Virtual Cookie Exchange: German Butter Cookies or Have You Ever Skinned Almonds?

We all probably have some childhood memories that make Christmas special, and as funny as it sounds, skinning almonds is one of mine. I have always found it fascinating that blanching almonds in boiling water loosens the skin and that you can squeeze them out after they cool down. Of course we didn’t just quietly squeeze them out of their skins back then, my brother, my sister and I shot them all across the kitchen and at each other until my mom intervened. To this day it doesn’t feel like Christmas until I am skinning almonds, and it will probably not surprise you that these cookies are always the first I make each year. They are rather simple butter cookies but sometimes less is more, and these taste amazing. If you find my way of decorating them with just some egg yolk and an almond too boring, you can decorate them any way you please, of course.

German Butter Cookies

A few words of caution/disclaimer: This is a German recipe. Germans measure only liquids by volume, solid ingredients are measured by weight. And everything is metric, of course. With the help of the internet I have provided the imperial measurements but there is no guarantee these are correct… it’s the internet after all. So if a number looks suspicious to you, please double check the math. Another difference are North American ranges. Having to choose between “bake” and “broil” doesn’t really translate to German full convection ovens. So please keep an eye on the cookies and decide for yourself if they need longer or are done faster in your oven than required by the recipe.

Wir haben vermutlich alle Kindheitserinnerungen, die unzertrennbar mit Weihnachten verbunden sind. Und so lustig sich das auch anhört, zu meinen Erinnerungen gehört das Schälen von Mandeln für die Weihnachtsbäckerei dazu. Ich fand es schon immer faszinierend, dass sich die Schale ablöst, wenn man die Mandeln mit kochendem Wasser übergießt, und man die Mandeln dann ganz einfach herausquetschen kann. Natürlich haben wir als Kinder die Mandeln nicht ruhig und gesittet herausgequetscht, mein Bruder, meine Schwester und ich haben sie mit Freuden durch die ganze Küche geschossen und versucht, uns gegenseitig zu treffen, bis meine Mutter genug hatte und dem Ganzen ein Ende setzte. Bis heute ist das Gefühl von Weihnachtszeit für mich mit dem Schälen von Mandeln verbunden, und daher dürfte es niemanden verwundern, dass diese Plätzchen immer die ersten sind, die ich backe. Es sind relativ einfache Butterplätzchen, aber weniger ist manchmal mehr, und diese sind wirklich lecker. Und wem meine Variante zu langweilig ist (sie werden nur mit Eigelb bestrichen und mit einer Mandel belegt), darf gerne die Dekoration nach Herzenslust variieren.

Und zusätzlich zum Rezept gibt es von mir auch noch ein vorweihnachtliches Geschenk, das im weitesten Sinne auch mit der Weihnachtsbäckerei zu tun hat. Als ich mich für diesen Blog Hop angemeldet habe, erschien plötzlich ein Lebkuchenmann vor meinem inneren Auge. Der hat sich dann in meinem Kopf eingenistet und auch noch eine Lebkuchenfrau dazu eingeladen, und ich habe die beiden in Mug Rugs verwandelt und sie Ginger und Fred genannt. Die Anleitung ist bis Sonntag zum kostenlosen Download verfügbar. Am Montag zieht sie dann in den Shop um. Das gibt dann auch denjenigen eine Chance, die in der Woche keine Zeit haben, von Blog zu Blog zu hüpfen. Ich wünsche allen eine schöne (Vor)Weihnachtszeit und danke für’s Vorbeischauen.

And I also have a little virtual cookie Christmas gift for all of you. When I signed up for this blog hop a vision of a gingerbread man popped into my head. And he made himself at home in there and also invited a gingerbread woman, and I turned them both into mug rugs and called them Ginger and Fred. The pattern is available for free download until Sunday, I will move it to the shop on Monday. This way people who don’t have time during the week to hop from blog to blog will also have a chance to download the pattern. Have a great holiday season and thank you for stopping by today.

Edit: Ginger & Fred moved over to the store and are available for purchase now, if you missed the free download.

Edit: Ginger & Fred sind in den Shop umgezogen. Wer den freien Download verpasst hat, kann sie dort noch erwerben.

