German Christmas Cookies No. 2 – “Gewuerzprinten”

I brought these cookies to a potluck dinner on Sunday and the lovely lady to my right at the dinner table – Cornelia – asked me for the recipe. She bakes 20 different varieties of cookies every Christmas, putting most good German housewives to shame.

Printen are a type of “Lebkuchen” or gingerbread and contain very similar spices. They also include figs, maple syrup, brown sugar and finely ground rock candy or “Kandiszucker, which I substituted with turbinado sugar. Don’t worry, they are not as sweet as it sounds here, and they contain hardly any butter.

Again, I apologize that this is another “metric” recipe for which you’ll need a scale. Good luck!


  • 150 g Maple Syrup (Grade B)
  • 75 g dark brown sugar
  • 50 g butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground anise seed (I didn’t have this one, but am sure it would be nice)
  • 50 g dried figs, finely chopped
  • peel of 1/2 lemon (unsprayed), grated
  • 1 egg
  • 100 g turbinado or demerara sugar
  • 300 g flour (I used spelt), divided
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 100 g slivered almonds


In a medium sauce pan, warm up maple syrup, brown sugar and butter, stirring constantly until the butter and sugar have melted. Turn off heat and let cool.

Add figs, grated lemon peel, egg, turbinado sugar, a couple of tablespoons flour, spices and baking powder to maple/butter in pan. Combine to a wet dough, then work in remaining flour.

Place dough onto wax paper or cling wrap. Cover with same, then roll dough in between paper or wrap into a 1/4″ (0.5 cm) thickness.

Remove top paper or wrap and cut dough into 1.5″ (4 cm) squares.

Preheat oven to 350F or 175C.

Separate “Printen” and place them on a lined baking tray. Make egg wash by mixing egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water.

Brush “Printen” with egg wash and decorate with slivered almonds. Press almonds in a little, otherwise they will fall off after baking.

Bake cookies for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden. Remove to wire rack and let cool.

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