Cookies for the Holidays: Chocolade-Backwerk

Michael Simonson

This is the second recipe we tried from the cookbook by Marie Kauders. The complete title of the book, which was published in 1898, is Vollständiges israelitisches Kochbuch mit Berücksichtigung der französischen, englischen, ungarischen und böhmischen Küche, sowie der Osterküche. In English, the title would be Complete Jewish Cookbook with observance of French, English and Bohemian cuisines as well as dishes for Pesach. You can find out more about the book if you follow this link. Our recipe is entitled “Kleines Chocolade-Backwerk,” perhaps translated best as “Small Chocolate Baked Goods.” These are a basic chocolate and almond cookie. The recipe in translation is as follows:


picture1250 grams sugar, 230 grams blanched and grated almonds, 250 grams grated chocolage, 156 grams sifted flour, 10 grams cinnamon mixed with the “snow” of 8 egg whites mixed and then you “produce small baked items.” The first thing we decided to do was half the recipe, as we had four and not 8 egg whites and anyways, how much cookies do you really need? At least cookies do have a standard temperature and baking time that I know exists: 350 degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes. So we thought we would stick with that.




picture2We mixed the dry ingredients first. Followed by beating the egg whites into a “snow,” a bit of a froth so stiff peaks were just beginning to form….but don’t overdo it!











picture4These days we don’t need to first blanch anything to remove the hulls, but simply purchased almonds that were ready to go. We ground them together with the chocolate (get good chocolate!) in a food processor.










picture3If you don’t have a food processor don’t let that stop you! They didn’t have such equipment in the 1890’s either. You can always crush and mix everything the old-fashioned way, with a mallet on a wooden counter, for example. This is true for mixing items as well, of course, and beating the egg whites. This recipe was so easy. Now you just fold everything in together.









picture5Bake the time I stated above, 350 degrees for around 20 to 25 minutes. My friends, can I tell you….this cookie was amazing! Nice and chewy, with the chocolate and almond flavors. It far surpassed, for us, the Spitzbube (not that they weren’t bad, either). But these “Small Chocolate Baked Goods” were really excellent and again, so easy! I urge anyone to make these. You won’t be disappointed. We weren’t!









picture6Our completed plate of cookies (after eating a number of them). I urge you to enjoy the holiday season with the second cookie. I know I’ll be making more of them at home (and in the old-fashioned way – I don’t have quite the workable kitchen of my friend).










picture7Best wishes for a Happy Holiday! Pictured to the left, my friend’s Christmas tree, who watched over our kitchen work.




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