My Mom's Spice Cookies
Updated: Jun 19
If I would leave one cookie for Santa it will be this fruit and spice cookie. It’s the flavors of my childhood it’s the smell we woke up to on Christmas morning. My mom made these cookies our whole
entire lives during Christmas time. Although no one knows how the recipe came about I am pretty sure it’s adapted from the German spice cookie. My mom called them the “Rock” or kuchen. After much discussion into this I found that Kuchen was the name Palestinian Christian families adapted from the German cookie “Lebkuchen” which is a traditional German cookie that is usually baked for Christmas. Its like a gingerbread cookie soft and cakey, loaded with warm spices and citrus peel. All of the flavors blend together so nicely and to me tastes like the holidays.
My mom learned these cookies from my aunt Aida. You see my aunt Aida taught at the Lutheran school where both my mom then later I and my siblings went in the old city of Jerusalem. So we believe that's how this cookie came about. The German influence came from the German language teachers that taught at our school at the time.
I just changed the dried fruit of the typical bright green and red candied cherries that my mom used, to dried cherries, apricots, and figs. The cookie is often flavored with rum, warm spices like all spice, cinnamon, ginger & nutmeg.
Everyone has a specific taste of the holidays. Mine is this spice soft and cakey cookie that filled our home growing up with warm aromas and now it fells my heart and connects me with home.
Serving 24 cookies
moms recipe card.. she typed all her recipes
2 cups flour sifted
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
3/4 cup walnuts chopped
2/3 cup sugar
Zest of one orange
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup mixed dried fruit or you can use one kind (figs, Cherries or cranberries and apricots) my mom used candied red and green cherries
2 tbls orange juice
Preheat the oven to 350
Mix together the dry ingredients
Beat the sugar with the butter, add the egg, and the vanilla
Slowly add the dry ingredients until it’s all incorporated. Stop few times and scrape the bowl.
Add the nuts and dried fruit
Mix to make sure all incorporated
Let the dough rest for half hour
Shape into a ball (golf ball size)
Place on a parchment sheet spacing the cookies 1/2 inch apart Bake for 15 min until they are set but slightly soft in the center Store in an airtight container for a week or so