By CATHERINE ELSAESSER
My Grandma Connie has been making Spitzkuchen during Christmastime for as long as I can remember. Translated as “pointed cake”, this German cookie has been a family favorite at all of our holiday gatherings. I grew up not enjoying the unique combination of tastes, but after years of eating one piece every Christmas, now I can’t get enough of this cookie.
The past few years, I have been helping my Grandma with the process of making Spitzkuchen because it is often spread over many days and can be very tiring. Firstly, she prepares the spiced dough, a unique combination of almonds, cocoa powder, candied lemon peel and other ingredients. Once the dough rests overnight, I step in to complete the process. I remember in high school, I would come over the last few weeks of school before the holiday break and roll the dough into long snakes on her kitchen counter. After baking off the logs, they are sliced into the triangle segments as its name suggests, dipped in melted currant jelly, and allowed to dry on racks on the dining room table. Finally, I prepare the melted chocolate and delicately dip each cookie to enrobe it in dark chocolate goodness. My grandma saves old wine bottle boxes and tins to package the cookies in wax paper and ships them to family across the country, but she makes sure to save many for our Christmas family dinner.
The taste of this cookie and the process of making them with my Grandma is something I look forward to each winter. She typed the recipe for me on her electric typewriter, and I save it in my giant binder of recipes so that I will be able to continue making the holiday treat for years to come.