Wednesday, December 12, 2012


12 Days of Christmas Cookies Day 7! I’ve made lebkuchen before but I realized when doing some research that there are so many different recipes for the cookie. I imagine that everyone’s grandmother probably had a slightly different recipe! Some have flour, some have ground nuts, the spices differ, some have molasses, and some age the cookie before baking. The variations are endless.

I fell in love with lebkuchen when I bought them at Cost Plus World Market in their Christmas goodies section. They are usually imported from Germany and the ones I make just aren’t the same. I do have a cookbook from a German region that has 6 different lebkuchen recipes, and I someday want to try all of them and see how they are different, but there just wasn’t time for that this year. This recipe seemed like it had a good number of spices and was just mix, refrigerate, and bake.

I opted to omit the cardamom in this recipe as I hate it passionately. I also didn’t have coriander and forgot to add the almond extract. Oops! Amazing what you discover when you write up recipes. The spices in these make them smell so fantastically wonderful. I think I baked mine a minute too long, as I prefer the cookies to be softer on the inside. The flavors in these develop and mature, so you can make them in advance. I liked these more than the other recipe for lebkuchen I’d made, but I am still on the hunt for the perfect recipe.

1/4 cup crystalized ginger, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
¼ cup butter
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
Slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

In a medium bowl combine the crystalized ginger, flour, brown sugar and spices. In a medium saucepan on low, melt the butter and molasses. Take off heat and stir in the flour mixture and egg with a wooden spoon. Mix until it forms a stiff dough; you may need to knead a bit by hand. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 15 minutes.

Roll the chilled dough into 1 inch balls. Roll the balls around the palm of your hands until smooth. Roll the balls in sugar and place on the prepared baking sheets. Slightly flatten the balls with the palm of your hand and top with slivered almonds. Bake for 16-18 minutes until crisp on the outside and moist on the inside. Cool before storing in an airtight container.

Recipe from Wishful Chef

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