This recipe was a favorite Christmas-time treat that my grandmother made. She was from Austria-Hungary originally, in the Donauschwaben region near Belgrade, in what is now know as Serbia. Most references to "wasserspatzen" seem to describe more of a noodle than a cookie, but this cookie is what I grew up knowing as "wasserspatzen."


  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 yeast cakes, or equivalent
  • 1 cup cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup nuts (walnuts), chopped or rolled fine


1. Warm the cream, and add yeast. Stir until dissolved. Let stand to activate yeast.
2. Mix butter into flour with pastry knife thoroughly... no big clumps of butter remaining.
3. Add yeast/cream gradually to the flour mixture, mixing well between additions.
4. Turn dough onto a floured board. Knead until smooth, adding flour as needed if dough is too wet and sticky. Knead until dough has almost a bread dough-like texture and feel, just not quite as stretchy.
5. Put dough into ungreased bowl, cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 4 hours, or overnight.
6. Mix the nuts and sugar.
7. After dough is chilled, spread the nut/sugar mixture onto a rolling board surface, as if using it to flour the board. [I cross cultures here and use a Norwegian lefse cloth-covered rolling board.]
8. Take about one quarter of the dough at a time and place on the nut-covered board. Roll the dough into a rectangle shape, perhaps 5 inches wide, 12 inches long, and about 1/4 inch thick. The thickness is the important part. I like to sprinkle a little more nut/sugar mixture ontop after the dough is rolled to thickness.
9. Cut the dough into strips about 1 inch wide and 2-1/2 to 3 inches long. Take a strip, give the ends 2-3 twists, then shape into a horseshoe.
10. Place on greased cookie sheet
11. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes, or until browned to your preference.
12. Remove from sheet while warm, and allow to cool on waxed paper or paper towel.

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Submitted 12/7/10.
Submitted By: Rick Swanson