And once again the full schedule of the Virtual Cookie Exchange Blog Hop 2018:

Tuesday, November 27
Kwilty Pleasures
Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats
Songbird Designs
Creative Latitude
Ms P. Designs USA
Gray Barn Designs
Alycia Quilts
Happy Cottage Quilter
Sew Many Yarns
For The Love Of Geese
Wednesday, November 28
Creatin’ in the Sticks
Vroomans Quilts
It’s A T-Sweet Day!
Domestic Felicity
That Fabric Feeling
Home Sewn By Us
Karrin’s Crazy World
Adventurous Applique and Quilting
Bumbleberry Stitches
Melva Loves Scraps

Thursday, November 29
Pieceful Thoughts of My Quilting Life
Kathleen McMusing
DesertSky Quilting
Life in the Scrapatch
Ridge Top Quilt
Cynthia’s Creating Ark
Bejeweled Quilts by Barb
Pumpkin Patch BC (that’s me)
Operation Domestic Goddess
Just Let Me Quilt

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51 responses to “Virtual Cookie Exchange: German Butter Cookies or Have You Ever Skinned Almonds?”

  1. Carla says:

    What fun memories of shooting almonds. I love it. Thank you for the cookie recipe, they sound yummy! I love the simple decoration and almonds are just great on their own. Thank you for Fred and Ginger – too cute. Merry Christmas!

  2. Susan the Farm Quilter says:

    Thank you for translating the recipe – your cookies look delicious and I’ll be giving them a try. Thank you for Fred and Ginger as well!

    • Beatrice says:

      You are welcome, Susan. I hope my translation makes sense… I am not very familiar with cooking and baking terms, I’d rather be quilting 🙂

  3. Jeannie says:

    Merry Christmas! I loved reading your Christmas childhood memory and thank you for the recipe and quilt pattern.

  4. Dorian says:

    Looks good, thanks for the recipe. Cute gingerbread peoples too 🙂

  5. Wendy says:

    I’m giggling at the idea of you and your siblings shooting the almonds across the room! Haha. The recipe looks delicious, and those little gingerbread mats are darling!

  6. treen says:

    Those are great mug rugs! So Christmas-y!

    And I’m bookmarking your blog because I noticed your Tuxedo Cat BOM for next year – my 8 year old is obsessed with cats. I’m curious to see how complicated your blocks are going to be because I might teach her to make them herself.

    • Beatrice says:

      I am obsessed with cats too! 😀 And I can’t have any because I don’t want cat hair all over my client quilts.

      All blocks are fusible appliqué. I tried to make the cats look realistic but keep it as simple as possible at the same time. I will post a little more info tomorrow with the last instalment of this year’s BOM.

  7. Denise says:

    These sound delicious, thank you.

  8. Carol S. says:

    As old as I am, I’ve never blanched an almond nor did I even know how to do it. Thank you for sharing that info! The cookies sound absolutely delicious and on top of wanting to make them, I’ll be shooting almonds all over my kitchen. Fun! I love Ginger and Fred and appreciate the download. Thank you so much for this fun post, recipe, and sewing project! xo

    • Beatrice says:

      I am sure your monkey boys will love the shooting almonds across the kitchen part 😀 Thank you for hosting this blog hop, so much fun!

  9. Pat says:

    These look yummy. I have had these before from a German bakery when I was traveling but never found the recipe. I have seen these products available in the international section of my nearby grocery markets in the US, but have never used them. We can also buy already blanched almonds, but I think the ones you blanch yourself must be a bit softer which is what I remember from the bakery cookies I enjoyed. I am adding this to my holiday baking list. Thank you for sharing in the hop … 🙂 Pat

    • Beatrice says:

      Yes, blanching the almonds makes them a bit softer, that’s true. I have never tried the ones you can purchase, it just wouldn’t feel like Christmas to me without peeling them myself. I hope this recipe comes close to what you remember, enjoy.

  10. Joan says:

    Oh what a great way to start the day. Laughing at the thought of you and your siblings shooting almonds across the kitchen! It’s the little things that make memories so special! The cookies sound wonderful. Thanks for the sweet little Ginger pattern. Have a very Merry Christmas!

  11. Brenda says:

    Thanks so much for translating the recipe for us, and for the Ginger and Fred patterns! They are adorable! It sounds like you and your siblings had a great time shooting almonds! Merry Christmas!

