The German town of Nuremberg has been famous for its lebkuchen since the late 1300s; the soft, cakey cookies are traditionally made with several spices, candied citrus peel, hazelnuts, and almonds.
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mace
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/3 cup blanched whole almonds (about 1 3/4 ounces), toasted, plus more untoasted for decorating
- 1/3 cup blanched hazelnuts (1 1/2 ounces), toasted
- 1/3 cup diced candied orange peel
- 1/3 cup diced candied lemon peel
- 4 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
- 3 ounces almond paste, crumbled into small pieces
- 1/3 cup apricot jam
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
- 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. Pulse almonds and hazelnuts in a food processor until very finely chopped. Add candied peels and dates, and pulse until finely chopped. Add almond paste, and pulse to combine. Add jam, and pulse. Add eggs and brown sugar, and pulse. Add flour mixture, and pulse. Transfer dough to an airtight container, and refrigerate overnight (or up to 3 days).
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Using a 2-inch ice cream scoop ( 1/4 cup), drop dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing cookies 3 inches apart. Place 3 almonds close together on top of each cookie. Bake until golden brown, about 14 minutes. Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks.
Whisk together confectioners' sugar and milk, and brush over cooled cookies. Let stand until set. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, December 2007