➤ by Oma Gerhild Fulson
These German gingerbread cookies, or Lebkuchen, are such a traditional cookie to have for Christmas. They're so very easy to make, that there's no reason to buy them.
However, the usual ingredients for these are not readily available outside of Germany, unless, of course, you have a German deli close by. It is possible to buy Lebkuchen spice online, but my recipe below uses regularly available ingredients that are easy to buy in Canada and USA.
There are many varieties of Lebkuchen cookies. Traditionally, you'll find the Nuremberg Lebkuchen, the Elisenlebkuchen, the Lebkuchenherzen, the chocolate filled ones, the ones with candied citron, the ones with nuts, and the list goes on.
The recipe below is a basic Lebkuchen cookie. Nothing fancy. No nuts or candied fruit inside.
Just plain Lebkuchen. Delicious. Iced and topped with nuts. Wunderbar.
Traditionally, these lebkuchen cookies are baked on oblaten ... white, tasteless wafers that look communion wafers. It's actually the only way I know them because that's the way my Mutti made them.
In fact, there are several traditional cookies that must be made on these wafers. 'Must' is traditional. However, just because some say 'must' doesn't mean it can't be done without.
You can easily get oblaten online if you wish and use them for this recipe. However, for the recipe below, I did not use them, because I wanted to see how they would turn out. Personally, I really didn't miss them :) In fact, I think I like them better this way.
There are many possible origins of the name of these. Leb could come from leben, meaning life. Leb could come from lieben, meaning love. Leb could come from lebbe, meaning sweet.
Actually, all together, these make sense. A sweet ~ loving ~ life ... a cake that's perfect to celebrate Christmas!
For a bit more Lebkuchen history, check out this post.
Store these Lebkuchen cookies in a sealable container, with waxed paper between the layers of the cookies. Place half an apple on a piece of waxed paper on the top of the cookies. This will keep the cookies moist and actually impart a very light fruity aroma that makes these cookies so yummy.
As with many of the German cookies that are traditional for Christmas, these do taste better if they are allowed to 'age' ... the spices mellow and the texture is amazing. Mind you, it's difficult to wait to enjoy these!
Do make sure to wait until the glaze has hardened totally before storing the cookies. Even waiting a day before putting them into the cookie tins is a good idea.
Oma's Cream Roll recipe, Biskuitrolle, is the German version of a Swiss roll or jelly roll. Filled with whipped cream and studded with berries, this is an easy-to-make treat anytime of the year.
Make this pan roasted carrot recipe when you're wanting quick and easy carrots just like this German Oma makes them. Similar to oven roasted, just quicker. YUM!
Cooking green beans, German-style, makes a wonderful side dish for almost any meal. Cooking the grüne Bohnen till just tender with a creamy white sauce is so traditional and so lecker!
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