During the late 19th century, as part of their Protestant beliefs, the Templers arrived in Jerusalem from Europe and established the German colony, a picturesque little neighborhood southwest of the Old City that to this day feels unusually central European. This is the "civilized" part of town, where you go for a coffee and a slice of Sachertorte if you wish to escape the harsh Levantine reality.
Germanic influences on the city's food are evident in Christian contexts — the famous Austrian hospice at the heart of the Old City serves superb strudels and proper schnitzels — but Czech, Austrian, Hungarian, and German Jews arriving in the city from the 1930s have also managed to stamp their mark, opening cafés and bakeries serving many Austro-Hungarian classics. Duvshanyot, round iced cookies, made with honey and spices, typically for Rosh Hashanah, are possibly a result of this heritage; they are similar to pfeffernüsse.
These are very loosely inspired by duvshanyot, or pfeffernüsse. They are actually more closely related to an Italian spice cookie and are hugely popular on the sweet counter at Ottolenghi over Easter and Christmas. The recipe was adapted from the excellent The International Cookie Cookbook by Nancy Baggett.