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.




Cookies for the Holidays: Spitzbuben

“In our archives, we have a picture of a Jewish family celebrating Christmas. I asked one of our volunteers who grew up in Berlin in the 1920s and 1930s about Christmas cookies. “Oh yes,” she enthusiastically responded. “Each year at Christmas we would have trays of cookies baked. We especially liked the cookies with jam in the middle, but there were many kinds.” And thus, a sticky plan was hatched…

„We have wandered together a long, long way“: Die Hans und Eleonore Jonas-Sammlung

Im Sommer 2016 übergab Ayala Jonas, Tochter des in Mönchengladbach geborenen Philosophen Hans Jonas, dem Leo Baeck Institut (LBI) einen Teil des Familiennachlasses ihrer Eltern. Das Material macht das LBI der Öffentlichkeit in Form einer Buchsammlung und einer Archivsammlung zugänglich. Letztere ist über die Website des LBI digital abrufbar und enthält unter anderem frühe bisher unveröffentlichte Manuskripte, Gedichte und Zeichnungen von Hans Jonas sowie Materialien zur Familien- und Freundesgeschichte.

In Memoriam: Arnold Paucker

The Leo Baeck Institute, New York|Berlin mourns the loss of historian Arnold Paucker, who led the Leo Baeck Institute London from 1959 until 2001. Paucker was editor of the Leo Baeck Institute Year Book from 1978 until 1992 and a highly respected scholar whose academic work focused on Jewish resistance to the Nazis. He died in October, 2016.

Conferences in Germany 2016: “1938: Forced Migration and Flight” and “Jews in the GDR”

LBI co-sponsored two conferences in Germany in fall 2016: The conferences in Leipzig and Berlin took a fresh look at two chapters of German Jewish history—forced migration, specifically in the year of 1938, and Jewish life in the GDR.

LBI News No. 102 | Winter 2016-17

In our winter issue, we present a number of LBI-related projects in Germany: “German and Jewish” is a traveling exhibition that features selected items from our archives that are returning for the first time to the land that their owners left the better part of a century ago, among them chocolate cups from Albert Einstein; the Israel Jacobson Network promotes the Braunschweig region as a cradle of Modern Jewish Studies; the reconstruction of the Freimann Collection at the Library of the Goethe-Universitaet Frankfurt reached a new milestone; and two conferences in Leipzig and Berlin take a fresh look at chapters of German Jewish history—forced migration, specifically in the year of 1938, and Jewish life in the GDR. Furthermore, we present to you the Moses Mendelssohn Awardee 2016, Historian Susannah Heschel; we highlight some of the calendars preserved in our archives and we present a new digital music portal which makes the music and the musicians’ stories contained in collections more accessible. Finally, we give an insight into the processing of our archival collections and feature one of them, the new Hans and Eleonore Jonas Collection.

“We have wandered together a long, long way”—The Hans and Eleonore Jonas Collection

In summer 2016, Ayalah Jonas, the daughter of the philosopher Hans Jonas, donated part of her parents’ library and personal papers to the LBI. The archival collection contains unpublished manuscripts, poems, and drawings by the philosopher Hans Jonas (1903–1993) as well as documents related to the history of the family and a circle of friends including Hannah Arendt.

History by the Foot: Processing Archival Collections at the LBI

It is not unusual for suitcases, banker’s boxes, and even plastic bags containing historical material to be opened for the first time in decades at the LBI. With this article, we take you on a short trip alongside two such suitcases. Adventures in archival processing await!

A Voice Still Heard—Music and Musicians in LBI Collections

A new website highlights the stories of German-Jewish musicians, conductors, and composers based on items in the LBI’s art, archival, and library collections.

“German and Jewish”— A traveling Exhibition by Leo Baeck Institute in Germany

In recent years, the Leo Baeck Institute (LBI) has increasingly worked to support the engagement of modern German society with German Jewish history—especially from the perspective of the émigré community that built the LBI’s rich collections. The new traveling exhibit, “German and Jewish” takes this a step further. The objects in the exhibition are returning for the first time to the land that their owners left the better part of a century ago.