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A Triumphant Family Tradition: The Trumpet Cookies

Trumpet or Eisenkuchen cookies
Adobe Stock
Trumpet or “Eisenkuchen” cookies

How It Started

Imagine you are on a boat headed to the new world of America, with one suitcase that holds both the remnants of your past life and the necessities for your new life. You just left all that you knew behind in order to immigrate to this new country and all you have to show for it is your one suitcase. What would be in your suitcase? For my great-great-grandma, a German immigrant, her suitcase held a large iron press used to make trumpets. Not the musical instrument trumpet, but a sweet waffle cone. The tradition of trumpets has been passed down for generations through the Klebba family (my mother’s side)  along with the original iron press that makes them, the batter bowl, the measuring cup, a spoon to scoop batter, and the recipe. There have been many moments where the tradition has almost died off, but no matter, it has survived and thrived. 

Trouble with Trumpets

Eventually, the tradition was passed down from my great-great-grandma to my great-grandma. This is when the largest problems appeared with the continuation of trumpets. My great-grandma had to bake, roll, and form each trumpet on her own. She had no help for years. She also had to use a wood-burning stove, meaning the temperature would vary causing it to take far longer. Despite all of these troubles, my great-grandma would take days to make around one hundred of these fragile cones, then ship them out to her eight kids all over the US. She was dedicated to preserving the tradition that my great-great-grandma brought to America. With time, however, she also wanted to pass the tradition on to the next generation. That is when my grandma stepped in. She was married into the Klebba family, so the tradition was not originally her own, but she knew that if she did not take it on, that it might die out. My great-grandma never had the recipe written down and just measured by eye, so my grandma took a day to watch my great-grandma make trumpets. She took every ingredient that my great-grandma poured out and measured it individually. This process of recording the steps for trumpets was crucial because they are very delicate cones, but by recording the instruction, the tradition was passed down much easier. From my grandma to my aunt to me, this tradition has survived the test of time, and every Thanksgiving, we still all meet at my grandma’s house to make a hundred and some trumpets to give out to all of our loved ones.

So How Do You Make These Trumpets?


5 “cups” of sifted flour

2 “cups” of sugar

1 quart and 1 “cup” of whole milk

2 eggs

A good 2 ½ sticks of hot melted butter

*Each “cup” measures to 1 ⅓ cup


Mix together flour and sugar. Using a handheld mechanical mixer, beat together the milk, eggs, and butter until well mixed. Once batter is mixed you heat the iron on the stovetop and pour in your batter. Cook each side for a few seconds then pull the cooked dough off of the iron press. Roll the cookie into the famous trumpet shape, let cool, then you are done! Repeat the process until all of the batter has been used and enjoy!

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About the Contributor
Claire Forge
Claire Forge, Reporter
Claire Forge is a senior at Aquinas and this is her first year reporting for The Shield. She also participates in the javelin on Track and Field, loves to hang out with her friends, and is an avid shopper. She is most looking forward to getting input from the student body about the articles and quizzes. Claire is very excited to represent her classmates in her articles and hopes everyone enjoys The Shield just as much as she does!
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