Holiday Baking: Lebkuchen (Spiced Cakes)
These spiced cakes are one of the sweet pleasures of the holiday season. Spicy Lebkuchen contain winter dried fruits and nuts plus warming spices. They can be left plain or decorated lavishly.
This article is copyrighted. Please do not reproduce/distribute without permission. The link to the article may be reproduced/distributed.
Note: Lebkuchen (Spiced Cakes) are best made ahead of time and allowed to mature.
*12 oz/ 3c plain/AP flour plus extra if needed
*1/2 tsp sodium carbonate/baking soda
*1/2 tsp salt
*1 tsp ground cinnamon
*1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
*1/2 tsp ground ginger
*1/2 tsp ground cloves (or substitute 2 tsp mixed spice for the above 4 spices)
*1 c candied mixed citrus peel, finely chopped
*1/2 slivered almonds
*2 tbs freshly-grated lemon peel
*3/4 c honey
*1 c dark brown sugar
*1/4 c milk
*2 c icing/confectioner’s sugar, 3 tbs water (or milk) plus a few drops vanilla extract
*glace fruit and dragees for decorations
Sift the flour, salt, baking soda and spices together into a large bowl.
In another bowl, toss the candied peel, almonds and grated lemon peel with a little of the flour and set aside.
Warm the honey and allow to cool slightly. Cream the sugar and eggs together in a large bowl until fluffy. Add the honey and the milk and beat well. Add one-third of the flour and beat the mixture until smooth.
Stir in the rest of the flour, then stir in the peel and nut mixture. Don’t over mix. It will be a soft dough.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap/cling film and place in a cool place or the fridge. Leave it there at least 24 hours or up to a week.
When ready to bake: oven at 375 F.
Knead the dough lightly to remix. Roll out the dough on a floured board or cloth to 1/2 inch thick. Use floured cutters to cut circles and hearts. Carefully transfer to buttered baking sheets; place the Lebkuchen about 2 inches apart.
Bake for 10–12 minutes. Meanwhile make the glaze from the icing sugar, water/milk and vanilla.
Place the lebkuchen on wire racks to cool for a few minutes. Spoon or brush the glaze over them while still warm. Add any decorations before the glaze hardens.
Store in airtight tins at room temperature. Lebkuchen will keep for several weeks of feasting.
Commercial Lebkuchen (available in the US)
Image via Wikipedia
Spay/neuter your pets! http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/pet_overpopulation/facts/why_spay_neuter.html
Shelter strays may get euthanised if not adopted.