iced lebkuchen

Glazed lebkuchen wombats, fresh from the oven

This recipe comes from my grandmother’s 1950 edition of Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book.

Mix together and bring to a boil: ½ cup honey, ½ cup molasses (or black treacle)

Cool thoroughly.

Stir in: 1 egg, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind.

Sift together and stir in: 2 ¾ cups of sifted flour, ½ teaspoon of baking soda, and 1 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, cloves, allspice and nutmeg.

Mix in: 1/3 cup each of cut-up citron (or candied citrus peel) and chopped nuts (I used slivered almonds)

black treacle, honey and flour

Mixing up the sticky dough, starting with boiled black treacle and honey, then flour

Chill dough overnight. Preheat oven to 400F (200C). Roll a small amount at a time, keeping the rest chilled. Roll out ¼” thick and cut into oblongs 1 ½ x 2 ½ “ (or use big-ish cookie cutters). Place them one inch apart on a greased baking sheet. Bake until, when touched lightly, no imprint remains (the recipe says this should take 10–12 minutes, but in my fan oven it only took about 6 ½ minutes). While the cookies bake (or before) make Glazing Icing.

Glazing Icing: boil together 1 cup sugar and ½ cup water until the first indication of a thread appears (230F). Remove from heat. Stir in ¼ cup powdered (icing) sugar.

Boiling the glazing icing

Making the glaze by boiling sugar and water to 230F, then stirring in powdered (icing) sugar

Brush the glaze over the cookies the minute they are out of the oven. Then quickly remove them from the baking sheet. (When the icing gets sugary, reheat slightly, adding a little water until it’s clear again.)

Cool and store your cookies to let them mellow. This recipe should make about 6 dozen 2” x 3” cookies.

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