Lebkuchen – German Christmas Ginger Cookies

by | Aug 29, 2011 | 32 comments

Lebkuchen
 
I recently got sent two volumes of a brand new baking repository. A limited edition, 60-part series that comprises of modernised classics and is accompanied by various types of gorgeous silicon bakeware. It is called Baked And Delicious. To test run the first volume, I decided to bake a batch of German spice cookies called Lebkuchen.
 
Lebkuchen and milk
 
 
Lebkuchen (pronounced leb-koo-ken, as kindly pointed out by my German friend Petra) are traditional German Christmas cookies, resembling gingerbread and were invented by medieval German monks to celebrate the festive season. They are baked with spices and honey or treacle for sweetening. I have never had lebkuchen before, so it is always very hard to try out a new recipe and not really know if it has turned out alright because you have nothing to compare it with. Now, I’ve had plenty of gingerbread and ginger biscuits in this lifetime, so I kind of knew what to expect.
 
Lebkuchen
 
 
I followed the recipe exactly. The resulting cookies were perfect in consistency and texture. They held their shape, they were crunchy on the outside, a tad chewy on the inside. They browned and baked perfectly in the time specified. What I think they lacked was sweetness and the spicy kick that I am assuming, they are supposed to have. I ground my own spice mixture. So the next time I bake them, I would increase the sweetness (maybe add 2 tablespoons of brown sugar) and also the spice content (an extra half teaspoon of ground ginger and half teaspoon of ground cloves) to the recipe I share below. Oh and these taste even better on the second day and the day after! Perfect for dunking in milk too!
 
Lebkuchen
 
Lebkuchen
 
 
 

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LEBKUCHEN

 
Preparation Time – 15 minutes
Baking Time – 20 minutes
Makes – 24
 

Ingredients

1 2/3 cups plain flour
2/3 cups almond meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
zest of an orange and lemon
200ml honey
85g butter
almond flakes to decorate
 
 

Method

 
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease and line cookie sheets with baking paper. In a large bowl mix the almond meal, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, spices and zest.
 
Gently melt the honey and butter together in a saucepan and tip them onto the dry ingredients. Mix till it forms a stiff dough. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to cool and solidify a bit.
 
Use your hands to roll the dough into balls about 3cm across and lay them out on the prepared baking sheets with plenty of space between each. Flatten the balls slightly with the tips of your fingers and press down  a couple of almond flakes on each.
 
Bake them for about 20 minutes until risen and golden. Cool on wire racks and store in an air tight container.
 
 

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SNEH

I love creating easy, vibrant, fresh, everyday recipes and taking gorgeous photos of the food I cook. I have been blogging for 15 years and I have also written a book with over 100 new recipes. If you make a recipe from the blog, Tag @cookrepublic on Instagram. I would love to see!

COMMENTS

32 Comments
  1. Shirley@kokken69

    These cookies look just perfect, Sneh! Ah, Christmas… Will be here in a blink of the eye… Loved the way you style your photos!

    Reply
    • Sneh

      Thanks Shirley!

      Reply
  2. nags

    the magazine looks amazing! i am so bummed they only deliver in AU (well it’s usually that way anyway).

    maybe i should just shut up and move to AU 😀

    Reply
    • Sneh

      You should! You’ll love it here! 🙂

      Reply
  3. Jennifer (Delicieux)

    I eyed off this cookie recipe in Baked and Delicious too! Your cookies look fantastic! I love the photos too, so beautiful!!

    Reply
    • Sneh

      Thanks Jen!

      Reply
  4. Cassandra @foodmyfriend

    I can’t wait for Christmas to come around again 🙂

    Reply
  5. Manju

    these look fabulous, Sneh! now that fall is almost here, its about time for some ginger cookies!

    Reply
  6. Nadia

    The styling and photos are so stunning that I want to eat the cookies right away! I really really love your props and the way you use them! 🙂

    The recipe looks delicious too and is easily veganized 🙂

    Reply
    • Sneh

      Thanks for the kind words Nadia!

