Having lived in Germany, I try to keep my German cooking as authentic as possible. These lovely lebkuchen are a culinary Christmas custom.—Cathty Lemmon, Helena, Montana
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Dash salt
- 1/3 cup cold butter, cubed
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 2/3 cup quick-cooking oats
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup ground almonds
- 1/3 cup ground hazelnuts
- 1/4 cup baking cocoa
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon each ground cloves, cardamom and allspice
- 1/4 cup finely chopped candied lemon peel
- 1/4 cup finely chopped candied orange peel
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 1/4 cup butter, cubed
- In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Combine water and vanilla; gradually add to crumb mixture, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/16-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 2-1/2-in. round cookie cutter. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 325° for 8-10 minutes or until set. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.
- For topping, in a small bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and oil. Combine the oats, flour, nuts, cocoa, baking powder and spices; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Fold in candied peels.
- Drop a rounded tablespoonful of topping on each cookie; gently press down. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 325° for 13-16 minutes or until set. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate and butter; stir until smooth. Dip each cookie halfway in chocolate; allow excess to drip off. Place on waxed paper; let stand until set. Store in airtight containers. Yield: about 1-1/2 dozen.
Originally published as Chocolate Lebkuchen in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2008, p71
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