It's tradition for my family to get together on Thanksgiving weekend and bake these spice-filled treats. The recipe came from my great-grandmother. —Esther Kempker, Jefferson City, Missouri
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup molasses
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 teaspoon anise extract
- 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon each ground allspice, cardamom and cloves
- 1/2 cup ground walnuts
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup pitted dates
- 1/2 cup candied lemon peel
- 1/3 cup flaked coconut
- 1/4 cup candied orange peel
- 3 tablespoons candied pineapple
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 15x10x1-in. baking pan with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in molasses, buttermilk and extract. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, allspice, cardamom and cloves; gradually add to creamed mixture and beat well. Stir in walnuts.
- Place raisins, dates, lemon peel, coconut, orange peel and pineapple in a food processor; pulse until chopped. Stir into batter; press into prepared pan. Bake 25-28 minutes or until lightly browned.
- For glaze, in a small saucepan, bring sugar and water to a boil; boil 1 minute. Remove from heat; whisk in confectioners' sugar. Spread over warm bars. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Yield: 3 dozen.
Originally published as Lebkuchen in Country Woman Christmas Annual 2007, p65
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