Lithuania Lebkuchen - A Traditional Holiday Cookie

EH Publisher Kim Korth got this recipe from her mother-in-law, who traditionally makes these Lithuanian lebkuchen for Christmas. Plan ahead, the batter needs to sit for several days. Citron (used in this recipe) is a citrus with a thick layer of white flesh underneath the skin that is cut up along with the peel and candied. If you have Buddha’s Hand Citron, you can use that! Candied citron is a popular ingredient in fruitcakes, including Italian panforte.
Photography By Jenn Duncan | November 29, 2016

Preparation

Using a large pot, heat molasses, honey, sugar and brandy and boil for 5 minutes. Take off heat and while hot stir in butter and four cups of flour, the spices, chopped nuts and citron. Wait until cooled almost completely and add the baking soda (dissolved in a little water). Add the well-beaten eggs and enough flour to make a stiff dough (add more flour if needed). Put in an earthen or wooden bowl and let stand at room temperature 3–4 days.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°.

Roll out the dough and cut out cookies (use any shape you like). Place the cookies on a baking sheet covered with parchment or Silpat. Bake in the preheated oven for about 8 minutes.

Brush with honey when they’re still hot. Let cool completely.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 cup honey
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 6½ cups flour (approximately)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 large cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup chopped candied citron peel
  • 3 eggs, beaten
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