My Great Grandma Schultz’s German Lebkuchen Recipe (Lebkuchen Cookies)!
After growing up on these every year at Christmas… I had a chance to cook these with my 96-year-old Grandmother Marge. If you don’t know Lebkuchen, these are not your typical cookies. It takes time, lots and lots of time (Which was ok for my oldest daughter and I to spend with her).
My Great Grandmother Alma’s handwriting from 1943.
- 1/2 cup Crisco
- 2 cups Honey
- 2 cups Sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups walnuts (chopped)
- 1/2 Clove (optional)
- 1/2 lb. of Citron
- 1.5 tbs. Vinegar
- 1 tbs. Ginger (optional)
- 1/2 tbs. Anise Seed
- 1/2 tbs. Fennel
- 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tbs. baking soda
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 cups flour
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Day 1 – follow these steps:
Get your mixer and mixing bowl and add in the 1/2 cup of Crisco. Slowly stir in the 2 cups of honey and 2 cups of sugar. Mix until fluffy. Now add in 2 eggs and beat the dough, then let the dough sit in the bowl and go to the next step of ingredients. It amazes me to watch how hard the mixer is working and to think my Great Grandmother did this all by hand with the help of my Great Grandfather!
Use a grinder to grind up 2 cups of walnuts and 1/2 lb of Citron.(Grind together). WARNING: Do not use a curious mind to sample the Citron by itself. If you do this you will taste it for days and it is not very pleasant. Of course, my Grandmother did not warn me as I proceeded to taste it.
Dissolve 1 1/2 tbsp. baking soda in warm water 1/2 cup, then add in the nuts and Citron to the dough. Then, include the following to the dough as well: 1.5 tbsp.. Vinegar, 1 tbsp. Ginger, 1/2 tbsp. Anise Seed, 1/2 tbsp. Fennel, 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon. Next, slowly add in 2 cups flour and mix until there is a consistent texture. Cover the bowl with Saran Wrap and set the dough in the refrigerator for 24 hours – your first day is done. Kick back with a good German Beer.
Day 2: Roll the dough out with flour and cut with rectangle cutter.
Take 1 beaten egg and powdered sugar in a bowl and mix to a brush-able thickness. Then, take a few sliced almonds and place them in the center of each cookie. Now brush on the egg and powdered sugar before baking.
Place on a rack and Bake at 375 for about 12 min. Let cool and stack in a nice tin for presentation and sharing with friends and family. This recipe goes back over 100 years in our family – and is a tradition at Christmas we hope you enjoy it.