Oma's Bethmännchen Cookie
➤ by Oma Gerhild Fulson
Bethmännchen cookies are among the traditional German Christmas cookie recipes. These cookies were originally created to honor the Bethmann family.
Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg was the Chancellor of the German Empire in the early 1900's. Why three almonds on top of these cookies?
Because the Chancellor had three sons.
For the full list of ingredients & detailed instructions, see the recipe card at the end of this post. But before you scroll, there’s important & interesting stuff to know right below.
If you love marzipan, you'll love these Bethmännchen, because that's one of the main ingredients.
You need to purchase marzipan for this. It can be found in the baking sections of most grocery stores and, of course, at German delis. With its high sugar content, marzipan will keep almost indefinitely.
(Not in our house, though. We so enjoy it, it keeps disappearing!)
Here is one of my most favorite recipes using Marzipan. Be sure to try it out! It's a great recipe for the holidays.
Make your own Marzipan ...
It is possible to make your own marzipan. It really is just a mixture of ground almonds, powdered sugar, and rosewater.
My Mutti had a recipe she made that also included mashed potatoes. It helped to decrease the cost, since almonds were very expensive.
However, because it's not a real marzipan, I wouldn't use it to bake with. It works fine for decorating or just eating. It was made with mashed potatoes, almond extract, and powdered sugar.
There's one hint that you'll definitely need when making these cookies. When you are rolling the dough into little balls, keep moistening your hands with water so that the dough won't stick.
Ready to bake the Bethmännchen?
Oma's Bethmännchen Cookies
If you love marzipan, you'll love these Bethmännchen, because that's one of the main ingredients. Bethmännchen cookies are among the traditional German Christmas cookie recipes. These cookies were originally created to honor the Bethmann family.
With their three sons, these cookies are topped with three almonds.
Makes about 3 dozen
- about 3 ounces almonds, skinless, halved
- 8 ounces marzipan, coarsely grated
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon milk
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Separate egg.
- Mix powdered sugar and flour together. Add egg white and marzipan.
- Mix with a dough hook in mixer until you have a smooth dough. (Or knead with your hands.)
- Roll dough into balls the size of walnuts. You may need to add 1 - 2 tablespoons flour extra so the dough isn't too sticky.
- Place cookies onto cookie sheet. Mix egg yolk and milk together. Brush mixture on cookies.
- Press three almond halves into each cookie with the tips pointing upward.
- Bake for about 15 - 20 minutes or until pale golden.
- Place on a cookie rack until cold.
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Bethmännchen Cookies made Just like Oma
By Oma Gerhild Fulson
Bethmännchen Cookies are among the great traditional German Christmas cookie recipes. Made with marzipan, these are favourites that have a very interesting history.
For the full recipe, scroll up ...
Words to the Wise
"When people's lives please the Lord, even their enemies are at peace with them."
Proverbs 16:7 (NLT)