Lebkuchen

Lebkuchen 2These German cookies (pronounced LAYB-koo-ken) date back to the 13th century. They are cakey and extremely flavorful, reminiscent of a mix between fruitcake and gingerbread. They do not contain butter so these cookies are dairy free.   A great holiday or tea cookie!

Ingredients

3/4 c AP flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/3 c blanched almonds, toasted plus more for decorating

1/3 c blanched hazelnuts, toasted

1/3 c diced candied lemon peel

1/3 c diced candied citron

4 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped (note: I used 8 dried mission figs instead because I had them on hand)

3 ounces almond paste

1/3 c apricot jam

3 large eggs, room temperature

3/4 c packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup plus 3 T confectioner’s sugar

2 T milk

For the cookies…

1) Note: you will need a large food processor for this. If you only have a small food processor (like me), be prepared to spent extra time to process everything separately. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt and spices in a bowl. In a food processor, very finely grind hazelnuts and almonds. Add the candied peels and dates to the processor and grind finely. Add almond paste; pulse to combine. Add jam, and pulse to combine. Add eggs and brown sugar, pulse to combine. Add flour mixture and pulse until dough forms. It will be very wet. Transfer to a Tupperware container and chill 1 day or up to 3 days.

2) Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Place 1/4 cup drops of cookie dough onto parchment lined cookie sheets, spacing 3 inches apart. Place 3 untoasted almonds close together on top of each cookie. Bake rotating halfway through until golden brown. 14-18 minutes. Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks.

3) Whisk confectioner’s sugar and milk in a bowl until smooth and brush over cooled cookies.

Yields around 18 cookies. Store in an airtight container.

From Martha Stewart Holiday Cookies 2010.

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