Lebkuchen, or “Life Cake”, a German Cookie

Lebkuchen, or “Life Cake”, a spicy, long-keeping German Christmas Cookie that is a favorite of Michael Lambke, Amber’s husband. Perfect for packing on a ski trip, or enjoy by the fire with a cup of tea.

Ingredients

1 egg
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup honey
½ cup molasses
1 ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon baking soda
3 cups maine grains sifted flour
½ cup slivered or sliced almonds
½ cup chopped candied fruit– we recommend candied ginger and orange peel

instructions

Cookie:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Beat egg in mixer; add brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Stir in honey and molasses. Add spices, baking soda, and flour. Stir well – gets quite thick. Stir in nuts, fruits, and peels. Chill several hours – or overnight.
  3. On floured surface, roll ¼ inch thick; cut in rectangles about 1 ½ inches wide and 2 inches long, slanted on tops and bottoms (can also make them in circles). Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, depending on size. Remove from pan. Glaze while still warm (See glaze recipe below)
 
Glaze:
  1. Combine 1 slightly beaten egg white, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel, a dash of salt, and 1 ½ cups confectioners sugar. 
  2. Drizzle or brush each cookie while still warm.

notes

Recipe from Amber Lambke, co-founder of Maine Grains, passed to her via Joan Noonan from the Möslein family on the occasion of her bridal shower. Amber’s husband, Mike, and Joan’s son Jim spent a semester together in Rome, Italy and travelled to Volkach, Germany where they visited the Möslein family. The Noonan’s cared for the Möslein’s daughter during her student exchange year in Chicago, IL, where Mike Lambke is from. The Lebkuchen recipe from the Möslein’s is the one cookie Amber makes every Christmas for her family and for sharing.

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