It's Week 9 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies and we're moving right along. I decided to go a little international with my cookie choice this week and picked Lebkuchen for this week's spicy treat. Lebkuchen are a type of German Christmas cookie very similar to gingerbread since it contains molasses and spices. However, it differs in that there's also some honey added in which gives these cookies a little something extra in flavor.
I'm so glad I finally got to try these cookies. They may not look like anything special, but they pack a spicy punch. They're typically made with a powdered sugar glaze, but I was planning to take my cookies traveling so I left the glaze off. I'm sure they'd also be good drizzled with some melted chocolate too.
I'm sure you'll enjoy these cookies too. Frohe Weihnachten (Merry Christmas)!
Lebkuchen (French for Foodies)
1 cup honey
1 cup molasses/treacle
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 tablespoon lemon juice
4 tbsps candied orange finely chopped (optional)
5 1/2 cups all-purpose (plain) flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 teaspoon ground ginger
In a medium saucepan, stir together the honey and molasses. Bring the mixture to a boil, remove from heat for 10 mins and stir in the brown sugar, egg, lemon juice and candied citron. In a large bowl, sift and stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger.
Add the molasses mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well. You may need to gradually add extra flour until it makes a moist cookie dough as the consistency will depend on the flour, humidity etc.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets or baking trays.
Once combined, put bowl of cookie mix in the refrigerator until it has cooled to room temperature or lower.
Knead a few handfuls of dough at a time on a floured flat surface/bench and roll out the dough ready for the cookie cutters. Alternatively, Using a small amount of dough at a time, roll into small balls and press down to about 4cm diameter, OR roll out dough and place the mix into a rectangular baking tray with dough at approx 1 cm depth.Cut out cookies using desired shapes and moulds and place onto greased trays.
Bake for 10-15 minutes in the preheated oven, until golden brown and fragrant. Be careful not to overcook the lebkuchen as the sugars will go too hard when they cool and the biscuits will lose the desired soft center.Allow to cool completely before icing and decorating.