Friday, December 5, 2014

German Christmas Cookies

German Pyramide and German Christmas cookies

When my parents were visiting recently, my dad taught me to make Spekulatien using his family's recipe. I have always enjoyed baking, and it was especially fun to learn to make German Christmas cookies using a family recipe.

Baking with my dad

If you look up "Spekulatien" on the internet, you will most often see it called "Spekulatius." My dad's family always called it "Spekulatien" because that is the plural of the word "Spekulatius," and they always wanted more than one Spekulatius! I grew up calling it "Spekulatien," and I never knew until last week that not everyone calls it that!

Spekulatien board

Spekulatien is traditionally made using a wooden mold. After pressing the dough into the mold, you have to bang the mold on the table so that the cookies will fall out. My parents knew that the noise of banging a Spekulatien board would be too much for me because of my chronic migraines, so they gave me a Spekulatien roller!

Rolling Spekulatien

After rolling out the dough with a regular rolling pin, the Spekulatien roller was used to imprint and cut out the Spekulatien shapes. It was a nice and quiet process.

Spekulatien imprint on dough


transferring Spekulatien

Carefully transferring cookies to the cookie sheet

Spekulatien on baking sheet

Ready for baking!

Spekulatien cooling

Spekulatien fresh from the oven

making Lebkuchen

Later on that same day we made Lebkuchen, another type of German Christmas cookie. Adelaide had so much fun helping us. She loves to bake anything with me.

I don't have my Oma's recipe for Lebkuchen, so I used this recipe. It is delicious! I have found that it takes about 1 cup more flour than the recipe calls for. I also add a glaze to the cookies when the come out of the oven. 



Lebkuchen and Spekulatien

Lebkuchen and Spekulatien

What is your favorite thing to bake during the Christmas season? 


  1. Are you sure you grew up calling them spekulatius? Because I grew up thinking S in German was pronounced like an N because we all said spekulatzien, but the words on the package said spekulatius.

  2. What is the flavor like? The look almost like gingerbread!

  3. Whoops! That was a typo. I have always called them "Spekulatien." Post fixed. Thanks for correcting me!

  4. The Lebkuchen is a soft cookie and similar to gingerbread. The Spekulatien is also a spicy cookie, but it is crispy. Our recipe has cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and rum extract.

  5. You amaze me in being able to do all of this baking. I know how tired I get when I do a lot of baking. Nice that your parents were there to help you.

  6. It was so nice to have my parents here to help! I could not have done it without them. My parents actually made the Spekulatien dough while I was sleeping! I just helped to put cookies on the tray. I didn't put anything in our out of the oven because of the risk of falling, so my mom did all of the oven stuff for me. When I bake, I do what I can while sitting at the table, and others do the tasks that require walking around.

  7. These look amazing! Would you mind sharing the recipe? I love to cook when I'm well enough.


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