Guten Morgen, Kinder!
Smells and taste create that amazing memory response in the human brain. Visual cues often trigger a memory as well. When I see this recipe, I recall eating German Spice cookies with my friend, Katy Butler, who used to freak me out because she slept with her eyes open. I also think of Katy’s mother. Mrs Butler is responsible for introducing me to the world of Harlequin/Mills & Boon romance novels. She had a massive collection of H/M&B, which I had never seen before. Mrs Butler had a whole spare room with built-in shelves her husband made and they were full of Harlequins. I read one the first time I had a sleepover at Katy’s — and discovered she slept with her eyes open, which convinced me she was dead. When I couldn’t get back to sleep, for fear of Katy really dying if I did, I wandered into Mrs Butler’s romance library and grabbed a book.
I stayed the night at Katy’s a lot and decided I liked the Harlequins set in Australia best. But this post is about cookies, not my preference of Harlequins. When I smell and taste the German Spice Cookies, I think of Delores, the friend I had in the tiny German village (which smelled like cow poo and grass) where we lived for a time.
Delores wore really ugly argyle sweater vests and had a Carol Brady/Rod Stewart Shag hair style, when I had your standard weenie little pigtails. With her stylish TV Mom/Rocker hair, she was so much more grown up than me, but she didn’t know how to bake, which made me so much more grown up than her.
One Christmas, I showed Delores how to make these cookies. She got dough all over her purple, orange and mustard yellow argyle sweater vest. It was an improvement. Unfortunately, nothing, not even cookie dough, improved my weenie hair.
To this day I can’t see argyle without thinking of Delores, and I can bake and eat these cookies without remembering her either.
I bet you have a childhood friend like that too. Maybe you even had a friend who slept with their eyes open…
- ¾ cup sugar 1tsp cinnamon
- ¾ cup honey 1/8 tsp allspice
- 2 eggs 1 cup chopped almonds (optional)
- 3 ½ cups flour ¾ cup chopped candied orange peel
- 1 tsp baking powder
Oven to 400F/200C
Mix sugar, honey, and eggs thoroughly. Measure flour and blend dry ingredients. Stir into sugar mixture. Mix in almonds and orange peel.
Roll to ¼ thick on lightly floured board.
Cut out with cookie cutters, you know, Christmas trees, stars, Batman– Yeah, BATMAN!
Place on lightly greased baking sheet, leaving ½ inch between.
Bake 10-12 minutes.
Store in airtight container for 1 week to ‘mellow.’
Serve these with Espresso roast or a darker roaster coffee with a sweet overtone. Here’s to you, Delores and Katy!