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Category: Desserts

Lebkuchen

Lebkuchen
Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

By Thanksgiving weekend, the prep work was well underway. All year long she'd been saving the boxes from stationery and from her nylon stockings, stashed with the Christmas ornaments. She'd made lists in her perfectly inscrutable handwriting. In our basement ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes plus cooling and chilling times | Makes about 3 dozen cookies
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 3/4 cups (11.7 ounces) flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup chopped candied orange or lemon peel
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds plus blanched half almonds (whole almonds halved lengthwise) for garnish, divided
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

Step 1In a small saucepan, bring the honey and molasses to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

Step 2In a large bowl, combine the cooled honey and molasses mixture with the brown sugar, egg, lemon juice and lemon zest.

Step 3Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and nutmeg. Stir the dry ingredients into the molasses mixture until thoroughly incorporated, then stir in the chopped candied peel and nuts.

Step 4Cover the dough and refrigerate overnight.

Step 5Just before baking, heat the oven to 400 degrees. Make the glaze for the cookies: In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, water and corn syrup over high heat until a thermometer inserted reads 230 degrees. Quickly stir in the powdered sugar and remove from heat. Set the glaze aside in a warm place.

Step 6Roll the chilled dough on a floured surface to a thickness of one-fourth inch. Cut the dough into rectangles approximately 3 inches long and 2 inches wide.

Step 7Place the cookies at least 1 inch apart on a greased baking sheet. Place 1 half almond (split side down) in the center of each cookie, then bake until set, 10 to 12 minutes. Brush the cookies with a thin coating of the warm glaze, then cool the cookies on a rack. Store the cookies in an airtight container for a week to mellow the flavors.

Each of 36 cookies:
118 calories; 1 gram protein; 27 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 1 gram fat; 0 saturated fat; 6 mg. cholesterol; 18 grams sugar; 24 mg. sodium.
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