Helene’s Familienkeks for Christmas



Hello everybody!

I am happy and of coursed honoured as well to guest post here today while Minnie is spending some well deserved time with her family! Minnie had asked me a while back if I could share a Christmas cookie recipe of mine. You have to know that for a while now I have been living without an oven here in Goa, and of course the day when the oven finally set foot in my house, I was full of joy planning what I would bake first. Imagine, so many ideas wear going through my mind, torn between the traditional and new age fusion bakeries, I finally decided to make some Madeleine’s, just so to test my oven. The next day I was getting the Christmas cookie craving. Our cookies in Europe are some of the best, no doubt! So, of course I was missing the little sweet snacks from my childhood, yet it wasn’t Christmas, in fact it was still the time of the Monsoon rains. Anyhow I decided that day to go for my grandmothers favourite cookies. She used to love those and I and the others of course as well. They are so simple to recreate and they are THE ever so present cookies, which I have seen going the rounds in the Austrian and French family of mine. You have to know I am a halfie, but I grew up in Austria. My mother would make a huge amount of different cookie type and when my grandparents from France would come, they would take boxes and boxes full back to France for the others to indulge in. So that is how this particular Austrian cookie reached the Northern French hills!

Now, what is that cookies name, you may ask. My grandmother used to call it the family cookies in the dialect German better known as “Familienkeks”. I bet you agree with me that the name is pretty much fitting, thinking that we are in the Christmas time and as we. Everybody knows that Christmas is the merry time when the family sits together to enjoy the, what seems to be, endless peace and warmth in the hearts of each. Me and my mother, we were trying to figure out if my grandmother had got the recipe from her mother, but we never figured it out at the end. Most probably its a family recipe, passed down from her mother, as recipe sharing seemed to have been less popular during and after the war. Well, those were different times and as I knew my grandmother she used to be very active! She was the kind of person who could fix anything, that might be stitching, fixing a cycle, milking the cows, riding a tractor,… I could go on like that, and believe me she did all that until she couldn’t walk anymore. In my eyes she was a hero of her time, she juggled and managed situation that we will never have to face, so today I say the family cookie is indulged every time while thinking of her…

The Cookie recipe is one of the simplest! It is so quick and simple, perfect if you are doing some last minute baking. Even if you are not used to bake something this cookie will always come out perfectly crunchy and tasty, just as it should be. So don’t fret and just try it out. Of course, don’t forget to follow the recipe correctly, especially keep an eye on the ingredient amounts to get the cookie done successfully! Sometimes we add jam or chocolate between the cookies, making it a super treat. In Europe we would choose Apricot Jam but since I am India now, I chose my Persimmon Lemon Jam instead. Naturally, you can use any other jam, whichever you fancy the most or as I mentioned chocolate as well.

I wish you already here a happy Christmas and may you all find the peace in your heart.

The Family Cookie
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves about 30 cookies
  • 230 g White Flour
  • 80 g Fine Sugar
  • 80 g soft unsalted Butter
  • 1 Egg
  • 3 g Vanilla Sugar – optional
  • Dash Water
  • Jam or chocolate – optional
  1. In a mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients first, white flour, Sugar and Vanilla sugar. Mix it well!
  2. Make a well and add the soft Butter in pieces, the whole egg and the tiny dash of water. Just break the egg a bit so that it incorporates better when mixing.
  3. Now, mix the whole content well, I use my hands at this point. Work the dough out with your hands. It should be hard but the ingredients should be well incorporated!
  4. Keep the dough for about 1 h in fridge to cool. We do that, so that the dough will be easier to handle while rolling out.
  5. Roll the dough 3 mm thick out (use some flour every now and then so that it won’t stick on the board); grab any Cookie cutter that you would like to use and cut out your cookies. Do that with the rest of the dough.
  6. Preheat the oven for a few minutes to 180 C.
  7. Place them on a baking tray and bake them at 180 C. for about 15 minutes or until they start getting a slight yellow colour.
  8. Keep them to cool and serve them plain or simply add some jam or chocolate on one cookie and close it with another to make a cookie sandwich.
  9. Store them by laying out baking paper into an air tight box. Fill the box with the cookies; place another sheet of baking paper on top and some Apple peels on top of that. Close the box and store in a cool dry place. The apple peel is added so to keep them crisp and in the same time it gives it a nice aroma when opening the box.





8 comments for “Helene’s Familienkeks for Christmas

  1. December 24, 2012 at 2:43 AM

    Minnie, you have lined up some great bloggers while you are gone!
    Helene, these cookies are so easy and simple to make but look gorgeous especially with the jam,
    It’s really nice to hear about your family traditions too.

    Happy Christmas to you all!

    Nazneen xx
    Nazneen | Coffee and Crumpets recently posted..Almond, White Chocolate and Cranberry BiscottiMy Profile

    • December 24, 2012 at 1:28 PM

      Thank you Nazneen. =) They come very handy when you are making a last minute batch and they are so delicious. Merry Christmas!
      Helene Dsouza I Masala Herb recently posted..Goan Pork SorpotelMy Profile

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  3. December 24, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    Minnie thank you for letting me blogsit while you are spending some time with your family, it is an honor my friend! Merry Christmas!

  4. December 27, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    Great looking recipe! One can never have too many cookies at this time of the year. Thanks for a super guest post.
    john@kitchenriffs recently posted..Pimento CheeseMy Profile

  5. December 27, 2012 at 10:08 PM

    Family recipes are the best! Thanks for sharing one of yours – the cookies look delicious! Great guest post and great to know another blogger on the scene 🙂

  6. January 1, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    Thank you SO much for this great post and bailing me out Helene!! You are absolutely awesome 🙂 I could not log in during the last leg of my visit in India, and I have missed you all so much!!!!

    Happy New Year!!!!
    Minnie recently posted..Helene’s Familienkeks for ChristmasMy Profile

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