[ee • lii • sen • leyb • koo • kuh n]
Lebkuchen are traditional German Christmas cookies that somewhat resemble gingerbread. German Gingerbread is soft and moist, unlike the crispy variety known in The States. While there are different varieties of Lebkuchen, the main ingredients are always a mixture of nuts, ginger, candied orange and lemon peel, eggs, sugar or honey, and a special spice mixture. What makes Elisenlebkuchen so unique is that it contains no flour (unless Oblaten wafers are used).
While delicious plain, Lebkuchen are often coated with a thin chocolate or sugar glaze and garnished with blanched whole almonds (options below). These treats can be made weeks before Christmas and will keep fresh stored in an airtight container.
½ cup light brown sugar or Golden Monk Fruit Sweetener
½ cup honey
5 large eggs
1¾ cups ground hazelnuts
1¾ cups ground almonds
1 oz Ginger - Crystallized*
½ cup candied lemon peel*
½ cup candied orange peel*
3 Tbsp Baker's Spice Blend
1/8 tsp Mace
1/8 tsp Coriander - Ground
*pulsed in a food processor
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine sugar, honey, and eggs. Beat for about 15 minutes at medium speed until mixture has tripled in volume.
Add remaining ingredients and stir until combined. Cover mixing bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (at least 8 hours) to let the batter rest and thicken.
Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 2 baking sheets with a silicone mat (preferred) or parchment paper (skip this step if portioning dough directly on Oblaten wafers). Using a spoon or an ice cream scoop, portion approximately 3 Tablespoons of mixture for each cookie, keeping a distance of 2 to 3 inches apart. Flatten and smooth with a wet knife or offset spatula to make a circle with a diameter between 2½ to 3 inches. Ideally, the dough should be thicker in the center and thinner at the edges. Repeat with remaining batter.
Bake for about 22 minutes, or until the Lebkuchen are set but still soft in the middle and have barely started to brown around the edges. Cool completely on the baking sheet.
Glaze (optional). Chocolate: Melt 4 ounces dark chocolate with 1 Tablespoon coconut oil in the microwave or a metal bowl set over some simmering water. Stir until smooth and glossy.
Sugar: Combine 1 cup sifted powdered sugar and 2 to 3 Tablespoons water in a small bowl; whisk until smooth.
Use a brush to coat the surface of the cooled cookies with the glaze. Press blanched whole almonds onto the wet glaze. Allow to set completely before storing.