Friday, December 21, 2012


It's Christmas, and that means Chrismas box season.  The second addition to my Christmas boxes was Bethmannchen, a traditional cookie from Frankfurt.  It is named after a well known Frankfurt family (Bethmann), and each of the three almond halves adorning the cookies represents one of their sons.

Most of the recipes I have subsequently found for Bethmannchen contain marzipan.  However, I found my recipe in German Baking Today by Dr Oetker.  The genius of this recipe is that is does not contain marzipan - perfect if you want to make Bethmannchen and don't have any marzipan.  They are also both easy and tasty.

To make Dr Oetker's Bethmannchen, you will need:

125g icing sugar
1 egg white
200g almond meal
1 teaspoon cornflour (corn starch)
1 egg yolk
4 teaspoons water
50 g blanched almonds
a little milk for brushing

Line a baking sheet with baking paper.

Sift the icing sugar into a bowl.  Add the almond meal and cornflour and stir to combine.

In another bowl, beat the egg white until stiff peaks form.  Add the icing sugar mixture to the egg whites, and mix briefly with the mixer.

Pinch off walnut sized pieces from the mixture and roll into balls.  Place each ball onto the baking sheet and press three blanched almonds into each ball, point facing upwards.  Leave the balls to dry overnight.  (It is hot here, so I only left them to dry for a couple of hours.)

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  Brush each cookie with milk, and place the baking sheet in the centre of the oven to bake the cookies for approximately 15 minutes.  Remove the cookies from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.

These little cookies were my favourite item in the gift box - they were so tasty I was glad that I only had enough cookies for me to eat one.