Lebkuchen (or Pfefferkuchen) is a traditional German biscuit product baked for Christmas, somewhat resembling soft gingerbread.
Similar biscuits have a history that extends back to the Egyptians, but the style of the traditional Lebkuchen was probably invented by Medieval monks in Franconia, Germany in the 13th century. Lebkuchen bakers were recorded as early as 1296 in Ulm, and 1395 in Nürnberg (Nuremberg). The latter being the most famous exporter today, of the product that is known as Nürnberger Lebkuchen (Nürnberg Lebkuchen).
Local history in Nuremberg relates that emperor Friedrich III held a Reichstag there in 1487 and he invited the children of the city to a special event where he presented Lebkuchen bearing his printed portrait to almost four thousand children.
Historically, and due to differences in the ingredients, Lebkuchen is also known as honey cake (de:Honigkuchen) or pepper cake (de:Pfefferkuchen).
3 call-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
1 1/4 tspground nutmeg
1 1/4 tspground cinnamon
1/2 tspground cloves
1/2 tspground allspice
3/4 clight brown sugar (packed)
1 cpowdered sugar
1 Tbsplemon juice, fresh
18waffers (rice) (opt)
How to Make Lebkuchen
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two baking sheets (cookie sheet) or line them with parchment paper.
- Sift together the flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and allspice. Set aside.
- Beat the egg and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl.
- Beat in the honey and molasses until thoroughly combined.
On low speed, stir in the flour mixture until just combined.
- Turn the dough out from the bowl onto a well-floured surface. Knead the dough, adding more flour as kneaded, until a stiff dough is formed.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill until firm, about 2 hours or overnight.
- On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough into a 9×12-inch rectangle. Cut the dough into 18 3×2-inch rectangles, place a rice wafer under each (OPT) . Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let cool.
- Whisk together the confectioner’s sugar, water and lemon juice and brush or spread on top of the cookies.
Allow the glaze to firm, and then store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.