The Long History of Moravian Spice Cookies

Though currently popular in North Carolina, the Moravian spice cookies trace their roots back to the earliest American colonists. These cookies came to the US with those of the Moravian religion in the 1700s, from an area that is today the Czech Republic. The two strongest Moravian communities in the US today are Winston-Salem, NC and Bethlehem, PA – both places where Moravian cookies flourish! The cookies themselves are similar to their Czech and German gingersnap cousins, with a mix of molasses and spices as flavorings (though they can have pretty much any flavoring nowadays). They are traditionally eaten at holidays, and usually are circle-shaped, but can be made in any shape you like. However, the cookies’ main claim to fame is that they are rolled out as thinly as possible – the thinner the better. Here is a recipe for Moravian spice cookies from the North Carolina Folklife institute and another version from All Recipes (pictured below). Modern versions may have different flavorings, including lemon. If you really want the complete Moravian cookie experience, you can even follow the Moravian cookie trail in Winston-Salem!

Moravian Cookie

Moravian Cookies from All Recipes

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