Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lebkuchen (Spice Bars)

2 c. honey
5 ½ c. flour
¾ c. grated unblanched almonds
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. powdered cloves
¾ c. mixed candied fruits (orange, lemon and citron peel)
½ tsp. baking powder

2 egg whites
1 ¼ c. confectioner's sugar, shifted
1 tbsp. lemon juice

Heat honey until thin; do not boil. Mix in all other ingredients except icing. Turn onto floured board and knead until smooth, adding a little flour if necessary. Roll with a floured rolling pin to ½" thickness. Grease and flour a baking sheet and lay rolled dough on it. Bake in pre-heated 350 degrees oven about 20 minutes. Spread with icing while hot; cool before cutting into rectangles.


Whip egg whites until they stand in stiff peaks. Add sugar and lemon and juice and continue beating until thick and glossy. Spread on cake or cookies with a spatula.

Reisbrei (Rice Porridge)

½ c. converted rice
1 quart milk
Pinch of salt
4 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. butter
¼ c. raisins, optional

Cook rice in milk with salt and butter, very slowly until kernels are tender but have not lost their shape. If you have patience, do this in the top of a double broiler. It will take 1 ½ to 2 hours but will be worth it. The mixture should be very thick and can be stirred several times during cooking. When done, flavor with sugar, cinnamon and add raisins--if you are using them. This may be served hot or cold.

Glühwein (Hot Mulled Wine)

Ingredients: (serves 2-3 persons)

1 bottle of dry red wine (750 ml)
one lemon
2 sticks of cinnamon
3 cloves
3 tbsp. of sugar
some cardamom (or ginger)

Heat the red wine in a pot (don't boil). Cut the lemon into slices and add to the wine. Then add the cinnamon, cloves, sugar and a little cardamom (to taste). Heat everything for about 5 minutes - do not boil - and let stand for about an hour. Before serving, reheat and strain. Serve in prewarmed glasses or mugs.



1 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 c. butter or margarine, softened
2 eggs
1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp. Pure Lemon Extract
1/2 tsp. Pure Anise Extract
1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
1/8 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
1/8 tsp. Ground Cloves
1 3/4 c. sifted all-purpose flour
confectioners' sugar

Place brown sugar and butter in large mixer bowl. Cream with electric mixer until smooth and fluffy. Beat in eggs and extracts. Add remaining ingredients, except confectioners sugar, to sifted flour and sift again. Gradually add to butter mixture, mixing well. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Shape teaspoonfuls of dough into ovals and place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 10 minutes.
Remove from cookie sheets and place on wire racks. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar while cookies are still warm. When cookies are cool, store in airtight containers.

Honig Lebkuchen (Honey Gingerbread)

2 tsp. baking soda
3 tbsp. brandy
1 1/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. warm honey
1 c. candied citron and orange peel, chopped fine
Juice and grated rind of one fresh lemon
2 tsp. cinnamon
7 c. flour
1 tsp. each ground ginger and cloves
2 c. ground blanched almonds or hazelnuts


1. Stir the baking soda into the brandy.
2. The warmer the honey, the easier it is to work the dough, but if the honey is too hot you'll burn yourself, so be careful. Mix all the ingredients by hand, including the brandy-soda mixture, holding back about 2 cups of the flour. Gradually add the remaining flour until the dough is sticky but kneadable. Turn the dough out and knead in the remaining flour.
3. Allow the dough to sit in a warm place (65 to 75 degrees), covered with a dishtowel, for 3 days.
4. Roll out on a floured board, 1/4-inch thick or less, and cut into small (1-inch) squares or diamonds.
5. Place on ungreased cookie sheets and brush with a glaze made of one egg yolk mixed with two tablespoons of water. You can also decorate the tops with blanched almond halves or bits of candied fruit.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. Cool completely and store in tightly sealed metal tins.

Zimtsterne (Cinnamon Star Cookies)



2 c. blanched whole almonds
2 c. confectioners sugar, sifted, plus more for rolling out
2 large egg whites
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Decoration (optional):

edible gold powder
soft artist's brush


1. combine almonds and 1/2 c. confectioners' sugar in a food processor and process until nuts are very finely ground.

2. in a large bowl with electric mixer on high speed, whip egg whites until soft peaks form. gradually add remaining 1 1/2 c. confectioners' sugar, whipping until thick and creamy. Remove 1/4 cup meringue and set aside.

3. fold ground almond mixture, lemon zest, and cinnamon into larger portion of meringue. mixture will be stiff. allow to sit for 30 mins at room temp.
Preheat oven to 275. line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

4. roll dough out to 1/4 inch thickness on surface sprinkled with confectioners sugar. cut out small stars and place two inches apart on cookie sheets, brush with reserved meringue, taking care to cover entire surface evenly and not allow to drip down sides.

5. bake until bottoms are light golden brown, about 20 mins; meringue should remain white and be very dry. slide parchment on to racks to cool cookies completely.

6. to decorate lace small amount of gold powder in bowl add vodka a few drops at a time until a thick paint consistency is reached. paint the top edges of star with gold pain or paint entire meringue surface, allow to dry.


2 sticks (1 c.) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c. confectioner's sugar, sifted
the yolk from 1 large hard-boiled egg, sieved
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
2-3 tbsp. pearl sugar

Cream butter in mixer bowl for 30 seconds, then add powdered sugar and continue beating for 30 more seconds. Add cooked yolk, egg yolk and vanilla. Switch to paddle if using beaters and beat in flour, until well-incorporated. When completely combined, scrape off dough from paddle. Form dough into a circle and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for 1 hour. (If chilling longer, take out of refrigerator an hour or so before you plan to work with the dough to make it easier to work with.)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Divide dough equally into 36 pieces. Roll each piece into 6-inch-long ropes, then form into a ring, crossing and pressing them together an inch from the ends. Arrange 1-inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with pearl sugar. Bake 18-20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on sheet for 1 minute, then transfer cookies to wire rack to cool.