German Christmas Cardamom Cookies (Kardamon Plaetzchen)

Cardamom cookies
Cardamom cookies with chocolate couverture. J.McGavin
  • Total: 40 mins
  • Prep: 25 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: 6 dozen cookies (36 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
77 Calories
6g Fat
6g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 dozen cookies (36 servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 77
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 7%
Saturated Fat 3g 16%
Cholesterol 10mg 3%
Sodium 59mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Protein 1g
Calcium 15mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Cardamom has been used in Christmas baking in Germany since the middle ages. It was an important medicinal herb and was used to help the stomach and was often chewed to hide alcohol breath after drinking. These cardamom cookies have a distinct floral-perfume and are a bit salty, which pairs well with the chocolate couverture decoration.


  • 3/4 cup/175 g butter
  • 1/2 cup/85 g sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
  • 2 teaspoons rum (or water or brandy)
  • 2 cup flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder (either German or American double acting)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 4 ounces/100 g chocolate coating (or couverture)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Beat together the butter and sugars. Mix in rum and if using, vanilla extract.

  3. Sift or mix flour with cardamom, baking powder, and salt and mix it into the creamed butter to make a stiff dough.

  4. Form this dough into two or three rolls that are 1 inch in diameter.

  5. Wrap the rolls in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 2 or more hours.

  6. Heat oven to 390 F.

  7. Remove roll of dough from the refrigerator and place it on a cutting board. Slice the dough 1/4 inch thick and place the cookies on a cookie sheet.

  8. Use a fork to create a crosshatch pattern on the cookies, flattening them somewhat.

  9. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until set and starting to brown slightly.

  10. Remove cookies to rack to cool.

  11. Melt chocolate couverture according to package directions. Dip cookies halfway in melted chocolate, place on wax paper, and allow to harden.


  • These cookies can be eaten right away or keep cookies in a sealed tin in a cool spot for up to several weeks.

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