Lebkuchen

The traditional Christmas German spice cookie is easy to make and perfect for the holiday season. Save it for Christmas, or serve as a fall treat with tea or coffee.


3 dozen
Prep:
15 minutes

2 cups sugar

1 cup shortening

1 cup molasses

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup red wine

6-7 cups Shawnee Best all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1 1/2 cups pecans, finely chopped

1 to 1 1/2 cups raisins, optional

1 cup powdered sugar, sifted

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla

2 tablespoons milk or half-and-half

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F and grease cookie sheets.
  2. In a large bowl, cream sugar and shortening. Beat in molasses, buttermilk and wine.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix 6 cups flour, baking soda and spices. Gradually add flour mixture to the liquid mixture one cup at a time until dough becomes very stiff. Add additional flour if needed.
  4. You may need to knead by hand until thoroughly blended. Add nuts and raisins. Cover and chill overnight. You may chill for up to one week. The flavor will get better as it ages.
  5. Remove from refrigerator; divide dough into three parts, refrigerate parts you are not rolling. Dust rolling pin with flour. On a floured surface, roll each section into ¼- inch thickness. Dust with just enough flour to prevent stickiness when rolling out. Cut into 1 x 2-inch rectangles. You may shape into hearts or stars or other shapes with cookie cutters.
  6. Place on cookie sheets and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, just until bottoms begin to brown. Remove from oven and cool on racks.
  7. For glaze, combine powdered sugar, vanilla and milk and mix until smooth. Glaze immediately after removing from oven.