Ok, I’m on a German baking roll. As you can tell in my most recent post, I’ve celebrated Christmas in San Diego for the past six years. This Christmas season, we’re celebrating in Germany. I’m struggling between traditional German holiday meals or traditional Mexican, my family’s choice of cuisine during the holiday. So, I’ve been doing a combo. I call it a Mexi-Germ holiday cuisine. It sounds kind of like a virus. Well, you could catch it and enjoy it as much as we have. Barria for Christmas Eve and Rouladens for Christmas day, and New Years’ Lutz’s Lentils, of course! I’ve kept it with traditional German desserts, and this cookie is perfect. It also hits the spot for “Nach Mittag Koffee” (afternoon coffee). My Cranberry Linzer Torte makes any holiday meal a huge success.
Many of the German recipes I’ve posted are traditional for this time of the year. They represent treasured moments in Lutz’s childhood, carried out through the years in his family. I’m still trying to get the hang of converting some of his favorites to gluten-free, but in the meantime, I’m enjoying the experience and the end product. This cookie recipe is one of Lutz’s favorites, and I think I got it right. German Lebkuchen is considered a gingerbread cookie, and he seems to approve. It reminds me of the thick gingerbread cookies my mom used to make with molasses. I love it because it’s easy to make, and best of all, it’s gluten-free. It’s a moist cookie with special spices and dried citrus. Just amazing, and the first bit transports you back to your childhood.
I sure hope this recipe becomes one of your favorites! Here’s a substitute if you can’t get your hands on the gingerbread spice. In a small jar, shake the following ingredients together. You’ll have plenty left over for your next batch of German Lebkuchen.
2 Tbsp ground ginger
3 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp cardamom
1 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground star anise
- 1 cup coconut or 3/4 cup brown Monkfruit sugar
- 5 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla or rum
- 1 3/4 cup ground hazelnuts/flour
- 1 3/4 cup ground almonds/flour
- 1/4 cup candied citrus peel
- 1/4 cup candied orange peel
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries dices
- 3 Tbsp dried gingerbread spice (or 3 Tbsp of the above recipe)
- 1 tsp dried lemon zest
- 30-40 wafers with 70mm diameter (oblaten)
- Step 1 In a standard mixer or with a hand mixer, beat the sugar, eggs, vanilla, or rum for 15 minutes. This helps resolve the coarse sugar. Set it aside.
- Step 2 If using store-bought ground almond and hazelnut flour, mix with the 3 tablespoons of German Gingerbread spice or 3 tablespoons of the recipe provided above. If using fresh almonds and hazelnuts, place 1 and 3/4 cups of each place under the broiler for 15 minutes stirring every minute. Place them on the counter until completely cool. Grind in a food processor into a heavy-grain consistency. You should have about 3 and 1/2 – 4 cups of flour. Then add the Gingerbread spice and mix well.
- Step 3 Sprinkle the nut flour mixture with the sugar and egg mixture slowly. Not all flours are equal, and you want a sticky dough, so you may not need it all. Think “oatmeal cook” consistency.
- Step 4 Fold in the candied and dried fruit.
- Step 5 Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 2 hours or freezer for 30 minutes.
- Step 6 When ready to cook, heat the oven to 320 F or 160 C
- Step 7 Line a baking tray with baking paper. Place the wafers evenly on the tray. Use an ice cream scooper and place a scoop on each wafer, flattening a bit to cover the wafer.
- Step 8 Bake for 25 minutes or until the edges are hard and the center is soft.
- Step 9 Let cook completely before removing and icing.
- Step 10 Vanilla Icing-1 cup powdered Monkfruit or regular sugar, 2 Tbsp coconut milk, 1/2 tsp vanilla
- Step 11 Chocolate Icing-Add 1 Tbsp of dark cocoa powder to the above Vanilla Icing.