HHH sees another successful cookie bake

Published 5:28 pm Saturday, December 6, 2014

Well, we did it again. We hosted another German Cookie Bake for a tour group.

Fifty guests from the Mason City, Clear Lake, and Osage, Iowa areas spent a full day enjoying various activities in Austin. They spent three hours with us and made over 1,800 cookies. They enjoyed a tour of the decorated Historic Home and were served a delicious meal complete with Jagerschnitzel, Spaetzle, Red Cabbage and Apple Struedel catered by Hy-Vee.

In groups of eight or nine, the men and women made six different traditional German Cookies. With recipe names like Zidish, Engelsaugen, Zimtsterne, Kipferl, and Lebkuchen, I was tripping over my tongue to pronounce them. The cookies evoked fond memories from many of the bakers. One woman told me her grandfather had been a baker in Germany, but that she had never tried to make any German cookies herself and was excited to do so.

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A gentleman spoke of his grandmother’s holiday tradition of making the anise flavored Springerle. We did not make that variety this time, but it is obvious making cookies at this time of year brings people together and builds memories.

The following recipe is claimed by many cultures and has a variety of names (Russian Tea Cookies, Mexican Wedding Cakes, Polish Pecan Cookie), but for our event we used the German name.


•½ pounds butter

•¼ cup sugar

•2 ½ cups flour

•1 cups pecans, chopped

•2 teaspoon vanilla extract

•Powdered Sugar

1. Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees. Combine butter, sugar, and flour in bowl. Mix in pecans. Roll dough into balls about the thickness of a quarter in diameter.

2.Bake for 20 minutes. Let cookies cool for about 5 minutes, and then roll them in powdered sugar to coat.

In honor of George Hormel’s birthday on December 4 I am also including the recipe for one of his favorite cakes.

 Mrs. Hormel’s Sour Cream Cake

•2 cups sugar

•1 ½ cups sour cream

•3 eggs

•2 ½ cups flour

•1 teaspoon baking soda

•½ teaspoon nutmeg

•½ teaspoon salt

1. Beat the eggs and sugar until they are light and fluffy. Add sour cream and sifted dry ingredients. Put batter in lightly greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until center springs back when touched. Serve plain or with your favorite frosting.

Happy 154th birthday, George. And happy baking to all of you.

History Happy Hour

5:30 to 7:30 p.m., Dec. 8

Happy Hour-Museum Style. The Mower County Historical Society, the HHH and the Austin Public Library present a time for history lovers to socialize and learn in a historic setting. December’s presentation will take a look at Mower County’s big band history. Peter Jacobs will also play Christmas carols and share the history of traditional music of the season. Free for members, $5 for non-members. Cash bar and light snacks available.

 Social Concerns: Hormel German Heritage complete

with German Cookies

10 – 11 a.m., Dec. 16

Free, but please call to let us know you are coming.