German Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies
Sugar Cookies

Growing up, I always wondered how my mom made such delicious cookies and where she learned to make them. I found out that my mom was teaching me to bake the cookies the way her mother had taught her. This recipe symbolizes our cultural identity because my grandmother brought it with her through Ellis Island after leaving Germany following World War II. Making these cookies symbolizes our pride in our ethnicity and our commitment to following family traditions.  At age fifteen, my grandmother was forced to work on a farm and learn how to cook under Hitler’s command. One day, Oma was working in the field picking strawberries when she looked behind the fence and saw an enslaved camper who stood out to her, my grandfather.  Through the fence, he offered her a piece of chocolate, and that is where their love story began. Years later, when Oma was around twenty-five years old, the war ended she moved to America with my grandfather. America is where they would start their lives together, shaping my family story .  My grandfather was not allowed to go back to their country because he would be arrested for escaping the labor camps and going to “the land of opportunity,” America. Like many other families, my grandparents were immigrants who came to America for opportunity and stability, in search of a better life. When I eat the cookies that my mom and I bake together, I think of the traditions we have passed down and how my grandparents’ experiences shaped the family that I have with me today. 

Place(s): Germany

– KB

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant