Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas: Lebkuchen (German Gingerbread)

In Germany, around Christmas time, cookies called Lebkuchen come out.  They are usually chocolate covered, some with jelly filling, little cookies of delight.  They are one of my favorite Christmas cookies, and the fantastic part: they get better and better the longer they sit!  Seriously, don't eat them until about a week after you make them.  They will taste 10 times better!

{German Gingerbread}

I had a chance to make them in culinary school which is where I got the recipe.  My German mother is in love with them.  Although we don't have small children, this recipe can be chilled overnight and rolled for a shaped cookie.

{Molasses is the secret to a good gingerbread}

{Add flour until just combined}

{Pre-flattened cookies--they do not spread so you can put them closer together!}


Makes 32 cookies


4 cups all-purpose flour
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 pound butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg, room temperature
1 lemon, zested
1 tablespoon ginger, grated
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Sift all dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.
  3. Cream butter, sugar, and molasses until light and fluffy; add egg, and then add lemon zest and ginger.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.
  5. Chill dough for 10 minutes or overnight if rolling out the next day.
  6. Drop cookies on greased baking sheet, flattening a bit with a spatula.  Cookies do not spread much.
  7. Baked for 15-20 minutes.
  8. These can be eaten immediately but taste best after 4-5 days.
Does your family make gingerbread for Christmas?

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