Monday, November 18, 2013

Lebkuchen - German Christmas Cookie

Happy Holidays! (One month early...)
My work offers free German classes (we do a lot of business overseas), so I've been taking advantage of that the past few weeks. The class meets only twice a week,  so I haven't learned too much, but of course, I know how to say the important things, like "I bake cookies" or how to write a shopping list in German for a cupcake recipe.
This week is my final week in the class (until the next level) and we happen to be learning food. Our homework actually is to find a recipe in German and bring it in, but I'm taking that one step further. I'm finding a recipe and then actually making it, and then bringing in the results to share.

A bit of light Googling led me to the Brown Eyed Baker's blog, where I found a simple little recipe for Lebkuchen, which is a traditional cookie in Germany, kind of like gingerbread and usually baked around Christmas. I know that it's still a little early for Christmas, especially since Thanksgiving still has yet to pass, but I love gingerbread, regardless of the season. Besides, I figured people won't complain about the season if I bring these in to share...

The recipe is unique that it doesn't use any butter, which is good for my dairy-free friends. The result is a very springy, thick, chewy cookie that doesn't spread out too much on the pan. The texture isn't the best I've had (a little too chewy for me), but it's still very tasty! Plus, the lemon glaze on top gives it a sweet light kick too!

I followed the recipe I linked above pretty much exactly, except for the baking. Instead of rolling out the dough and cutting it into squares (the dough is VERY sticky, with the honey and molasses), I rolled out 1-2 inch balls and baked those for about 15 minutes. About halfway through, I pulled them out and flattened them with a spatula (again, these don't spread very much) and put them back in. If I make these again, I might try cutting them a little thinner to get a less thick texture.

Just a little early festive cheer to get your holiday season on! :)

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