Lebkuchen – German Gingerbread
6 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup dark-brown sugar, packed
4 teaspoons ground ginger
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp finely ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup unsulfured molasses
In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in spices and salt, then eggs and molasses. Add flour mixture; combine on low speed. Divide dough in thirds; wrap in plastic. Chill for at least 1 hour.
Heat oven to 350F. On a floured work surface, roll dough 1/8 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes. Transfer to ungreased baking sheets; refrigerate until firm, 15 minutes. Bake until crisp but not darkened, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cookies cool on wire racks, then decorate as desired.
For Icing Cookies you may brush with a Lemon Glaze made from:
1 egg white
1 1/2 cups sifted confectioner’s (powdered or icing) sugar
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
In a small bowl with mixer or by hand, beat egg white, powdered sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Brush onto still warm cookies, and decorate with a candied fruit.