Saturday, December 6, 2014

Lebkuchen (elisenlebkuchen)

I received this recipe when I lived in Germany.  I fell in love with lebkuchen and although this isn't your traditional baked German treat, it definitely hits the spot baked at home.  Plus, those that have issues with gluten can also indulge in these as there isn't any flour involved.  This recipe also makes a smaller batch than many cookies.  Lebkuchen is traditionally sold during the Christmas season and then those shops which had it are turned into other things (like ice cream shops for the summer season).  There are as many different kinds of lebkuchen as you can possibly think up, so feel free to change things up to satisfy your cravings for other flavors.  If you live close to a German market you can buy oblaten which are little edible discs you can eat and makes the lebkuchen a lot easier to get off the pan.  If you don't have them I would recommend baking on parchment paper or a silicon mat as they can get quite sticky without something under then to release them for eating.

3 eggs
1 cup sugar (200g)
1 package vanilla sugar (or 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
1-2 pinches of cloves
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon rum flavoring
2 -5 drops lemon extract
1/3 cup candy glazed citron (you can use lemon or orange if you can't find citron)
2/3 cup ground almonds
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup ground hazelnuts
8-10 oblaten

Preheat the oven to 375F. Beat the eggs and then add sugar and vanilla sugar (if using).  Mix together until it is light and creamy.  Add the cloves, rum flavoring, and lemon extract and mix.  Then add the candy glazed citron, almonds, and backing powder and mix again.  Then add the hazelnuts, mix and then the dough to settle so it is easy to spread.  Check the consistency and add a little more ground hazelnuts if it spreads too easily.  Put the dough on the oblaten discs and back for 10 minutes.  Let cool and then decorate with chocolate and whole almonds if desired.

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