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30 of Oma’s Traditional Recipes for a German Christmas

This holiday season, reach for these German Christmas food favorites pulled straight from Oma's recipe box. Enjoy stollen, potato dumplings, spritz cookies and more.

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Old-Fashioned Stollen

Stollen is a Christmas tradition in Germany. The fruit-filled yeast bread is topped with icing, candied fruit and almonds. Its shape resembles a giant Parker House roll.
—Linda Hinners, Brookfield, Wisconsin
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Chocolate Lebkuchen Cherry Balls

Here’s my twist on the traditional German holiday lebkuchen—with a surprise inside. Maraschino cherries add a sweet and unexpected punch to the holiday spice of gingersnaps. —Arlene Erlbach, Morton Grove, Illinois
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Bavarian Pot Roast

Since all my grandparents were German, it's no wonder that so many Bavarian recipes have been handed down to me. Because the Midwest has such a large German population, I feel this recipe represents the area well. —Susan Robertson, Hamilton, Ohio
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German Potato Dumplings

Potato dumplings (called Kartoffel Kloesse in Germany) are a delightful addition to any German feast. The browned butter sauce is delectable.—Arline Hofland, Deer Lodge, Montana
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Oma's Apfelkuchen (Grandma's Apple Cake)

My husband’s German family calls this Oma’s apfelkuchen, which translates to "Grandma’s apple cake." They’ve been sharing the recipe for more than 150 years. I use Granny Smith apples, but any variety works. —Amy Kirchen, Loveland, Ohio
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Cranberry Conserve

I'm 95, and I still remember my grandmother from Germany making this lovely, delicious conserve for the holidays. She'd give it to family members and friends. It tastes great served as a relish alongside meat or even spread on biscuits. -Mildred Marsh Banker, Austin, Texas
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Spaetzle Dumplings

These tender homemade spaetzle noodles take only minutes to make and are a natural accompaniment to chicken. You can use this spaetzle recipe with chicken gravy or simply buttered and sprinkled with parsley. —Pamela Eaton, Monclova, Ohio
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Chocolate Lebkuchen

Having lived in Germany, I try to keep my German cooking as authentic as possible. This lovely lebkuchen recipe is a culinary Christmas custom. —Cathy Lemmon, Quinlan, Texas
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Bavarian Apple-Sausage Hash

This awesome recipe reflects my German roots. In the cooler months, nothing is as comforting as a hearty hash. Serve this versatile recipe as a side dish at a holiday meal or as a brunch entree over cheddar grits or topped with a fried egg. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, CO
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Fruit-Filled Spritz Cookies

From the first time I baked these cookies, they've been a divine success. Old-fashioned and attractive, they make a perfect holiday pastry. —Ingeborg Keith, Newark, Delaware
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Grampa's German-Style Pot Roast

Grampa was of German heritage and loved the Old-World recipes given to him by his mother. I made a few changes so I could prepare this dish in the slow cooker and give it a slightly updated flavor. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Grandma's Christmas Spice Cutouts

My great-grandmother made these, and the tradition was passed down in the family—without a written recipe! My mother would always start them the day after Thanksgiving, which was exciting for us kids, as we knew Christmas wasn’t far off. They are easy to decorate with family; my grandchildren always look forward to them.—Elaine Phelps, Cornell, Wisconsin
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Almond-Filled Stollen

I’ve been making this during the holiday season for nearly 50 years. When we flew to Alaska one year to spend Christmas with our daughter’s family, I carried my stollen on the plane!—Rachel Seel, Abbotsford, British Columbia
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Pork Schnitzel with Dill Sauce

Schnitzel is one of my husband’s favorites because it reminds him of his German roots. An appealing dish for guests, it’s ready in a jiffy. Pop it on buns for a fun handheld option. —Joyce Folker, Paraowan, Utah
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Linzer Cookies

This specialty cookie takes a little extra effort, but the results are sweet! They really help to make the holidays feel special. —Jane Pearcy, Verona, Wisconsin
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Slow-Cooker German Potato Salad

Here's the dish everyone looks for at our parties, so we always double the recipe. It was handed down from my mother-in-law and has been a family favorite for years. —Stacy Novak, Stafford, Virginia
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Old-World Rye Bread

Rye and caraway lend to this bread’s wonderful flavor, while the surprise ingredient of baking cocoa gives it a rich, dark color. I sometimes stir in a cup each of raisins and walnuts.
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Apple Roasted Pork with Cherry Balsamic Glaze