    • Beatrice says:

      You are welcome, Brenda. I think we fought a lot back then, especially with my brother, but something silly like shooting almonds around the kitchen sure brought us together 🙂

  12. The cookies look delicious, and thanks so much for the translation. Thanks also for the mug rug pattern. I’m going to make them for 2 grandchildren. Happy Holidays and thanks so much for sharing!

    • Beatrice says:

      You are welcome, Karrin. Please send me a picture if you make the mug rugs, I love seeing what people make with my designs.

  13. Roseanne says:

    Hi Beatrice! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe and your cute mug rugs. I have never skinned almonds. I guess I lead a sheltered life. Happy Happy Thursday to you. ~smile~ Roseanne

    • Beatrice says:

      LOL Roseanne, I am probably the last person who still blanches almonds… as somebody pointed out you can buy them without skin at the grocery store. But where is the fun in that?? 😉

  14. Your cookies look delicious. I didn’t know you skinned almonds?? 🙂 And your mug rugs are darling!

  15. Colette says:

    Oh your cookies look great. LOL about removing the skins….I always wondered how that worked. Cute mug rugs.

  16. I say yuuuummmmy, thanks!

  17. I remember skinning almonds at my grandparents place after they harvested the almonds from their tree we would spend an afternoon skinning a good batch of them for baking purposes. I look forward to try your recipe. I can tell you the Dr Oekter products are available here in Australia where I live.

    • Beatrice says:

      Thank you, Cynthia, I am glad there are others who have skinned almonds before 🙂 And good to know about Dr Oetker. I assumed they would be available in the US as well. If we can get it in Canada, it’s usually in their stores as well but you never know.

  18. Susan N. says:

    The cookies look good to me! I love almonds, but I never heard of skinning them. I may have to try that just for fun. =) The mugrug Gingerbread people are just the cutest things ever. Thank you so much for giving them to us.

    • Beatrice says:

      You are welcome, Susan. Well, I think they looked better as decoration when they are skinned, and they also taste better. The blanching makes them a little softer. Just a subtle difference but it makes it worth the effort.

  19. QuiltShopGal says:

    What a fun post. I laughed thinking of you and your brother shooting almonds at each other, while baking these yummy cookies when you were children. Too funny.

  20. Sharon Aurora says:

    I never heard of skinning almonds before. I love almonds. That looks like a great recipe to try. And thank you so much for those adorable mug rug patterns. I’m hoping I can get them made in time to give them as gifts for Christmas.

    • Beatrice says:

      I you love almonds, give it a try. They taste even better after blanching in my opinion. And please send me a picture if you make the mug rugs. My email address is on the last page of the pattern.

  21. LJ says:

    I ate Chinese almond cookies as a young adult. This recipe sounds like it might just be the same flavor. Nope, I’ve never skinned almonds. I love learning a new thing.

    • Beatrice says:

      It’s probably a skill that isn’t necessary anymore since everything is readily available in grocery stores but I still think it’s fun.

  22. Mindy says:

    Ginger and Fred – so CUTE!

  23. Theresa says:

    Thanks for sharing your German Butter Cookies, I can’t wait to make these. I love a butter cookie!

  24. Carol Kussart says:

    These cookies look delicious! I have never blanched an almond…it sounds like it might be fun to shoot those almonds across the kitchen. Ha, ha! Thank you for the Ginger and Fred patterns too!

    • Beatrice says:

      You are welcome, Carol. Well, I haven’t actually shot almonds across the kitchen in decades but maybe I should give it a try again 😉

  25. I remember getting those butter cookies at a bakery in Germany when I was a child. I also remember shooting blanched almonds at my siblings every year in October when we made our fruitcake. Thank you so much for the sweet memories and the darling mug rugs pattern. I think I will have to make butter cookies tomorrow after I teach my class at my Guild!

  26. Robin Klein says:

    I just found this. My mother-in-law who is 2nd generation (?)(her parents came over) always made these cookies plus others for everyone at Christmas. She always sent down a tin to us if we stayed home in FL that year. She is 93 now and can no longer bake. Now I will make them for her.

    • Beatrice says:

      That’s wonderful, Robin. They are easy to make and taste so good, I hope they will bring back good memories for her.

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