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Lebkuchen

in quick and easy whole grain dairy free gluten free overnight guaranteed classic

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Lebkuchen Recipe Lebkuchen Recipe

These spicy gingerbread-like bars, which are traditional holiday fare in Germany, contain no fat other than that in the egg. They're addictive nonetheless, with their hard sugar glaze and nippy bite of crystallized ginger (substituted for the more typical citron). They keep very well too, especially when a piece of apple is tucked into their airtight container to soften them. They're a perfect accompaniment to hot tea after a blustery afternoon of scouring the shops for just-right presents.

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At a glance

Prep
Bake
Total
Yield
54 bars
Nutrition information

Ingredients

Choose your measure:

Bars

  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons each finely grated lemon peel and orange peel; or 1/4 teaspoon each lemon oil and orange oil
  • 2 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped blanched almonds
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup mini diced ginger, finely ground*
  • *We like a small food processor for this task.

Glaze

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 6 tablespoons brandy or apple juice (or a combination)

Instructions

  1. One day ahead: Bring the honey and brown sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring occasionally. Remove the mixture from the heat and cool until lukewarm.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the cooled honey mixture, the egg, and the lemon and orange peel or oil.
  3. Add the flour, baking soda, almonds, spices, and ground mini diced ginger, and stir until well combined. The dough will be on the stiff side, but also very sticky. Cover the bowl and refrigerate it overnight.
  4. The next day: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and line a 9" x 13" pan with parchment. The parchment will ease removing the bars in one complete piece.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 9" x 13" rectangle. Carefully transfer the dough rectangle to the prepared pan, either by wrapping it around the rolling pin and then unfolding it into the pan, or using a giant spatula. Don't press hard on the edges, or these areas will be dense and tough.
  6. Bake the bars for 20 to 22 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. While the bars are baking, prepare the glaze. Stir the brandy or apple juice into the confectioners' sugar and mix until smooth. Transfer the baked bars to a cooling rack and immediately brush on the glaze with a pastry brush; let the glaze soak into the bars somewhat before applying another layer.
  8. Let cool completely before cutting into 1" x 2" bars.
  9. Store the bars in an airtight container with a slice of apple (for its softening powers). If you make the lebkuchen 2 to 3 days ahead of time, they'll taste even better. They'll last for several weeks.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 18g
  • Servings Per Batch 54
Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories 60
  • Calories from Fat 5
  • Total Fat .5g
  • Saturated Fat 0g
  • Trans Fat 0g
  • Cholesterol 5mg
  • Sodium 10mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 13g
  • Dietary Fiber 0g
  • Sugars 8g
  • Protein 1g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.