Johann Lafer, Johann Lafer's Stromburg, Allemagne
Traditional baked goods are the glory of an authentic German Christmas. Beginning in November or even earlier, every family begins its holiday baking. But here the treats aren't hidden away until Christmas Eve! Beginning in early December, any excuse will do to bring out little Christmas cakes and cookies (Plätzchen), fragrant with cinnamon, to accompany an afternoon cup of tea or coffee.
Venison Cutlets in Almond Crust with Cranberry Sauce
Christmas eve or Christmas day, a roasted goose takes pride of place on the dining table, sometimes replaced with a roast of Westphalian beef or venison.
Hexenhaus, Gingerbread house
Every family constructs a Hexenhaus out of gingerbread that will stay on the table until Christmas. This is the "witch's house" that has its origin in the tale of Hansel and Gretel. Everyone breaks off a little piece and the house gradually crumbles as it is nibbled away by numerous friends and relatives.
The traditional Christmas stollen is a cake that keeps a long time, studded with spices and candied fruit. It can be eaten at any time.
Iced Christmas "Stollen"
with Chocolate Ginger Sauce and Warm Dried Fruit Purée
Vanillekipferl, or vanilla crescents - even though their origin is certainly Austrian, no German household would be without this tradition.
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