Cardamom is commonly used to flavor lebkuchen.
Lebkuchen is a German biscuit that resembles a soft gingerbread. Traditionally, it is a Christmas treat, with Franconian monks being credited with inventing the German version of this sweet and spicy delicacy. There are many styles, but one of the most famous is the type that is produced in Nuremberg, Germany, has a wafer underneath and is coated in dark chocolate. The cookies are also used to make decorated heart cookies and witch houses, which can be found in German markets.
Nuts are a common ingredient in lebkuchen.
For many years Nuremberg was home to a bakers guild that produces all the traditional “Nuremberg lebkuchen”. They are produced in factories and small bakeries and are a protected geographical indication. Having this designation means that it is the only type that can be labeled “Nuremberg lebkuchen”. Also, they can only be produced by guild members within Nuremberg city limits.
European-style bakeries can offer lebkuchen.
Other types of lebkuchen also exist. Brown lebkuchen has no wafer underneath and is not coated with chocolate or any other substance. Some recipes contain nuts and raisins. Others are full of jams and jellies. Many modifications have been made to the recipe by various bakers over the years, but the recipe used by the German guild is kept strictly secret.
The main ingredients of lebkuchen are spices, flour, eggs and some kind of sweetener. When product cooking began, sugar was much more expensive and harder to find. As a result, honey was used as a substitute sweetener. Various types of nuts such as hazelnuts, almonds and walnuts can be used. Some of the spices used are cinnamon, ginger, cloves and cardamom.
Many German markets contain various items made with lebkuchen. Witches’ houses, inspired by the story of Hansel and Gretel, are made with him. In addition, a harder version of the cookie is baked, usually in the shape of a heart, decorated with icing and given as a gift. Horses are also modeled with the dough and decorated with icing, like a gingerbread doll.
It is possible to order lebkuchen online and in some bakeries around the world. It is most easily found around Christmas time because it is a traditional German Christmas treat. Many people even make their own, using recipes they found on the Internet or passed down from their family.