Thanksgiving is finally over everywhere and now I can return to my cookies, this time – very christmasy ones. I’ve been willing to share this recipe for a while but it didn’t seem quite appropriate back then. This is a traditional German lebkuchen sandwiched with a moist and flavorful filling of apricot jam, raisins, candied orange peel, and toasted almonds. The dough is a variation of the well known in North America gingerbread, but the taste here is far more complex and interesting. The honey takes place over the molasses, and the spices differ, with the cardamom playing the first role. The cake is intensely spiced, sweet, moist, and although it’s very good freshly made; the flavor and texture are getting even better over time. So, it’s best to bake the lebkuchen right now and keep them until around Christmas. I baked the first trial batch about two weeks ago, and by this time the squares (well, a couple of survivors) have turned into the moist (not wet or soggy) delectable confection-like treat, so perfect with a cup of coffee or strong tea.
The recipe is adapted from an old charming book “Festive Baking – holiday classics in the Swiss, German, and Austrian traditions” by Sarah Kelly Iaia.
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