Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Lebkuchen

Oh boy, was I surprised when i got this recipe tucked inside a Christmas card!
 
 
Sometime around the time it was time to go back to school after Thanksgiving, logs of lebkuchen dough wrapped in layers of waxed paper would be stacked in the back of the refrigerator.  Some were plain, some had nuts and candied fruits and some had chopped cherries and brandy mixed in, the rich spicy smell filled the room every time the old Westinghouse  fridge was opened.


The cookie dough would age in the fridge for  about a week and then my Mother would get up early and have all of the baking sheets and utensils ready to start as soon as us kids left for school.  I loved the spicy fruity way the house smell when we got home from school,  then they were iced and it was my job to line the cookie tins with brown paper, then waxed paper.  In the morning she would line up the cookies that had dried overnight and put a small glass with wine or brandy in the time before she took it out to the cold room to age.


It is traditional to place a die cut picture of Santa of perhaps St Nicholas on each cookie, however we never did that.

 

Lebkuchen

 
 
 
 

Yield: 18 cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes (active) 2 hours (inactive)
Cook Time: 10-12 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Cookies:
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
1¼ teaspoons ground nutmeg
1¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground allspice
1 egg
¾ cup light brown sugar
½ cup honey
½ cup molasses
For the Glaze:
1 cup confectioner's sugar
2 Tablespoons water
1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two baking sheets or line them with parchment paper.
2. Sift together the flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and allspice. Set aside.
3. Beat the egg and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl.
4. Beat in the honey and molasses until thoroughly combined.
5. On low speed, stir in the flour mixture until just combined.
6. Turn the dough out from the bowl onto a well-floured surface. Knead the dough, adding more flour as kneaded, until a stiff dough is formed.
7. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill until firm, about 2 hours or overnight.
8. On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough into a 9x12-inch rectangle. Cut the dough into 18 3x2-inch rectangles. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
9. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let cool. Whisk together the confectioner's sugar, water and lemon juice and brush or spread on top of the cookies.
10. Allow the glaze to firm, and then store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature

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