I’m blessed to have two brothers. But, until I got a sister-in-law last year, I had zero sisters. However, my cousin, Jill and I are as close as sisters. She’s one of my best friends. She lives in Colorado with her family, so we make up for the distance with visits, Skype chats, phone calls, emails, and texts. She and I were devastated at the loss of our Oma a couple of months ago. We both inherited a love for cooking from her. Jill, however, must have inherited the baking side of it much more than I. She’s a great baker. I asked if she would share Oma’s recipe for Moon Cookies.
I know what you are thinking, it’s why are these called moon cookies yet they are shaped like stars? Well honestly it is just because I don’t have a moon shaped cookie cutter. Every time I make these cookies I am already far too deep in the process to stop, go to the store and get the proper shape, and every year I seem to forget that I don’t have a moon shape so I choose the next best celestial object, a star. But Oma, whose recipe this is, always made them in moon shapes, hence the name. Everyone in the Pries family knows what a moon cookie is.
This recipe is special for many reasons, most importantly because it was Oma’s. And everything from Oma is special. Secondly, they are insanely delicious. One of the ways Oma loved her family was through food. She always had lovely treats and amazing meals waiting for us whenever we would visit. Some of my fondest childhood memories take place in her kitchen, whether it was baking Zwieback and honey cookies, or sitting under the kitchen table first thing in the morning to warm up by the vent, or having Opa help me crush my crunchy buns into my bowl of “Opa” soup. Of all the many traditions Oma passed down, a love of the kitchen was definitely one of them. She was always eager to teach us and to pass down these special family recipes. She had a servant’s heart and loved her family so much through everything she did. I can only hope that I can make my family feel as loved and as precious as she made us feel. Oma – I love you and I will keep trying to learn to crochet dish clothes, even though they always end up looking like cat toys!!
And now a special word of caution…..do not eat these cookies while wearing black. The evidence will be all over you. And that is especially bad if you happened to indulge yourself when you really shouldn’t have or were flat out told not to, like a certain three year old boy who disappeared behind the sofa for a few minutes and then reappeared with lovely white fluff all down his front.
- 2 Cups flour
- 1/2 lb unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 1/2 cups ground hazelnuts
- Icing sugar, about 3 cups
- Mix together flour, butter and sugar. Add the nuts (use your food processor to grind the nuts if you had to buy whole ones). Mix well. Refrigerate for about 3 hours. Roll out the dough about 1/4 " thick (thicker is better because they can be quite fragile).
- Bake at 350 for 8 minutes or until golden.
- After the cookies bake you can cool them until warm, them give them a bath in the icing sugar. Not just a light dusting. Carefully place the cookie in the bowl of sugar and gently pack it on so there is a nice coating. Store between layers of wax paper in the freezer.