I'm amazed at how superior your vanilla is!
- Des, The Grommet
I opened the bottle of your vanilla extract last weekend to bake some cookies and the difference in taste is extraordinary." – Judy



 Courtesy of Chef Stephen Block: www.kitchenproject.com

Chef Stephen says, “The most fascinating thing to me about this classic German Christmas cookie is how the flavors of this cookie develop with aging. A few weeks in a cookie tin and all the spices and flavors double in flavor.

“Some recipes actually call for a very small amount of ground pepper to be added to the dough. We recommend that the pepper be used at the discretion of the cook. Since these cookies contain no shortening, they become rather hard; they may need to be “dunked” in milk or coffee.”





1 pound (2 ¼ cups) brown sugar

5 eggs

¼ teaspoon cardamom

¼ teaspoon cloves

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon baking powder

3 tablespoons citron, cut fine

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

grated rind of 1 lemon

1 pound flour (4 cups)


Beat the sugar and eggs thoroughly. Sift flour with baking powder and spices; add to sugar and egg mixture. Add lemon rind and citron. Mix well and set in a cool place overnight. Make little balls, place them on greased cookie sheets; flatten and place an almond in the center of each. Bake in oven about 350 degrees to 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. Roll in vanilla powdered sugar. Store in a cookie tin, or on a plate inside a plastic zip storage bag.


By Chef Stephen Block

Adapted from The Kitchen Project

Vanilla powdered sugar (recipe follows)

Grind vanilla bean and sugar in food processor for one minute or until well pulverized.

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Patricia Rain

is an author, educator, culinary historian, and owner of The Vanilla Company (www.vanillaqueen.com), a socially conscious, product-driven information and education site dedicated to the promotion of pure, natural vanilla, and the support of vanilla farmers worldwide. She also does culinary presentations for food professionals, cooking schools, trade shows, food fairs, and private groups, and is a regular radio and TV guest.

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