German Lebkuchen hearts are very popular on all German fairs, the Oktoberfest and the Christmas markets. There are booths which sell the hearts with all names and wishes written on them. Unfortunately you cannot buy these hearts here in America but the good thing is, you can make them at home. Decorate them as you like. It is a great gift for birthdays or party favors. Surprise your friends and family with a customized Lebkuchen heart, they will love it. Happy Baking!
(for 30-40 hearts of 14 cm or 6 inches diameter)
200 g butter
500 g honey
250 g sugar
2 -4 tbsp Lebkuchen spice (or to taste) – see below
4 tbsp cocoa (unsweetened)
2.2lb flour (1 kg)
1 tbsp baking powder
1 dash salt
Frosting: 2 egg white, 400 g powdered sugar
– Combine butter, honey and sugar in a pot, mix well and warm it until the sugar has dissolved.
– Add the spices and cocoa, you should get a smooth dough. Let cool off to room temperature.
– In a bowl mix flour with baking powder (use a flour sieve), make a small mold and add salt, eggs and honey dough into the mold, knead until you get a firm dough.
– Place dough in a bowl, cover it with kitchen cloth or foil, let rest at room temperature for 1/2 to 1 day.
– On a wooden baking board that is sprinkled with flour, next day roll the dough 1cm thick (1/2 inch) and cut out hearts (you need big heart cookie cutters). Take small portions of the dough and roll it, the best heart by heart. You also can make heart templates on a card board and place them on the dough, then cut it out.
– Place the hearts on a greased baking tray or layered with parchment paper.
– Bake on 350 F for about 10-15 min (not longer as they will get dark).
For the decorative frosting beat egg white with powdered sugar until it is very firm, you can also add different edible colors for a colorful look.
The problem that you could run into is that the hearts will become very hard. There’s a trick: PLAce half of an apple or some apple pieces into the box where you keep the hearts. This should soften them.
MAKE YOUR OWN LEBKUCHEN SPICE
The Lebkuchen Spice is a very important ingredient for making these cookies. It is not available in the US supermarkets (only in special German stores, but you can make it from scratch. ix all ingredients in a bowl, ready is the best seasoning for the holidays.