Spoonfuls of Germany

Anniversary Pretzels


Anniversary Pretzels1

Wedding anniversaries have special names in Germany, many of them rather obscure. Being a gardener my favorite name is Petersilienhochzeit (Parsley Anniversary) after 12.5 years of marriage.

Well, my husband and I are past the parsley stage. We met 16 years ago and got married exactly to the day one year later.

During those 15 years German food has played an important role in our life. As I wrote elsewhere on this blog, it was my way of bringing my cultural references into my new family. Neither my husband nor our two children speak German yet I feel that after all those years all three of them got a pretty good immersion into German customs and traditions. Being my in-house photographer, my husband is a vital part of Spoonfuls of Germany. I couldn’t do it without him.

Anniversary Pretzels2

I wanted to do something special for today, and possibly German but I did not have the time to make an elaborate cake. Once more, a baking book handed down from my grandmother turned out to be a real treasure trove. I found an old recipe for sweet Ehestandsbrezeln (Matrimony Pretzels), also known as Hochzeitsbrezeln (Wedding Pretzels). The two almonds in the center, one light and peeled and the other dark and unpeeled, symbolize the female and male gender.

Making the pretzels took longer than I expected but they are scrumptious so no regrets! They are worthy of our Kristallhochzeit (Crystal Anniversary) today.

Anniversary Pretzels3

Sweet Anniversary Pretzels (Ehestandsbrezeln, Hochzeitsbrezeln)

The coarse sugar for sprinkling, called Hagelzucker in Germany, is sold as Swedish pearl sugar in the United States.


7 tablespoons (100 g) unsalted butter, softened

½ cup (100 g) sugar

3 hard-boiled eggs, cooked for 9 to 10 minutes

2 tablespoons white wine

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Pinch of salt

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon (5¼ ounces/150 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Brushing and topping:

1 egg yolk, lightly beaten

8 unpeeled whole almonds

8 peeled whole almonds

Swedish pear sugar (Hagelzucker)

1. Beat the butter with the sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Peel the eggs and remove the egg yolks. Push the egg yolks through a fine sieve with a spoon or a spatula and save the whites for another use.

2. Add the yolks to the dough together with the wine and the lemon zest. Mix the flour and the salt and sift it into mixture. Beat well. Cover and place in the freezer for 30 minutes, or in the refrigerator for 1 hour. The dough should be cold and firm enough to roll it with your fingers without breaking.

3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper,

4. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the first piece with your fingertips to an even rope of about 12 inches (30 cm) long. Shape it into a pretzel right on the baking sheet (the dough is too soft to move it much after shaping). Proceed the same way with the rest of the dough, dusting the work surface as needed so the dough won’t stick, leaving at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) between the pretzels.

5. Brush the pretzels with the beaten egg yolks. Place a peeled and an unpeeled almond opposite each other in the center of each pretzel. Sprinkle the pretzels with Swedish pearl sugar.

6. Bake in the center rack of the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until golden. Let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then carefully transfer the pretzels to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Makes 8 pretzels

Anniversary Pretzels4











8 thoughts on “Anniversary Pretzels

  1. These look and sound delicious. I love recipes that share a piece of heritage or have significant meaning.

  2. What a great report, like always…..

  3. Happy anniversary. I love your pretzels. They look delicious. Alles gutes!

  4. Happy Anniversary to you both! I love heritage cooking, which is why I do a lot of English (on my mother’s side) and Southern US (on my father’s side) cooking. But I just posted a German recipe from a friend who got it from a friend in Germany. So I now have two German recipes on my blog and in my repertoire! Your pretzels are gorgeous!

  5. Happy Anniversary (a bit lite, i know).. 🙂

  6. These look lovely, I can’t wait to try making them.

  7. What a lovely tradition – one which I’ve never come across in Bavaria!! Laugenbretzen were the one few food thing which I really missed when I fist left Germany. In the end I found a website with a good recipe and I have made them several times over the years, but the carving has kind of worn off. Your pretzels look lovely, and since I love all things sweet I’ll probably give them a go!!
    Happy Anniversary!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s