Elisabeth Stoll's Lebkuchen (Spice Cookies) Christmas Baking with SusieJ

Measurements [metric]

For the cookies:

  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1 egg yolk (white is used in icing)
  • 2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • Either:
    • 1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
    • 1/2 cup hazelnuts
  • 1 1/4 cup of flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder

For the icing:

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Either:
    • 1/4 tsp vanilla
    • 1/4 tsp almond flavoring

Grind nuts in food processor until very fine. My little food processor takes a bit under a minute to grind to the right consistency.

Beat eggs and sugar on medium speed until well blended and the mixture is light. Mix spices, flour, baking powder and ground nuts together, and add to egg mixture. Mix on a lower speed until blended. Line a small jelly roll pan (12x16 inches) with parchment paper, pour mixture into pan and smooth.

Bake at 325 degrees F for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes. Flip pan, remove pan, remove parchment paper from back of Lebkuchen, and flip Lebkuchen upright.

In a small bowl, whisk egg white until foamy (not yet the soft peak stage). Whisk powdered sugar two tablespoons at a time into the egg white. Whisk in vanilla or almond extract. Icing will be fairly stiff but spreadable. Spread on cooling Lebkuchen and allow to cool for another 20 minutes.

Cut into bars about 3 inches by 1 1/2 inches. Store in the ubiquitous airtight container.

Note: You can omit the nuts and add a bit more flour. Or you may wish to add some (about a half cup?) finely chopped candied fruit. The fruit should probably not be as finely chopped as the nuts.

Translations often call Lebkuchen gingerbread, although some recipes, like this one, have no ginger. These are an easy, chewy, spicy bar cookie. (I've made Marth Stewart's gingerbread, and trust me, this is easier!). Modern Lebkuchen are baked on Backoblaten (which remind me of nothing so much as large communion wafers), and traditional Lebkuchen in molds with inedible paper cutouts (such as St. Nicolaus) applied to the top.

In the original recipe, Gran'ma noted that adding a bit of water would give more batter and make the cookies less rich.