Pflaumenmus Tea Cookies


These cookies were inspired by Lebkuchen (the quintessential German Christmas cookie) but are so much faster and no less complex or deep in flavor. Makes about 7 dozen teeny cookies.

Have all ingredients at room temperature and preheat oven to 375F.


1 cup finely chopped dried plums (a few blitzes in the food processor does the trick)
1 cup plus 3 tbsp Thomas & Sons Distillery Spice Tea liqueur
1 tbsp honey
2-3 drops German Bittermandel (bitter almond) flavoring
1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 1/2 cups AP flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 cup powdered sugar

Combine the dried plums and a cup of the Spice Tea liqueur and warm them up (a minute in the microwave will do it). Allow to stand, covered, for an hour, or until the plums are plumped and tender (add more hot liqueur or water if needed). Purée the soaked plums into a thick jam, then stir in the Bittermandel and honey.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg and mix for a minute until fully combined. Add in the dry ingredients (sifted together) and the plum mixture and mix until combined. Fold in the walnuts, and then portion dough (using 1/2 tablespoon scoop or two spoons) onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing one inch apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes, then move to a cooling rack placed over a rimmed baking sheet.

To make the icing, mix the 3 tablespoons of Spice Tea liqueur with the powdered sugar, adding more liquid as needed to make an icing thing enough to drizzle (but thick enough to harden quickly; should be the consistency of white glue). Use a spoon to drizzle in a pretty pattern as pictured above.