German Chocolate Lebkuchen

by Meeta Wolff

This chapter is a free excerpt from What's For Lunch, Honey?.

Lebkuchen cookies are the German icons when it comes to Christmas baking. Each region in Germany offers their own traditional variety, and each one tastes divine. Maybe one of the reasons they are so cherished is because the warming medley of spices in the Lebkuchen spice mix, specifically used for these cookies, emits a comforting and cosy atmosphere as the aromas of cinnamon, cardamom, coriander perfume the air.

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Lebkuchen cookies are the German icons when it comes to Christmas baking. Each region in Germany offers their own traditional variety, and each one tastes divine. Maybe one of the reasons they are so cherished is because the warming medley of spices in the Lebkuchen spice mix, specifically used for these cookies, emits a comforting and cosy atmosphere as the aromas of cinnamon, cardamom, coriander perfume the air.

In my version, I use raw marzipan to give it a lovely nutty taste. You will also see that I only use candied lemon peel to add a slight sweet tangy flavor to the cookie.

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180ºC (356ºF). Line two baking trays with baking paper and moisten with some water. Place the rice paper rounds 1 cm apart.
  1. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the egg whites, marzipan, sugar and pinch of salt with an electric whisk to a thick and smooth batter. Fold in the lemon peel.
  1. Mix together the ground almonds, hazelnuts, flour and Lebkuchen spice, then fold into the egg-marzipan batter. Dissolve the baking soda in 1 tablespoon water and mix into the batter.
  1. Fill the lebkuchen batter into a piping bag with a rounded tip and pipe enough batter on the rice paper round, keeping a few millimeters free from the edges as the batter spreads while it bakes.
  1. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, then completely cool the lebkuchen cookies on a rack.
  1. In the meantime, melt both chocolates separately over a water bath. Brush the cookies alternatively with white and bittersweet chocolate. Allow the chocolate to dry and set.
  1. Store the lebkuchen cookies in a cookie box between layers of baking paper.
Helpful Note: If you cannot find premixed Lebkuchen Gewürz from a German store, you may mix your own. Here are the spices that make up Lebkuchen Gewürz:
  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground anise seed
Catherine
I cannot believe the beauty of your photographs, and these leave me gasping. I have made Christmas cookies too, but compared to yours, they look like fodder! Thanks for the inspiration Catherine
DECEMBER 21, 2011 4:12:00 PM GMT+01:00
STAY AT HOME CHEF
What a great variety of xmas cookies! Wish I'd seen this before the holidays, especially as I've been looking for a good Lebkuchen recipe to match my childhood memories. Will definitely be keeping these recipes on file for the future. Happy New Year!
JANUARY 6, 2012 4:52:00 AM GMT+01:00
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