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International Cookie Plate

Compiled by Deanna Buxton - December 14, 2010

Braune Kuchen by Kate Ensign-Lewis.

The Christmas cookie plate is a popular and delicious solution to the holiday gift quandary. Use these recipes to give the platter an international flavor.

LDS Living also decided to bake these cookies at home and see what they looked (and tasted) like. Check out the gallery to see the results! (And look for our commentary in the "editor's notes" after the recipes.)

Braune Kuchen

  • 2/3 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 3/4 cups wheat flour
  • 1 cup sweet almonds, ground
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons gingerbread spice
  • 1 tablespoon citron candied fruit
  • 1.5 ounces sweet almonds, thinly sliced
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • food coloring (optional)
Beat butter (or margarine), brown sugar, salt, vanilla, and honey until creamy. Beat in the egg. Mix flour, ground almonds, baking powder, gingerbread spice, and citron. Add to the butter mixture. Mix until it is smooth. Chill for 2 hours in refrigerator. Roll dough between plastic wrap and then cover it with the sliced almonds. Press the almonds into the dough with a rolling pin. Use cookie cutters to cut shapes. Put cookies on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper; bake in a preheated oven for 8–10 minutes at 350° F. Mix egg white, lemon juice, and powdered sugar into a smooth frosting; tint with food coloring if desired. Decorate your Braune Kuchen with it. Makes about 50 cookies.


This is one of our favorite cookies. Germany has so many good cookies and breads for Christmas. They might seem unusual to Americans, but most people who try our goodies really love them.
—Camella Schmidt
Leipzig 1st Ward
Leipzig Stake
Leipzig Sachsen, Germany

*Editor's Note: Cookies made by Kate Ensign-Lewis. Kate says: "The whole wheat flour and ground almonds make these a hearty spice cookie. They're not too sweet, but they're not unlike gingerbread. I added a little lemon zest to the icing for extra flavor. The icing gives the cookie added sweetness and more depth through the bright lemon taste."

Bakkels (Norwegian Cookies)

  • 3 eggs
  • 9 egg yolks
  • 20 heaping tablespoons sugar
  • 22–25 whole cardamom seeds (about 1 tablespoon if crushed, but try to use whole)
  • 1/2 pint heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 8–9 cups flour, sifted

Beat eggs and egg yolks in a bowl. Stir in sugar. Peel and crush cardamom seeds between waxed paper with a rolling pin until a very fine powder. Mix crushed cardamom into egg-sugar mixture. Add cream and melted butter. Sift in flour until it forms a soft dough. Chill for at least 2 hours. Heat deep fryer between 350° and 375° F. Roll chilled dough out on floured surface. Cut into diamond-shaped cookies. Place cookies in deep fryer. Turn when they brown on edges. Allow to dry on paper towels. Makes 4 dozen cookies.

This is an old Norwegian family recipe that is still a Christmas tradition to this day. 
– Larry Drysdale
Concord Ward
Concord New Hampshire Stake
Weare, New Hampshire

*Editor's Note: Cookies made by Ashley Evanson. Ashley says: "Cardamom is a rare and expensive spice, so I found substituting half part cinnamon and half part nutmeg worked perfectly. I would use less flour becuase my dough was super thick. And lastly, make sure to roll the dough very thinly or the middle won't get cooked. Finish by dusting them with powdered sugar."


Scottish Shortbread

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 cups flour
Cream butter with sugar. Add flour; you may have to add a bit more until the dough is not sticky. Roll into 1-inch balls. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Flatten lightly with a fork. Bake at 300° F until just barely starting to brown around the edges. Makes about 2 dozen cookies.


This recipe was given to my mother by a friend whose mother brought it from Scotland. We always make shortbread to have at Christmas. On Christmas Eve we have a buffet lunch, and these shortbread cookies are one of the highlights.
– Marjorie (Dineen) Moncrieff
Bow Island Ward
Medicine Hat Stake
Bow Island, Alberta, Canada

Kruidnoten (Ginger Nuts)

  • 3 tablespoons margarine or butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup self-rising flour
Mix the butter, salt, sugar, and allspice. Add 1 tablespoon milk and 1/2 cup self-rising flour. Mix well. Add the rest of the milk and flour. Form into balls the size of marbles and push them flat on one side. Preheat oven to 325° F. Put the balls on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Makes 4 dozen.


-- Miriam Heinrichs-Heijdemann
Apeldoorn Ward
Apeldoorn Netherlands Stake
Apeldoorn, Netherlands

Candy Cane Cookies

  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red food coloring
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy

Mix shortening, sugar, egg, almond extract, and vanilla. Add flour and salt. Divide dough in half. Blend red food coloring into half the dough. Roll out both colors in 4-inch lengths. Twist one red and one white together. Place on ungreased cookie sheet, curving top to form a cane. Bake at 375° F for 9 minutes. Remove and sprinkle with sugar and crushed candy. Makes
12–24 cookies.

—Emily King
Lansing Ward
Lansing Michigan Stake
Lansing, Michigan

*Editor's Note: Cookies made by Erin Hallstrom. Erin says: "The dough first came out a little dry which made it difficult to work with.  Adding a small amount of warm milk to the dough made it much easier to roll out and resulted in prettier cookies. Also I used pink food coloring because it was what I had on hand.  Obviously, you can use red (or any color you like) with your cookies."

*Recipes came from the Worldwide Ward Christmas Cookbook.

© LDS Living magazine Nov/Dec 2010
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