I added roasted apples, cherries and onions to turn ordinary pork into an impressive dish. There is a short time span between caramelized onions and burned ones, so pay close attention once they start cooking. —Josh Downey, McHenry, Illinois
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German Christmas Cookies

This little spice cookie tastes very European and is similar to Pfeffernüsse or “peppernut.” We make ours with cozy spices, anise flavoring, almonds and candied citron. —Carole Mueller, Florissant, Missouri
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Slow-Cooker Sauerbraten

My family is of German Lutheran descent, and although we enjoy this traditional beef roast, I never liked the amount of time and fuss it takes to make it. This recipe is so good and oh-so-easy. It's great served with dumplings, spaetzle, veggies or a salad. —Norma English, Baden, Pennsylvania
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Stollen Butter Rolls

Our family enjoys my stollen so much they say it's just too good to be served only as a holiday sweet bread. I created these buttery, less sweet dinner rolls so we can satisfy our stollen cravings anytime. —Mindy White, Nashville, Tennessee
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German Noodle Bake

This is a recipe I serve each year for my holiday open house because everyone looks for it. Store-bought noodles can be substituted, but I prefer homemade noodles...and so does everyone else. —Kathleen Meineke, Cologne, New Jersey
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Almond Spritz Cookies

This almond spritz cookies recipe can be left plain or decorated with colored sugar and frosting. In our house, it just wouldn't be Christmas without some cookie press recipes.—Tanya Hart, Muncie, Indiana
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Apple & Spice Pork Tenderloin

My family loves pork tenderloin, so I created this hearty meal. This slightly sweet preparation is one of our favorites. It's also an impressive dish for company.—Joyce Moynihan, Lakeville, Minnesota.
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Hazelnut Yule Logs

Besides being irresistibly nutty, these travel well and are a snap to make! — Barbara Burge, Los Gatos, California
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Mulled Wine

This mulled wine is soothing and satisfying with a delightful blend of spices warmed to perfection. Refrigerating the wine mixture overnight allows the flavors to blend, so don't omit this essential step. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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German Pancake

Piping hot and puffy from the oven, this golden pancake made a pretty presentation for a skier's theme breakfast I hosted. Served with homemade buttermilk syrup, it's an eye-opening treat. Make several German pancakes if you're feeding a crowd, and keep in mind that my easy syrup tastes great on waffles and French toast, too. —Renae Moncur, Burley, Idaho
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Spiced German Cookies

These buttery spice cookies are a cross between sugar cookies and gingerbread, creating the best of both worlds. —April Drasin, Van Nuys, California
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Old-Fashioned Cabbage Rolls

It was an abundance of dill in my garden that led me to try this. My family liked the taste so much that, from then on, I made my old fashioned cabbage rolls recipe with dill. This is how to make easy cabbage rolls. – Florence Krantz, Bismarck, North Dakota
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Oma's Marzipan Stollen

My German grandma made this stollen for us when we were young. I love its homey taste and how it reminds me of her and the German food she made. I often freeze this sweet bread once it’s shaped into a braid. Then I can pull it out the night before, let it rise on the counter overnight, and bake it in the morning. —Abigail Leszczynski, Beauford, South Carolina
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Bratwurst Supper

After trying a few bratwurst recipes, I've found this meal-in-one is ideal for camping since it grills to perfection in a heavy-duty foil bag. Loaded with chunks of bratwurst, red potatoes, mushrooms and carrots, it's easy to season with onion soup mix and a little soy sauce. —Janice Meyer, Medford, Wisconsin
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German Apple Strudel

This gorgeous strudel has just what you crave this time of year: thin layers of flaky crust and lots of juicy apples. —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon
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German Red Cabbage

Sunday afternoons were a time for family gatherings when I was a kid. While the uncles played cards, the aunts made treats such as this traditional German red cabbage recipe. —Jeannette Heim, Dunlap, Tennessee
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Pronto Potato Pancakes

Pancake lovers know these fluffy delights are not just for breakfast. Try serving these savory ones as a side dish with any main, or enjoy them solo topped with some homemade applesauce. They will not disappoint. —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon
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Slow-Cooked Sauerkraut Soup

We live in Lancaster County, which has a rich heritage of German culture. Our dishes often include sauerkraut, potatoes and sausage. We enjoy this recipe on cold winter evenings, along with muffins and fruit. —Linda Lohr, Lititz, Pennsylvania

Carrie Madormo, RN
Now a freelance health and food writer, Carrie worked as a nurse for over a decade. When she isn't hunched over her laptop with a baby in hand, you will find her cooking her grandmother’s recipes, lacing up her running shoes or sipping coffee in the bathroom to hide from her three young children.
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