Normally right before Christmas I make the trek to the German market, but this year I just didn’t have the time, so I was missing out on some of the things I normally have around Christmas. Lebkuchen are one of those things that I always get for myself.
With the holidays now over and things getting back to normal I decided to do a quick search to see how difficult it would be to make these on my own. The recipes range from simple to utterly insane.
So I figured I would just figure this one out on my own.
To start off, place your raisins and rum in a microwave safe bowl and cook for 30 to 45 seconds, then cover with plastic wrap and let the raisins plump.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a small sauce pan mix together the butter, brown sugar, honey and molasses. Cook over medium heat until the butter is almost completely melted. Then pour this mixture into your mixing bowl and using the paddle attachment, beat on medium low speed (3 on a Kitchenaid).
While the butter/sugar/honey/molasses mixture is beating in the stand mixer, gather all your dry ingredients into another bowl and give this a quick whisk to combine.
Drain the raisins, the rum has done its job, and place the raisins in the food processor and purée.
Lower the speed of the mixer and add in 2 eggs, one at a time to the butter mixture, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Mix in the raisin purée. Then add in the flour mixture, 1 cup at a time. Once all is added, turn the speed up to medium (4 on a Kitchenaid ) for 20 seconds.
Line your baking sheets with parchment paper and scoop out the dough (I used a 1 Tbsp. Sized scoop but you can definitely make these larger or smaller). Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, rotating the pan half way through baking. Remove cookies to a cooling rack immediately after taking out of the oven. The cookies will start off soft when you take them out of the oven, but they will firm up and become more dense as they cool.
Once the cookies are completely cool, mix together the glaze, you want this runny enough to coat, but thick enough that it doesn’t just disappear. Got that? Probably not, even I don’t know how to explain it.
Let cookies sit at room temperature to let the glaze harden and the store in an air tight container. The cookies will keep for a couple of weeks.
Lebkuchen (German gingerbread)
(Makes approx. 6 dozen)
- 1/2 cup sultana raisins
- 1/4 cup rum or orange juice
- 1 cup ground almonds
- 3 cups flour
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp. Cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp. Cinnamon
- 1 tsp. Ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp. Water
- Place raisins and rum/orange juice in a bowl and microwave for 30 to 45 seconds. Cover in plastic wrap and let raisins plump.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a small sauce pan place butter, brown sugar, honey and molasses. Heat over medium heat until butter is almost completely melted. Pour this mixture into your mixing bowl and place on the stand mixer, using the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed.
- Measure out the dry ingredients into a large bowl and whisk together to combine.
- Drain the rum from the raisins and purée in a food processor.
- Add eggs, one at a time, into the butter mixture, scraping down the bowl after each addition.
- Add puréed raisins to butter mixture. Scrape the bowl fowl.
- With mixer on low speed, add flour/spice mixture 1 cup at a time. Once all the flour is added in, turn mixer up to speed 4 for 20 seconds.
- Scoop dough onto parchment lined baking sheets.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, rotating the pan half way through the cooking.
- Once removed from the oven, transfer to cooling rack.
- Once cookies are completely cooled, prepare the glaze. Start off with 1 Tbsp. Water, adding more as needed to achieve the correct consistency.
- Dip each cookie in glaze, swirling the cookie and then place on a cooling rack and allow glaze to run down cookie and dry.
- Store in an air tight container.