Lebkuchen (German Gingerbread)

Since I visited Nuremberg (Nurnberg), I fell in love with the city and the lebkuchen! So when I got back, I made a promise to myself to make one. Now it’s so hard to find an authentic recipe (Schmidt’s lebkuchen), so I just went with the most trusting looking recipe on google (http://www.wiveswithknives.net/2011/11/30/nurnberger-lebkuchen-german-gingerbread/).

The house now smells so good! The batter itself tasted so yummy! It wasn’t hard making the gingerbread. However, mine didn’t turn out exactly like the recipe nor the real lebkuchen! But they still taste like gingerbread…

Note to self: 1) Double the spice and more raisins and rum next time! 2) Blend the batter in the food processor so the dough is smooth.

Ingredients for lebkuchen

1/2 cup softened butter (113 grams)
1 cup sugar (200 grams)
4 eggs
3 cup white flour (360 grams)
1 Tbsp Lebkuchen spices (6 grams)(see note below)
2 Tbsp cocoa powder (12 grams)
1 1/2 tsp double acting baking powder
1 cup milk (225 ml)
1 3/4 cup ground almonds, ground hazelnuts or a combination of both (150 grams)
1/2 cup candied lemon peel, chopped (100 grams)
1 Tbsp rum liqueur
32 Oblaten (baking wafers) 3 inch size
1/2 cup raisins, soaked in rum and chopped
1/4 cup shredded coconut

Ingredients for glaze
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp rum liqueur
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Method

1. Cream butter, sugar and eggs until light and fluffy.

2. Mix in flour, spices, cocoa powder and baking powder, alternating with milk.

3. Fold in nuts and lemon peel. Stir in rum. Stir in raisins and coconut.

4. Drop about 3 tablespoons cookie dough into the center of each circle. (If you are using “Oblaten” drop the dough onto the wafer and smooth to the edges.) When tray is full, use the back of the spoon to fill out circle, slightly mounding the dough towards the center.

5. Bake at 190°C for 15-20 minutes. Turn down oven to 175°C if cookies are browning too much.
Let cool for a few minutes, then remove to a cookie or cake rack to cool.

6. While they are still warm, make the glaze. Place sugar and water in a small saucepan on the stove. Bring to a boil and boil for a few minutes. Add vanilla and liqueur or rum. Sift powdered sugar over hot sugar syrup and stir.

7. Using a pastry brush, brush warm glaze over warm cookies. Let dry completely.

Dry glazed cookies for a day (to dry the glaze so it stays a bit crunchy) then store in an airtight container or freeze.

Note: If you are not using the “Oblaten” (It can be purchased in German store or at a German deli), draw 3-inch diameter circles on parchment paper using a cup or biscuit cutter as a template.

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