Guten Tag, everyone! I have finally returned from my somewhat unintentional month-long baking hiatus. I say somewhat since a couple of those weeks were spent travelling through Paris, Munich, and London, and it was glorious! I can’t properly express how much I love Europe and her countries.
I’ll be honest and say that I didn’t think I was going to enjoy Munich nearly as much as I did. I absolutely adored everything about Bayern Munchen from the fabulous biergartens to the pastries to the football team. The number one reason for our visit to Munich was because my husband spent the first nine months of his life in that city and he’s always wanted to go. We’ll just say that he’s referring to it as his “hometown” and has fully embraced all things German.
Due to this new overflowing passion, let me introduce my Lebkuchen and go Deutschland World Cup team!
Lebkuchen are traditional German treats very similar to gingerbread. They have somewhat of a dense, cake-like texture and are packed with flavorful spices like cinnamon and ginger. These cookies were great right after glazing them, but I really felt that they got even better after a day.
If you’re a fan of German sweets or anything with a good spice profile, then bake up a batch of Lebkuchen (don’t wait for Christmas!). Also, stay tuned since I fully intend on cooking and baking many more European delights that will remind me of my wonderful adventures!
Recipe adapted from BBC Good Food
Makes: about 2 dozen cookies, Difficulty: Beginner
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup ground almonds or almond meal
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch each of ground cloves and nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 6.75 ounces honey (approximately .85 cups)
- 2/3 cup unsalted butter
- 1 lemon, finely grated zest
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 1 egg white, beaten
Tip the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Heat the honey and butter in a pan over low heat until butter melts, then pour into the flour mixture along with the lemon zest. Mix well until the dough is combined and fairly solid. Cover and place in the refrigerator to cool, at least 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Using your hands, roll dough out into about 24 balls, each about an 1-1/2″ wide. Flatten slightly into a disk about 1/2″ thick. Divide the cookies between 2 baking trays, keeping at least an inch to let the cookies expand. Bake for 15 minutes then cool on a wire rack.
To ice the cookies, mix together the confectioners sugar, egg white to form a smooth, slightly runny icing. Add water by the teaspoon if it is too thick. Dip the top of each cookie into the icing and place on a cookie sheet or piece of parchment paper to set.