Monday, 9 December 2013

Elisenlebkuchen, my favourite German Christmas Cookies

Elisen Lebkuchen (German Christmas Cookies, Nürnberger Lebkuchen)

This could be translated as "Eliza honey cake, ginger bread cookies" but there is no honey and only moderate ginger in this recipe.
I could probably find some of these in one of the better food stores. They would look more perfect of course. But this way I know exactly what the ingredients are and, it is always something special when home made.
Some I made a little smaller, they taste like macaroons.
Together with Hubby's favourites for coffee we are ready for Christmas!

Ingredients: (ca 20)
5 eggs
400 g (2 cups) sugar
100 g (2/3 cup) Orangeat (minced candied orange) I used candied orange peel
100 g (2/3 cup) Zitronat (minced candied lemon)  I used 1 tsp lemon zest
200 g (1 1/3 cup) Hazelnuts
200 g (1 1/3 cup) Almonds
  50 g (1/3 cup) Walnuts
1 tsp Orange Extract (could not find that)
1 tsp Lemon Extract  (could not find that)
5 tsp Lebkuchen Seasoning ( DIY, see below)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp Rum Extract
1/2 tsp Almond Extract
1 tsp salt

How to:
The first day:
Beat the eggs and sugar to a foamy cream.
Grind up nuts into a fine flour. Mince Orangeat and Zitronat in a blender.
Chop walnuts into smaller pieces.

Mix Lebkuchen seasoning with the nut flour and candied fruit bits and blend well with the egg cream. It is a very sticky dough. Cover with plastic and cool in the refrigerator the night over. ( I had it in the fridge for 2 days and still it baked well).

The next day.
Pre-heat the oven to 350 °F (180 °C)
With the help of two tablespoons place an egg-sized amount of the dough on a lightly floured surface. Dust with flour and roll into a small ball by hand. Place the balls onto a cookie sheet, covered with baking paper, and flatten them slightly.
Bake fir about 15 minutes. Don't over-bake, the cookies should still be soft inside and lightly brown on the outside.

They may be covered with lemon icing or melted chocolate. If you buy "Elisenkuchen" in a box you will find half of them are covered with chocolate the other half with lemon icing.

My own experience:
I didn't find all the ingredients, but the cookies tasted very good nonetheless.

I placed the dough with two spoons right onto the cookie sheet and formed them with the spoons, dipped in water, so that the dough didn't stick. That was the easiest and less messiest way to do it.

I also added more than told in the ingredient list.
You can add 100 g (1 1/3 cup) of each:
Minced apricot, raisins, figs, dates, marzipan, brazil nuts.
Add another egg per 200 g added ingredients.

Lebkuchen-Seasoning home made:

2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Ginger, powdered
1/2 tsp Cardamom, powdered
1/4 tsp Clover, powdered
(1/4 tsp Allspice) optional
(1/4 tsp Nutmeg) optional
1/2 tsp Rum Flavour
1/2 tsp Almond Flavour
1/2 tsp Butter Vanilla Flavour

Lemon Icing
150 g Icing sugar ( add 1 tbls cocoa for a fake chocolate cover)
ca 1 tsp lemon juice (use water when using cocoa)
Brush onto the warm cookies. Cool so completely.


  1. I *loooove* Lebkuchen. Only thing is though, I just buy them at Denninger's. Saves all that cooking business.

    1. There is no Denniger's around here. Have to to it myself!
      One of the minor disadvantages living in the boonies!

    2. Looks so tasty, thanks for sharing the recipe.


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