The Christmas season is a busy one here at Montgomery Bakehouse, but one of the reasons we love it so much is that we get to share some of our favorite family recipes with our loyal customers. German baking traditions have been part of our heritage since Mum-Mum and Pop-Pop came to America from Germany in 1938, and we proudly continue these tasty holiday customs here in Texas three generations later.
Be sure to stop by and try one of our German delights this season:
Stollen, or Christstollen, is a bread that was traditionally made without milk or butter in Medieval Europe, when the Advent season was a time to give up many creature comforts (similar to Lent). The church changed the rules to allow those ingredients, which let German bakers turn stollen into a delicious Christmas tradition. Fun fact: Legend has it that the “hump” on the loaf represented the camel’s hump and the candied fruit inside symbolized the jewels brought to Jesus by the Wise Men.
These white cookies are stamped with festive images; in fact, the name springerle means “little knight,” probably in reference to popular pictures on the biscuits of the time. Some historians think that they were originally made by poor Pagans who couldn’t afford an actual animal sacrifice in holy festivals — a picture would have to do. Today, springerle is full of pictures of Christmas symbols and holiday cheer.
Pfeffernusse translates to “pepper nuts,” a nod to the aromatic spices used to flavor these small holiday cookies. Think of it as the German version of gingerbread, with a nice dusting of snowy powdered sugar to finish the seasonal look. Try them for yourself this month — we’re even open on Sundays from 10-3 throughout December!