Worldbuilding Wednesday 12/20/23: German Christmas Cookies


German Springerle cookies featuring former Trump Press Secretary Sean Spicer, aka the guy who hid in the White House bushes. Of course it’s AI.

It’s not really Christmas unless you eat or bake some sort of traditional German cookie! Like Lebkuchen, better known to the English-speaking world as gingerbread. Pfeffernusses are also popular as well as Spritzgeback, those cookies you pipe through a cookie press to form decorative swirls. In the US they are called Spritzen or simply Spritz cookies. (Spritz is German for syringe.)

But for sheer hard work and exoticism, nothing beats Springerle. These cookies are made with a firm, claylike dough that is pressed into a wooden mold, which is then popped out onto a baking sheet. There is no leavening in them so they don’t rise with cooking. When baked, they are sweet and decorative, but also very hard; the kind of cookie that is made to impress (pardon the pun) at a fancy Kaffeeklache. The trick is in getting the dough just right and oiling and flouring the mold properly.

Traditional molds were hand-carved of wood, but in the early 1990s, when there was a craze for all sorts of time-intensive, difficult crafts, clay molds made a resurgence. I had one shaped like a tyrannosaurus rex and I NEVER got the damn thing to work right. One particular piece near his foot would never peel out properly, leaving him deformed. The manufacturers of the molds later retconned their use to include paper molding and other crafts, but the damage, at least to me, had been done. I didn’t attempt another Springerle type cookie until decades later.

The Springerles above feature an image of former Trump press secretary Sean Spicer, whose name I felt was appropriate for Christmas. His photo is to the left so you can gauge what a fine job Midjourney did with his likeness. He’s good enough to eat!

The randomgenned and randomtweaked cookies below are named in the Germanic style, and I like to think they’re delicious-sounding but impenetrable, and prone to surprising you with unexpected spiciness or hardness that can break a tooth.


German Christmas Cookies

Anis Frausutten



Glauspritz mit Kaffee  


Haselnuss Sprungnik







Schokolade Kinderkugels


Sprungizst Brötchen





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