Lebkuchen

I have not been around for the last 5 days or so as I was out of town.With Summer ending (although I am not quite ready yet), we planned a vacation to OBX and it was absolutely fantastic there. The weather scared us a bit initially with Hurricane Bill and later Danny near the islands. Luckily, the weather cooperated and we went around! I will post the pictures soon. I know I have to post the Bushkill falls trip pics as well. Once I ease back into my routine, I will post the pics and some pending recipes too! For now, I am posting some of my Germany trip pics.

Germany, A beautiful country famous for great musicians like Beethoven, for the black forest cuckoo clocks, for Volkswagen and Porsche, for the Autobahn, has a distinctive cuisine. When you think of German food, Sauerkraut and beer cross the mind.But, there is much more to it than just these!
The Germans have a tradition of five meals a day. The day starts with Frühstück (Breakfast), which is followed by a second breakfast, a few hours later –Zweites Frühstück.At midday is their dinner, Mittagessen which is usually a hot meal.In the afternoon, comes their snack time-Kaffee which is more than just coffee!The day concludes with a light supper called Abendrot.I wonder if they still follow this tradition!
When I was making Lebkuchen, I was recollecting my trip to Germany in ’04.My food there primarily consisted of French fries and ate Lebkuchen once. The cookies were very delicious. I have heard that the cookies do not contain ginger although the recipe that I used does contain a small quantity of powdered ginger.
Here are some of the pics of my trip. I would have loved to share more but the ‘Devil’ seems to be in almost all the pics: D. Thought will spare you some fright!

Heidelberg Castle



Castles you can see alongside Rhine.You have to excuse me for the picture quality.We took it while we were cruising.:)



This Cuckoo clock is the size of a small house.On the hour, the dolls (couples) come out dancing.
The partial head that you can see is of my DH's:D


Cologne Cathedral



Decoration is an important aspect in making Lebkuchen. The decorations were made with inscriptions, made into heart shapes cookies, or even Christmas cards with angels cooing!In the story written by Gottfried Keller, ‘Romeo und Julia auf dem Dorfe’ ( A Village Romeo and Juliet), the heroine gives her lover a Lebkuchen heart with an inscription “A sweet almond kernel is in this heart, but my love for you is sweeter than the almond”

Adapted from: Better homes and Gardens New baking Book

Makes 40 cookies; The recipe from the book yields 48 cookies. They used square cookie cutters.

1 egg
¾ cup light brown sugar
½ cup honey
½ cup molasses
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground cardamom
½ cup chopped almonds
½ cup mixed candied fruits and/or raisins
1 recipe lemon glaze



Beat the egg on high speed. To this, add brown sugar, by beating on med speed until fluffy. Add molasses and honey to it and mix well

Sift the dry ingredients-flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, cardamom. Combine the dry ingredients with the egg mixture. Combine well using hand. The dough will be stiff and tough to handle. Add almonds and the candies mix. Refrigerate the dough in a bowl covered for 8 hrs or until the dough is easy to handle.

Preheat the oven to 350F.Line a baking sheet with al foil and grease it.

Remove the dough from the bowl and divide the dough into 2 halves. Roll the dough into a 12X8 inch rectangle. Since I had the round cookie cutters, I made them into circles instead of squares.
Cut 2 inch circles. Place them carefully on the baking sheets.

Bake them in the oven for 10 min. Remove the cookies and cool them on the baking sheet for a minute or so.

While warm brush with lemon glaze and decorate with candied fruit. You can store it in an airtight container for up to 7 days for the flavors to mellow. It tastes better when stored for several days.

For the glaze:
1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tbsp butter, melted
1 tbsp lemon juice




Combine all of them by adding 3- 4 tsp of water such that it forms a drizzling consistency.

This goes to AWED German, guest hosted by Lakshmi Venkatesh, started by DK of Chef in You.

Jyoti, Sushma and Mythreyi passed me some wonderful award(s)/scrap again!Will post it in the next couple of days!

Have fun now:)
Shri

26 comments:

Rush said...

fantastic!!!
the entire edscribe..i see an absolute new side to Shri here...ur pics , travelogue speak a ton about the place, its culture...5 meals....wooow!!! how many calories did u put on back from the trip???

and i absolutely love the way Lebkuchen looks....how do u pronounce it?

Rush said...

u are my latest addition to http://memoirsofeverdaylife.blogspot.com/2009/05/thankyou-all.html

Lakshmi said...

Thks a lot shri. The lebkuchen looks very delicious. And wonderful photos of Germany.

Priya said...

Fantastic Shri..wat a delectable Cookies...

Red Chillies said...

Great pictures and looks like you had a good time.

Sireesha said...

Luscious cookies and beautiful pics if germany..

Home Cooked Oriya Food said...

wonderful cookies for wonderful germany...

Bergamot said...

germany is beautiful and you have captured it well... the cookies look wonderful with the glaze

En Samaiyal said...

Awesome job Shri ,Germany looking Great yaar .....wow ur cookies look yum yum.....

Vrinda said...

Lovely cookies and lovely pics..liked the glass dish u presented...

Priti said...

Wow all the pics are nice ....beautiful

Suparna said...

Hi Shri,
Went through a some of your previous posts must say each dish looks yumm, congratulations on the awards shower you very much deserve these and much more. The meme was a good lot of nice read about you dear :)
The glasswares that you have been using in your presentation are simply superb :)
The travelogue and the pics are damn good dear keep them coming.
The cookies look angelic, wish I could pick one from the screen right now ;)
BTW I want to Try out your mixed vegetable idly seems very promising.
Thanks
C U around!
TC

Shri said...

Thanks Rush!Quite flattering:)Pronounced as Layb-Koo-Kuhn;I used to say it as Chen as in Cha cha until I stepped out of Germany:)

Looking fwd to the roundup,Lakshmi!

Priya,Sireesha,HCOF,Bergamot,En Samaiyal-Thanks!

Thanks RC, We did have a great time in Europe!

Shri said...

Vrinda and Priti-Thanks!

Suparna!Welcome back and always a pleasure to read your detailed comments:)We missed you!You shud try the Veg Idli,hon!

rekhas kitchen said...

beautiful pic. yaar and cookies look so delicious and tempting.

Sushma Mallya said...

wow beautiful place...u must have enjoyed a lot...and cookies looks very delicious as well...

Chitra said...

Awesome pics, Hope u had enjoyed very well :)

Parita said...

Wow cookies look damn good..I have passed an award to you, pls accept it :)

Several tips said...

Great posting

Srivalli said...

Great pics...lebkuchen looks delicious and mouthwatering.

Vani said...

What a lovely place!

Vaishali said...

Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures of Germany, Shri. They definitely take one to another place and another time. And the lebkuchen sounds delicious.

Jacqueline said...

Nice photos. I do like looking at architecture.

Shri said...

Rekha,Thanks

Sushma,Yes, It was a lovely place and I wish I had time to go back!

Chitra,Thanks!

Parita, Thanks for passign the award to me:)

Several Tips, Valli, Vani,Vaishali-Thanks guys for your lovely comments

Yes Jacqueline,architecture of such olden marvels is always great

Soma said...

beautiful pictures Shri. Thanks for sharing. I love those cookies. I like spice cookies way better than the flat sugar ones. wonderful.

Preeti Kashyap said...

lebkuchen looks interesting and delicious. Thanks for sharing the Germany pics! Great clicks. Than ks for visiting my blog :)

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