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