. In the archives you can find:
Today, I´m giving you my grandmothers Lebkuchen (gingerbread) recipe. And although I might be a little early (Advent starts next weekend), I´m wishing you a happy Christmas season, joyful time with your loved ones, no stress and most of all, that you can keep the memories of your loved ones close to your heart. Also, hug your grandparents, give your children a kiss and cuddle an extra couple of minutes with your partner! After all, these are the really important things in life.
Für ein Blech:
300 g flour
150 g ground almonds
180 g butter
200 g white sugar
1 tbsp. rum
200 g honey
½ tbsp. lemon zest
½ tbsp. cinnamon
150 g candied lemon peel
50 g candied orange peel
½ teaspoon clove poweder
1 tbsp. baking powder
1) Mix flour, almonds and baking powder in a bowl. Place butter, sugar, rum, honey, cinnamon and clove powder into a pot and heat until everything is mixed well. Add the flour mixture and stir well. The dough can rest for 8 hours in a warm place, it doesn´t necessarily have to though.
2) Add the eggs and mix well. Pour the mixture onto a buttered baking tray and bake in the preheated oven at 175°C for about 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown.
3) Mix a little bit of powdered sugar with rum until you have a shiny icing. Spread on top of the baked dough. Let cool completely before cutting into little squares.