Lebkuchen vs Gingerbread
During this time of year treats such as gingerbread and candy canes get most of the attention, but if you’ve got German heritage you may know of another gingerbread-like cookie called Lebkuchen.
What is it and what makes it different than gingerbread?
- Lebkuchen are a traditional German cookie given as gifts at Christmas that date back to the 1300’s.
- Very similar to gingerbread but much darker, more dense and rich, and chewier. Lebkuchen is never crunchy.
- Made with honey, whereas gingerbread uses molasses.
- Main ingredients are hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, candied orange and lemon peel, honey, flour, sugar, eggs and marzipan.
- They’re heavier on spices than gingerbread and include cinnamon, cloves, anise, cardamom, coriander, ginger and mace.
- There are several varieties of Lebkuchen, one of which is called Oblaten Lebkuchen. This type has a thin wafer called an Oblaten on the bottom of the cookie very similar to a Communion wafer. Historically they were used by monks to keep the cookies from sticking to the pan.
- Elisen Lebkuchen are the highest quality Lebkuchen available and require at least 25% almonds, hazelnuts, and/or walnuts (no other kinds of nuts are allowed) in the recipe. Also, they must contain no more than 10% flour.
Leave a Reply.