Monday, December 20, 2010
The Monday Recipe Blog
Today, straight from the recipe box of Lois Elaine Mueller, is a recipe for Lebkucken (Lebkuchen). For the next several months I will be featuring Lois Elaine's recipes every Monday. Her heyday was in the 1950's and 1960's, and her children swear she was the best cook that ever lived. Many baby boomers will remember these mouth-watering recipes, and these dishes are just as tasty today as they were in the sixties.
The Muellers were a German family and enjoyed many traditional German dishes. One was Lebkuchen, a German biscuit dessert that is somewhat similar to Gingerbread. Lebkuchen has been around since the 1200's, so it definitely has staying power. It evolved from an even earlier dish called Honey Cake, and was invented by monks.
The cookies are traditionally very large, around 4 to 5 inches in diameter if round and bigger if rectangular. This is a recipe for an experienced baker and requires the dough to stand for a week before baking, so don't start this if you need a batch of cookies tomorrow.
Even Lois Elaine would sometimes skip a year in making Lebkuchen, so be aware of how much of a challenge this recipe is. But you love challenges, right?
Lois Elaine's Lebkuchen:
4. c. honey
4. c. white sugar
4 eggs, beaten
1 lb. citron, ground
1 lb. salted large peanuts, ground. (rub off all the salt by Turkish towel)
9 T. cidar vinegar
1 T. ginger
1 T. cloves, ground
1 T. anise seed (grind and sift)
1 T. fennel seed (grind and sift)
1 T. salt
2 T. cinnamon, ground
1 lb. raisins, ground - (pour hot water over them, drain, then grind)
3 T. baking soda, dissolved in...
1 c. warm water
19 c. all purpose flour
Mix all together except the flour, then add enough flour to make a soft dough. Let stand a week. Roll 1/4 inch thick. Bake at 350 degrees about 11 minutes on a greased baking sheet.