      Reply
  7. Saee Koranne-Khandekar

    I love the Christmas-cake-ish aromas in there. As well as the rustic texture. And I’m going to probably stop talking about your photos because they’re always so gorgeous!

    Reply
  8. KayB

    A colleague of mine is German and is always bringing me authentic German sweet treats.. I’m going to try these out and hopefully impress her!

    Reply
    • Sneh

      good idea! Hope they turn out well.

      Reply
  9. Sasha @ The Procrastobaker

    These sound like JUST the sort of cookie i would love! I adore buying german cookies from the local christmas markets in December but have never tried making my own, about time that was changed i think! 🙂

    Reply
  10. Rosa

    Those look fantastic and so delicious!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    Reply
  11. Tanvi@SinfullySpicy

    So So pretty props..Whenever I ll visit Sydney..I m coming to shop with you..gosh u have a really good choice!
    These cookies look so crispy and full of warmth from ginger..making them soon!

    Reply
    • Sneh

      deal! we’ll go prop hunting together!

      Reply
  12. a spoonful of yumm

    love this recipe ! so yummy 😀 that jug with the milk label is very christmasy 😉

    Reply
  13. yasmeen (wandering spice)

    Different of course, but this reminds me of all the beautiful seasonal treats that would spring up when I lived in Holland. I adore ginger, so a ginger cookie is just a double whammy of yum.

    Reply
  14. Amanda @ Traditional Foods

    I just stumbled onto your site and this is the first post I am seeing. I am totally blown away by those photos.

    Reply
  15. Soma

    Christmas! i wish 🙂 these sounds so similar and looks too, to the Speculaas.. they are similar aren’t they? I love any thing with ginger esp. if combined with spice and almonds. Sneh the styling in the second pic is so unique and wonderful! loving the BRICK box!!! I want one!

    Reply
  16. Dumpling Girl

    These sound wonderful. Love the combination of favours in these cookies, will have to give them a try.

    Reply
  17. Petra

    I made these yesterday (they are gorgeous – and they have nearly all disappeared already!) It was the perfect easy way to use up all my Lebkuchen spice mix left-over from Christmas (it hadn’t occured to me to make them any other time of the year, or without the extra effort of using cookie cutters). Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  18. PR_Cal

    I came across this post in Sips and Spoonfuls DMBLGIT contest and was drawn to the styling and rustic look of the photos. I MUST ask, how do you make your photos look “rustic”?/old-fashioned/I don’t even know how to explain the look I’m asking, but do you know what I mean?

    Your Dark ChocolateSunflower Bundt Cake is photographed in the same way. Is it just the styling and light, or is there a lens on your camera that makes the photos look that way.

    Hopefully I don’t sound ridiculous, that style is just my favorite. (101 Cookbooks is another example of the style)

    Reply
  19. Holly

    Hi, I just made these. I really like the texture of the biscuit, having a crunchier shell and softer more chewy inside. I baked the biscuits in two batches, the first of which got burned when baked for the 20 minutes. When I went to bake the second batch, I reduced the oven temperature to 175 degrees Celsius and baked them for 15 minutes instead. The second batch turned out much nicer however still ended up being darker than those in your pictures. Next time, I’ll be cooking them for about 10-12 minutes and I’ll be doubling the amount of spices, they seemed a bit bland to me. Anyway, thanks for sharing the recipe.

    Reply
    • Sneh

      I found them a bit bland on the first and second day but I realised the spices develop in flavour and become stronger as days go by. As for oven temp, I have a cranky 15 year old oven and I suspect takes much longer to cook oor bake anything. It is a wonder it does anything really 🙂

      Reply
  20. Monica

    Just found your site by Pinterest and I will be trying these cookies out with your added suggestions. May I ask have you done so since that time?

    Reply
  21. Vickie

    I baked a batch of these yesterday – super easy & delicious. Everyone loves them & we found them sweet enough with just the honey 🙂

    Reply

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