Thursday, January 15, 2009

Lebkuchen, A Soft Gingersnap


I wish I could tell you that this is an old family recipe, passed down through the generations.  But this, I'm afraid, isn't even traditional.  It's more of a cheat's lebkuchen, a healthy-conscious, lazy cheat.  Technically, this would be considered a Honiglebkuchen, or a honeyed gingerbread.  Yet, as far as I can tell, this type would normally feature various dried fruits and chopped nuts.  In this recipe, the rye flour steps in for the nuts to impart texture without, however, tasting of rye.  The glaze is also missing, replaced by a sprinkling of rock sugar.  


You might be able to guess, but this is not an eye-closing, moan-inducing, ecstasy-producing kind of cookie.  Cookies like that can only support momentary encounters anyway, you wouldn't want them to become too familiar.  This, on the other hand, is comforting, wholesome even, something you could sit down and have a conversation with.  It doesn't necessitate anything fancy in the making or in the eating.  So you don't have to feel too guilty if you polish off the entire batch in two days.  I didn't.


Lebkuchen

2 1/4 cups rye flour
1 cup Turbinado Sugar 
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 eggs, beaten
1 lemon zested
1/4 cup honey

Stir together the flour, sugar and spices.  Make a well in the middle of the wet ingredients and add the eggs, lemon and honey.  Begin combining with a wooden spoon, and switch to kneading with your hands when it thickens.  Shape dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to a 1/2" thickness and cut into desired shapes.    Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes on a greased cookie sheet until golden brown.  Decorate as you wish, or leave plain.

Notes:

*  If you'd like, you can beat an egg and brush the cookies with the egg wash before baking (I didn't bother)

10 comments:

Snooky doodle said...

how cute these butterflies. Wish to try these healthy cookies:) thanks for sharing

Aran said...

i had a german chef who always asked us to make lebkuchen and now every christmas, i make it at home. these are adorable!

Joie de vivre said...

I love lebkuchen with a nice cup of earl grey.

Dana Treat said...

I love that cookie cutter! Anything ginger-y is a hit in my house.

bensbaby116 said...

Looks like it would be perfect with a great cup of tea!

Mimi said...

Yum. A new way to use rye flour. That's wonderful!

Cherie said...

Beautiful. Just what you expect from someone who's in love with Art History:)

Andrea said...

Snooky, thanks!

Aran, this is the first time I made lebkuchen, but they're not authentic. Good though, but not authentic.

Joie de vivre and Bensbaby, with tea sounds perfect

Dana, same with my boyfriend. He loves sweet ginger things, but not as much as I do!

Mimi, that's why I chose them, since I have a bag of rye I want to use up!

Cherie, ha ha, you called it!

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Anonymous said...

"One lemon zested" - does that mean the juice and rind of one lemon, or just the zest? And is there not supposed to be any leavening agent in this at all?