15 December: Pistachio stars by Andrea Wiener

Andrea Wiener from Amt Creuzburg sent us a recipe for pistachio stars. She discovered it in a magazine and tried it out. She says: the stars are a bit time-consuming and you need patience, but the result is worth it!


  • 100 g sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp grated organic lemon peel
  • 250 g flour
  • 170 g soft butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 50 g chopped pistachios
  • 100 g apricot jam
  • 100 g marzipan paste
  • 100 g pistachio kernels


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees, fan oven to 160 degrees. Mix the sugar, salt and lemon zest and knead with the flour, butter and egg yolk until smooth. Wrap the dough in cling film and chill for around 1 hour.

Roll out the dough on a floured work surface to a thickness of 2 millimeters and cut out 40 stars in 2 sizes (5 cm and 2.5 cm diameter). Bake on baking sheets lined with baking paper for about 8 minutes, then leave to cool on a kitchen rack. Finely chop the pistachios, add the jam and continue to chop. Add the marzipan mixture in portions and process to a paste. Pipe onto the stars using a piping bag with a star nozzle. Place small stars on top and garnish each with a pistachio kernel.

14 December: Walnut Florentines by Annemarie Dietzel

Annemarie Dietzel in Saalfeld has walnut trees in her garden. She cooks with walnuts and bakes bread, but her daughter has always been responsible for making Christmas cookies. But because the walnut harvest was so plentiful this year, Mrs. Dietzel looked online to see how she could use as many of them as possible.

Because she is a fan of Florentines anyway, she chose the walnut Florentines.
These are easy to make and, as the great-granddaughter confirms, delicious! So, to the delight of the family, they are baked again before Christmas.


  • 400 g walnuts
  • 250 ml whipped cream
  • 40g butter
  • 100 ml liquid honey
  • 100 g sugar
  • 1 pack vanilla sugar
  • 50 g flour
  • 150 g dark chocolate, at least 70 % cocoa content
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, optionally cooking oil


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (fan oven 160 degrees). Roughly chop the walnuts. Bring the cream to the boil with the butter, honey, sugar and vanilla sugar. Add the walnuts, simmer for 2 minutes at a low heat, remove from the heat and slowly stir in the flour. Allow the mixture to rest for about 15 minutes.

Using teaspoons, place 50 portions on 2 baking sheets lined with baking paper, 3 cm apart. Bake on the middle shelf for 12 to 15 minutes, then allow to cool completely. Roughly chop the chocolate and melt it with coconut oil in a bowl over a hot water bath, stirring constantly. Allow to cool to room temperature and dip the Florentines in the chocolate. Drain and allow to set on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.

13 December: Advent cupcake by Elke Frank

A few years ago, Elke Frank from Aga/OT Gera discovered a recipe in a magazine that has become very popular in the family: “Advent Bundt Cake”. As easy to make as a Bundt cake, apples, hazelnuts, cinnamon and rum turn it into a delicious, fragrant Advent cake. The Frank family enjoys it on Advent Sundays and at family celebrations, as two family members have birthdays in December.


  • 500 g apples
  • 4 tbsp rum
  • 250 g soft butter or margarine
  • 250 g sugar
  • 1 packet of vanilla sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 200 g flour
  • 1 packet of baking powder
  • 2 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 125 g chopped hazelnuts
  • 200 g icing sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons rum
  • 3 tbsp chopped hazelnuts


Cut the apples into small pieces, mix with the rum and leave covered for 30 minutes. Beat the butter or margarine until creamy, gradually stir in the sugar, vanilla sugar and eggs. Mix the flour with the baking powder, cocoa and cinnamon and stir into the butter and egg mixture alternately with the hazelnuts, finally mixing in the apples.

Put the dough into a greased Bundt cake tin and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for about 60 to 75 minutes. Mix the icing sugar with rum and possibly a little water and cover the cake with it, then sprinkle with the hazelnuts. You can leave out the rum if there are children around; it’s better to use lemon or chocolate icing.

12 December: Student cap by Nina Ansorg

Nina Ansorg from Erfurt takes care of her family’s physical well-being – with student caps. Her family has long enjoyed eating Christmas biscuits, but Nina is the first to bake them herself. Her grandmother used to bring the sweet coins from the baker in Suhl. At some point Nina’s mother discovered a recipe in a South Thuringia Christmas baking book. Since then Nina has been providing family and friends with homemade student caps.


  • 0.5 tsp hartshorn salt
  • 1 tbsp warm water
  • 300 g flour
  • 0.5 teaspoon anise powder
  • 250 g icing sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon milk


Dissolve the horn salt in water and gradually add the flour and anise powder. Mix the icing sugar with the eggs and milk separately. Then mix everything together and roll out the dough to a thickness of one centimeter. Cut out small shapes from it. Nina Ansorg’s tip: It’s best to eat it in penny-sized pieces, because student caps become very hard.

Then bake the coins on a greased baking tray at 175 degrees for about 15 – 20 minutes. Check them regularly to make sure the pastries don’t get too dark. Finally, a little patience is required, because the student caps need to rest on the tray covered with a cloth for about a week before they go into a box. Stored there, they will keep for a long time.

11 December: Shake gingerbread by Margit Schütze

Margit Schütze from Schleiz has contacted us for the second time. Shake-lebkuchen is her tip for making it yourself. It’s not an old family recipe, Mrs. Schütze got it from an acquaintance. She gave the cake to a Schleiz bus driver to try, he thought it was great, and so did his wife. She in turn passed it on, and the recipe spread among Schleiz bus drivers. And Margit Schütze’s family loves the cake too.


  • 350 g flour
  • 300 g sugar
  • 100 g ground hazelnuts
  • 3 tsp gingerbread spice
  • 1 tsp clove powder
  • 1 tbsp vanilla sugar
  • 1 packet of baking powder
  • 250 ml milk
  • 150 g melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 eggs


First, shake the dry ingredients or mix them with your hands. Grease the baking tray, sprinkle with a little breadcrumbs and then spread the dough on it. Alternatively, you can also use baking paper. Then stir in the liquid ingredients. Bake at 200 degrees for around 20 minutes, and cover with dark glaze if desired.

December 8: Christmas pumpernickel by Eva König

Eva König lives in Kelbra and comes from the Thuringian Forest. She knows the recipe for a Christmas pumpernickel bread from her childhood. It is still a hit today, especially with the men in the family, even if the baked rolls don’t look particularly Christmassy at first. However, you should make sure you stock up on hartshorn salt in good time, because it is sometimes sold out in the run-up to Christmas.


  • 500 g flour
  • 500 g sugar
  • 250 g grated rusks
  • 125 gr sweet almonds with shells
  • 160 g sweet almonds grated
  • 2-3 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 pinch of ground cloves
  • 0.5 tsp hartshorn salt
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 1 small cup of milk


Mix everything well, knead, roll into rolls (4-5 centimetres in diameter) that fit on the baking tray. Then place the rolls next to each other on baking paper on the baking tray. Bake at a medium heat for 20-30 minutes, allow to cool and cut like thick slices of bread.

If you like it sweeter, you can also cover the pumpernickel with a lemon icing.

7 December: Scottish cookies by Steffi Müller

Steffi Müller from Eckartsberga has been keeping a recipe that she brought back from Scotland for years. That’s why these cookies are simply called Scottish cookies.