Lebkuchen ist da!
Anyone who's ever visited Germany during the holidays comes back obsessed with these festive cookies (pronounced layb'-koo-khen). And who could blame 'em? They're made with fragrant, ground hazelnuts and almond paste, infused with warm baking spices, sweetened with honey and coated in a super thin sugar or dark chocolate glaze. Ja, bitte.
They've been making these honey-sweetened spiced cookies in Germany for hundreds of years. Leckerlee founder Sandy Lee has only been baking them professionally since 2011, but she makes up for the time with the intensity of her devotion. She lived in Berlin and spent more than a year perfecting an authentic recipe to bring back to the States. Her take is exceptional, rich with nuts, spices and bits of candied citrus peel. The aroma alone has us singing carols, itching to deck the halls and drink mug after mug of cocoa.
Each year, she introduces beautiful new tin designs. This one's a keeper, long after the last crumb disappears. It’s also perfect for gift-giving because, to be honest, the cookies sometimes taste better after they've sat for a few weeks!
And that's not paper stuck to the bottom of each cookie – it's an oblaten (aka communion) wafer. Yep. Oh ja, monks who made lebkuchen hundreds of years ago started using them to keep the notoriously sticky dough from sticking to the baking pans.
Freude dur die welt! Joy to the world!